Eight weeks down, 8 to go. I’m really feeling the effects of marathon training. Ravenous appetite, tired/heavy legs, sore joints. Yep, marathon training is in full force. Still feeling sore from my 12 and 9 mile runs at the end of week 4, week 5 started out with computrainer class Monday evening. The workout consisted of a 30min w/u followed by 10X3min at mid zone 5 with a 3min recovery interval in between. This was killer on tired legs. I was able to make it through the first 5 intervals in mid zone 5 but after that I was a struggle bus. Interval 6 was in mid zone 4, interval 7 was mid zone 3 and then the rest were just zone 1. My legs couldn’t turn over anymore. As soon as I hit my wall, I was done. Tuesday was a rest day to recover from the cycling and running the past few days. Wednesday was a 6M easy run on the Monon. Thursday was intervals: 1M w/u, 8X800m @ 10K pace w/ a 90 second recovery jog in between, 1M c/d. My splits were as follows: 7:25, 7:40, 7:35, 7:41, 7:29, 7:48, 7:42, 7:44. I found a spot on the Monon that is exactly a half a mile between two major streets that was perfect for my half mile repeats. I’m sure bystanders thought I was crazy running the same half mile over and over again. But at least I wouldn’t have to worry about crossing a busy road and get hit by a car while I’m running full speed. I was hoping to get all the intervals around 7:30 but at least they were all still faster than 10K pace and were at 5K pace instead. Friday was a much needed hot yoga session – oh how I’ve missed thee! Saturday was my final sprint triathlon for the season (check out my race recap). I substituted my sprint triathlon for my 8.5M tempo run for the week. Sunday was my pace-plus long run of 14 miles. For some reason I was dreading my long run that morning so I put it off until noon. But I ended up running a solid run at a 9:32 average pace with some race pace miles sandwiched in there. Week 5 Total Mileage: 29.9 miles + sprint triathlon + 1 computrainer session + 1 hot yoga session.
Week 6 started out slow. Monday was a rest day because I had to take Carson to the vet. I was hoping that I would be back in time to hit up hot yoga, but it was a no go. Tuesday was another rest day due to an optometry dinner after work. Couldn’t pass up a filet and wine! Wednesday I was finally back at it with intervals. I had my first interval ladder. It started with a 1M w/u then followed by a 400m sprint at 5K pace w/ a 30 second recovery jog, 800m at 10K pace w/ a 90 second recovery jog, 1200m at 10K pace w/ a 2 minute recovery jog, 1600m at 10K pace w/ a 3 minute recovery jog, 1200m at 10K pace w/ a 2 minute recovery jog, 800m at 10K pace w/ a 90 second recovery jog, 400m at 5K pace, and finishing w/ a 1M c/d. My 5K pace is supposed to be 7:45 and my 10K pace is supposed to be 8:10. My splits were as follows: 400m at 6:45, 800m at 7:17, 1200m at 7:29, 1600m at 7:37, 1200m at 7:42 (legs feeling tired and sore), 800m at 7:52 (was running much faster but almost got hit by a car attempting to cross 54th St. on the Monon and had to stop and then turned to run on a nonexistent side walk and then had to turn around and backtrack on the Monon, too many interruptions at the end), 400m at 6:48. Overall, with my w/u, c/d, and recovery jogs it was a 6.75M day. I felt really good about my intervals. I would have like my last 1200m and 800m to have been quicker like the first set, but I made up for it w/ my last 400m. All my splits were faster than goal pace. It was also helpful to have Bryan ride his bike next me while I ran. He is in tapering for his Ironman this weekend so didn’t have a workout planned. But my legs were definitely feeling the burn later than night. Thursday was a 6M recovery run at easy pace, nothing fancy. Friday morning Bryan and I drove to Louisville for his Ironman. After getting checked into the hotel, walking around the expo, eating lunch and taking a nap, I really didn’t want to run my 8.5M tempo run. I just couldn’t make myself do it. It was grossly hot and humid out and I was