With six weeks left to go before my first marathon, it was time for my longest runs ever. Scary mileage. Well, for me at least. Week 13, Monday started out as a rest day since I was flying home from Miami. I had hoped to get in a second run in Miami, but decided to relax and have brunch with my girlfriends instead. Tuesday was also a rest day because I had an Indiana Optometric Assocation dinner at Mortons. Wednesday Bryan and I ran 8 X 800 meter intervals with an 800m w/u and c/d. It was hot outside and we both were dragging at first. Bryan tried to convince me that we could stop at 6, but I was determined to get in all 8 intervals, which we did. My average pace was around 7:20ish. Not bad. Thursday was an easy 5 mile run at race pace. Friday we had a double date right after work with Bryan’s brother and girlfriend in Fountain Square and Saturday I was too hungover to move off our red oversized chair in our bedroom. Way to go Melissa. But I made up for it on Sunday with a 19.15 mile run. It was my longest run ever! It was hot, humid, and sticky. I went through three bottles of water, 3 hammer gels, and 5 salt pills. My skin looked white, I had so much salt covering my body from sweat. My pace was 10:47/mile. Slower than I wanted but with the oppressive heat, at least I did it. Week 13 Total Mileage: 29.15 miles
Going into Week 14, I had hoped to get in all four of my scheduled run days. Monday was a rest day since I ran 19.15 miles the day before. Tuesday I had a date with my CrossFit friend Melanie at the Thirsty Scholar. I substituted actually running by talking about running over drinks. That counts right? Wednesday was 8 X 800 meters with an 800m w/u and c/d. I opted to run these on the Treadmill at L.A. Fitness right after work because again it was disgustingly hot and humid outside. I kept them all at a 7:30 pace. A little slower than I wanted, but I was a struggle bus and wasn’t feeling it. Thursday I had another dinner date with my friend Smash and her baby Summer at Napolese. Sometimes I just need a girls night over wine. Friday after work I ran a 7.41M progression run with an average pace of 9:04 and descending from 10:00 to 8:20/mile. It was finally cooler outside and I was in the zone. I needed this run to get me back on marathon mode. Saturday I tried out a new hot yoga studio. I know, I know. I feel like a traitor because I’ve practiced at the same hot yoga studio for almost 4 years now in Broadripple, but this new studio is literally across the street from my apartment. I tried the slow flow class so I could sleep in longer. The studio is beautiful and I loved being able to throw on my yoga gear and walk 2 minutes across the street. However, the class was more like a beginner class and not like the heated flows that I’m used to. I’ll give the studio another try – go to the hot vinyasa flow with a different instructor. Sunday was another long run, 18M at easy pace. My average pace was 10:18/mile. I felt comfortable on this run. I started out slow and progressively increased my pace. I was in my zone and it was cooler out than the week before. Great confidence booster for the weeks to come. Week 14 Total Mileage: 30.41 miles + 1 slow flow hot yoga session.
Week 15 was supposed to be my biggest week of my marathon program because it was the last week of long hard runs before my taper weeks. Well, it turned out differently than what I had anticipated. Again Monday was a rest day. Tuesday was a 6M run at tempo with an average pace of 8:43. This run was amazing. I felt like I was flying, like I had wings on my feet. I immediately started out running fast, no warm-up. I wish I could run this fast all the time and for longer distances. Wednesday was a rest day, I had a long day at work and by the time I got home, I just wasn’t feeling it. So naturally I ate a Moe’s burrito and chips and queso instead. That evening I received some heartbreaking news. My Nana, who has been with me for 29 years, who is a second mother to me, was in home hospice and only had a few more days to live. Thursday after work, I immediately went to my Nana’s house to see her. I knew it would be one of the last times I would see her. When Friday came, my mind was in an emotional roller coaster. I decided to occupy myself by grocery shopping at Costco instead of running. Saturday morning I ran 5.12M at race pace. Quick and easy. After my run I went to Smash’s wedding shower and then saw my Nana for the last time. I spent a few hours with her. She had rapidly deteriorated from when I saw her just two days prior. My sister had flown in Friday, and it was all I could do to keep my sister calm while staying strong and keeping calm myself. After saying my goodbyes and holding back tears, my mind was a million miles away from marathon training. Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. my beloved Nana passed away. Forget about my 20M run. There was no way I would be able to run my longest run ever, 20M, and push away my emotions. So I stayed on my big comfy oversized chair all day and snuggled with Carson. Week 15 Total Mileage: 11.12 miles.
With three weeks left, I should start my taper. How would I squeeze in my last long run of 20 miles? Would I even still do it? Would I continue my taper as planned? With mixed emotions, I would just have to wait until the end of week 16 to see how I felt.