This past week was another big one. It was my first time going over 50 miles in one week. All of this training brought a major high for monthly mileage as well – 210 miles for August. Somehow I’m still holding up. Here’s what week 11 looked like in training for the Grand Rapids Marathon:
Monday: 40 minutes of strength training followed by 4 easy miles on the treadmill. My shins were pretty sore after running 9 miles at marathon pace over the weekend, and they didn’t get any better after adding on 19 miles the next day. I took it extra easy on the treadmill and held up pretty well.
Tuesday: 7.5 miles on the treadmill. It was hot and humid outside, so I chose to stay inside. I had a 45-minute tempo run on the schedule and I always seem to do these workouts best on the treadmill. During marathon training, I’ve been running my tempo runs as cutdowns rather than maintaining a specific pace the whole time. I warmed up for a mile, then did a 5.5-mile cutdown run. I started the first half mile at an 8:27 pace and sped up each half mile, ending with a 7:24 pace for the final half mile. I finished up with a cool down mile. It was a solid run.
The run started out on a good note when OK Go’s video for “Here It Goes Again” began playing on one of the gym’s TVs right as I started. I didn’t start my own music until the video was done. It’s a song on my running playlist anyway! If there’s a chance you haven’t already seen this video, you should check it out. If you have seen it, you should check it out again anyway because it’s always fun to watch. At least I think it is.
Wednesday: Ran 5 miles on the trail. I was glad that I “only” had 5 miles to run because it was pretty hot outside. In addition, we had gone to a concert the night before and I was pretty tired. I took it easy, and staying in the shade for much of the run helped too.
Thursday: Ran 10 miles. I was a bit worried about running 10 miles after work when it was close to 90 degrees and sunny at the start. I’ve gotten a lot better at taking it slow during my runs. During summer runs in the past, I’d sometimes crash pretty hard. I’ve developed a much better feel for judging how fast I should really go in order to maintain my pace. One of my guides is my breathing. I know that if I’m huffing and puffing early, it will probably get ugly later. If I run at a pace where I don’t hear my breathing, it will probably be easy enough for me to maintain the pace. I ran the trails for a bit and neighborhoods for a bit for some variety. I did go through the full 21 oz. of GU Brew I brought. It was definitely a warm one. My pace at the end of the run was about the same as the pace at the beginning, and I wasn’t dying at the end. I considered it a success.
Saturday: Ran 20.14 miles. I ran 1.4 miles to warm up, then the Milford 30K. Read that recap here.
Sunday: Ran 10 miles. The way my schedule is set up, I normally would have run 10 miles on Saturday followed by 20 on Sunday. I swapped the runs due to the race, and wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to pull off 10. My shins were a bit sore and my quads were feeling it after all of the hills during the race. One bonus is that I finally got some decent sleep – probably 8-9 hours. I rarely get that much anymore and it was really nice. I headed out for the run without any big expectations, sticking to the flat trails. It was super humid and I went slow. Somehow I made it through the full 10 miles successfully, and it was actually a decent run.
I tried to do a good amount of stretching after the run. Our pal Romeo always seems to show up whenever I roll, stretch, or do any kind of exercises on the floor. He seems to have a special radar and shows up almost immediately, making it difficult for me to do whatever I’m trying to do.
Totals for the week: Ran 56.6 miles, did strength training once.
I’ve come to accept that I’m not going to fit much cross-training in during marathon training. At a minimum, I will make sure I always get weights in at least once a week though. Aside from shin and quad soreness, I’m doing pretty good after such a crazy week. I only have 2 more weeks of training within my plan that will be this action-packed. This coming week will be a down week, which will be a big relief. Only 7 weeks to go!