What a week. A new weekly mileage PR of 50 miles. My worst run of training. My best run of training. An emotional breakdown. Tears, sweat, and even blood from chafing. Here’s how it all went down.
Note that I don’t have many pictures this week. The sun isn’t up when I’m done with most runs, so it’s too dark for pictures.
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: 50
- Time running: 10:21
- Miles this training cycle: 449.78
- Miles this month: 64
- Miles this year: 1,167.82
- Strength training sessions: 2
Easy run: 5 miles (55 degrees)
In the evening I did 30 minutes of strength training.
Strength Workout: 9 miles (54 degrees)
I made it to the top of the repeat triangle! I had 2 x 3-mile repeats at slightly faster than race pace. These will be my longest repeats in the training cycle. I had no problems with this run and easily hit my paces.
In the evening I did 40 minutes of strength training.
Tempo run: 10.5 miles (50 degrees)
I woke up and decided I was done with training. I was tired of going to bed and waking up so early. I was tired of having to do 2-hour workouts before work. I was tired of still being so sweaty even though it’s cool. I was tired of not having a life. I was tired of being tired. And I still had 3 weeks of hard training to go! If I hadn’t made plans to meet Joanna, I would have skipped this run. But when you make plans to meet someone to run before the sun comes up, you don’t back out.
So in very bad spirits, I ran my warm-up mile to meet Joanna Downtown. I was to run 10 miles at marathon pace between 2 WU/CD miles. I just didn’t feel like doing it. It wasn’t that the pace was hard. I just didn’t make an effort to keep to my pace. Still, Joanna was a lifesaver. The miles went by so quickly. When it was time for Joanna to leave, I tried to finish my workout but just couldn’t. In the end, I did 10.5 of the 12 miles with 3 of the pace miles about 10 seconds slower than marathon pace. Not a bust by any means, but from an emotional standpoint, this was my worst run of training.
By the time I got back to my house, I’d worked myself into a frenzy and was crying. “I quit. I’m not doing the marathon. I can’t do training like this anymore,” I told my dazed husband. Normally Dave would be pretty happy to hear I was done training since it’s a sacrifice on not just my life, but our life together. This time, though, he told me to hang in there, that I was close. Argh! I wanted someone to tell me I could quit!
So I emailed Melissa, though I knew there was no way she’d let me quit. But I was honest with her: I just couldn’t do 3 more weeks of training like this. Her answer made me very happy–I didn’t have to! She explained that my schedule would be changing these next two weeks to account for a half marathon I’ll be using as a race simulator next weekend. Because that will be a really tough workout, the weeks before and after would be pretty light. That made me feel a lot better. I felt like I could handle that.
I also have to pause and say, Thank heavens for my husband. No matter what craziness happens at work or how tired and cranky I am from running or whether I’m an emotional wreck that day, he can always make me laugh and help me to relax. We’re planning a little weekend trip after the race, and I can’t wait to spend it together without having to think about training.
Recovery run: 4 miles (54 degrees)
This run was just what I needed–short and relaxed. I felt much better about training after this run.
Easy run: 5.5 miles (63 degrees)
I switched my long run to Sunday since I had plans Friday night and was out late. I met Jamie at North Park for an easy and relaxed loop around the lake. After the cool mornings, it felt warm and was very humid. Wonder if this is my last time running in a tank and skirt?
Long run: 16 miles (45 degrees)
I headed out to the marathon race course again for this run, the Ghost Town Trail in Indiana, Pa. I got a later start than I wanted to, but it was so cool out it didn’t make a difference. This run was different than the first time I did it. This time, I didn’t focus on the incline on the way out, I didn’t worry about how I was going to run the first half on the incline, and I didn’t think about the race at all. I just relaxed and enjoyed the run. The leaves had changed and were falling right in front of me on the trail. It was beautiful, and I loved every minute of the run. I never struggled, the incline felt easier, I finished 11 minutes faster than the last time I ran it at the same effort, and I was able to run the last mile 30 seconds faster than marathon pace. I felt awesome. This run reminded me why I’m doing all this in the first place–to be outside spending time with the changing seasons, enjoying nature, and being present and at peace. I finished the run with the realization that as stressed and anxious as I’ve been about what race day will hold for me, how I’ll feel and whether I’ll be able to keep my pace and meet my time goal, all I really have to do is just enjoy the run. If I do that, everything else will fall into place. It’s the joy of running that matters most….Right?
Of course that brought on more deep thoughts! A year ago I swore off time goals and just wanted to run for fun. And I do want that! But here I am a year later, with my time goal a constant companion in my mind as I count down the final weeks to race day. I do want to run just for fun, but part of me also wants to see what I can accomplish if I push myself. I’ve been thinking of 2017 running goals and am conflicted about what path to take. I think after the race and my recovery period, I’ll be able to devote more time to think about where I want to go from here.
So that brings me to today, 4 weeks until race day. I’m honestly getting excited! I felt so good Sunday that I wished I could have gone longer, so I’m looking forward to my first 26.2. I’m happy I have a lighter schedule for the next two weeks, and I’m also looking forward to the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon next Saturday, my favorite race. All good things!
On a blogging note, it’s been hard for me to keep up with blogging. I read and appreciate everyone’s comments, but I’m trying to first read and comment on other blogs before answering comments on my own blog. I hope you understand!