My 13th week of training is complete, and I now have 5 weeks until the Grand Rapids Marathon. Higdon’s Advanced 1 training plan is still going well. A week of 50+ miles ending with a half marathon PR tells me that it must be working! Here’s what I did for week 13:
Monday: 40 minutes of strength training followed by an easy 4-mile run on the trail.
Tuesday: 10 miles on the treadmill. I think 10 miles is about the most I’ve ever done on a treadmill. Somehow I survived. My car said it was 100 degrees outside when I left work, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I debated between suffering in the heat versus suffering on the treadmill, and the treadmill seemed like the better option. I usually survive the treadmill best when I do intervals because changing the pace every half mile or so gives me something to strive for. This was supposed to be an easy run, so I started around a 9-minute pace, worked down to an 8-minute pace for half a mile, then slowed down to around a 9-minute pace to finish.
My key to treadmill survival lately is to listen to funny podcasts. Dave & Chuck the Freak keep me distracted and entertained. The tricky part is that sometimes they crack me up so much that I laugh out loud. Of course they had me laughing when I was trying to maintain an 8-minute pace, so that was a bit challenging. I also listened to a Patcast for part of the run. Pat Monahan, lead singer of the band Train, interviews people and does a song or two with them. This Patcast featured Matt Nathanson, one of my favorite musicians. Matt is practically a comedian too, so I was very entertained. I was thankful for these podcasts because they helped me survive an hour and 25 minutes on the treadmill!
Wednesday: 30 minutes of strength training followed by 5 miles on the treadmill. It was crazy hot outside again and storms were on the way. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to beat the storms, so it was another treadmill day. I listened to music this time around and varied my speed again to keep it somewhat tolerable. The storms were pretty bad when I left the gym, so I definitely made the right choice.
Thursday: Ran 7 hill repeats and made it to 7.5 miles total. Luckily the temperatures dropped to the high 70s by the time I started this run. Hill workouts are already intimidating enough, so I was glad I didn’t have to worry about the heat as well. I ran a couple miles on the trail to warm up, then hit the hill. I was not excited about doing hill repeats at all. However, when the first couple weren’t too bad, it made me feel better about it.
I made it through the workout just fine and aimed to do a couple miles to cool down. By that point, it was getting pretty cloudy and I knew rain was coming soon. I knew I should stick close to home in case I had to bail on the cool down, yet somehow I convinced myself to run a mile down the trail. That was a bad idea, because of course the rain started once I was exactly a mile out. There was quite a downpour and I was drenched pretty quickly. It can be kind of fun to run in the rain until the mixture of sweat and water gets into my eyes. When my eyes start to burn, it’s not so fun anymore. Instead of running a nice cool down pace, I went faster than I should have following the hill workout. As a result, I aggravated my shin problem.
Saturday: Ran 10 easy miles on the trail. My schedule called for 10 miles at marathon pace. That was originally my plan, then I’d run 20 miles on Sunday. I planned to run the Romeo 2 Richmond half marathon at an easy pace on Sunday. I realized the weather was going to be nice and cool on Sunday, and I knew the race course was flat and fast. I had a feeling it would be difficult to discipline myself and take it easy during the race. I decided I should run Saturday’s 10 miles at an easy pace and save the faster pace for Sunday. It was nice and cool Saturday morning, so I didn’t feel the need to get up early to beat the heat. That meant I finally got a solid 9 hours of sleep – that never happens anymore! I ran into running buddies Jeff (see his blog at Detroit Runner) and Kevin right after I started, so I ran with them for a few miles as they finished their 20-mile run. It was nice to have the company. I also got to see a couple of police horses on the trail, and that made me smile.
Sunday: Ran 16 miles between the Romeo 2 Richmond half marathon and a warm up run. I had my second 20-mile run on the schedule. However, I had decided I would run 3 miles before the race and give a pretty solid effort during the race. Even though that would only get me to 16 miles total, I figured the hard effort would help make up for a few less miles. I didn’t know how hard I’d be able to run, but hoped I’d at least run at marathon pace. I did run marathon pace…for the first mile. After that, my pace was roughly 10-20 seconds under marathon pace for a good portion of the run. I ended up with a new PR by over 2.5 minutes! Hopefully I’ll write a recap of the race in the next few days.
Totals for the week: 52.7 miles of running and strength training twice.
I was pretty thrilled with the results of this week’s training. I knew I was well overdue to break my half marathon PR, but didn’t expect to do it by 2.5 minutes at the end of a week with 50+ miles. I probably pressed my luck by running the race so hard, and I’m hoping it doesn’t set me back in my training at all. I have another down week coming up, so hopefully that will help me recover. I’m pretty excited about how well training has gone so far, and I just need to keep it up for 5 more weeks.