Spinx Marathon Training: 9/21-9/27

I’m supposed to be grading papers, so of course updating my training is a much better idea instead. This week the mileage ramped back up and everything went almost to plan. My long run was not the magical occasion I planned for, but I still had a reasonable run and there is plenty of time in the schedule for me to try it again this coming weekend. I’m not going to bump the mileage anymore moving forward; I think mid/low-70s is plenty to sustain and at this point we need to squeeze out the last bit of intensity that I can handle to “polish the apple” as my coach said yesterday. I’m getting antsy to take that first bite…

Mon 9/21: 10 miles

I was still a little mopey from last week’s grumpy running, but I started to feel more like myself as this run wore on.

Tue 9/22: 10 miles

Okay, I’m back! My little flame of optimism burns brightly once more!

Wed 9/23: 8 miles (10×800 w/ 2:00 recovery)

Um. I KILLED it. But, I also didn’t feel that great? My legs are just perma-tired but my fitness is such that I can kind of grind it out if I need to. And I needed this…2:59.7 average for the 800s! I can’t believe that this time last year I was struggling to crack 3:00 for ONE 800 and I just did ten of them at sub-3 average. So satisfying to see such improvement.

Thu 9/24: 8 miles

Not overly beat down from the track yesterday, but I kept it shorter and easier today just to be sure.

Fri 9/25: 12 miles (with 20×30 sec pickups)

The real test for this run was the weather. There’s been some crazy wind and rain mess so I just tried to take advantage of the occasional tail wind for my fartlek sprints and pretend like I wasn’t getting torrentially downpoured on.

Sat 9/26: 10 miles

I actually felt decent this morning and almost wished I’d prepared to make today my long run. But, I was without Gu and wearing old shoes so I reigned myself in and just cruised.

Sun 9/27: 18 miles (7:48/mi average)

I planned so well for this run. It was supposed to be my big 22 miler with the last half at sub 7 pace. I was hydrated with water–not beer!, I slept well, I had my Garmin charged up and everything was set to go…except me, apparently. I hit the first mile in 8:20 but that’s not unusual as I always need a bit to warm up. But the next few miles were a struggle to hit 7:45s and that’s weird. Oh, and also I was about to explode, so I had to beeline for the bathrooms at Furman around mile 7. I hoped with that out of my system I’d be able pick it up, but nope! I was dealing with a headwind on the way north, so then I hoped once I turned around at mile 10 I could start hammering…but again, nope! I didn’t want to “waste” my 22 miler on a bad run, so when my GPS beeped 18 miles I shut it off and walked the ~mile home. I don’t know why or how this day went off-plan so much; I thought I did everything right and was in a good place mentally. The one thing I may have messed up was my eating (yes, again; this furnace is burning way hotter than I realized). I weighed myself post-run and after I’d already eaten and drank some more and I was still several pounds down from where I have been lately. I dunno if that’s it but I do know I went and had a basket of sweet potato fries, beef enchiladas, and a couple of beers from Chicora Alley for dinner just to be safe.

Total: 76 miles (and I finally cracked 2000+ miles for the year this week!)

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Spinx Marathon Training 9/14-9/20

Despite being a cutback week, or perhaps because it was a cutback week, I was a mess. I don’t know if I was just beat physically which caused my bad attitude, or if my bad attitude caused my running to suck, but this was a rough week all around. I make no secret that I struggle with anxiety, and this week I was just a ball of nerves for no discernable reason. I had an appointment with my lovely therapist and we’ve discussed some changes to try between now and the marathon to help cut back on my totally unnecessary freak outs (is a post about my therapy experiences and its relation to running of interest?). I guess this was a good reminder that mental health is as important to running (and real life, duh) as physical health…and I’m glad it happened during a relatively low-key week.

Mon 9/14: Off

No running, no classes to teach, just time to recover. This was all well and good until about noon and I was then a twitchy mess of anxiety. Super.

Tue 9/15: 10 miles easy

Felt fine. The first couple of miles after a total rest day always feel weird, but I loosened up okay and my permanently niggling Achilles felt pretty good.

Wed 9/16: 10 miles with 7xmile

I sucked it up at the track tonight but I finished the damn thing at least. The plan was to be at or just under 6:10 and I was…for the first couple. Then it got ugly. Like, running slower than the end of my long run last week kind of ugly. My legs were so tight and flat and I couldn’t seem to do anything to make it better. I know I’m tired, but it’s still a kick to the ego when you average barely faster than 10k pace in a workout that was meant to be much more intense. Just add it to the shit-pile that is this week.

