Week 13 Phoenix Marathon Training Recap

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Yep, it’s that time!!! TAPER TIME!!!

Can’t believe it’s already here–after 13 weeks of training, I am 3 weeks away from the big day and…

and I’m not sure how I feel….excited? Yes. Scared? Yes. More scared than excited? Kinda.

Maybe nervous is better. I’ve worked so hard this training cycle. Harder than the first time I did Phoenix Marathon (I was 7 months post pregnancy so any hard core training was just not feasible with 2 under 2) and way harder than Marine Corps Marathon (my dream race with no real goal goal). This time, I’m no a mission to get a sub 4:30. So I def have a goal. My paces in my training lead me to believe that I can meet that goal but the unknown of race day is what has me nervous. I just won’t know until the day arrives. That’s hard.

Anyway, last week was a good week of running. I was suffering through a nasty head/sinus cold–I don’t know what was going on but my head and nose and throat were not happy–but I still managed to get some decent runs in.

On Monday, I stayed home and rested. I knew I wasn’t well and wanted to give myself some recovery time. But I was back at it on Tuesday meeting up with my run club buddies. One of my friends who I hadn’t seen in months was there. She doesn’t do cold very well so rarely if ever, makes it out during the winter. But with warmer temps in the Valley lately (I’m not even going to tell you about our awesome weather), she was there and ready to run. I love running with her because she. is. fast. But like achievable fast. Like the kind of fast I can do if I push myself but can’t do if I tried to do it every day kind of fast.

I'm hoping for this pace at my next race. Fingers crossed.

I’m hoping for this pace at my next race. Fingers crossed.

I used to run these paces with her last spring but hadn’t really been pushing myself lately like that in a while. I have a 10k next weekend that I’d love to run in that pace–my PR is from that race last year and I love to beat it. We shall see.

Wednesday was Yasso’s at the track. Last week I averaged a 4:10ish 800 for the 7 that I did. I was hoping to keep it more at the 4:06 I’d done two weeks prior. Wednesday night? Success.

Nailed the track workout and rode a pretty awesome runner’s high the rest of the night:

8×800–4:08, 4:06, 4:06, 4:02, 3:58, 4:02, 4:02, 3:58 (with a short recovery in between each set)

running circles under a full moon

running circles under a full moon

By Thursday though, I was exhausted. My head and throat were really bothering me and I felt like the 4 miles I had planned wouldn’t be as helpful as a day’s rest. So I took the day off. Not completely though. Salt tagged me to take on Day 4 of the prAna challenge she’s been doing and attempt the following yoga pose:

flexibility is not in my bag of tricks unfortunately

flexibility is not in my bag of tricks unfortunately

There’s really not a whole lot of bending going on, but I was a good sport and shared my yoga “pose” with the world anyway lol! I took the rest of Thursday and Friday to stretch and foam roll and try and get myself healthy for the weekend.

Because Saturday I had my second and LAST 20 miler!!!

I wasn’t sure how I’d do considering I wasn’t feeling 100% and I told my husband that if I felt like I couldn’t go on or that I was doing more harm than good, I’d call him to get me. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that as the run went pretty awesomely.

My friend that I’d done the first 20 with agreed to the insane start time of 4:15 a.m. There were 4 others who’d decided to also start in the middle of the night (I swear, I love my running group. We’re all a bunch of crazies) and we all got started right away. 4 of us 6 were running similar paces (me and Jen, and 2 others) so we were in good company. The first 10 miles went by smoothly and without a hitch and before we knew it, we were halfway done! It had seriously felt like it’d flown by. And it kinda had as we’d done this 10 faster than we’d done the first 10 in the previous 20 miler.

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Besides mile 10, I’m pretty proud with the consistency.

We took a potty break after mile 10 and then headed right back on. The short break had made my legs a little stiff; I could especially feel it in my left knee, but I kept trucking. I made it to mile 15 still feeling good and took a GU. With 5 miles left, I was pumped I’d been running so well. Miles 15 and 16 chimed away both at 9:17 and Jen and I looked at each other incredulously–whoa there! We regrouped and continued on. I could definitely feel my left knee but the pain wasn’t anything intolerable and I finished the 20 miler feeling really, really good with the run.

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The second half was little all over the place as far as splits lol!

I was very pleased with the run and I felt good the entire way. Even running out of water at mile 18, I felt good. (I was running with my hydration pack–I don’t plan to during the race.) My knee hadn’t bothered me throughout but when I was done, oh boy. It was pretty instantaneous. As soon as I stopped, I felt my knee start to bruise and swell. It was super tender to the touch.

