Happy first day of spring! We had snow flurries today. Figures that it’s colder on the first day of spring than it has been for the whole month!
This past week was my first taper week, and I ended up tapering much more than the plan called for. I don’t feel guilty at all. The previous week’s 47 miles, my highest weekly mileage ever, really crushed me. I needed rest, so I took it. I also think I’ve learned this is pretty much my weekly mileage limit, and that I will need to ask my coach to create a full marathon plan that doesn’t go beyond a peak week of 50 miles.
And…it’s race week! With the race so close, my old demons negativity, doubt, and anxiety have been haunting me. They tried to get into my mind and make me fixate on the bad runs I had in training, convince me my training wasn’t good enough, and tell me that I’m going to fail on race day. But I recognized them for what they were and did my best to exorcise them. These facts acted as my holy water:
- I ran my best race using the Hansons’ method in October. I know the training works for me.
- Even though this course is hilly, I run well on it. I know that the hills will feel easier on race day, as they have in past races. I know that I get much-needed breaks on the downhills.
- I know the course very well. I’ve done every single long run on the course. I know what parts of the course are tough for me and will be mentally prepared for it.
- I know how to execute a race plan and pacing strategy to ensure I have a good race. I did that in my last races, and I have no doubt I can do it again. (I’ll be sharing my race plan later this week.)
- All I have to do is finish the race to complete my only major goal of this training–to get through another Hansons’ training cycle to build a solid mileage foundation and to know I can handle the training for my ultimate goal this year, a full marathon this fall.
In addition to battling these mental demons, last week I also had to deal with not having a home computer (we had to order a new one) and problems with my 14-year-old car that are making us look at buying a new car. Fun stuff!
Because I still can’t use my regular camera and photo editing software, I took selfies on my old, crappy phone, which seem to make me very red! But a run doesn’t count unless I have a selfie, right?
Week at a Glance
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 23.4
- Miles this training cycle: 567.24
- Miles this month: 107.6
- Miles this year: 436.02
- Time running: 5 hours, 3 minutes
- Strength training sessions: 1
- Stretching: 4 days
- Foam rolling: 4 days
Easy run: 3 miles | 41 minutes | 13:34 pace (54 degrees)
So tired! Three slow miles were all I could do.
Easy run: 1.4 miles | 19 minutes |13:50 pace (51 degrees)
I blame tiny houses on this bad run. I don’t usually watch TV but after just discovering that we have HGTV (after getting cable last summer), I love watching HGTV. I’m obsessed with the shows on tiny houses but usually can’t watch them because I have to go to bed so early for my early morning runs. I got so caught up in the tiny houses shows Monday night that I got up really late on Tuesday. After running my warm-up miles, I had to go home to use the bathroom…and then I couldn’t force myself out the door, partly because I saw how late it was and partly because I was just mentally done with training. Tuesdays are my toughest day because they’re the sixth consecutive day of running and call for a hard workout. This run was supposed to be 4 x 1-mile repeats for a total of 7.5 miles, but my body just said no.
In the evening I did 25 minutes of strength training with weights.
Rest day! Total rest. I needed it, and I loved it.
Tempo Run: 6 miles | 1:08 (51 degrees)
This was to be my last workout of training. Because I skipped Tuesday’s workout, I really wanted to have a good run. For the first time in weeks (months?) I actually felt rested. I only needed a 1-mile warm-up and then got started at 4 miles at goal race pace 10:40. The pace felt good–I had to work for it a little in the last two miles, but overall I felt good. Splits: 10:39, 10:29, 10:42, 10:31.
Easy run: 5 miles | 1:06 |13:17 pace (41 degrees)
Back to feeling tired again!
Easy run: 8 miles | 1:37:41 | 12:12 pace (34 degrees)
Chelsea from the Pittsburgh City Girl blog was running her first ultramarathon, a 50K at North Park. Because Anna and I planned to run 8 miles at North Park, we decided to join Chelsea for some of her miles. We also made plans to meet Joanna who would also be running with Chelsea. When we got there, we found Chelsea’s Pit Crew stop that her friends had set up for her. Steff from Run Steff Run was there, and we chatted with her and others until Chelsea came through after her first 5-mile loop (she would be doing 6 loops in the race).
