Marathon Training – Week 2!

Ack, it’s Wednesday! … and I meant to write this on Sunday but somehow time is flying and there just isn’t enough of it. ‘Tis the season, right?!

Last week was a good week. During the chaos of what seems to be life for me (and everyone else!) these days, running and training for a marathon is helping me feel grounded and connected to my inner rhythm, organized in my brain and relaxed and healthy in my body. Truth be told, I see my “busy” as a blessing and know that I am lucky to have a life so full of “to dos,” … when I am overwhelmed I try to remind myself of that.

This time last year, my foot was hurting me so much and I was feeling lost as to what the heck was happening in my body. I decided to NOT train for Boston 2017 and ceased attempting to run a single step indefinitely – until my foot was healed (which, by the way, wasn’t until halfway through the year in April). I am thankful to be in a very different position now. 💗

Last week was one of the best training weeks I have had in a long, long time. I am definitely feeling my fitness improve and am pleased and grateful to be able to execute harder workouts when appropriate. My body feels strong and nothing is giving me trouble at the moment. No complaints!

Total miles: 53.29

This was my highest mileage week in I don’t know how long – by only a hair but still, it is something to celebrate. When I was training for my half this summer/fall with Mary, I did have a 53 mile week in mid October, but it was too aggressive for me at the time. I felt concerned it was too much but did it anyway, and then the following week my body was really off – I felt a pull on the back of my left knee that just was NOT right, took two unplanned rest days and saw my physical therapist Lee for dry needling, and a few days later I had a cold virus! My resting heart rate was elevated and I knew I needed to listen to my body. So I shortened my long run that week from Mary’s planned 16 down to 12 and also scheduled a call with her to talk about my running and training and what was ahead. It was a pivotal moment for me because it taught me that I was ready to coach myself again, trust my intuition and take the reigns on moving forward. And thankfully my body responded to the extra rest and care I gave it and all was okay!

My 53+ miles this week felt completely different and I am feeling really good now, though I did plan this week as a recovery/step back week in my cycle because I want to be extra careful about my progression. So here is how it went down day by day!

Monday – 8.34 miles easy, 9:14 average pace. I ran this one with my good friend Yael and we talked and chatted the whole way. It was a happy, mellow, beautiful sunrise Monday run!

Tuesday – 6 miles easy, 8:39 average pace. This one was sooo beautiful! A solo run in my neighborhood and everything just clicked and floated for me. It was one of those runs where my effort stayed easy and steady, but my pace picked up with each mile.

Wednesday – speed day! 9.05 miles, 8:35 average pace. Yael came over and we ran the workout together, doing the speed around the lake in my neighborhood. We did 3 easy miles to warm up, 15 x 1:00 hard/1:00 easy, 2 miles to cool down. I loved this workout! My fast paces were right around a 6:45 average. Smooth, strong and controlled!

Thursday – 6 miles easy, 8:54 average pace. This was so fun! I went downtown to run with the Raleigh Distance Project, an elite development running team started by my friend Andie. Andie is a young pro runner for Oiselle who lives in Raleigh. We met downtown and ran some city miles – no headlamp needed as it turns out! The city was bright with lights and it was a fun change of scenery for me. I was worried I would be too slow for this speedy bunch, but it was completely fine and lots of fun. I think it is safe to say I was close to 20 years older than each of the ladies there, but it didn’t matter at all. I definitely will go back again and am so proud of Andie and of all of these young women for what they are doing!

Friday – 7.9 miles easy, 9:12 average pace. Ran this one nice and easy with Yael!

Saturday – long run! A 16 mile run with the last 4 miles at race pace. 8:32 average pace. Yael and I met after sunrise on the Tobacco Trail (I love this trail so much) and she ran the first 12 miles easy with me. I said goodbye to her after that and moved into my faster last 4 miles. I had eaten my UCAN breakfast that morning and was sipping on Nuun and UCAN together in my bottle (way too sweet – won’t be doing that combo again with those flavors but unflavored UCAN should work!!) and had strong stable energy. My last 4 miles came in at 7:57, 8:11, 7:44, 7:42. Right now I think an 8:00 mile is realistic for my marathon race pace, but we’ll see as my training moves along. I was happy that my effort was strong and steady and this was where my paces fell. Sunday – rest day! I am taking one true full-on rest day each week, and like to schedule it for a weekend day so I have more time with my family. This weekend we had my in-laws visiting and Sunday afternoon I went to EVOLVE to teach a Pilates lesson to some of my Oiselle teammates! I teach them once a quarter and it is a lot of fun.

All in all, it was a pretty great week of marathon training. So far this week has been going well, too – an easy run Monday and then a workout with some mile repeats yesterday. I’m getting ready now to meet Yael for 5 slow recovery miles – good way to start a Wednesday 😊

I hope everyone is having a great week!

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