Spinx Marathon Training 9/28-10/11

This week y’all get a twofer! I completely spaced on writing my training update last week (some sort of marathon training induced brain fog?) so I have a lot of miles to catch up on. This situation does remind me of something important that is easily forgotten in training: no one run happens in a vacuum. I tend to look at each week as these little independent islands and often don’t take into account just how much of an impact the accumulation of miles and workouts can have. As the marathon nears I’ve taken to going back through my log and reading everything over again…and again…and again to not only see how much I’ve changed as a runner this year, but also to remind myself that is has been a hard last few months! Since the beginning of August I’ve only had three weeks under 70 miles, and I’ve been putting in 2-3 hard workouts each and every week. Sure, those one or two amazing workouts are great for the ego (and likewise those failed workouts are a kick in the gut), but it’s the sheer consistency of building on the day in and day out grind that makes the difference. Anyway, here’s what the last two weeks of consistency has looked like:

Monday 9/28: 8 miles easy.

Tuesday 9/29: 8 miles easy, again.

Wednesday 9/30: 3×3200 with ~6 minute recovery. 12:53, 12:47, 12:55. Not the best progression but I went for it on the last one and kind of died. Still a 12 second average improvement over last time we did these.

Thursday 10/1: 8 miles. The weather is getting super sketchy.

Friday 10/2: Fartlek. This was supposed to be sustained tempo efforts but the weather put the brakes on any kind of real quality work. It’s getting scary out there.

Saturday 10/3: 10 miles in the morning before the brunt of the hurricane/low pressure whatever hits. You win this round, weather.

Sunday 10/4: Only 10 miles. It’s just generally gross and annoying out, so I’m making the executive decision to move my long run.

Total: 60 miles. This was totally an unplanned down week, but Mother Nature was on a rampage. And, I know how insignificant my complaints about having to slightly rearrange my running schedule are when the majority of South Carolina is dealing with major flood damage. We got off lucky in the Upstate.

Monday 10/5: 22 miles at 7:36 average pace. Tried to put the hammer down a few times and got in several miles under 7:20 and a few under 7:10 but it wasn’t anything too sustained. I felt good though, and strong at the end even though it was my longest run in awhile.

Tuesday 10/6: 8 easy miles. I was surprised not to be sore from yesterday, but I was only a little tired. That’s what recovery miles are for, I guess.

Wednesday 10/7: To the track for 7xmile with ~3:45 recovery. 6:13, 6:14, 6:14, 6:15, 6:13, 6:18, 6:09. I got into my metronome state of mind for the most part and just got the job done on somewhat tired legs.

Thursday 10/8: 6 easy miles after getting some ART work done. I hate when I don’t run before getting worked on, but I brought that on myself.

Friday 10/9: 7 easy miles with some strides. Let myself loose a little bit on the pick ups and it felt awesome.

Saturday 10/10: Bethel Half Marathon in 1:32:20 for third woman. That’s actually only 24 seconds off my PR, and this course was not even a little bit flat (my PR was run at the pancake flat Myrtle Beach half). I mean, it wasn’t straight up the side of a mountain like most races in the Asheville area, but I was either climbing or bombing down the entire time. And it was pouring rain. All of those excuses aside, I felt very controlled for 12.6 miles of it– the last half mile I had to hammer it so I could pass and drop the woman who finished just behind me. It wasn’t the flat/fast time trial I was hoping for at Georgetown, but that race got postponed due to the flooding. I still very much feel like this race puts me in a good place for Spinx, especially considering I ran 22 miles just 5 days prior and a hard interval workout only 3 days before.

Sunday 10/11: 6 miles. Holy tired legs, Batman.

Total: 75 miles. I was very tempted to “make up” for my unintended down week last week. It would have been easy to do with essentially two long runs this week, but it was such a high quality week that I managed to (just barely) hold myself back from running some arbitrary number that wouldn’t have helped at this point– and possibly could have hurt.