Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Twelve

What a week. If there is one word to describe my training lately, it’s a roller coaster. After last week’s let down, I was hoping to come back strong and nail every run. I’d say I was about 50/50 for runs this week.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and was a little disappointed with class. We used exercise bands and I felt more awkward than anything. Hopefully next week we’ll be back to normal weights and I can feel the burn rather than feel that I look ridiculous.

Tuesday we were at the track. Working my way up on 800 repeats I was able to keep all of them under 4:10 pace, and almost consistent. Motivation was lacking for all of us, and I never felt fantastic, but I got them done.

Closing down Tuesday night

Closing down Tuesday night

Wednesday I took off, but Thursday I was able to meet up with Second Sole. We had a group of 4 that stayed together and it was finally a good run. It was also the first run in over a week and a half I didn’t have stomach issues.

Friday was a rest day and my last chance to rest up before the weekend of back to back hard runs. Saturday was a local 5k for Type 1 Diabetes, the recap will come later this week.

Sunday was my long run, and I originally planned to do 20. Active Runner had a group run from Strongsville to Medina, and had both a 20 mile and 10 mile option. With a wake up call of 3:45, I managed to get myself up and ready and to Strongsville by 5:45 for a 6am start. Despite being extremely tired, I was ready….until I noticed my Garmin had a frozen screen and nothing I did fixed it. Luckily I could just count the miles with everyone else, but I knew my fueling would be a bit off.

I started with the 11:00 minute pace group because I knew it would be a hilly route. Within the first mile I was already sweating from humidity and knew it would be a rough day. Over the course of the next 6 miles, I tried to count when everyone’s Garmin beeped so I could fuel with water at every mile and Sport Beans every four. I made the mistake of waiting until mile six to take my salt tab, but it starting working a few minutes after taking it.

By this point I could feel that I wasn’t having a great day. The route was hilly and I felt so thirsty. I could also feel my knees starting to hurt and a slight pain in my arch showed up by mile 7-8. At mile 10 I knew I’d have a chance to end my run if I wanted, and well, I took it. I knew with how my body was feeling I wouldn’t have a full 20 in me. I figured I would attempt a few more miles at home.

So I got home, was extrememly tempted to go back to bed, but instead ran out on the trail. Even though I didn’t have my Garmin, I knew the trail well enough that I knew where I needed to go for 2-3 miles. Unfortunately I was only able to get 2 more miles in. I was struggling with the heat/humidity and my arch was starting to flare up again. I called it for the day, disappointed in myself.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(3:57, 4:03, 4:09, 4:10, 4:02, 4:09, 4:08) .5 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Type 1 Diabetes Awareness 5k

Sunday: 12 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

This week was a little rough, and it didn’t end like I had hoped. But the more I look back on my long run, the better I feel. I was extremely disappointed in myself for bailing out, but I know I did it for the right reasons. PF is the reason I had to bail on Akron last year, and after running such high mileage in the past couple months, I know it’s likely to pop up again at any moment. I’m glad I played it safe and didn’t force it. I’ve hit all my long runs so far, even if I had to move a few things around. One bad long run cut short isn’t going to break my training.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts going around with this cycle, and I’ll eventually get them all together and share them. For now, I’m just going to focus on this next week and take it run by run. My spirit isn’t damaged, but it has a few dents.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Ten

This week was all about refocusing after last week’s cut back week, and honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. Without a doubt, this week was my strongest yet, and completely restored all confidence in my running.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and I was so glad to get back into class. Having the rec center shut down for a week really put me in a funk last week. This week we focused on maxing out our arms. I was able to go all the way up to 15lbs for free weights/kettle bells and I never felt stronger. My arms are still weak compared to what I know many other people can do, but I’m slowly getting there.

