Two months of training are done and time is just flying by! This week wasn’t how I originally planned, but I did what I could. Monday I was still a little sore from my trail race, but got a great workout in at Body Fusion. It was probably one of my hardest classes, but the yoga section was beyond rewarding.
Tuesday I had weird legs pains all day. The pain would move from my hip, to my knee, to my quad and start all over again. I was a little concerned for my workout, but decided to play it by ear. I got to the track and magically everything felt great. We ran 7×800’s around my goal marathon time, and honestly, I think they may have been too slow. I know I didn’t want to over do it with the heat, but I definitely think I could have pushed myself a little harder. Iced, stretched and rolled after and of course nothing hurt.
Wednesday I wasn’t sure how my body would feel so I planned on taking it easy. I had some small twinges, but after stretching a lot at work, I felt ok enough to run. I decided to keep it close to home in case I needed to turn around, but thankfully I didn’t need to. The first few steps on the sidewalk were stiff, but once I got to my trail I felt great and knocked out 4 beautiful miles in the almost fall like weather.
Thursday I had some minor pain in my knee and didn’t want to risk it too much, so I treated myself to an hour massage. I know my body has been beat up in the last few weeks with hills, higher mileage and some major trails, so I needed to get my legs out of this funk. Getting a massage was the best decision I made because I came out of there with absolutely no pain at all. My quads were as tight as can be and had some huge knots, so it felt great to get those all worked out.
Friday I took as a rest day as a precaution from the week’s pain, but I was definitely feeling much better, and pain free for my long run on Saturday.
Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga
Tuesday: 4.75 Miles, .5 mile w/u, 7×800(4:17, 4:18, 4:23, 4:20, 4:18, 4:10, 4:08), .75 mile c/d
Wednesday: 4 Miles
Thursday: 1 Hour Massage
Saturday: 18 Miles
Total Miles: 27 Miles
I did my long run on Saturday hoping to avoid the rain that was supposed to hit us all weekend. Jeanne met at my house and we started our 18 mile journey, with the goal pace of staying around 10:00 minute miles. The weather was beautiful, still a little humid, but Saturday morning at 6:30am could be one of the best looking times of the day!
I was feeling pretty strong and really tried to keep my focus on my pace. Jeanne is quicker than me, so I didn’t want to push myself too early on and struggle halfway through. Our first loop was on back roads and traffic was relatively quiet. It took my legs a few miles to warm up, but I had no pain, so I felt great.
After our loop we headed to the trail nearby and ran an out an back of just about 7 miles. It felt so great to be in the shade and feel the crushed limestone under my feet. We fueled at 5 miles, and stopped for a port-a-potty break at 7 miles before turning back on the trail. Between mile 8-9 I could feel myself become a little tired, but the thought of getting to stop at home for ice cold water at mile 10.5 kept me going.
We stopped at my house at 10.5 miles and filled up on cold water and fueled again. I started to get nervous wondering if I could actually complete the full 18 miles, but Jeanne reassured me it was all in my head and my legs would take me the full long run.
The next part of the run was a 4 mile out and back through some nearby developments, and I focused so hard on thinking it was just 4 miles. There was a slight incline that started to wear down my legs and by mile 13 I was struggling. At this point everything hurt and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it the last 5 miles. This was also the point where my pace was closer to 10:30 than 10:00 and I could definitely feel a difference.
We refueled at mile 14 and filled up on ice water again. We also adjusted our last out and back so we could get back on the trail and take advantage of the shade. It was at this point in my run that I focused on each mile as though it was it’s own. It was no longer about making it to 18, but rather making it to the next mile. And so we went back and forth on the trail over and over until we hit that magical number.
Finishing that 18 miler was probably more important to me than finishing 20. Last year I completely failed at 18, and this year, I needed it more than anything. What surprised me the most was my pace, I had no idea I’d actually be close to finishing in 3 hours. And although I struggled in the last four miles, I was pretty much where I hoped to be and ended up with an average of 10:10 pace.
The only downside to the run was I was completely dehydrated afterward. I tried to drink lots of water, but it wasn’t enough. I also only took a salt tab at the first hour instead of taking them each hour. Lesson learned, I need to stick with my salt tabs and drink lots of water during my run, because the rest of the weekend my body was out of it.
Sunday I had planned on an evening recovery run, but woke up with a strong pain on the inside of my left knee. Nice to see that when one knee is pain free, the other picks up something new. I’m slightly concerned because I’ve had this pain before and know that it can lead to some major issues. I just don’t know how it happened, but I’m assuming it was at some point in my 18 miles.
This next week will most likely have to change due to my knee. I’m still pretty far out from race day, but don’t want to do anything now that I’ll regret later on. I also feel that my legs need a bit of a break. They’re still beat up from the Trail Monster race, and I’m hoping I didn’t do anything too harmful to jeopardize my marathon.