Marathon Training Week 21: It’s a Wrap – Training Cycle Review

Weekly Summary: 5/11/15 to 5/17/15

Although technically I’ll have a fullish week of running before this Sunday’s marathon, the runs are just to keep the legs from getting stale, and basically, training is done.

This prior week was fairly banal, except for the fact that it was a short week because I had to do last week’s tempo run on Monday, so I crammed five runs into six days. Here’s the breakdown.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy run
Wednesday: No run; cross-train
Thursday: 5 miles tempo run
Friday: 3 miles easy run
Saturday: 12 miles easy run
Sunday: 3 miles easy run

As you can see, taper had begun, with me doing like half my distance from the past two weeks. Although my mileage was low, I had a strong short tempo run, doing three miles at paces of 8:53, 8:54, and 8:38. Super encouraging to see that I can still hit a sub-9:00 pace. My legs felt a little heavy on my long run, but my pace was fine, and perhaps it was just the result of a two- tempo-run week. I just can’t believe that my legs would be fatigued at this point considering I had two weeks off from injury just a month ago.

Last long run. Couldn't ask for a prettier day!
Last long run. Couldn’t ask for a prettier day!
In lieu of anything of note, this seems a good opportunity to do a training review. Below is my self-assessed report card for my training for the Mountains2Beach Marathon 2015.

Total Miles Run: 741!

Cross-Training. Meh. This was a C+. You’d think someone who has been injured in her last two marathons would be more vigilant about cross-training, but unfortunately, if I don’t feel the injury, then I forget “Oh, I have weak glutes. I should do more bridges and clams.” There are mostly no injury warning signs for me as I’m either hurt or not, so cross-training has to be a habit rather than any perceived need.

Diet. Despite what I’m going to tell you next, I guess this was a success? See, I weighed myself yesterday, and from Day 1 of training to today, I GAINED one pound. Haha. I find this hilarious because most people think if you run marathons, you lose weight. This has never been my experience. The marathon I ran in 2012, I gained like 8 pounds. Buh-loat-ed. Even though I would have loved to lose weight, there’s been a lot of experimentation in this area about how much I really need to eat, and it’s still a work in progress. Finding that tipping point between fueling enough to perform well and eating tons because “Hey, I just ran 15 miles, I can totally eat a pizza!” is a struggle. However, I will say this, I did give up eating sugar for most of the past couple months, and I feel better.

Low Point. Well this is easy: My post-Hollywood Half Marathon injury. Actually, the whole half marathon experience was a bummer. Not only did I not break two hours when I felt totally trained for it, I got a calf strain that put me out of commission for two weeks. And not any two weeks, it was two weeks of my short sharpening phase. Argh. The timing on this was not cool.

Weirdest Injury. While the calf injury is something I’ve experienced before, I got a bizarro small irritation on my mid-back, right where my bra hits. It’s been there for about a month, and it hasn’t gone away. What the f-ck is it?! Well, I won’t be able to check it out until after the marathon, so I’ll be wearing a big bandaid patch on that area because I know this no-big-deal annoyance can turn painful in a marathon.

Most Unexpected Happening. Running with new people. I was a solo runner the past two marathon training cycles, but one of my 2015 goals was to be open to running with people. Sure enough, I made some interesting friends along this training cycle. I ran with four new people at various times, and I’m not sure we have all that much in common other than that we run. Ha. And while they’re not regular running buddies, it was an unexpectedly fun experience to share a few of my weekend runs with people I’d otherwise not have gotten to know better. I’m still bent towards running alone, but running with people was better than I thought it was going to be. Spoken like a true borderline misanthrope.

Oh! And I got to “meet” via email one of the bloggers I’ve followed for the past few years. Jim from 50 after 40 was kind enough to share his experience with me, and I got some important info about tempo runs and incorporating marathon paces into my long runs. Unfortunately injury made applying some of this information moot, but it was still super cool to connect with someone who’s been an inspiration to me the past couple years.

Best Run. The one I wiped out in! Doing a run over twenty miles was one of the two additions to my training schedule this cycle, and this 22-miler was a big confidence booster. Even the wipeout at 18 and ugly little scar it’s left was worth it.

knee

Worst Run. See Hollywood Half race recap. A struggle from start to finish, with a little “gift” post-race.

Coolest Routes. Well, there was the time I ran through the Bywater in New Orleans. That was pretty cool.

09

But on the regular, I’d have to say it’s the ridgeline about 1.65 miles into the main trail up on Mulholland. Gorgeous, and I can’t wait to get up there again. I had to give up trail running after my calf injury as I couldn’t risk straining my calf again, but I’m itching to get back on that dirt again.

sm mountains. jpg

Biggest Lesson. Well, so maybe the Hollywood Half wasn’t a total disaster. I learned an important lesson on my fueling strategy. I didn’t hydrate enough — hence the cramping – and you can best believe that I’m hyper conscious of my fluid intake this entire week. Also, I will not be running the marathon on an empty stomach!

Most Mary Moment. The pool running debacle. Of course I would get motion sick running in a pool.

Well this is awkward.
Well this is awkward.
So there you have it. If you’ve been reading my weekly updates…thanks! This blogging experience has been a weirdly fun endeavor for me, and I’ve appreciated the support. So here we go, the last week before I run the race that launched the blog!

Hope everyone has a great running week!

Total weekly mileage: 26
Long run: 12 miles (0 MP)
Cross-training: As if.

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