Once I was home, I immediately iced and that helped. I had to run (not literally, thank God) to my daughter’s soccer practice so I didn’t have much time to ice but as soon as that was over, I was back with the ice pack on the knee. I’ve been icing twice a day since Saturday and it’s already feeling better. I don’t want to psych myself out at all or let negative thoughts start to creep in. I know I’ll be fine and I know that I’m prepared for this race and I know that regardless of the outcome, I’m already super proud of my training and how far I’ve come as a runner.

Seriously

Seriously

If someone had told me a couple months ago I’d run 20 miles (for the second time!) at a 9:44 average pace and still feel like I could’ve kept going……no way I’d believe them. No way.

 

And there you go! Three more weeks until the big day–here’s hoping the knee heals and February 28th arrives with sunshine and perfect weather 😀

Total miles: 29.02
Water intake: B I missed my water goal 3 out of 7 days but did have one super stellar day (Saturday) where I drank a zillion gallons.

–How was your running week? Did you race or have any races coming up?

–What’s your taper strategy? How do you keep from getting the “taper crazies”?

 

Marathon Training Week 10 (and The Color Run winner!!)

Hello, hello!!! I do have TWO winners from The Color Run Giveaway!! Congrats to……

This Mama Runs For Cupcakes aka: Sue
and
Magdalena Vargas

Congrats to you both!! I know you’re going to have a blast at the race!! Check your e-mails for some details..

Thank you to all who participated and if the The Shine Tour makes it your way, sign up!! It is the Happiest 5k On The Planet after all…

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I hope everyone else had a good weekend! Mine is still happening as I enjoy this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday off from work 🙂

When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last October, on my list was visiting the MLK memorial. I love literature and I love history and I seriously was so exciting about visiting so many places in our nation’s capitol.

The MLK memorial did not disappoint.

As you enter, the walls surrounding the memorial are engraved with some of King’s best quotes. I was delighted to recognize a few and completely moved by new ones I hadn’t heard before.

LOVE this!

LOVE this!

Then, the memorial itself. It was quite impressive. I’m not a big architecture buff, my husband started out a major before switching to Chemical Engineering so he appreciates stuff like that a lot more. But even then, I know something good when I see it.

The structure is two pieces with the piece of King himself separated from the second part. I took it as a metaphor for him stepping out, going away from the norm to stand apart from the rest.

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If you haven’t visited the memorial, make sure to put it on your list when you visit D.C. 🙂

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled recap lol!

It was a pretty uneventful but eventful week jaja! Monday was a rest day from running. I did a couple of ab videos at home and some wall sits and leg stuff but pretty boring day overall. Tuesday I met up with my run club and this time my husband was able to join me. I had 5 miles planned but my husband wanted me to run 4 faster ones so we could get home with plenty of time for bath day–the kids bath day that is. So 4 fast ones it was!

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Wednesday I met up with my club at the track. They’d started Yasso 800s a couple of weeks ago but I hadn’t been able to make it until that day. So, I started right where they’d left off doing 6×800. I wasn’t sure what pace I wanted to do. My coach said to do an 800 at the time I’d want to finish my marathon but that meant choosing a specific time. The pressure!! I knew I had to choose something so I decided to just run the first 800 at what felt comfortable and see where that put me. 4:06. Okay, there’s NO way I think or plan to finish my marathon at that time but that felt comfortable for me during the workout so the next 5 800s I shot to keep my pace there. And guess what? I was +/- 2 seconds each 800!!

When I came home, I checked to see what pace a 4:06 marathon would be and was surprised that it was a 9:25/mile pace. Why did this surprise me? My last 3 long runs of 14, 14, and 16 were all +/- 2 seconds from that pace!

All I want from Phoenix Marathon is a PR and if all the stars align, a sub 4:30. My training has gone really well, better than what the two times above would get me, but I’m being very cautiously realistic with my expectations. You never know what the day, your body, the world will be like come race day and 26.2 miles is no joke. I’m still not sure what my “strategy” is exactly but I plan to start off at what has been my comfortable long run pace and just go from there. I’ve found in my two most recent races that going in relaxed and with no pressure-filled goal has yielded me great results.

Thursday I was thinking about all of this and really felt like going for a run. I didn’t want anything harboring my thoughts so I went sans watch. It was a run to just run.

10922760_834012439996392_6540892640910240662_nFriday was my usual rest day and Saturday was Expo Day! I had a race on Sunday (that I’ll recap later but woohoo!!!) It was funny because Thursday was sans watch day and Saturday my NEW watch arrived in the mail!

I took it for a mile test run :)

Isn’t she lovely?? I took it for a mile test run 🙂

Overall, a pretty good week that was topped off by an awesome race. No PR on Sunday but I was pretty darn close–I’ll tell you all about it later this week but if you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook then you know that I am a very happy girl 🙂

Total Mileage: 23.4

Water Intake: A+

Success!

Success!

How was your running week? Did you race or long run?

Do you have today off from work (those stateside)? Have you visited the MLK memorial?

Do you ever run sans watch?