still groggy from my nap. So instead we walked to 4th St. Live to grab a beer and some dinner. While enjoying our beer, it started to downpour with crazy thunder and lightening. I do enjoy a good rain run, but this would have been miserable during my run. I was happy with my decision to drink beer instead. Saturday morning I got up early for my 15M run around Louisville while Bryan had his practice swim, bike warm-up and set up his transition. Last year I ran 13M around Louisville and no idea where I was going. It was oppressingly hot and it was just an awful run. This time was different. I was familiar with the area, brought water with me and had part of the run mapped out. However, when I started my run there was 94% humidity and by the time I finished my run the heat index was 100 degrees. The first half of the run wasn’t so bad, I was still within my pace-plus range, but by the time I got to the second half, the heat and humidity had sucked everything out of me. But I really wanted to get in those miles, so I did it. It wasn’t pretty and my pace was super slow. My average pace for 15M was 10:20. Sunday was Bryan’s Ironman Louisville! I still needed to get in my 8.5M run, I knew it wouldn’t be a tempo run given the 15M I ran the day before, but I could at least make it a recovery run. I decided to start my run when Bryan started the bike leg of his race. This worked out perfectly because I would have enough time to run, shower, pack up the car, check out of the hotel and get lunch before Bryan would be finished with the bike leg. Again it was so humid that it was foggy. I couldn’t imagine cycling 112M in the fog. I took this run slow due to the hot and humid conditions and ran along the bike course so I could watch the triathletes during my run. I was unable to get in any cross training workouts given the events of the week but I can make that up later. Week 6 Total Mileage: 36.25 miles.
Week 7 started out with a rest day on Monday because it was Bryan’s 37th birthday! We celebrated by having dinner at Capital Grille with our families. It was a much needed rest and celebration day for the both of us. Tuesday I just wasn’t feeling like running. I think I still had a little Louisville hangover due to the lack of sleep over the weekend, so I decided to get my zen on by going to hot yoga. Wednesday was interval day, Quality 3 workout. I had a 1M w/u followed by 1200m w/ a 1 min recovery jog, 400m w/ a 3 min recovery jog and then repeat 2 more times and finishing w/ a 1M c/d. My pace for the splits are as follows: 1200m (7:22), 400m (7:15), 1200m (7:36), 400m (7:18), 1200m (7:24), 400m (6:54). I was trying to keep them consistent and strong. Again it was very hot outside around 90 degrees, so I was happy with my pace given the temperature. Thursday was a 6M easy recovery run and the legs felt very heavy and sore from the previous day’s intervals. Friday was a much needed hot yoga session to stretch out my sore muscles. I knew my tempo run would be poop if I didn’t move it to Saturday. Saturday after work I took a mini nap and then ran my 8.5M tempo run. The first 1.5M was a warm-up, then 6M at tempo which was at 8.16 ave pace, followed by a 1M c/d. Bryan rode along next to me on his bike and I felt strong the entire time. Probably one of my best tempo runs ever. Sunday was my pace-plus of 13.1M. It was supposed to be a half marathon, but there weren’t any nearby half marathons for me to run on Sunday, so I used it as a long easy half marathon. The thought of running solely on the monon made me cringe a little, so I decided to take a little runsploration and ran up the monon to Broadripple but then got on the Central Canal Towpath and took that to 29th street downtown to the Naval Amory. Then I turned back on the towpath until I reached Butler University and ran the two miles home from Butler putting me at exactly 13.1M. Perfect. Even though I ran a hard tempo run the day before, I felt nice and recovered for my long easy run. Week 7 Total Mileage: 33.29 miles + 2 hot yoga sessions.