Now, Chelsea had said she would be running about a 12:30 pace. This run was supposed to be at an easy pace instead of my long run pace, so I was looking forward to a relaxed, easy run. Chelsea came through with everyone cheering for her, then Anna and I latched on to the group as they started the second loop. There were 7 of us in the group, and Chelsea was doing run/walk intervals with 4:15 minutes of running and 45 seconds of walking. Sweet, I thought. An even more relaxed and easy run. Um, not so much! Chelsea’s 12:30 pace is really like 11:30! At one point we were running at 10:30 pace! We kept pointing out her fast pace, but it was her race so we just went with it, though it was not the relaxed, easy run that I anticipated. We ended up running faster on the run intervals, with the walk intervals slowing the overall pace down. I give credit to everyone who does run/walk intervals because I think it’s so much harder than straight running. Every time Chelsea signaled to walk, I was happy to have the break. But just when my body was thinking we were walking instead of running, Chelsea would signal to run, and I would be bummed to start running so soon. I think my body was just confused whether we were running or walking, and so it was hard to get into a groove. Overall, though, it was a great run, with our little group talking the whole time, being really positive and upbeat, and making the miles go by quickly. I hope it felt like that to Chelsea as she went on to finish her first 50K!
I had a very busy day after that. After running errands, my friend picked me up and we went to Greensburg for our freind’s bridal shower. It was really nice. It was in Jioio’s restaurant, which has pasta and pizza. I thought I would just be eating salad and fruit, but when I got there they told me they’d gone out and gotten me vegan cheese to make my own little pizza. That was so nice! And the pizza was delicious, with a flaky, sweet crust. I highly recommend it if you’re out that way.
After that I went to a friend’s house for a girls’ night in. It was her birthday weekend, and she made dinner for the four of us. She’s a really good cook and went out of her way to find vegan recipes to make for me. A year ago when I decided to cut out beans during training, I considered eating seafood as a way to get the protein I’d be missing from beans. Unfortunately, I never ate seafood growing up and don’t really like it. I did try a fried fish sandwich once last year when we were in Boston but didn’t think I could eat fish regularly. Well, this friend has been telling me for a year that I should try scallops, which I’ve never tried before. She wanted to cook some for me, and I told her I’d try them. She pan-seared one and made a delicious cilantro lime garlic cashew cream sauce to go with it. It smelled fishy, so I was really hesitant to eat it. But I tried it…and it didn’t really taste like anything. My friend said to pretend it’s tofu, and that worked well since the texture was pretty similar. I actually liked it with the sauce. My friend also made vegan crab cakes for me (well, real crab but with a vegan mayo), topped with a spicy vegan mayo sauce. Again, I’ve never tried crab. Well, I liked it too! It didn’t really taste fishy, and the texture reminded me of tuna fish, the only fish I’ve ever really liked. Next my friend wanted me to try shrimp, but I’d seen them prior to her cooking them looking all grey and dead and gross and didn’t think I could try them. She was dipping them in a batter and then in coconut flakes and frying them and then served them with marmalade. Later on, after I’d had quite a bit to drink, I agreed to try one. Ugh–that was not successful. I didn’t like it at all. But I was really proud of myself for trying and liking not one but two new kinds of seafood. I’m happy with my plant-based diet and don’t plan to regularly eat seafood, but it’s good to know that I could eat scallops and possibly crab cakes if I were out at a restaurant and had no other choice.
Unplanned rest day. I got home really late Saturday night and had a lot to drink. I usually don’t drink or drink very little. I woke up very late on Sunday and wasn’t in good shape. Plus, with all the errands I had to do, I really didn’t have much time to run.
This week I have some short, easy runs before Saturday’s race. I’ll be posting my race plan before then. Have a great week!