Marathon training for me is almost all mental. Workouts (especially tempo workouts) are hard, but most of the time they are within my grasp physically. Still, sometimes I lack the mental fortitude to stay on pace for miles on end. So in Week 13, I started doing my tempo/marathon pace runs on the treadmill. This way, I don't have to think about pace - I just have to keep up with the belt. It's probably a lazy way to do things, but it's helping my confidence. I *can* do these workouts, but sometimes I want to be a big baby.
Week 12 was hard. I was tired most of the week and felt like I was off of my game in training. One morning I didn't want to run and burst into tears. I knew it was just a low energy moment, but it was annoying anyway. In retrospect, I think I was still recovering from my half marathon. Because I didn't give myself much recovery time after that race in Week 9, I think I prolonged the recovery period. Does that make sense? Whatever. I was tired. And I'm a big baby. And I've got this half-broken brain that worries me sometimes.
Week 13 was better, but I was completely freaked out about my Thursday tempo run. The past two tempo runs hadn't gone well and I knew I needed to do better if I was going to get anywhere near 4:00 or 4:10 in the marathon. Despite my massive procrastination and nearly crippling fear, I managed to do the 9-mile run at a 9:13 pace, which is a few seconds shy of my target pace, but it's the closest I can get to 4:00 (9:09/mile) marathon pace on the treadmill. That felt great. At the end of the week I had my second 16-miler. As usual, I struggled more mentally than physically, and I was pretty far off pace for most of the run, but I picked it up in the last five miles and ended up close to my goal pace of 9:53.
Over these two weeks, I started having more consistent aches in the usual places in my right leg: IT band and posterior tib tendon. I've mentioned before that my right leg is all whacked. It's a miracle I'm running 50-mile weeks right now. If you saw me run, you'd be amazed too. Anyway, I wondered if my aches were related to my shoes getting old. I was alternating between two pair of the same shoes (Asics GT-2170), each with just 200 miles on them, but I run with the stride of a 250-pound gorilla, thanks to an MS relapse years ago that took some of my motor control from my right side. Or maybe I was always an ape, I don't know. Regardless, I got a new pair of the same shoes and started using them in Week 14. All the aches vanished, which is such a relief and makes me so happy. Of course I can find a downside to this: running shoes, when attached to my feet, have a 200-mile limit! This makes running a little less thrifty of a hobby than I thought.
Week 14 was great. I felt good and my tempo run felt better than ever. I ratcheted up the treadmill a little more than last week, so my average pace was 9:05. For 9 miles! Pretty impressive for this ape-like lady. Anyway I think I pulled something in my quad during that run, so Friday's easy run was not really that easy. And then... wait for it... I took Saturday off! An unscheduled day off! I spent most of the day considering (that's a nice way to put it) whether I should run or not, so I can't say it was totally relaxing, but it was probably good for me. Today's 10 mile long run was awesome. My legs are feeling great (new shoes!) and my pace was zippy. I was impressed with how good I felt after just one day of rest. I'm feeling pretty confident about Disney.
Here are the deets:
|12||5 easy||9 (4x1.5@9:00)||off||11 (9@9:31)||5 easy||8 easy||10 long||48|
|13||7 easy||9 (3x2mi@9:00)||off||11 (9@9:13)||6 Easy||6 easy||16 long||55|
|14||4.5 easy||9 (2x3mi@9:00)||off||11 (9@9:05)||5.5 Easy||off||10 long||40|
Week 15 will be my last high-mileage week, with a 16-miler at the end. After that, it's the "taper". The Hanson's plan doesn't have a typical taper, but the long runs get shorter and, well, the last week is pretty easy. Tuesday and Thursday workouts continue in Week 16 and 17, but it should feel better without the longer runs.