Week 8 started out slothy. I had big plans for two solid workouts on Monday, Labor Day. I was going to hit up hot yoga in the morning and run a 6M recovery run that evening. Well, that morning, I could not get up in time for 8:15 yoga. We had a few beers the night before at a friend’s going away party and stayed out a little longer than anticipated so I needed/wanted to sleep in. It’s amazing how just staying up one or two extra hours or having one or two beers really throws off the next morning. After skipping yoga, I ended up going to Bloomington with my parents to visit my sister and of course we ate lunch at Upland Brewing Company and I just had to get a beer flight. Needless to say, I was worthless the rest of the evening. I passed out on the couch with a headache and I was out for the count. I mean it was Labor Day….so it became my rest day for the week. Tuesday I was still feeling a little out of my element so I went to hot yoga to reboot. Wednesday I met my fellow Tri-Loco teammates at the track. I had 8X800m planned so why not run them on the track? Three weeks ago when I did the same workout, I ran them on the Monon. I thought the track would be easier. It was actually the opposite. The track is directly in the sunlight versus the shade of the Monon. It was 90 degrees. The first two felt great (7:00 pace and 7:23 pace). But during my recovery run after the second I felt as though I was going to get sick, so I drank some Nuun hydrate. My third and fourth were definitely slower around 7:47 and 7:50 ave pace, probably more of where I should be running. I progressively felt worse after each one. My vision was foggy, I felt nauseated, and my legs were getting heavier and heavier. Too soon for me to be feeling this way. I wanted to give up but knew I needed to get these done. So for the 5th and 6th set, I decided to slow it down to much slower than 10K pace, and used them more as recovery but still faster than race pace. For the last two, I ran around 10K pace, which is what I’m supposed to be running them at anyways (8:10 pace). I finished w/ a 0.32M c/d versus my usual 1M. I was so hot and dehydrated, I just couldn’t make a few more laps around the track. I tried to tell myself mind over matter, but the matter won. My mental toughness needs some major work. It’s amazing how the same workout three weeks prior can feel completely different. The heat and dehydration definitely took it out of me. But at least I’ll be ready for a hot marathon if the temps are abnormally high in November haha. Thursday I took a rest day because my body was still beat up from the previous day’s workout and plus it gave me time to pack for vacation. Friday was a 6M easy run. Instead of running 8.5M at tempo on Saturday, I ran 6M at half marathon pace. It felt great given the cooler temps. Sunday was time for my 17M run. That distance still scares me. Something about the leap from 15 to 17M means business and really puts it into perspective that I’m training for a marathon. Bryan ran the first 5M with me because I was scared to run on 30th St. by myself. We started out going South on the Monon from our house. Once we hit the Fall Creek Greenway, we ran on that path until we reached 30th St. We then ran from 30th St. to the Naval Armory. Definitely had a lot of visual stimulation running through the hood of Indy. However, I really enjoyed running on the Fall Creek path. It was new to me and nice and shaded. Once we reached the Naval Armory we entered the Central Canal Towpath (probably my new favorite place to run). Bryan and I said our goodbyes because he would now be picking up the pace to get in his 16M. I stayed at my pace-plus pace for my long runs. My plan was to take my first gel around the half way point. I was starting to feel lightheaded and dehydrated. At mile 8.5ish I reached a gas station in Butler/Tarkington and got a water. I thought I was going to pass out for a second. I drank half my water and took a gel. Pull yourself together. Just make it to Broadripple. I reached Broadripple at Mile 10. I took a pit stop at the Qdoba to do my business and finish my water when I ran into Bryan. He had already ran up the Monon and back and was headed towards home. I was so jealous that he only had two more miles left. I thought to myself how am I going to finish 7 more miles? Just take it slow. So I started running. Once I got to Mile 12, my body and mind completely changed. I finally felt in the zone. The water fountain by the Blind School wasn’t working and the nearest water would be at the gas station on 86th St. So I made the decision to make myself stronger and run farther. I got my second water and took my second gel around mile 13.75ish. I felt rejuvenated and felt strong the entire way home. I ended up running 18.5 miles at 9:40 ave pace! Mind over matter and my mind won this round. I pushed through it and even ran farther than planned. Week 8 Total Mileage: 36.75 miles + 1 hot yoga session.
With training half way done, now’s not the time to let up. I haven’t missed a run thus far, which is new for me. But the next three weeks will definitely break me down and show me what I’m really made of because this week I leave for a two week vacation in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bali. I’m so incredibly excited but anxious about how I’m going to get in all my workouts. Stay tuned.