Week 14 was a stepback week with reduced mileage. During the week, I mostly ran 5 or 6 miles. My long weekend run was 12 miles. It was a relief to cut back a bit after last Sunday’s Romeo 2 Richmond Half Marathon. I pushed so hard during that race that I was cautious going into the next week of training. Here’s how it went:
Monday: Ran 5 easy miles on the trail. This was the day after the half marathon, and it’s probably one of the slowest runs I’ve done during this training segment. I wasn’t sure if I should even run, but figured I’d take it easy and give it a try. My calves were tight and I felt stiff. Around 3.5 miles I began to feel my left achilles. That’s never been a problem for me, so I took it extra slow. I iced my shins a bit and wore my calf/shin compression sleeves to bed and to work the next day.
Tuesday: Rest. I was supposed to run 6 miles, but thought taking the day off would be smart. Now is not the time to get injured!
Wednesday: 40 minutes of strength training followed by a 6-mile run. I listened to a Dave & Chuck podcast at the gym, and that’s not always the best idea. Laughing while lifting heavy things is not a good combination. It does keep the workout entertaining though. I went home and decided to try running the 6 miles I had on the schedule for yesterday. I felt a bit better, though my calves were still a bit tight and my shins were stiff. I was slow, but not as slow as I was on Monday. I used the foam roller and wore my compression sleeves to bed again.
Thursday: Ran 7.5 miles. I had a 45-minute tempo run on the schedule. I kept debating whether I should try the run outside or on the treadmill. I ultimately chose the treadmill because I thought I’d have more success hitting the paces. It’s way more challenging for me to do a tempo run and control the pace on my own than it is to mindlessly set the treadmill and just do it. It was the easy way out for me. I ran a mile to warm up, starting above a 9-minute pace. I cut down to 8:27, which is where I started the tempo portion. I ran a half mile at 8:27 and cut down each half mile for the next 5.5 miles – 8:20, 8:13, 8:06, 8:00, 7:53, 7:47, 7:41, 7:35, 7:30, and 7:24. It started to feel hard when I hit the 8-minute pace, but at some point I must have gotten into the flow and the rest wasn’t too bad. I was working hard by the end, but I was able to maintain it. I did a mile to cool down, and the run was a success. I wondered if I’d be able to pull it off because my calves were still a bit sore, but I was okay.
Friday: Ran 6 easy miles. Friday is usually my day off, but since I took Tuesday off, I kind of swapped rest days. I decided to switch my schedule around a bit and move my weekend runs a day earlier this weekend to allow me to run 20 miles next Saturday rather than Sunday. It was on the verge of raining when I was ready to run and there was a chance for storms, so I ran on the treadmill again. Of course the storms never came, but it did rain. I seem to do better on the treadmill when I try to run faster. This was a slow and easy run, and I didn’t have a good rhythm half the time. It wasn’t super enjoyable, but I got it done.
Saturday: Ran 12.5 miles. It wasn’t too warm outside, so I slept in a bit and started my run later. Luckily this run felt fine despite running 6 miles the night before. We live along the Brooksie Way course, so I saw a bunch of signs notifying people that the race is coming.
I mapped a route that would take me to the cool boardwalk area I had discovered a month or so ago. I enjoyed the distraction of the nice scenery for a little bit.
Sunday: 40 minutes of strength training followed by a 5-mile run. I’ve been doing strength training on my shortest run days lately, and with only 5 to run today, it seemed like a good time to hit the gym first. Matt was running 8 miles, so he started a little earlier and we met up for the last 5 of his run. It was in the 50s with a breeze and sunny, so it was a beautiful day for running. We did much of the run along the Paint Creek Trail.
We took it nice and easy because I have 10 miles on the schedule on Monday.
Totals for the week: 42 miles of running and strength training twice.
Luckily I seemed to recover okay from the Romeo 2 Richmond race. I was a little iffy for a few days, but a day off early in the week and easy runs helped. This next week will be the peak of my marathon training. I’ll be doing a couple of 10-mile runs, 8 x 800s, and my final 20-mile run. I will approach 60 miles by the end of the week. If I can survive the week, it should be smooth sailing the rest of the way. Only 4 weeks to go!