Week 16,wow have the past few months flown by. Week 16 started out with a 4M tempo run with an average pace of 8:53. It was supposed to be at race pace but I just kind of ran with it (pun intended). Tuesday was a rest day since I had an optometry dinner at Ruth’s Chris downtown….yummmmm. Wednesday Bryan found out he was accepted into the Boston Marathon! Naturally we celebrated after work with dinner and drinks at Ocean Prime. Thursday was a 6.68M progression run starting at 10:20 pace and descending to 8:00 min/mile pace. Friday was a pampering day for me. I had the day off work so I got a chemical peel, haircut, and an hour full body massage and realignment at the chiropractor. Saturday I had to work. And Sunday I was supposed to make up my 20 mile run. I had been dreading it all week. After all this training, I was kinda burnt out and just wanted to run the marathon. No more training. No more long runs that take me forever! And the weather was dreary and rainy. I kept procrastinating. Finally, I found the courage to brave the rain and run. I knew I wasn’t going to run 20 miles, especially two weeks out from my marathon. So I decided I would run a half marathon distance. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I have my best runs in the rain. I don’t know what it is about the rain, but I am fast, have good form and in the zone. I love running in the rain. My first mile was a 7:35 mile. Probably my fastest mile ever! With the rain and my speed I just decided to go with it and see if I could run my fastest half marathon even though I knew it wouldn’t be official. No water, no gels, just me, the rain, and 13.1 miles. Obviously I had to stop at traffic lights, and I stopped my watch for those but all said and done I ran 13.1 miles in 1:54.10 with an average pace of 8:43! Apparently, I was racing myself. I wish this was an official race so I could claim this PR. Oh well, at least I know when it comes to my half marathon in November, I know I can run a PR. Week 16 total mileage: 23.78 miles + 1 hour full body massage w/ realignment.
Week 17 started out with a rest day on Monday for my Nana’s funeral showing and afterwards my family and I went out to dinner. Tuesday I ran 3.51 miles at easy pace. My legs were still tight from my 13.1 miles on Sunday. Wednesday I had my monthly migraine (like clockwork) and immediately went to bed after work to sleep it off. Thursday, feeling like a new person, I convinced Bryan to run my tempo run with me. Tempo for me, but easy pace for him. I knew he would push me and I needed it. We ran a half mile warm up then 4 miles at tempo and a 0.65 mile cool down. Bryan was the rabbit and I had to chase him or attempt to keep up with him. It worked because my average tempo pace for the four miles was 8:15 per mile. My fastest pace at one stretch was 7:40/mile. Friday I went to hot yoga after work for hot vinyasa. This was long overdue. According to my training program, I am supposed to go to hot yoga every Monday, but life gets in the way and it has been such a long time since I’ve received a good yoga stretch and sweat. However, it was so hot in the studio that at one point I felt dizzy and thought I was going to pass out. Note to self: don’t wait so long between hot yoga sessions. Saturday morning my friend Leslie met me downtown for a 10 mile run. She is training for the Monumental Half Marathon in November and her training called for 10 miles. I only needed to run 8 miles for my taper, but since I’ve missed so many runs, what’s an extra two miles? Again it was raining, yes! But so humid! We started out at 9:40 pace and did a slow progression towards the end. It felt good, especially the last two miles where we really kicked it up and I finished with an 8:30 pace. Our average pace was 9:24, race pace for me. Saturday night Bryan and I ran the Electric Run with our friends. It was a non timed 5K (recap to follow). Sunday I had every intention to go to the new yoga studio across the street from me to check out their hot flow class. Buuuuut…..it was raining again, cold, windy, and I wanted to sleep in. So I did. And it felt great. Of course the anxious Amy in me had guilt for not going and I felt like I needed to do something. So I occupied my time by cleaning out and reorganizing my closet and watching a Bar Rescue marathon on t.v. That afternoon we went to Bryan’s parents for dinner to celebrate his brother Josh’s birthday. Nothing like a couple glasses of vino to warm up the body on this fall day. Week 17 total mileage: 21.76 miles including Electric Run 5K + 1 hot yoga vinyasa session.
Week 18. Wait did I just say week 18? Yep. It’s week 18. Holy sh*t I’m running my first marathon this Sunday. 26.2 miles, no big deal. Yeah right. Monday I went to hot yoga vinyasa class after work at my usual place in Broadripple. It’s cooler outside this week, so the heat in the studio was perfect. I had a great flow and the sweat was just what I needed to calm my anxious mind. Not to mention how great the stretch was for my recovering muscles. Today, Tuesday, I’m supposed to run 800m w/u, 4 X 800m, 800m c/d. I’m going to convince Bryan to run with me again. My last effort run before the big day. Wednesday is an easy 2 mile run. Thursday is a rest day, but I’ll probably try to get in another hot yoga vinyasa class after work. The extra stretching couldn’t hurt. Friday is a rest day and we’ll be driving up to Chicago. We are staying with our friend Nidal who lives in downtown Chicago and is also running the Chicago Marathon. Saturday is packet pickup and then I’ll have another 2 mile run just to get loose and then Sunday is the Chicago Marathon!!!!
I’m not nervous…yet. I’m more excited than anything. I’ve been waiting a year to run this! I had made the decision at the end of October last year after Bryan ran the Marine Corps Marathon that I would run my first marathon in 2013. I choose the Chicago Marathon because I love Chicago and it’s a flat, fast course; perfect for first timers. But I couldn’t register until February. After the hell of registration and barely getting both Bryan and I registered, my 18 week training program didn’t start until June. Now here I am. 18 weeks of training done and only a few more days until I run my first marathon. It’s hard to believe that a year ago it was a dream and this weekend it will become a reality. Will I be able to run 26.2 miles when my longest run of training was only 19.15M? Will I be able to hold a 9:20/mile pace for that distance when my long training runs ranged between 10:15 and 10:50? I guess I’ll find out the hard way on Sunday. Believe & Achieve. So here are my goals:
1. Best case scenario: sub 4 hour marathon. Bryan thinks I can do it, and according to my 13.1 PR and training runs, he knows I can run a sub 4 hour marathon. He said the only way I wouldn’t is if my mind gets in the way, which it usually does. Besides I haven’t been training for a sub 4 hour marathon. Who knows maybe I’ll get crazy and attempt to run with the 4:00 hour pace group and try to hang for as long as I can.
2. Run a 4:05 Marathon – average pace 9:20/mile. This is what I’ve trained for. This is what I’ve based my training program on. So here’s hoping that everything goes as planned and I can hold this pace for the full 26.2.
3. Run a sub 4:15 Marathon. Let’s say I hit a wall at mile 20. It’s very likely, so at least I’d like to be able to run a sub 4:15.
4. And one last goal just in case it’s really hot and humid and the conditions suck and I’m mentally not in the zone and my legs fall off….finish my first marathon! So even if all the other goals are out the window, I’ll still have accomplished one big goal, running my first 26.2!