The first time I wrote about marathon training was during week 7, then again at a difficult week 11. Now i’m writing about Week 13. A breakthrough week. The week where confidence begin building and I’ve started to believe I can run a marathon at a speed that scares me.
First, I have to say congrats to all those who ran a marathon over the past 2 weekends. My Instagram feed was full of people who qualified for Boston or ran a SOLID race. This was exciting and got me pumped for my shot at the marathon next month.
Pretty sure all the positivity on social media had given me a boost, either way this week was full of so many goodies I can hardly contain myself! Starting with some non-running related things: I won Mario Party! I haven’t won in a while and was super proud. #N64
If you hadn’t noticed I got my hair fixed and I’m blond again and I love it. My stylist fixed it at no cost and was super cool about the whole situation.
Now to the running stuff! I finished out the week with a mileage PR of 60.9 miles and raced a 10K earning a new PR of 43:40 (recap coming later this week). The weather finally cooled down a bit, which meant LE got her long walks and I’ve been running much happier without all the humidity.
Tuesday started with Crossfit at 6:00am and then a 3 x 2 mile workout in the afternoon. I felt strong and the paces felt good. The first speed work session of the week is always mentally tough, but once it’s completed I feel like I can take on the rest of the week with no problem.
But this week was different, the workout I was most concerned with was Thursday’s 9 mile tempo at marathon pace. Most of these workouts have been done on a treadmill because Philadelphia is flat and I live in hills. It’s important I get time on my feet where there isn’t much of a grade change and can get my quads used to the repetitive, flat running. Now, I don’t want to do all tempos on a treadmill because it is different running on a treadmill and having a little help with leg turnover and being able to set a pace and stick to it. Thursday I wanted to take the tempo outside.
Thursday was a big test. Try to maintain a 7:55/pace on hilly terrain (again after morning Crossfit). Good news – I did it. 2 mile warm up + 9m tempo @ 7:30/pace. Bad news is that 7:30 is too fast. Slowing down on these workouts will be key to pacing myself early in the marathon to avoid the dreaded wall. But tempo’ing on hills is all about effort so i might be ok? It’s hard to tell. Now i’m rambling since I’m questioning the workout! haha.
Friday and Saturday were both easy, long runs. Friday I logged 10 miles at a 9:05/pace and Saturday was 16 at an 8:52/pace.
Saturday I had a small hiccup and almost quit 6 miles in because my knee felt a little off. I ran back home for a 5 minutes break, used the foam roller on my quad and did a quick stretch. Pain was gone immediately and I left feeling good about the knee being a freak thing (although I will keep an eye on it). Also noted: the Brooks Launch 3’s feel great and will possibly be the race day shoe.
I got a few fun running photos up on Instagram. I get asked often how I take them – usually i just put a self-timer on and run in front of the camera a few times. That’s it. Not much to it, I don’t have any special photographer with me, although one day I should get some professional pictures done!
The most notable difference this week is finally believing in myself. Mentally i’m tough, but getting work done and believing you can do something are different. I can hit workouts yet still disbelieve I can do a marathon at goal pace. I can mind-karate my way through the toughest Crossfit workout or tempo workout, but somehow at the end of the day still think i’m not a good enough runner and that horrible marathon will get the best of me. This week was different because I’m starting to believe that not only can I run a solid marathon, but I have so much more in me that I might surprise myself on race day and in the future.
The 10k from Sunday was a prime example. I set out at a pace that seemed so far out of reach, yet by the 2nd mile I believed I could keep that pace and told myself to go for it and it worked out.
Heading into these last few weeks of marathon training i’m sure will bring up many more thoughts. Hang in here with me, we’re almost toeing the start line.
Monday: 5.3m easy 10:00/pace
Tuesday: Crossfit, 10m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 7:30/pace)
Thursday: Crossfit, 11.7m tempo ( 2m warm up, 9m @7:30/pace)
Friday: 10.2m easy 9:05/pace
Saturday: 16.1m easy 8:52/pace
Sunday: 10K race (1.2m warm up, 6.4m race)
Total Miles: 60.9
Random thoughts you get during training?
Do you run outside, treadmill or mix it up?
10/17/2016 at 4:18 PM
Great week – and some really smart stuff in there: stopping your run and checking things out was a great idea! Dealing with it that way gets rid of that mental angst – really important!
And I think your mental approach to all of it is very sound – we know that the mental game can kill us in a marathon: either we get over-confident and go out too fast, or doubt ourselves and ruin our own performance. Of course you know this – you’ve written about it loads of times. Yet ALL of us still do it to ourselves! Which is why it was smart to see that you went too fast on your tempo run!
Love reading the updates – you’re doing great – loved hearing about the 10k (look forward to the race report!), and excited to see how it all goes for you in just a few weeks!
10/19/2016 at 8:04 AM
oh man, the knee thing had me in a panic, but as i’ve learned about my body i need to spend time loosening and warming up the hips better. And yeah i feel l’m trying to find the balance of being confident (not over confident cause god knows marathons are the hardest things ever) and getting rid of the self-doubt. It’s a fine line!
10/17/2016 at 8:03 PM
Girl you’re so strong-the marathon is all mental. I ran mine in the Brooks Launch 3s, just saying ! Also I’m dealing with some real foot pain-I think running a speedy 5K and 7 mile relay leg on Saturday tweaked something but I’m hoping a week off from running completely will fix it…. Also THANKS FOR THE SHOUT OUT 🙂
10/19/2016 at 7:58 AM
Thanks Lauren, i’m getting super excited and practicing as much positive mental stuff out on training runs. You are so inspiring!!! And the launch 3s surprised me- I wore them once and was like “yeah these aren’t going to be my marathon shoes” but then i did 16 miles in them and still felt good, and then the 10K and they felt better..so they might be “the ones”
10/17/2016 at 9:31 PM
That’s a lot of miles! I used to be a weekday treadmill runner but gave that up back in May. Only been on one 4x since then and have logged over 1100 miles.
10/19/2016 at 7:53 AM
awesome! That’s a TON of mileage!
10/20/2016 at 8:58 PM
But never hit 60 in a week!!
10/21/2016 at 7:40 AM
this was a big week! I just noticed i surpassed 1500 miles for the year–i’ve never gone over 1100. and it’s only october…crazy!
10/18/2016 at 12:27 PM
Solid week, have to love those weeks that boost your confidence.
The 730 on hilly terrain is a great workout. On flat terrain that 730 is going to feel like a piece of cake.
Keep up the great work.
10/19/2016 at 7:52 AM
i hope so! thanks so much! 🙂