Marathon Training: Week 6 & 7, 7/11-7/23/16

It’s been 2 weeks since my last update, and that’s because I was away on vacation to visit some friends and I really just tried to relax and enjoy my time away from “real life” including my blog.

I last left off with my Boilermaker 15K Recap. A race that I gave my all, and have spent the last 2 weeks recovering from it…

Mon 7/11- The day after the Boilermaker was a rest day for me, I had the day off from work so I was able to sleep in until 8:30 and be a little lazy in the morning.

Tues 7/12- I was up around 7 in order to get a run in before my flight to head off to the beach! The run started off a little rough as I hobbled through my first steps due to some pain/tightness in my right hip flexors. I did loosen up some but I took it nice and easy.

 

I made it to my Florida destination with no problem, but when I woke up Wednesday my muscles were tighter than the day before. I tried to stretch it out some, but it wasn’t really helping. After lounging around a pool pretty much all day, I did fit a little workout in. My equipment was limited- just a couple of hand weights- so I just made up the workout as I went, and broke a good sweat thanks to working out in a “Florida Room” it was like a sauna!

Thurs 7/14- I spent the morning relaxing on a BEAUTIFUL beach!

Then that night I braved the temperatures and humidity to try to get an interval workout in. The good thing was there was a gravel track at a small park as well as a cemetery near my friend’s house, which were perfect for doing laps. Unfortunately that run didn’t go that great… I was still sore/stiff so again the first steps were rough. I did 1 mile warm up than 4x.50, with .25 walk/jog rest. My 1/2 mile splits were nowhere near my usual speed, I averaged 3:46, which was nowhere near my best, but it was better than skipping the workout all together.  The nice thing was that after I finished my run, I was able to jump into a pool and cool off!

Fri 7/15- My friend and I went out on Stand-up Paddle Boarding for an hour. It was her first time doing it, so we just took our time and enjoy the scenery.

Sat 7/16- I had a 12 mile run on my training schedule, but with my hip still being sore, and with the warm temperatures/humidity I didn’t want to end up pushing too much that I wouldn’t be able to run for a week or more. Plus I didn’t want to end up dehydrated like I was at the Boilermaker. So I told myself I would break it up into 2×6 miles, that way I would stop back at my friend’s house for water. I also brought some Gatorade gel blocks with me to test those out. I was out the door around 7:45a, which was a little later than I planned but I had a hard time getting out of bed. But I reminded myself that once I got going I would feel better I got it done and out-of-the-way for the day.

When I started running, I again wasn’t moving very fast (11+ min mile pace for the first 1/2 mile or so), but by mile 3 I was getting into my groove a little more, and had a gel which went well. As i got closer to mile 6 I was feeling ok, but I was definitely ready for some water. So when I got back to my friend’s house I practically chugged 24 oz of Propel infused water, and I also jumped in the pool to cool off. It felt nice to cool off, and my hip had loosened up so I decided to go back out for more, and did 3 more miles and told myself if my hip felt ok I would do 3 more later in the day to get to my 12.  Of course that night we went out to dinner and out for artistic ice so the additional run didn’t happen, but 9/12 was pretty good considering the fact that I was hobbling around when I walked.

Sun 7/17- Was a very special day as my friend’s daughter had her baptism and I was the Godmother, so the day was filled with those events and no workout.

Mon 7/18 Was a 4 mile easy run day. I was out the door at 7:40 because we had a beach day planned for my last full day of vacation. My hip was still sore, but better than a few days ago. The first quarter-mile was slow again, but by mile 4 I was feeling pretty good so I went a little longer to make up for the shorter miles on Saturday.

After my run, I enjoyed this beautiful beach…..

And later that night this even prettier sunset!!!

Tues 7/19- Was my last day on vacation. I spent my last few hours in Florida at the beach, and then it was time to head back home

Until next time Florida

Wed 7/20-I thankfully had a ‘vacation recovery’ day from work, so I could sleep in some after getting home around 1 am. My hip was feeling the best it had felt since the Boilermaker, not 100% but I could at least walk without hobbling, and only limping a little. I had intervals on my schedule but I didn’t have a lot of expectations.

I did 1 mile warmup, then did 5x.50 with .25 walk/jog rest. I ran on my high school alma mater’s track and there was a lacrosse game going on, but there were other people running so I figured I was ok to be on the track too. These distractions help my miles go quickly. My splits were MUCH better than last week and I averaged 3:26 (3:23.6,3:19.8, 3:28.4, 3:32.8, 3:27.7). When I finished up I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had achieved a new mile personal best… 7:38!! Someday I hope to be able to run that regularly!

Thurs 7/21- Was back to reality (work and responsibilities). I went to the wellness clinic and talked with some of the student workers (exercise science majors) just to get some thoughts on what I could do to make my hip feel better. They suggested a variety of stretches, so I did that for about 15 minutes and that seemed to help. I also gave my legs a break and just did a 20 minute upper body day.

Fri 7/22- Fridays are usually my rest day, but after not working out as I should have while on vacation. I get out at 3p on Fridays during the summer and told myself I would use the extra 2 hours for myself, and going to the wellness clinic was something I enjoyed doing. I got a really good stretching and foam rolling session in, then did an upper body/core workout for about a 1/2 hour before heading home.

Sat 7/23- I had 14 miles on my training schedule. It was a lot of mental preparation in order to get through it since I had never run that distance before. I decided to run on the local ‘rail trail’ which has a 2 mile section (4 miles out and back) and 1.5 mile (3 miles), so I parked in the middle so I would never be too far away from water. My plan was to think of the run as 2×7 mile runs. I also brought 2 big water bottles- 1 with Propel infused water and the other with Gatorade, plus I brought 3 gel blocks with me.

I started this monumental run bright and early to beat the heat (6:45a, which is early for me! As I had to wake up at 5:30 to get some food in my body). I took it nice and easy, so as to not overheat plus my hip flexors were still a little sore. Throughout the run, I stopped regularly for fueling (maybe too much?), and a couple of times I just stopped for a minute (stopping my watch of course!) in the shade to cool down. Breaking the run up into this 1.5-2 mile increments for the last 7 miles really helped me get through the miles.

I was very consistent through all these miles. My first 7 miles pace were all within 6 seconds of each other (9:43-9:50). After the halfway mark I tried to pick it up a little bit and paced between 9:36-9:45. It made me wonder whether my marathon goal pace of 9 minute miles may be too ambitious. However with the weather and the fact that long runs are supposed to be slow, I am not going to get too hung up on determining a realistic time goal, when really I just want to be able to finish the race.

Goal achieved!

Once I finished my run I felt good knowing I had gotten all my miles in before 9:15am and I could get on with my day. It was as much a mental win for me today as it was a physical achievement. Only 8 more weeks to go.

Week 6 Totals (including the Boilermaker miles): 27.54 miles

Week 7 Totals: 24.76 miles

 

This post is long enough (thanks for reading), so I just want to leave one recommended article from Runner’s World about enjoying the little natural moments that can happen on a run.

Until next time!

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