Tuesday was the real test. With some slight twinge still in my hip, I hoped I’d be able to complete my workout without stopping early. I met up with Mo and we planned on running our 800’s at a 4:15 pace. We ended up under pace for all but one, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

My perfect Tuesday night

My perfect Tuesday night

Wednesday was my recovery run and in the the first time in about three weeks, I actually had my iPod on me during my run. I stayed close to home, but I got lost in my thoughts and the music. I tried not to look at my watch and ran whatever pace my legs were comfortable with. I was all over the place from 9:04 to 8:12 to 8:48, but I felt great. It was exactly the run I needed to reassure me that I am still going strong with training.

Thursday was the group run with Second Sole. We started as a group, but by a half mile in we broke up into our smaller groups. I spent most of the run speaking with one of the employees about our old college conference and I became completely unaware of my pace. We headed out for five miles of rolling hills through town, with the last mile about 95% uphill. I averaged an 8:51 pace and felt really strong for my third run in a row.

Friday was my rest day and I took every precaution to get myself ready for Saturday’s long run. I knew that this 20 miler would be a big deal and pretty much set the tone for the rest of training. I knew I could keep my pace around 10 minutes for most of the run, but I wanted to slow down a bit. After my 18 miler a few weeks ago, I felt great for about 15 minutes, but shortly after I fell apart and was sick for most of the afternoon. I didn’t want that to happen again.

Saturday I met with a small group of MCRR and we headed out for our long run. We all had different distances, so our route was full of out and back and loops, but it worked out perfectly. We started on the inlet and headed out on the back roads before turning around. I was still warming up, and a little unsure if I could handle the full 20 miles, but I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise and forgot about the miles for a little bit.

Country roads sunrise

Spoiled by sunrises

We made our way back and dropped off a few runners. By now we were already at 6 miles, keeping steady just under a 10:00 minute pace. Next we headed out to the rail trail and I was so excited to explore a new route. The trail was heavily shaded and kept us cool as the weather started to heat up. We made a slight adjustment and took a turn near Chippewa to pick up the inlet again. We made our way back to the cars, dropped a few more runners off, and decided to make a loop around the outer roads of Buckeye Woods.

The roads had more than a few rolling hills, so our pace slowed down, but we were still right around a 10:00 pace. By now we were approaching mile 15 and I knew my legs would start to wear down a bit. I was feeling ok, but prepared for the worst. We took a few miles around the marsh and let our legs recover from the pavement. Running on crushed limestone saved my legs, but I did feel a small pain in my left knee that went away by mile 16.

As we made our way around the marsh and headed towards the woods, we lost one more runner. We were approaching mile 18, and I knew I had just 20 more minutes of running left. I couldn’t help but get excited for the final miles, knowing how great I felt and finishing up on the trails couldn’t have been more perfect. With a half mile to go, I started to pick up the pace and gave what I had until the final beep.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 20 miler, especially considering it was my first one of the training cycle. The two biggest things I wanted to focus on were pacing and fueling. I wanted to stay over a 10:00 minute pace, but spent 13/20 miles under. I ended up with a 10:03 average pace, a quicker pace than my 18 miler two weeks before.

As for fueling, I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of it, and wanted to test what would work best on race day. I was spot on, and nothing ever gave me any issues, my main concern for race day. I stuck with the following:

  • Sips of water at every mile mark, more often if needed in the later miles
  • Two-three sport beans every four miles (miles 4, 8, 12, 16)
  • Salt tabs every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)
  • Honey Stinger chews every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)

This worked out perfectly. I never felt tired, dehydrated or hungry, so I’ll be sure to keep this fueling strategy for all of my future long runs. Without a doubt fueling was key to making this the perfect 20 miler.

The perfect 20

The perfect 20

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(4:12, 4:17, 4:10, 4:10, 4:11, 4:12, 4:06), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 34 Miles

This week was great. I hit every workout like I wanted and felt stronger than ever. I also hit my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m just under my goal of 600  miles for the year. I have to admit, I had my doubts about training recently, but this week was the turning point. I couldn’t have done this week without the help of the amazing MCRR members. They’ve definitely pushed me more than I know this year. Now I’m excited more than ever for Wineglass!