Still beating myself up over not finishing my 13 miles at the end of week 12, the pressure is on full force. 3 Weeks left until the marathon. I started off Monday of Week 13 with a hot vinyasa yoga session. It was just what the doctor ordered to snap myself out of this cold weather funk. Tuesday was a 5 mile run at easy pace. Wednesday was a super busy day at work and I just didn’t feel like running so instead I went home and rode for 60 minutes on the bike trainer. Thursday was supposed to be a 6 mile run at race pace but I revved it up to a 9 mile run since I shortened my long easy the previous Sunday. It was a great run, my average pace was 8:45min/mile. Friday ended up being a rest day because I missed hot yoga since I got out of work late. Saturday was my long easy 20 miles. My longest training run ever. During my Chicago Marathon training I skipped my 20 mile run due to a death in the family. This time I was doing my 20 mile training run no matter what. I dropped Carson off at the groomer in Broadripple and headed over to LA Fitness to hold hostage a treadmill for a few hours. I wanted to be running outside but I couldn’t fathom being outside in 30 degree temps with wind for 3 to 4 hours. So I sucked it up and ran inside. I broke up the mileage a bit so it wouldn’t seem as bad. I ran the first 10 miles before taking my first break for a hammer gel. Then I ran 5 miles before my second break for a banana. Then I ran 3 miles and had a second gel before finally finishing with the last 2 miles. My average pace was 9:45min/mile. The last few miles were definitely a struggle but I did it! The rest of the afternoon was spent laying around in my sweatpants at home after getting a beer and burger at Twenty Tap. I finished off the week with a 6 mile recovery run. It was brutal. I had to break it up into 3 X 2 miles because my legs were so heavy. Week 13 Total Mileage: 40 miles (my longest mileage!) + 1 hot yoga session + 1 bike trainer session.
Week 14 was a recovery week. I surprisingly felt good Monday after my 20 miler. I was planning on going to hot yoga after work but again I missed it due to having to stay late, so instead I rode on the biker trainer for 60 minutes. Tuesday morning when I stepped out of bed my left shin had a shooting pain every time I stepped and my right groin was sore. I didn’t know if this was a delayed response from my 20 mile treadmill run or pushing it on the bike trainer too soon. Either way, I knew I needed to make it an easy week to avoid injury. However, Tuesday after work was 69 degrees! I desperately needed to run outside despite being sore and having possible shin splints. So I set out to run 5 miles at easy pace, but something about the warm air and sunshine fueled me to run faster and I ran an 8:50min/mile average with my last mile at 8:05. My shin bothered me only the first few steps but after I got going I didn’t notice it. Maybe it was the adrenaline. When I arrived home after my run, my shin was bothering me again. So I iced it again for the second night. Wednesday I decided to take a rest day to ice my shin and allow it to recover. Thursday I had an awful migraine and my right groin was still bothering me. I felt like I was falling apart so I took another rest day. Friday I thought it best to stay off my legs for another day so I left work a little early since I would be working 6 days this week and went to hot yoga. I went to my usual hot yoga studio in Broadripple and attended Yin Yoga. Quite a bit different from my usual hot vinyasa yoga class. I’ve always wanted to go to a yoga class after a stressful day of work and just lay there in the heat and darkness. No flowing, no postures. Just concentrating on my breathing and meditation in the warmth. This class was exactly that. We did get into a few posture but the postures were all on the floor laying down and holding them for at least 5 minutes per side. I spent 90% of the class with my eyes closed and concentrating on my breathe and meditation. It was the most relaxing class ever. I don’t think it would be a yoga class I world incorporate into heavy rotation but it definitely has it’s time and purpose every so often. Following yoga I cross trained by riding for 60 minutes on the bike trainer at home. Saturday I had to work and it was my 6th straight day of work and it was the busiest Saturday I’ve ever worked. Every time I came out of the exam room, it was like the people in the optical and waiting area had multiplied. Kind of like the movie gremlins – someone had sprinkled water on the patients and they were rapidly multiplying. Not to mention we were short staffed that day so the optical manager and I were doing the amount of work for two people. We ended up leaving an hour after we were supposed to close. By the time I got home, I was drained both physically and mentally. Yes, it was my fault that I forgot to eat breakfast but this was insane. Complete madness. Forget my 6 to 9 mile run I had planned. While everyone else was enjoying their St. Patty’s day weekend, I was getting my ass kicked at work and then sleeping on the couch in my sweatpants at 4pm. Sunday was my long easy day of 12 miles. I only ran 10 of the 12, not because I didn’t want to finish the last two but I had an on-call phone call while at the gym. So by the time that was settled, Bryan was finished with his workout and ready to go, so I forfeited the final two miles and called it a day. It’s amazing how working that one extra day on a Saturday really takes it out of me. I should just know that on my 6 day work weeks (which is only once a month) that I’m going to have a light running week because those weeks end up being crazy and I’m left feeling drained of energy. Week 14 Total Mileage: 15 miles (womp womp) + 2 bike trainer sessions + 1 hot yoga session.
