Hi guys! Thanks for bearing with me for a day while we regrouped from our Chicago trip. Week 10 of marathon training was surprisingly tough for me. It was one of the ‘down’ weeks structured into the training plan, where you’re basically recovering from a few hard weeks of training prior. This week’s long run was just 13 miles and only one difficult workout was planned. This week was the point that I remembered how much of a mental sport running can be.
Good parts of my week of marathon training included a run in Chicago!! WOO HOO! I love Chicago, it’s such a beautiful city and it was a joy to get in an easy run while I was there, 5 lovely miles along Lake Michigan. Also, I managed to squeeze in a very rare evening run back home in Brooklyn. I have evening clients a couple of nights a week and an evening Skype session with my parents every week, so evening runs are normally out of the question. But last Tuesday I took Roman to the park for a quick rampage just before dinner time – the weather was perfectly crisp and Autumnal. There were so many people out on the loop running and I was totally envious. So the next day, I timed it with Fran so I could sneak out for 5 miles as soon as he got home. It was awesome. I love running in the evening, around dusk.
I also did a Tempo run this week. Basically, the plan was to run 2 miles at regular run pace, then 3 miles at half-marathon pace, followed by another 2 miles at regular run pace. On top of that, the NYRR Virtual Trainer plan suggested I run it on a 400m track, so it would be boring and mentally tough to run, to prepare for the mental struggle you face at various points during the race. I only had a 200m track available and when I checked with a coach online in the program’s forum, she suggested I scrap the track and do it outside, since 56 laps of a short track would be rough on my IT Band. So I did it outside and I FLEW. For the first mile of the fast part, I actually thought my watch had broken. I ran WAY. TOO. FAST. It just felt comfortable. So that was kind of a good thing, except I think that’s why my Long Run kind of sucked this week.
Long Run: 13 miles. But here’s the thing – look at what the training program wrote:
I do not do well with this kind of vague instruction. First of all, “a few”? I understand ‘a few’ to mean more than two. So is a 10 mile run fine? Is 9 miles too short? And what exactly constitutes “physically and/or mentally tired”? Long runs are tiring – that’s kind of the point. Anyway, I headed out, all went smoothly until about mile 8 and then I got slower, wondering if I should think about cutting it short.
This would not even have been in my head if it wasn’t written in the plan!!
Anyway, long story short, I almost took a short loop to turn it into an 11 miler, then I thought of having to write about how I cut my long run short and ‘fess up to you guys. So I turned around and finished a long loop to make it 13. And I ended up having a good solid last two miles, as fast as my first few miles. It was DEFINITELY a taste of the mind games you start playing when you’re out running for a long time.
It also made me feel nervous about the marathon itself. I don’t remember if I felt this way in my training in 2010. Honestly, since I had an injury during training, I think I was just happy my body could actually complete the long runs towards the end.
This coming week of training is going to be SUPER challenging for me. (I will share why in my recap next Monday!) Let’s just say I will be scrambling for the time to fit all my runs in for the week.
MILES FOR WEEK: 34
Before I forget, the winner from the RUN 10 FEED 10 giveaway was Ja from Ja on the Run! Congrats Ja, check your email and the limited edition tote bag plus goodies will be on their way to you soon!
And now I will leave you with some photos from our fun weekend in Chicago!