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Marathon Training – Week 6: I think it’s happening!

I knew going into this week that it had the potential to be hectic and challenging.  But I was determined to plan for it and make it work.  And, as I expected, it was a tough week.  And, also as expected, I got it done!  It took some focus and dedication but it did get done.  It was also an exciting week for me because I decided to commit to becoming a Beachbody Coach!  I really had no intention of doing that when I started drinking Shakeology but I loved it and the energy I got from it over the last few weeks.  So that, along with the mostly awesome runs that I’ve had these last few weeks, made me decide to commit and encourage others to try it. So I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me about that…I’ve got some exciting ideas for challenge groups to kick off the new year.  Anyway, back to marathon training….

This is what the schedule looked like this week:

Monday: 6 easy miles

Tuesday: Rest or cross train

Wednesday: 7 miles speed work

Thursday: 10 miles marathon pace

Friday: 3 miles easy

Saturday:  American Heroes 5K

Sunday: 18 miles conversational pace

And reality:

Monday:  I met Monica again at Arbor Hills for 8.5 hilly miles.  I don’t know why I don’t just change the schedule since we’ve been doing 8.5 miles every time.  I don’t guess it really matters.  It does feel good to run more than what the schedule says.  Maybe I’ll just leave it then…  Anyway, my legs were tired from running several days in a row but it was a great run and I’m back to feeling good about my training.

Tuesday:  Today was a long day at work so I took the rest option.  Although I’m not sure you can call it rest when you work a long day and then sit in traffic.  I did not work out today so we’ll call it a rest day as far as training is concerned.

Wednesday:  Since my husband was going out of town for a few days, I opted to spend my early morning run time having coffee with him.  Since I ended up working late again and then having to feed my daughter, I was going to skip this run.  But at 10 PM I decided to not skip it and stay focused on my goals.  So I did 7 miles of speed work on the treadmill and felt great!  I guess what they say about never regretting a workout you did is true.  It is much easier to live with the fact that I got it done and didn’t give up on my goal.

Thursday:  Since I was up late last night, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up early enough to get 10 miles done before work.  After the week I’ve already had, I also wasn’t confident that I’d be able to get all 10 miles done after work.  So I decided to split it and run 5 before work and 5 after.  I know that’s not the ideal situation but I figured that if I wasn’t able to get the evening 5 done, that would be ok.  Something is always better than nothing, right?  Right!  Luckily, I didn’t have to work late and was able to get all 5 of those miles done too.  Planning for the worst but expecting the best really worked out for me.

Friday:  I haven’t done that well getting enough sleep this week and it’s been rather stressful so I decided to take a rest day.

Saturday:  The annual American Heroes 5K is held in my neighborhood so it was super convenient to roll out of bed, do a warm up on most of the course and then run the race.  So we did a 2.5 mile warm up run and headed to the start line.  After running the last 5K so well, I was hopeful to have a comparable time or even beat it.  I was 10 seconds off of that time but my pacing was much, much more consistent.  I think it’s actually happening!  I may be learning to evenly pace myself!  I averaged 7:32 per mile and ended up finishing in 23:40, which was enough for 1st place in my age group!  I was really excited about that!

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Sunday: I wasn’t quite sure how today’s run would feel after running hard yesterday.  It was definitely a challenge to run on tired legs but it was an amazing run.  I’ve run 18 miles or more many times so it wasn’t necessarily an exercise of being on my feet that long.  Although that is part of the physical training, today was more of a “mind over matter” kind of run.  I think the thing that really gets me through these runs is having a training partner.  Truly the miles just fly by while we talk about so many different things.  There’s an unspoken rule about confidentiality about the talks we have while running but I think Monica will be ok with this one.  The rule is really in place because most people would really think that we were just not right if they were privy to our conversations.  And that’s probably true but we’re the only ones allowed to say that :).  Anyway, back to the conversation.  We spent lots of time talking about race strategy.  We have both realized that we run much better together on long runs.  If that’s true for training runs, it has to be true for races, right?  So our plan is to run together but with a promise to leave the other if it becomes necessary for any reason.  The great thing about this plan is that we have realized that we are stronger together than separately.  When one of us is weak, the other lifts that person up and we both keep going.  With all the ups and downs that mentally happen during a marathon, this will cycle through many times with each of us taking turns.  All we have to do is stick together and we will both reach our goals.  Not only is that the ideal training partner, it’s the ideal friend.  Couldn’t we all use someone like that?  Back to the recap of the run.  Even on tired legs, we managed to nail every mile at or under our planned pace.  And we didn’t have any of the past pacing fails.  So, yeah, it’s definitely happening!  We’re learning to control our pacing much better!  18 miles at an average pace of 9:00…..DONE!  Looking forward to not running tomorrow.  My legs have worked hard the past 2 days, time to give them a well-deserved break!

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Food choices this week were quite good as far as meals.  That stupid Halloween candy is still haunting me though.  We’ve still got lots left but I’m willingly staying away from it now.  For the upcoming week, I am going to track what I eat better to make sure I am getting enough calories to support all of these miles.  Although I feel good and am a healthy weight, I’d like to keep it that way!

Do you workout with a buddy or have an accountability partner?  That’s a great way to get exceptional results!  If you need an accountability partner, let me know….I can help!

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