If you didn’t catch my last post, my big news from last week is that I’ve decided to run the Philadelphia Marathon instead of the rail-trail NCR Marathon near Baltimore. I won’t go into all the reasons again, but the gist is that I struggle on graded trails and think I’ll have a better experience in Philly. Because my race will now be one week earlier, I have just 7 weeks left in training!
Last week was the start of the marathon-specific phase of training, where there are a lot more miles at or slightly faster than race pace. It was also the first week in what will be a high-mileage month. Toward the end of the week, humidity reared its ugly head again, making training so much harder after I started getting used to cooler weather.
I ran 44 miles this past week, which, because I’m a slower runner, equaled just under 10 hours or running! That doesn’t include the pre-run dynamic warm-up and walk, post-run walk and stretches, foam rolling, strength training, and driving to and from my running routes on weekends, which would add on a few more hours. So at this point marathon training is a part-time job! I can’t help but feel envious when I see faster runners posting the same number of miles I run but in a fraction of the time. But then I remind myself that I’ll be on the course a lot longer than those faster runners, so of course I have to put more time into training.
Because I followed the 80/20 (easy/hard) ratio up to now (which I will no longer be doing–another change I explained in my last post), I’ve reached this most difficult phase of training in great shape. I’m tired but not burnt out, either physically or mentally, and feel ready to tackle these upcoming tough weeks.
Here’s the breakdown from last week.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Training for the Philadelphia Marathon November 19, 2017 using the Hansons’ Marathon Method
- Days running: 6
- Miles this week: 44
- Time running: 9:52
- Miles this training cycle: 324.24
- Miles this month: 52
- Miles this year: 857.48
- Strength training: 1 session
Easy run: 4 miles
It was a chilly 45 degrees, but my body thought it was still 70 and sweated just as much. The problem I have with cooler temps is my warm-up and cool-down walks, not so much the running itself (except for my hands, which freeze when the weather dips below 50). Leaving my warm house underdressed is jarring, and I freeze. Then, after my run, I’m all sweaty and immediately freeze. I reduced my pre- and post-run walks this cycle because I have less time to run before work, but I still have to deal with a few minutes of freezing. It sucks! I’m so happy that I won’t be training this winter. Of course, by the end of the week, I’d be remembering the feeling of freezing with longing.
Workout: 10 miles
This workout was 6 mile repeats at 10 seconds faster than marathon pace, plus recovery, warm-up, and cool-down. This was probably my best run of the whole training cycle. Every single repeat was faster than marathon pace, with my last one 24 seconds/mile faster. While the first repeats felt almost effortless, I did have to focus and push my pace in the later repeats, but I felt strong and had no problem pushing. It was a great feeling that gave me a lot of confidence in my fitness. Plus, I wasn’t exhausted later in day; we actually went out to dinner, which says a lot because I usually just chill on evenings following a workout or long run. Also, this was my first double-digit run before work. Again, I’m so grateful that I can work from home on these days. This run took me two hours and five minutes, so it would have been a struggle to get to work on time if I couldn’t work from home.
Easy run: 4 miles + strength training
I treated this as a recovery run and went very easily. But surprisingly, I didn’t feel too tired. In the evening I did strength training.
Easy run: 4 miles
I had some problems sleeping and was pretty tired for this run, but I got it done.
Long run: 14 miles
It was warm and humid in the morning. Where is fall??? I started running at 6:45 and got just over 2 miles in before meeting the run group. Once we reached the first water stop, only three of us continued on for the 11-mile loop. The two other ladies were faster runners in the group, so I had no choice but to run at their pace unless I wanted to run alone. Overall the miles with the run group were at a moderate instead of easy pace, and with the humidity, it really wore me down. In our last mile I was struggling to keep up with them. When they were done, I still had 1 mile to do. I was DONE and had to take a few walk breaks just to finish. In total, this run took three hours and four minutes. I don’t think I could have run a second longer. As soon as I got to the car, I texted my husband to turn on the oven so I could make tater tots. I was beyond starving!
As far as post-run recovery, I’ve found a routine that works very well for me. I drink a ton of water and eat, take a long shower, and then jump right into bed for a nap. When I wake up, I feel pretty good. On this day, I felt good enough to walk with Dave and Django to the park near us.
Easy run: 8 miles
It was another incredibly humid morning. I headed to North Park for this run. Even though I was running an easy pace, the run wasn’t easy. I wasn’t exactly struggling, but the humidity just made me feel pretty crappy. The only good thing is that it was cloudy.
For this upcoming week, my plan calls for 50 miles. However, I’ll need to adjust my schedule because I can’t run on Thursday due to travel for work. To get in my 50 miles, I’d have to switch my rest days, which would mean my hardest workout of the week–another pre-work 10-miler–would fall on my 8th consecutive day of running. I’m pretty tired from last week’s miles and not sure I have it in me and am debating between pushing myself to keep to my plan or backing off a little. I think my body will decide for me!
I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap, Steff, for the Pittsburgh Run Bloggers Weekly Recap, and Courtney for her Training Recap. Have a great week!