Happy Sunday, friends! I just realized that I haven’t posted since the last weekly recap. I’m also really behind on reading blogs. I’m blaming the nice weather for part of it, but the bigger part is the mentality that hit this past week of: OMG I have only TWO weeks before marathon training starts! I better do everything I’ve ever wanted to do before training starts, all at once, right now!
Yes, the countdown is on. Two weeks! It seems like my off-season since my end-of-March goal race has lasted forever. I’ve really enjoyed it, from the happy hours and nights drinking cocktails around the firepit on my patio, to focusing on strength training and trying new cross-training classes. I’ve loved the flexibility of running when I want and for how long I want. But there’s always been that itch that only goes away when I’m training. I’ve been so looking forward to getting back into a routine, to running with a purpose, and to challenging myself in new ways.
I’m ready for training to start, but I also want to use my last weeks wisely. So starting this past week, I decided to taper down a bit with my running. I’ve been regularly running five days a week and think I should pare down to four, even though I don’t really want to. I feel like running less than I want to will make me even more pumped for training, which never hurts. I got really tired of training at the end of my last cycle, so I feel like a little more oomph at the beginning might help.
At the same time I’m tapering my running, I’m also ramping up my fun factor. I’m still saying “yes” to everything and trying to make plans with as many friends as I can. It’s not that I won’t be able to do anything fun once training starts, but since training will be my priority, I’ll definitely be doing less.
Here’s how last week went down. It wasn’t very exciting.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: In off-season between training cycles; marathon training starts July 4
- Days running: 4
- Miles this week: 15.57
- Miles this month: 53.57
- Miles this year: 873.64
- Strength training sessions: 3
Easy run: 4 miles (61 degrees)
10 minutes of full-body strength training
Easy run: 3.1 miles (70 degrees)
100% humidity and 70 degrees meant a very short run!
Later in the day I did 10 minutes of upper body strength training.
Group run: 5.32 miles (64 degrees)
I planned to do the Pro Bike & Run group run, which was 3 trail miles and 2 road miles at North Park. I originally planned to go with Jamie and Gretchen, but Jamie couldn’t go and Gretchen couldn’t find the group. I was so bummed we didn’t connect! But I saw Jessie and her boyfriend Dave there. I’m really happy I talked to them because with neither Jamie nor Gretchen there, I was considering not running with the group. I figured no one would be running my pace and I didn’t really want to run on my own on trails I didn’t know and potentially get lost. But Jessie encouraged me to do it and said there would be someone to run with. She was right! I ran with Jessie and Dave for a bit but even when I slowed down I was either running with someone else or could see others on the trail. Plus, the group run leader Matt kept running back on the trail to make sure everyone was making the correct turns and not getting lost. What a difference from the Steel City Road Runners group! Most times I tried to run with them I ended up running by myself, and it was kind of a fend-for-yourself mentality. I loved that this very much felt like a group run. Anyway, the trail was wide, shady, and occasionally hilly. I ended up running faster than my typical easy pace, so I had to take some walk breaks to bring my heart rate down. Overall I really liked the trail run and will definitely run it again. Once we finished the trail run and got some water, it was time for a loop around the swimming pool for two more miles. I really didn’t want to do it. It was about 70 degrees at that point and sunny, and I really didn’t want to run in the sun. But Jessie said it would be mostly shady, and when the group took off again, I joined them, though a bit reluctantly. It was mostly shady, but whenever we hit a sunny patch I felt the energy drain out of me. Again I had to take some walk breaks. Toward the end I saw a woman walking a greyhound and stopped to say hi. (I pretty much always stop to talk to people with greyhounds.) It turns out that the greyhound was one of the adoptables I met at my adoption group’s reunion last month and really loved. I was so happy to see her again, happy and out walking with her new owner. When I left them, I realized I was supposed to be doing a group run (oops) and didn’t want people to think I got lost so I took a little shortcut back to the start. I’m really happy I did this run because I got to learn a new route and run a bit with Jessie and Dave!
Afterwards I did 20 minutes of lower body and core strength training.
Trail run: 3.15 miles (64 degrees)
I went to Riverview Park to run my favorite loop, which includes some pretty remote singletrack–remote as in I have no idea if I’m actually in the park or just running on the side of some random hill. As I came around a bend, I stopped short when I saw a deer right in front of me just off the trail. We looked at each other for a few seconds, then I turned my back and went a bit back on the trail. I’d just watched some videos of deer attacking people on Ridiculousness and figured I should play it safe, even though I couldn’t imagine deer would go after me. The deer eventually meandered away, and that’s when I saw a second, smaller deer up further on the hill watching me. Once the deer was far enough away, I continued running. Shortly after, I heard something big crashing through the brush and turned around to see that the smaller deer had followed me! I stopped and it stopped too and just looked at me. I think it was a younger deer and just curious because it soon went back to eating, and I started running again. Whew! For a few seconds I was trying to calculate if I could outrun a deer. I’m happy I didn’t have to test it out!
This upcoming week will be about the same running-wise but I hope to do more strength training.