Hey, hey, hey! What’s happenin’? It’s been a stressful, exciting, roller-coaster over the past several days. I feel like so much is going on that my head is going to explode. When the time is right, if it’s ever right, I’ll share more on the recent ups and downs. But for now, let me just say that Saturday put me over the edge. I came home from a 14+ mile run to quickly shower, meet with a realtor, and then have date night. It was crazy. I feel like I’m just now recuperating from Saturday’s activities.
Week 7 of marathon training went reasonably well, all things considered. Read on for more!
Tuesday — 4 miles
The first 4 miles last week weren’t so bad. I listened to some tunes, zoned out, and pumped out some decent miles at a nice clip.
Wednesday — 7 miles
My 7-miler last week was abysmal. I woke up completely exhausted. This run almost didn’t happen.
I’m not entirely sure why it took me 7 weeks to figure out that the midweek long run is my nemesis, but it finally clicked this week. Every training cycle I’ve done in the past, I’ve tested out fuel during any run 6 miles or longer. For some reason I haven’t been doing that during this training cycle, and I think it has been negatively affecting my performance.
I practice fueling during these mid-level runs for a few reasons. First and foremost, I have to make sure whatever I’m doing now during training works so that when the big day comes, I’m not lost at sea trying to make sense of nutrition. But secondly, eating, drinking, and walking during these runs breaks up the monotony of the hamster wheel. I’m grateful I have it, but it gets boring. During Week 8, I’ll be employing my fueling regimen at every opportunity and hopefully that will stave off some of the boredom and restlessness.
I also did this 7-miler as close to projected marathon pace as possible. It was tough but not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Thursday — 4 miles+strength conditioning
My last 4 mile run last week was also a struggle. Again, I was very tired when my alarm went off in the morning. But the longer I was on the treadmill, the better I felt. I didn’t put quite as much effort into my strength conditioning as I have in previous workouts but what I did do felt great. I was worn out from the previous two runs.
Saturday — 14.25 miles!
Sara, Julie and I planned to run long together. We went back and forth about when to complete long run all week. We vigilantly watched the weather forecast and truly couldn’t decide if we were running long on Saturday or Sunday until literally the night before. The options were to run on Saturday when the sun would be shining but the temperature would be much lower, or to run on Sunday when it was a bit “warmer” but again be running in a winter storm. We opted for the Saturday option and started out later than we normally do. I’m so happy we did. Despite being a bit chilly for almost the entire run, and the occasional numbing of appendages, our spirits were lifted by the sunshine. It was a drastically different run than previous weeks based solely on the sun.
|Layering up! INKnBURN Atalanta. I swear she made me faster.|
I debated whether to wear my Yaktrax from the beginning of the run. I ended up ditching them just .4 miles into it (probably should have just gone back to the car at that point). The remainder of the run was mostly done on clear roads. There was minimal traffic where we were (thankfully) and we only saw three other runners at the end of our 14 miles. It was a very peaceful day overall.
At mile 3 we made a porta-potty stop. Sara captured the tips of my hair frozen… how? No one knows. But it sure made for a cool picture.
|Frozen hair, say wha?!|
|Post porta-potty photo.|
Around mile 4 (5?) we attempted to take a picture on an awesome bridge but alas, my phone shut down. At first I thought it was the battery but when we left I was at nearly 100% so that was unlikely. It turns out it was just cold. Boo! I did manage to snap a selfie while Sara and Julie were getting into position. I’m guessing my selife is the reason for the shut down. Sara took an “opposite” bridge photo instead.
|This is my “I’m freezing my arse off” face.|
|See me down there in the middle? That’s me getting mad at my phone for ruining a perfect photo opp!|
At the turnaround point, I decided I would put my phone in my bra to try to warm it up. I should mention at this point, Sara’s phone and Garmin also shut down. So far we were 1 for 4 in the technology department.
We traversed an array of terrain. From the relatively flat and uninteresting, to the most pleasant downhill, to the steepest of steep uphills, and back again. It was a tough run, that’s for sure. I noticed my stride changed on the uphills, which is something I’ve never noticed before. It was kind of neat, actually. I could feel my legs working in a much different way than they normally do on mostly flat land. I picked up speed but didn’t increase effort. It was an interesting phenomenon.
After warming up my phone, it worked! I was pumped. And I got to document our successful run up the world’s giantest hill. That’s a word.
We also tried out some new fuel. I made energy bars and brought everyone some to try. They were super tasty, and agreed with my stomach. Score! I also plowed through the orange flavored PROBAR BOLT. Yum!
At mile 9, or somewhere thereabouts, we finally got a picture on the bridge. It’s hard to make out the tiny dots, but Julie and Sara are on there somewhere.
|Yay for bridge picture!|
This run was a milestone of sorts for all of us. It was the longest for Julie and me, and Sara’s longest run post-partum. Not only did it mark my longest run to date, but also the coldest! I felt pretty darn accomplished.
|We are the champions, my friends. And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end…|
After I got home, chaos ensued. I showered quickly, a realtor came over, and before I knew it, our babysitter was here and we were heading out for date night. Thankfully we changed our minds about where we were going and ended up getting pizza and ice cream. Best date night ever. Aside from me gracefully hobbling to and from the car, of course.
We came home early, watched part of a movie together, and went to bed. It was perfect.
|Time to #eatallthefood.|
Sunday — yoga
Sunday was interesting. I woke up and never fully woke up. You know that annoying feeling that you’re crabby just because you’re tired? Yeah, that was me. Plus I was pretty sore on my right side. After my husband came home from the grocery, I took a two hour nap. I had no intention of sleeping that long, and I truthfully didn’t even think I was going to fall asleep. But apparently it was much needed. I woke up nice and refreshed. After waking up, I did some yoga to stretch out my soreness from the day before. And then we watched a movie with the kids. Win!
Week 8 will be another push forward. I’ll be doing another 4-7-4 plus 15 on Saturday. I’m guessing 15 won’t seem much more difficult than 14.25 but we’ll see. I plan on utilizing my Epsom salts on Saturday night.
Hope you have a great day!
Tell me… what’s the farthest you’ve ever run/walked?
If you’re racing this spring, what’s your first race of the season?