This was an awesome week! I was back in a good groove with my regular routine with running and strength training post-vacation. And I finally got a taste of what the marathon will feel like. I started the marathon-specific portion of my training, where everything is geared toward preparing the body for the marathon. Strength workouts took the place of speed workouts. Strength workouts are long repeats at slightly faster than marathon pace and help the body learn how to hold a faster pace for longer. With long workouts at or near marathon pace, a negative split long run, and all the miles in general, I got pretty familiar with running on tired legs, which is the whole point of the Hanson’s method. It was much cooler this past week until the weekend, which helped tremendously.
Overall I’m still feeling really good. Actually, I’m feeling great–really strong, fit, and in a good place with my confidence. I remember the last time I did this plan, I was beyond fatigued during my peak week of 47 miles. I knew that was my limit. This week I did 45.5 miles, and I’m not really fatigued. I’m mostly sore from the long runs, and my legs are tired during runs, but overall I’m not feeling the fatigue. But this is my first week with these marathon-specific workouts and higher mileage, so I know it’s just a matter of time before the fatigue comes. Melissa had told me with each training cycle you do, your body can handle a little bit more. It seems that’s definitely what’s happening with me, and I’m taking this as a positive sign that I’m improving as a runner.
I’m also excited that this week brought me over the 1,000 mark for yearly mileage!
Here’s how last week went down.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for small, local, rails-to-trails Indiana Veteran’s Marathon near Pittsburgh on November 6 using a version of the Hanson’s Marathon Method beginner plan customized by a Hanson’s coach
- Days running: 6
- Miles this week: 45.5
- Time running: 9:37
- Miles this training cycle: 308.18
- Miles this month: 111.6
- Miles this year: 1,026.22
- Strength training sessions: 3
Easy run: 5 miles (59 degrees)
This run came on the heels of my first 20-mile weekend. Granted, I walked a good bit of that awful half marathon, but I think being out for that long in the heat and humidity during the race and then the cumulative miles over the weekend really wore me down. Even at just an easy pace, my legs were so tired and sore that this run was really tough.
It’s now pitch black again when I go out for my runs. On this run the sun wasn’t up when I was done, so no picture.
In the evening I did 41 minutes of strength training.
Strength Workout: 9.5 miles (59 degrees)
This was my first strength workout, with 6 x 1-mile repeats at slightly faster than marathon pace. I felt good and the pace was doable, but my legs were beat by the end! I love how longer repeats make the miles go by so quickly.
Rest day! I did 48 minutes of strength training. And then it was time for something I’ve been looking forward to for months–getting an old tattoo covered up! I got a tattoo when I was 18, on a whim and without much thought. It was done freehand and has always looked awful. I’ve never liked it, but since it’s on my upper thigh, I’ve seen it every day for the last 25 years. I finally made the appointment to get it covered up this year.
I went to Gypsy Tattoo in Lawrenceville, a woman-owned parlor. The owner Michelle worked with me on a design that would work as a cover up. It had to be in color and had to be detailed. I love the old illustrated botanical prints, so I decided to get a flower in that style. We planned to do just the outline on this day and do the color later. I also planned to incorporate Django’s racing number (racing greyhounds have their ears tattooed for identification.) But Michelle noticed how well I was doing–my skin wasn’t swelling up and barely bleeding, and I wasn’t having much problem with the pain. Most people won’t get the color on the same day because you have to go back over parts of the skin that were already tattooed and it hurts much more. But Michelle said I was “tough as nails,” so we decided to give the color a try. Once I saw how it was shaping it up, it was so exciting that I encouraged her to finish all the color. I can’t tell you how much I love it. I think it’s gorgeous, and I’m thrilled to have something I’ve hated for so long covered up with something so pretty. I will have to go back to add Django’s number and a few other things (the original idea was the cover-up flower and another element or two to balance it out), but I’m pretty thrilled. It was a great experience, overall. Michelle was so nice and made me very comfortable. I was so happy at the end that I was nearly in tears!
Marathon pace repeats: 11 miles (59 degrees)
I was excited to meet Joanna for this run. Since I’ve been on vacation, I haven’t been able to run with friends for a while. It was a cool morning with no humidity. I was worried that my leg would be sore from the tattoo, but it wasn’t at all (though I did have to wear longer capris because I was worried about my skirts or shorts rubbing it). This run was 8 miles at marathon pace with a 1-mile recovery jog in the middle plus warm-up and cool-down. The miles flew by catching up with Joanna. This was a new mileage PR for longest run on a weekday, and I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily the time went! Marathon pace felt good, but during one mile I wasn’t paying attention and the pace drifted up a bit. I caught myself and got back on track. Toward the end my legs were tired, but I had no problem sticking to pace. This was a good lesson in the mental focus I’ll need to hold my pace during the race.
Recovery run: 4 miles (59 degrees)
It was another cool morning, and I kept to a really relaxed pace. My legs were a little sore, but it felt good to be out and moving.
Long run: 10 miles (64 degrees)
I met Jamie on the river trail, and we ran across the West End Bridge, through the South Side, across the 10th Street Bridge, and back through Downtown and the Point. This was also my first run with Jamie since getting back from vacation, and we had so much to talk about that again the miles flew by. I work with Jamie and had purposely not talked to her at work much so we could have a good conversation while running! Jamie will be running the second half of the marathon with me, so we planned a few things for the race. It was warmer and a bit humid, but cloudy so not too bad. This was to be a negative split run, and I had no problem picking up the pace in the last half, with the last mile just under marathon pace. I felt great!
Recovery run: 6 miles (70 degrees)
Back to warm and humid! It’s been threatening to rain all weekend. I was so hoping it would rain for this run but it didn’t. I took this run nice and easy. I decided to head toward the stadiums, forgetting that it was Sunday. Big mistake! With both Pirates and Steelers games today, the trail was crazy even at 9 a.m. Plus, I’d accidentally worn opposing team colors! Oops! I got off the trail, headed over to the Point and tried to keep to less crowded parts of the city, which is no small feat on race day.
Afterwards I did 42 minutes of strength training.
Bring on the next week of training!