Week 12 of marathon training

Another week of training for the Grand Rapids Marathon is in the books. Although it was a stepback week, it felt challenging enough. That’s partially because I was coming off a hard week last week, and because I squeezed all of the runs in without taking a day off until Sunday. Here’s what I did for week 12:

Monday: Ran 4 miles. I had the day off for Labor Day and chose to sleep in. By the time I got out, the sun was pretty warm, but half of my route was in the shade anyway. My quads were still sore from the Milford 30K, but I felt them more on stairs than I did while running.

Tuesday: Ran 8 miles – 7 x 800 repeats plus warm up and cool down. Matt and I hit the track to do a speed workout. Matt has paced me through a few of my track workouts, but I know he needs to get some practice running his own (much faster) repeats. I knew I needed to work on hitting the right pace on my own. The last time I did 800s, I feel like I pushed a bit harder than I should have. Following the Yasso 800s rule, if I run 10 800s at a time of 3:30 each (a 7:00 pace), it can be predicted that I might be capable of a 3:30 marathon. Since I’m aiming for roughly 3:35, I probably don’t need to run my 800s much faster than a 7:00 pace. I ran 6:43 and faster last time, so I aimed to keep myself slower this time around.

I thought a slower pace should be easy enough to maintain, but this was still a tough workout. My legs were probably still recovering from the hard 20 I ran on Saturday. Despite tired legs, I stayed pretty consistent, hitting paces of 6:54-6:58. I’d settled on a goal of 6:50-7:00, so I was right on track. I did 400m jogs in between repeats to recover, incorporating some walking after my third or fourth 800. I struggled to catch my breath after a few repeats and the walking helped. I figure if I could still pull this off with such tired legs, I’m in pretty good shape.

Wednesday: 40 minutes of strength training followed by 5 miles on the treadmill. After the previous day’s workout, I made sure to take it slow and easy for this run.

Thursday: Ran 6 miles. I kept this trail run easy because I planned to run 6 more miles the next morning.

Friday: Ran 6 miles at marathon pace. Friday is usually my rest day, but with family plans on Sunday, I thought it would be best to shift my rest day to Sunday. Doing this run in the morning meant a ridiculously early treadmill run. I wondered if I’d be pressing my luck doing my Thursday and Friday 6-mile runs only 10 hours apart, but it all worked out. I averaged just under my marathon pace and felt good.

Work was busy and I kept moving all day, keeping me from crashing too hard from the super early morning. By the time I got out of the car after my drive home, it was a different story. I was wiped out. We were supposed to go to a concert, but I was so tired I bailed on those plans. I guess I can’t do it ALL!

Saturday: Ran 12 miles. The idea of 12 miles as my long run seemed easy in theory since I’d done 20 last weekend. After so many consecutive days of running, it was still a bit intimidating. Matt and I did most of this run together. We ventured out to some dirt roads for part of the run. It’s always fun to see that we have more isolated farm country so close to an area that’s so busy. We also ran by the Rochester Museum and Van Hoosen Farm. It’s really pretty around there, so I took several photos.

Van Hoosen Farm

Van Hoosen Farm

Stream by the Rochester Museum

Stream by the Rochester Museum

A bridge behind the Rochester Museum

A bridge behind the Rochester Museum

More by the museum

More by the museum

A path leading from the farm back towards downtown Rochester

A path leading from the farm back towards downtown Rochester

I averaged about 30 seconds above race pace for this one, and ran the last mile just above race pace. So, it was definitely a good run. It’s usually a good sign when I can finish strong.

Sunday: Rest (phew!)

Totals for the week: 41 miles of running, strength training once.

I ran 8 days in a row without a break thanks to my schedule shuffling. Prior to marathon training, I worried that running 3 back-to-back days might make my shin problem unbearable. Running 8 days in a row and still feeling okay tells me that I’ve made a lot of progress.

By Friday, I was especially hungry and thirsty. I guess running 6 miles Thursday night followed by 6 miles Friday morning can explain that. I didn’t have a big dinner or a big breakfast after either run, so I was ready for a second lunch by 2:00 on Friday. I am lucky enough to sit next to someone at work who is also training for a marathon, so we were both trying to get our hands on any food we could!

With my second 20-mile run coming up next weekend, I decided to sign up for the Romeo to Richmond half marathon. The Milford 30K was perfect to work into a 20-mile training day because I only had to add 1.4 miles to get the full distance. I’ll have to add 7 miles to get to my full distance next Sunday. The race follows the Macomb Orchard Trail, so I will probably try to get 7 in on the trail before the race starts. I think the race atmosphere is a good way to get through a long run. Plus, it happens to fall on my birthday. When I’m lucky enough to celebrate my birthday on a weekend, it seems fitting to run a race. I did that last year by running the Rochester Rotary 10K. That course was short and I wasn’t totally thrilled with the organization of the race, but it was still fun. I’m expecting a much more organized and enjoyable experience with this year’s birthday run. With 10 miles at race pace the day before, I should have pretty tired legs and will not be racing this one.

On to another busy week of running 50+ miles!

– Janet


2 thoughts on “Week 12 of marathon training

  1. Pingback: Week 2….. | darlene's blog: a tongue-in-cheek look at losing weight after 50!

  2. Pingback: Finished My First 15K!! The Ironhorse 15K | Chatter Gets Fit

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