Monday, October 17, 2016

Philadelphia Marathon Training Week 14

After a few weeks of inconsistent training (37, 29 , 31 miles)  I knew I had to get strict and back on track. The Philadelphia Marathon is just a smidge over a month away. I had my head back in the game and was able to knock out all my runs and hit 50 miles for the first time ever!

I didn't write up reviews over the past few weeks - life was busy.  I traveled to Montreal with my Mom to run RNR Montreal, I spent a long weekend (but not long enough) in Colorado. I did my best to keep up with the plan, but some miles were cut. I still feel like a much stronger runner than when I started and was able to pick up each run again this week.

Plan: 7 miles
Actual: 7 miles @ 11:39
A photo posted by Christine (@albanywayfarer) on

My legs were pretty heavy after Sundays 17 mile run, but I got it done. I did the SUNY 3 mile loop before cutting over to the track and running laps there for the remaining 4.  It was a bit of a cheat, but I wanted to the softer surface.  It was also dark and I just wasn't feeling running the loop again.

Plan: 1 mile warm up// 3 x 2 miles with 800 recovery // 1 mile cooldown
Actual: 1 mile warm up 2x200 miles with 800 recovery

I ended up cutting this run short. It's not often that I cut runs short, I was hungry and tired before I started but was determined to try to make it happen.  After the second repeat my energy was zapped.  I had bought chews to use during this training run, but had forgotten them at home. I am generally an all or nothing kind of runner, so I'm glad I at least got out and knocked out some miles.

Plan: Rest
Actual: 7 miles @ 11:24

Wednesday was a staff day - so I brought Marcy dog to school and spent the day working on fixing some materials in the classroom.  After I brought the pup with me to the Corning Preserve to run. At this point in the week, I thought I could run all my runs and still possibly hike on Saturday ( without losing any running mileage...) The run felt okay, but I was dead dead after.

Plan: 1 mile warm up// 9 mile tempo // 1 mile cool down
Actual: Rest

Skipping a rest day is not something I can manage yet.  I may be a significantly stronger runner than I was 14 weeks ago, but I need rest, especially after 3 mediocre weeks. It didn't hurt that it was raining when I was leaving work.  I took Marcy dog for a walk, bought a bottle of wine, and spent the evening learning how to use my sewing machine. It was fantastic.

Plan: 6 miles
Actual: 1 mile warm up // 9 mile tempo // 1 mile cool down

Its amazing what one day of rest can do.  It used to take me 2-3 days to feel fully recovered/rested but just one did the trick. After work I headed over to the corning preserve.  I've done some tempo runs there before and I know that its easy to get 10-11 miles by running on end to the other. As I was leaving school I couldn't find my running watch.  It put me off a bit I also left my phone charger at home, so there was no way its battery would survive long enough to GPS.  But since I knew the route and it is fairly regularly marked, I couldn't let not having a watch stop me. At first I thought that maybe I'd just do my long run for the week - but I picked up the pace and definitely made it into a tempo run.  I have no official stats - but had used the car clock to measure.  I kept somewhere between a 9:40-10:00 pace overall ( not a perfect science since I stopped on the other end to drink & eat & had to pee along the run) which is exactly where I wanted to be - so it works for me! Best of all, I didn't feel completely trashed at the end.  Tired yes, but dead dead, no.

Plan: 6 miles
Actual: 7 miles @ 10:30

A photo posted by Christine (@albanywayfarer) on

Since I ended up cutting out 3 miles on Tuesdays run, I had decided to add them back in throughout the rest of the week.  ( I really really really wanted to see 50 miles run in a week!) Since I wasn't hiking I slept in, cleaned the house and then took Marcy dog for our run. The loop we do from the door isn't scenic but its easily 5.5 miles so I didn't have to scramble much to make up the mileage. We were surprisingly speedy.  I hadn't expected it, but Marcy's joy of running can be a bit contagious.

Plan: 10 miles
Actual: 11.8 miles @ 10: 49

I went out on Saturday night.  Which I haven't done in ages. ages!  I drank a lot of water throughout the night ( after I got home, I managed to avoid all water while out.)  and woke up tired (even though I'm certain I was asleep by 10:30) but not hungover.  I hadn't reached out to anyone about picking up miles and was a bit relieved that I didn't have to work with anyone elses schedule.  After coffee, the newspaper, and contemplating napping, I finally got myself dressed to head out.  I hadn't planned to take Marcy dog, since she had run 7 the day before, but she was so eager to join, that I knew if I didn't, I'd have a very annoying/energetic dog when I returned.  So off we went for tried and true SUNY Albany & State Campus loops. It was a quiet day on the loop ( or I was just about 5 hours AFTER all the other runners) but Marcy and I enjoyed ourselves.   I had done the math several times to see exactly how far I had to run to hit my goal of 50 miles for the week. and while I really like even numbers, I didn't care enough at that point to make it to 12.

Mid last week I was teetering on burnout. I was declined from the London Marathon and felt relief.   I couldn't fathom how I was going to start & finish each of my runs. From the one rest day I took - I felt like a million bucks.It feels as though a switch has been turned. The next few weeks will be tricky - my sister and niece will be visiting from London and I'll be heading to Mexico soon but my spirit is renewed and I am looking forward to the next few weeks as they challenge me to become a stronger runner.

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