So much has happened in the last week! I don’t know where to start.
IT WAS 66 DEGREES ON FRIDAY!
I also left work 1 minute early due to aforementioned warm weather. If you are reading this and you are my boss, hello! Welcome! Have I ever told you that you are the best boss ever? I am beyond excited for warm temperatures and sunshine. Not only because I am sick of running in cold/snowy/abysmal weather, but also because TRAILS. I discovered the wonderful world of trail running late last summer and I am so excited to frolic through the woods with my trusty companion, Flash. I even have my eye on a few trail races!
However, before can I break out the ole trail shoes, I have a marathon to run. Onto Week 9…
Monday – 6 miles w/ 3 speedy miles
Tuesday – Spontaneous rest day
Wednesday – 4 mile repeats (7 miles total on ze treadmill) at lunch + 9 miles easy after work = 16 miles total
Thursday – 6 miles easy
Friday – 5 miles easy
Saturday – 6 miles outside + 14 miles on ze treadmill = 20 miles total
Sunday – Rest
Total: 53 miles
As you may be able to garner based on the above summary, Week 9 was filled with many ups and downs
and sideways. I’ll start with the ups first because good news > bad news. (Rocket scientist, right here.)
- The best part of Week 9 is that for the first time in awhile, I finally felt like myself. Despite feeling
like a sleepy sloth on Ambienlethargic on Monday, I forced myself to get outside and run. (Shout out to running lifecoach Emily who also encouraged me to suck it up.) Oddly, I felt amazing as soon as I hit the mudpavement. Without even meaning to, I ran 3 sub-8 miles. Then on Wednesday, I easily pushed through 4 mile repeats at paces that would have felt unmanageable just a couple weeks ago. While I am nowhere near as speedy as I would like to be 7 weeks before VCM, some progress is better than no progress.
- I ran twice in one day this week, which I have not done since high school cross country camp
prison. After logging less than adequate mileage on Monday and Tuesday, I knew I needed to get in some major miles if I was going to meet my mileage goal for the week. I started out with the aforementioned speed workout, totaling 7 miles. Just 4-5 hours later, I headed out for an easy recovery run. The first couple of miles felt rough, but I eventually loosened up and logged 9 miles at a surprisingly decent pace. This run will also fall into the “bad news” category for reasons that will later become clear. I ended the day with 16 poundsmiles worth of spaghetti and meatballs. Nom.
- I finished my first 20 miler of this training cycle! The run did not go quite as planned, but I got ‘er done. I ended this run with 3 fast miles. During the last 0.2 miles, I increased my pace to 6:40/mile and visualized the finish line at VCM.
I’m also pretty sure I threw my hands in the air while on the gym treadmill.
- 53 miles total! One of my highest mileage weeks ever.
Now for the downs
and sideways of Week 9.
- The week got off to a rough start and I paid for it later. After not running as much as I had planned
or at allon Monday and Tuesday, I logged 16 miles on Wednesday. Four of those 16 miles were at a hard for me pace, and I averaged well under 9:00/mile for all 16. While I felt amazing upon completion, my legs were sore on Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday. Running 20 miles on sore legs is not my favorite activity in the world.
- During the evening portion of Wednesday’s run, I was attacked by a very mean dog. I survived without injury, but it was a bit traumatic.
- Despite beautiful weather late last week, I woke up on Saturday to cold temperatures, snow/freezing rain, and 25-30 mph winds. I made a deal with myself that if I ran 10-12 miles outside, I could finish on the treadmill. I only lasted 6 miles. Apparently, I do not enjoy being pelted in the face with snow and ice and being nearly blown over by wind gusts. After a quick costume change, I hopped on the treadmill for the remaining 14 miles. Things I did not like about this run: (1) the weather, (2) the monotony of the treadmill, and (3) the fact that I had to take several short breaks to change, refill my water bottle etc. As they say
- Finally, I have done exactly zero strength training this week. Now that my mileage is creeping up, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make time for strength training. Luckily, I have a plan to stop being a slacker. It involves a spreadsheet and doing pushups and planks in my office while listening to Beyonce.
This upcoming week is a step-back week and mini-taper
fun fest of joy because the Unplugged 1/2 marathon is on Saturday! I am reluctant to state a time goal for this race because I honesty do not know what I’m capable of at the moment. I will say that I will be super happy with anything under 1:45. If I can run 1:45 or less after several weeks of hard training with only a mini-taper period, I will feel much more confident about my ability to BQ at VCM. The course is a flat and fast point to point, and I know it like the back of my hand. Of course, if I am forced to run into heavy wind the entire time, I will probably cry reassess my goals. My biggest goal is to finish strong and healthy.
Last, but not least, I recovered like a champ this week.
Good luck to all of my fellow running friendsies running Unplugged!