Week 15 was another big building week for me. Monday I went to hot yoga after work. The heat and sweat was amazing. I just feel in my zone and alive during hot yoga and I look forward to each and every class. I love starting off my week feeling zen. Tuesday was 60 min on the bike trainer. Wednesday was 6 miles at race pace on the treadmill. I ended up running a little quicker than race pace and felt good about it. I used my heart rate monitor just to see how hard I was working and it maxed out at 182 bpm. Thursday I took a rest day. I just felt I needed it. My body was feeling a little worn down. Friday was 6 X 1 mile repeats. The last time I ran mile repeats they seemed rather easy, so I picked up my pace for these. After running an 800m w/u, my mile repeats were as follows: 8:09, 8:03, 7:56, 7:50, 7:46, 7:38. I increased my pace slightly with each one and finished with an 800m c/d. I was definitely feeling it the next morning. My right groin and quad were so tight and sore. Saturday was my second 20 mile run. Again I was hoping for warmer weather so I could get this run done outside, but it was a little too chilly for my liking so treadmill it was. I probably should not have ran such a hard workout the night before but I didn’t want to push the run off to Sunday, I had to get it done Saturday. Mentally I was ready – so I thought. I went to LA Fitness just after noon and posted up on a treadmill. Two weeks ago I broke the run up into 10/5/3/2 miles. I was hoping to do the same this time, but it wasn’t even close. At mile 3 I still didn’t feel warmed up. Sometimes it takes me 5 or 6 miles to get warmed up but at mile 4 I was still feeling slow and heavy so I took my first break to recoup. Then I ran 3 more miles followed by a second break. What is going on? Then 3 more miles. Okay half way there. Should be all downhill from here. Nope. I had to fight for each and every mile. It didn’t get easier but worse. I never felt comfortable with any mile or pace. I even slowed down to my slowest run pace for this marathon training. It was embarrassingly slow for me. I texted Bryan with tears in my eyes thinking how am I going to finish this. He reminded me that my body is worn down and it’s supposed to feel beat up at this point in training. I told myself it doesn’t matter how slow or long it takes me but to just do it. I decided to break the last ten miles into 2 miles five times. Finally, I was at 16 miles, 4 more left to go. And my body was shutting down. I had to run the last four miles one mile at a time. I had to fight for every single mile. It became somewhat humorous how long it was taking me. It reminded me of my first 16 mile training run for the Chicago Marathon last summer that I ended up walking a mile. It just wasn’t my day. It was ugly, but I ran all 20 miles and averaged a 10:15 pace. I rewarded myself with not one meal from Steak ‘N Shake but two! Sunday I was supposed to run a 5 mile recovery and go to hot yoga but my right quad and groin were hurting so bad I was walking with a limp. And with three weeks left before the marathon I decided to foam roll and take a rest day instead to recover. I need to get in some swim sessions since I haven’t been since December and I’m supposed to get in 1-2 swim sessions a week. A Sunday swim would have been a great recovery workout, however, the LA Fitness pool has been closed for remodeling and won’t be open again until April 7th. Week 15 Total Mileage: 33 miles + 1 hot yoga session + 1 bike trainer session.
Three weeks left and it’s taper time! Ahhhh! I can’t believe I’m already in the taper zone. That scares me. I don’t feel ready. I didn’t get enough runs outside or enough race pace runs. How am I going to hold a 9:00min/mile pace for an entire marathon?!?!? I have to remind myself to believe in my training. It worked the first time and it will work again. I’ve been using positive visualization during my runs so hopefully that starts boosting my confidence. I’m a little concerned about my right leg still bothering me. It’s like as soon as I get my left leg is feeling fine, the other one starts acting up. But now I have three weeks for my body to heal during the taper. I need to foam roll, ice, and stretch daily and maybe throw in a massage or two 🙂