Super proud of my girl Lizzy, who showed that gnarly heat who’s boss and ROCKED the LA Marathon this weekend with a super impressive sub-4:00!
Also, congrats to Amanda @ Slimplify Life who, on the other side of the country in DC, completed her first marathon this weekend! Way to go Amanda!
And finally – I just realized that I am now less than 3 weeks away from my first big race of the season, the South Shore Half Marathon. Even though I just did Icebreaker in January, it feels like ages since I’ve run a half marathon. Now that South Shore is so close, I’m starting to think about it more. But we can talk about that later 🙂
Workout: Strength Training, aka OMFG YOU GUYS I FINALLY DID IT
Location: Home 🙂
Duration: 30 mins
No fancy workout here. It was already after 9:00 and I was this close to just skipping the workout, so I knew if I was going to do it at all I needed to just wing it and do it quickly. I did a bunch of planks, wall sits, bridges and squats and it actually was a good workout, if Weds and Thurs’ DOMS is any indication
No yoga. I got stuck at work late (gotta make sure everything gets done so I can go into that 4 day weekend with peace of mind), so I had to miss class.
Workout: Speed work – 4x1mi
Location: Y indoor track
Total Miles (with w/u and c/d): 8
Mile repeat times: 7:28, 7:32, 7:36, 7:38; avg – 7:34
My first mile repeats workout was a success! The only negative I can pinpoint is that as you can see, I slowed down with every mile.
But I’m trying this new thing now where I try to give more weight to the positives, because overall this was a really good workout. Despite slowing down, I still stayed pretty consistent (positive 1!). Each interval was challenging, but not all-out, and I was able to maintain a pretty steady pace throughout (positive 2!). I also realized that my average for those four miles is around the same pace I’ve been running my 800s lately. So this means that I am really getting better at holding fast paces for longer distances (positive 3!). And finally: after the workout I felt strong and energized, not wiped. I once heard that you should always be in control of speed intervals; if you go so hard that you can’t finish or feel demolished at the end, then you’re overtraining. I’m sure not everyone will agree, but it makes a lot of sense to me, so the fact that I felt so good after this long workout means I did it efficiently (hooray! Postive 4!)
Workout: Recovery run
Total Miles: 5
Average Pace: 9:30
This run was a sloppy mess. It was pretty warm out today, even in the AM, but I had the brilliant idea to do this run in sweat pants and a hoodie! Wtf? I never even wear those things on a run in cold weather! Sigh. So I was really hot and thirsty and sluggish the whole time, even after I finally ditched the hoodie.
All in all it was okay but just felt pretty gross. Damn you Friday the 13th.
Workout: Easy Run
Total Miles: 5
Average Pace: 8:58
This was a decent run, I guess. Did it in the afternoon after being out during the day, so I was tired and a little dehydrated. The burrito I had at brunch wasn’t totally agreeing with me.
Workout: Long run w/ MP miles
Total Miles: 10
Average Pace: 8:48
Since 10 miles is not really that long, I decided to use this run to get in some MP practice instead of just plodding along. My plan was to spend the first 2-3 miles easing into it and then try to do the middle 6 at MP. My legs were tired right off the bat so I knew I was in for a challenge.
In retrospect I can see that my big mistake was not taking my first 3 warm up miles slow enough, and that I should have listened to my body and waited another mile before trying to crank it up.
After the first 3 miles I felt like I was really pushing it the entire time, but what felt like the same effort sometimes yielded an 8:27 mile and other times yielded an 8:50. Miles 4-6 were frustrating because it felt like I was pushing hard, but when my Garmin beeped I saw 8:50, 8:42, 8:50. I didn’t understand how I could be busting my butt and still running that slow.
And then I actually started to get really frustrated…and discouraged. I was mad at my stupid tired legs and the fact that my perceived effort just never seems to match my actual effort which is REALLY annoying, and for the first time I found myself thinking: maybe I can’t do this. Maybe my goal is just too hard. If I have to fight to maintain this pace in a 10 mile run, how can I hold it in a freakin MARATHON?
But I kept pushing, and my splits started to improve. Miles 7-10 were: 8:38, 8:27, 8:40, 8:34. Still jumping all over the place but, with the exception of that weird 8:27, I am still in the ballpark and holding on.
Remember I said I’m trying this new thing where I’m trying to be more positive? Well, after the last 4 miles went better and the run was over, I was feeling better and the positive thoughts started to take over the negative. I reminded myself that instead of thinking “it’s too hard, I can’t do this,” I can think “it just wasn’t my day,” or, my new favorite: “it’s okay – my body is still learning.”
And I have to keep in mind that this is the whole point of cumulative fatigue training, this is what it’s supposed to be like. What’s frustrating now will be invaluable experience on race day. Running at your goal pace after 4 straight days of running (sidenote, I think this is the first time I’ve ever run 4 days in a row), during a long run, isn’t supposed to be easy, because it’s not going to be easy in the last 10 miles of the marathon.
The whole idea behind MP practice is to get your body accustomed to what it feels like at various levels of fatigue, not just when you feel fresh and rested. Practicing it when you’re tired is just as important as – actually probably more important than – the practice you get in that 5 mile run early in the week.
So with that in mind, today’s workout was actually very valuable to me. Some will say I should have just taken it slow and easy since it’s still a long run. But I’m glad my body had an opportunity to learn what my goal pace will feel like on tired legs.
Week 4 TOTAL MILEAGE: 28
Week 4 Grade: A-
On paper, this week should be an A. I had a great speed workout, I finally did some strength training, I took my easy runs easy, and I turned an initially frustrating run into a good learning experience.
But despite the fact that the workouts went well, I just feel “meh” about this week. I don’t really know why. It doesn’t seem like anything to write home about, just another ordinary week. Nothing stands out, it was all just…okay.
It deserves better than a B but I just don’t have it in my to give it an A. So I’ll split the difference between my attitude and my results and give it a solid A-.
Looking Ahead: Week 5
Monday 3/16 – rest
Tuesday 3/17 – rest
Wednesday 3/18 – 6 mile tempo run
Thursday 3/19 – 5 miles recovery
Friday 3/20 – 6 miles easy
Saturday 3/21 – 7 miles MP practice
Sunday 3/22 – 16 miles LSD
TOTAL planned mileage: 40
Eeek – we’re hitting the big 4-0 this week! It’s kinda crazy that I’m already up to 40 miles after only 5 weeks of training.
At first this kind of freaked me out, like am I doing too much too soon? Last time, I don’t think I got up to 40 miles until I was already 2/3 of the way through. But then when I consider how much of my weekly mileage gets counted in things like warm-up and cool down miles and the recovery intervals of speed work, it’s really not so bad. In fact, it’s only a 15% increase from my pre-cutback week total of 35, which is right in the ballpark for the rule of thumb about how much you should increase per week while you’re building up.
I’m planning to do this week’s tempo run outside. The high is 46 and the forecast is partly cloudy, which sounds like perfect weather for a solid hard effort outside. I’m not sure if I’ll try a Hanna Tempo or just a straight up tempo, we’ll see. What I do know is that I’m going to do my tempo miles by feel instead of pace. I want to aim for an effort that’s hard but sustainable and let my body instead of my watch be the guide.
It’s not on the schedule, but I’ll be squeezing in more strength training this week too. I’m hoping to start doing some stair repeats on my lunch hour, and adding some body weight exercises to my easy run days.
This will be my first week of 5 days in a row of running. 5 days in a row, 40 miles in a week, ending in a 16 mile long run = this will be my first real test of energy management and pacing myself through the week. Let’s stay tuned to see how it goes!
Looking forward to a GREAT Week 5!