Week 14 of marathon training

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.

Brooksie sign

Brooksie sign

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.

Brooksie sign

Boardwalk

Boardwalk

Boardwalk

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.

Just off the Paint Creek Trail

Just off the Paint Creek Trail

Just off the Paint Creek Trail

Just off the Paint Creek Trail

A friendly kitty on the trail

A friendly kitty on the 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!

– Janet

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