I feel like I finally have had a successful week of training. That’s kind of a scary statement considering there are only three more weeks until my marathon, but it’s true. I haven’t been especially proud of my training for this race, especially considering my previous marathon and coaching experience.
In any case, it is what it is and there is no use regretting the things that I didn’t do. Things like follow a specific written plan instead of just taking it week to week. Things like not pushing myself out the door earlier on the days I need to go to work. And things like skipping the speed work. Nope! I’m not going to worry about those things.
Instead, I will focus on the things I did do. I have gradually increased my mileage, which is really the most important thing for me in my first marathon in eight years. I am not in “race mode,” there is no possibility of setting a PR (I actually giggled when I wrote that). I just want to finish, preferably strong, in less that 4:30. And honestly I wouldn’t mind a 4:20. I think I can do that if I offer my prayers to the asthma gods.
As I said, I am pleased with this last week of training. I managed to run a total of almost 31 miles, which I think is the most I’ve run, not only during my marathon training, but in a long, long time.
I did a little speed work too! It may be too late to be of any benefit for the race, but I think that speed work also strengthens my lungs which is always helpful. On Wednesday, after running about 1/2 mile with Penny, I ran 3.5 more miles, then did eight 1/4 mile intervals. My pace was pretty slow, between 2:08 on the slight uphill portion, and 1:56 on the downhill, but it did feel good to do it.
I have been trying to get my 20 mile run done for about three weeks. Finally, thanks to a combination of good weather and the power of positive thinking, I did it! It was 20.2 actually, and it was pretty slow and a little painful, but I did it.
This weekend, as planned, we got out earlier, about 5:10. We were held up a little, because the people we were supposed to meet (who were not running 20 so didn’t feel the necessity to get going like we did) arrived a little late.
We first did a loop of the cove (which is what the area in which I live is called), getting most of the uphills out of the way in the front end of the run. That brought us to 6.4 miles, so Alan and I headed east, which is a mostly flat, mostly hard packed dirt path, out and back.
I felt so much better during this run than my shortened effort last week, and even better than my 18 miles from three weeks ago. I had no asthma problems (well almost, I had to walk a couple time when I started to feel a little dizziness, shortness of breath, but the walking worked and I didn’t have to use my inhaler). I was adequately fueled, though I hadn’t received my shipment of Reload Gels and had to use another type. I stopped twice to refill my bottle, once at my super-secret best bathroom stop, the second time at a fire station about four miles from my finish. The best stop actually, because they have an ice machine and are generous about sharing.
I didn’t take any pictures on the run on Saturday because I was focused on getting it done and didn’t want to mess around with my camera. However, on Sunday’s run, which was a short recovery run with the dogs, I wanted to spend more time taking pictures than running, so I took a lot!
A weird thing happened when I was taking my second batch of dogs out (the three little girls, Olivia, Lily, and Coco). We just came out the front door, and of course they’re pulling and excited, when something fell off the roof and hit Olivia on the head! It was a piece of the tile! Fortunately, it didn’t land right on her, just skimmed her head, but it scared her, poor baby. Alan took the other two and I picked up Olivia and she snuggled in while I cuddled her. I felt bad because I wasn’t sure if she realized that I hadn’t done it!
After a minute she was okay and we were able to go for our run. I just run a mile with the little dogs, but they love it. And it poops them out!
So, workouts for the week:
Tuesday: One mile (like I said, I just can’t get out early enough!), strength class (though I am still babying my right elbow).
Wednesday: 6.25 miles, 4 miles at a moderate pace/2 miles of intervals (8x.25)/.25 cool down.
Thursday: Strength class
Saturday: 20.2 miles (woot!)
Sunday: 3 miles (plus about a mile of walking)
Total mileage: 30.6
More of the same coming up this week. I’ll try (I really will) to get out earlier on Tuesday. A tempo run on Wednesday, and one more 20 miler next weekend. Then it’s taper time! Alan and I are talking about going to San Diego (Encinitas) for the weekend, which will really serve two purposes. Cooler weather, as we can’t expect to get so lucky two weeks in a row in the desert, and an opportunity to run in the higher humidity of San Diego. Humidity has always been a challenge with my asthma, and I’d like to give my lungs a little practice with it.
Spring into Yoga
Because of my elbow problem, I decided to take a few days off earlier in the week (chaturangas were not helping), and then focus on standing poses for a couple days. I have been using MyYogaWorks videos, because I love the convenience and the quality of the classes. I just do what I can and skip what I think will hurt my elbow.
After finishing my run and having no pain at all in my elbow, though, I think I’m ready to get back fully into my practice. Maybe I’ll even make it to the studio…
How did your week go? Did you reach any milestones, participate in any races or other events? Enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day with your family?