Akron Marathon Training: Week Seven

What a difference a week can make. This week had the perfect running weather. Lows in the 50’s,  highs in the 60’s-70’s, it almost felt like fall. This weather was exactly what I needed to get back on track. I kept Tuesday’s run pretty easy, just a simple out and back with a little bit of wind. I headed to the track on Thursday and was in between ladders and mile repeats. Last minute I decided on mile repeats and I’m so glad I did.

I started with an easy warm up and naturally went out a little too quick on the first mile. Knowing that I had to do three, I tried to slow my pace down and eventually got to 8:24. Last time I did mile repeats my first one was at 8:22, so I wasn’t far off. I took about a three minute break and then began my second one. I started off too quick again, and by the second lap I was feeling really tired. But I wasn’t going to give up. I reminded myself that there will be moments like this during the marathon, where my legs and body want to give up, but I have to keep going. I dug deep and pulled out an 8:05 for my second mile, my fastest mile since college. I had one more left and wasn’t sure what kind of time I was going to pull. I gave it another shot and kept telling myself that these are the days that make you stronger. Stronger indeed, I ran 8:04, negative splits for mile repeats.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3xmile 8:24, 8:05, 8:04, 1 mile c/d

Friday: Off

Saturday: 18 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 26 Miles

Saturday was rough, and ugly and I’m glad it’s over. I was supposed to meet up with an MCRR runner at the woods for some miles Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, I saw groups of runners, but never saw her. I’m not sure what happened, but it put a small damper on the start of my day. The weather was cool, but it was still humid and damp. I started around the marsh and then headed around the pond to the woods. I wasn’t feeling it and was struggling beyond belief. My pace was dropping and I thought about doing the same. I finished up 5 miles, and unfortunately the only thing I enjoyed were the views.

Outskirts of the woods

Outskirts of the woods

Saturday morning drizzle

Saturday morning drizzle

I had to think of a way to get the last 13 miles in, and so I became creative. I headed to the rec center and tried to run as many miles on the indoor track as I could. After 50 laps, or 5 miles, I was getting tired and could feel my energy level was going down. I knew that because I was breaking up my run, my  hydration and fueling rituals were nothing like they should have been. I came back home and ate part of a granola bar, thinking of my next way to get miles in. By this time the rain was picking up and I debated on trying again the next day. Our complex has the world’s smallest gym, so I tried the treadmill in there. Within the first mile my knee was starting to bug me and I knew it was from running the same direction for so long on the track. After two miles, I gave in. I had no energy, I was over heating and I was in a ton of pain. I was frustrated and still 6 miles short of the 18 I needed to run.

I went back home, showered, ate a 500 calorie cinnamon roll, and stretched out for quite some time. There was finally a break in the weather that afternoon and I ventured out to attempt the last 6 miles. I started out slow and tried to stay as hydrated as I could. My legs felt good and I surprisingly felt better than I had all day. I ran an out and back with a small loop added on the end. I ran up to our front door, heard my Garmin beep and was relieved that the longest 18 miles of my training was done.

Go to long run combo

Go to long run combo

I really struggled with my run Saturday. Part of it was because it was split up into so many different routes and miles. The other reason was because I never hit that 18 mile training run for Columbus. Because I was injured, I only made it to 16. I knew that this would be a challenge, but I feel like I accomplished more than just 18 miles, I made it over the mental roadblock of actually training for a marathon. And yes, I know it wasn’t run all at once, but the will power I had to keep coming back until I got those 18 miles in will help on race day. At least I hope so.

What I learned:

No bullet points this week, but I did learn one thing that will stick with me for a very long time. It wasn’t until Saturday night that I realized how amazing the support system you have is during training. I’ve never had a single run where Darren is telling me to hurry up and finish, or to skip it. He’s never complained about a run getting in the way of plans or a busy weekend. And I think it’s great. Having a support system is huge, especially when you’re getting deep into your training. Whenever I feel doubt, I think about crossing the finish line at Columbus, where he was waiting, open armed and tears in his eyes. 26.2 miles is a long way to run, but it’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears to see the love from your support system at the finish line.

 

Have you ever broken up a long run? How big is your support system?

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2 thoughts on “Akron Marathon Training: Week Seven

  1. gedert014 says:

    I think breaking up a long run could be beneficial because I am absolutely terrified to run my 20 miler in a few weeks. You did great though! I am loving this weather too! I was so scared to run a fall marathon because of how hot it gets here. Thank goodness for a break from the heat!

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