Thu 9/17: Direct from my log- “Only 5 miles. Legs are trash; attitude is trash.”

Fri 9/18: 8 miles

Nearly took today off, too. But, the part of my brain that is still functional reminded me that just because I’m in a funk right now doesn’t mean I get to sabotage my entire marathon training. So, out the door for a sunset run. I felt better.

Sat 9/19: 10 miles with fartlek pickups throughout.

Working through it.

Sun 9/20: 17 miles

Easily the best run of this week. No set pace…just a cruise effort and getting in the time on my feet. It was nice to kind of come back to center with my favorite type of run where I just go for 2+ hours and exist.

Total: 60 miles …recovery weeks are exhausting.

Spinx Marathon Training 9/7-9/13

This was my third mileage building week in a row and at times, the promise of a complete rest day on Monday was my major motivation. All in all, we can call this a successful week and I’m most excited about the long run that featured much cooler fall-like temperatures; it was like free fitness!

Mon   9/7- 10 easy miles. Felt reasonably recovered from the longer run the day before.

Tue   9/8- 10 really easy miles. I retract my statement about feeling recovered.

Wed  9/9- Track! 8x1k with ~3:15 recovery. We’d done this workout several weeks ago (same recovery), but I had only done 6 reps and I hit 3:46 average that day. Today I only improved slightly to a 3:44 average…but with two more reps thrown in. I think that’s called progress? 9 miles total.

My intervals are the top row. The rest of my training group had amazing workouts, too!
My intervals are the top row (with 800m splits). The rest of my training group had amazing workouts, too!

Thu 9/10- 10 more of those easy miles I like so much.

Fri   9/11- Fartlek day…shocker, it was a 10 mile day, but with a whole bunch of 30 second pick ups thrown in just so I don’t get too complacent.

Sat  9/12- A real easy day– only 7 miles! It felt weird to be done with my running for the day in less than an hour.

Sun 9/13- First 20 miler of the training cycle. The plan called for the first ten-twelve at a moderate pace and the last eight-ten at or below marathon pace. It went {almost} perfectly. First ten in 7:36 average, last ten in 6:57 average! Told y’all the weather was nice 😉 I do say it was only {almost} perfect because I let myself lose focus during mile 19 and ran that one too slow. Luckily the other miles were more than fast enough to make up for it:

I hate those little .nothings that tag on to the end of most runs. It was a 7:17 overall pace, btw.
I hate those little .nothings that tag on to the end of most runs. It was a 7:17 overall pace, btw.

Total: 76 miles. The highest mileage of the training cycle yet, and the third week of buildup. Man, that rest day tomorrow is gonna be awesome.

Spinx Marathon Training 8/31-9/6

As I began to type up this week’s training, I was feeling pretty “meh” about it. I think the doldrums of a long training cycle has kicked in and I’m getting into a routine that made it hard for me to see that it was actually a solid week of running…I mean, it included a negative split track workout, an almost 2 minute PR in the 10k, and my highest mileage of the year!

Mon 8/31- 10 easy miles followed by an ART/chiropractic visit with Dr. Jenna to work on my left Achilles and ankle.

Tue  9/1- 10 more easy miles on the Cottonwood trails in Spartanburg. The range of motion in my left ankle was MUCH improved after the work on it yesterday.

Wed 9/2- Today’s track workout was 3x2mile with ~5 min recovery. I managed to negative split the sets, but I didn’t get quite as fast as I wanted on the last one: 13:15, 13:02, 12:54. The average was 6:31 pace which was pretty much dead on the goal (6:30), so I’ll take it.

Thu 9/3- 8 slow miles. It was about 95* so I was happy to back off and just put in the miles.

Fri 9/4- 10 miles with Midnight Flight 10k in a new PR of 41:28 (chip time) –my old PR was 43:15 from 2014’s Reedy River Run! It was good enough for third place woman and $100 payday, but I’m kind of frustrated…I have this newfound fitness/speed, but I still don’t really know how to be a racer, if that makes sense? It’ll come, I hope.

Sat 9/5- 8 miles to shake everything out mid-morning. Night races make everything weird for a couple of days.

Sun 9/6- 18 miles in the afternoon with a negative split second half. I guess it’s a good sign when my long run is the most uninteresting hard workout of the week.

Total: 74 miles

I’ve been stepping back my mileage every third week, which should be next week, but we are switching things up and keeping the miles in the mid-upper 70s again. I seem to be holding together well enough, and I have the first 20 miler of the cycle to run so it makes sense to just roll with it for another week…