Marathons, and training for them, are a bit of a roller coaster. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, throughout the race and all the weeks leading up to them. Even some training runs are their own roller coaster.
This was a down week, but still 60+ miles, with a couple of uphills and downhills thrown in (metaphorically, but also literally).
Chris told me (on Sunday) that he would be gone Monday night, I almost instantly had my evening planned out. I love my husband dearly (and our anniversary is Tuesday!), but we’re not usually on the same schedule — we’re usually on his.
My plan: run after work, hit the Whole Foods hot bar for meatless Monday, go home, wine, Olympics, in bed by 10. Combine a 31-year-old with decently high marathon training volume and this is life.
We changed my Pilates teaching schedule so I’m not the regular instructor on Mondays any more (although I’ll be subbing as needed), which means I can run after work if I wish. Obviously I took advantage of this and slept in.
And after work, I opted to multi-task, combining two things I wanted to do that evening: run and watch Orphan Black. I hit the treadmill for 8 easy miles, not particularly noteworthy other than the Orphan Black plot line.
(Side note: I’ve watched all three past seasons that were on Amazon Prime and season 4 isn’t on my cable on-demand. Now I have to decide if I’m willing to pay $25 for season 4 on Prime!)
I head to Whole Foods after, and there are all sorts of delicious things to eat — none of them particularly healthy, which might be my favorite thing about the hot bar. I mean, everything is all-natural and whatnot, but there’s no way that mac and cheese is actually good for me. But it is SO GOOD.
However, there was something not-so-delicious in copious quantities at the hot bar: flies. Lots of flies. It was super gross. I reluctantly bid adieu to that idea and left.
Harrumph. Now what? First I decided I would just come home and eat something — I had prepped out lunch for five days, forgetting I had two lunch dates scheduled, so I could always just eat one of those. But that didn’t sound very exciting.
What happened is that I ended up at a new El Nopal right by our house (a seemingly omnipresent chain of Mexican restaurants). I had my laptop with me and a few things I wanted to work on, and they had margarita specials. ($1.99!!!!) AND they had on the Olympics. This was a win-win.
And then I pretty much came home and went to bed, haha.
Tuesday was speed day — 800m repeats. Ten of them. With 90 seconds rest. What. The. Heck. The pace was only threshold, 85%, but still … I’ve had more fun. The wind was around 15 mph — and my splits showed the downhill/tailwind intervals. No pop today. Heat index was still 86 so maybe it just wasn’t as cool as it seemed, either. Consistent though, other than the wind/down ones — everything was 3:07-3:25, so more variation that usual but every time I hit the downhill part of the loop I knew it was going to be a fast one. The recoveries were also consistent, .16-.20 miles each.
Ergo, recovery run on Wednesday morning. Any time I think a lackluster workout means I didn’t work hard enough, Wednesday is there to remind me otherwise. I taught class that evening and reinforced my belief that a Theraband may look harmless but is a magical, muscle-wrecking tool.
Thursday was an early morning run, 10 miles at a moderate pace with 10x100m strides. Felt good, controlled, smooth and strong. Maybe I finally figured out the sweet spot for moderate pace! A little cooler, but still super humid.
Thursday night I taught Pilates Strength, using the Magic Circle in place of light weights for a twist on resistance work.
I met my friend Rebekah at Pope Lick Park Friday morning. I did not restart my watch after we stopped for water, but fortunately it was an out-and-back so we were able to measure the missed section on the way back. My scheduled called for 6-8; Rebekah only had time for 6.5 but I decided to go ahead and get in the extra since it was a short long run week and my legs felt fine. I like having the option to go a little shorter on Fridays if I’m feeling fatigued, or to go a little longer and tuck away some extra mileage.
Full disclosure: We went back to the same El Nopal on Friday night. My loyalty can be bought with cheap margaritas and good queso.
Okay, so Saturday morning. Truth is that I wrote most of this blog soon after Saturday’s run (minus the part about Sunday, obviously, although I could probably predict it, haha) and when I got to this part I procrastinated for five minutes. I need some perspective on that run that I’m not sure I have yet.
It was 73* with a dew point of 70* and 90% humidity. Everyone’s favorite.
Side note: The local National Weather Service office posted that our “unusually long streak of days at or above 65 will end soon.” Hallelujah.
It was also supposed to start raining in 30 minutes. This calls for spandex and a visor, my friends.
My run was only 12 miles but there were 4 miles at marathon goal pace and 2 miles at half-marathon goal pace mixed in, so I threw on my Pace v1s even though they’re about shot. (I have some 1400s on the way and I can’t wait!)
After a 2 mile warm up, I got started on the marathon pace. I need more than 2 miles to warm up! The first mile was slow, 7:10, but then started absolutely pouring rain. I don’t know if it was because it was cooler or because it’s just instinct to run as fast as you can when it starts raining so you can get out of it (even when you’ve still got 9 miles to go), but my remaining 3 miles at MP were 6:45. That is NOT marathon pace. In my defense, it was raining so hard I could barely see my watch, either. But I felt great, and I was already halfway done with the run with just 2 more hard miles to go.
Then I dropped down to long run pace but not too slow — right around 8 minute/mile — for 3 miles.
After that, 2 miles at half-marathon pace. FAIL. This would be the roller coaster part of the run. The first 9 miles had been great. Now I could not find that next gear. There was a pretty strong headwind for most of this section, and it had stopped raining — but the temperature, dew point and humidity were all now higher than when I started. But let’s be honest, it’s probably more that I ran the first 4 mile effort section too fast. I ended up splitting 6:50 and 6:45.
Basically, I had 6 quality miles averaging 6:50. Not quite what coach had asked for but … it is what it is.
Saturday night we stopped by Fleet Feet Louisville for their 17th anniversary party. They had a big screen showing the big track events of the evening — men’s 1500, women’s 800, men’s 5k, 4x400s — plus beer and wine. It was a great idea and a lot of fun.
Sunday morning I met Rebekah at Pope Lick and we ran a new section of the park that’s not quite finished. (But how finished does a running path need to be, really? I don’t need much!) Just an easy 10k to finish off the week!
Totals: 63 miles run, 2 Pilates classes taught (hey, when your down week is still 60+ miles, you have to take the rest somewhere!).