Marathon Training, Week #8: February 20-26, 2017

A pretty routine week of marathon training, this week . . . although I did make a major decision at the end of the week to adjust training.

Monday

Cross training workout at home: Kettlebell swings, lunges, Romanian deadlifts . . . core and foam rolling. Ankle mobility work.

Tuesday

Five miles in Morrisville on my own, followed by the training group workout.  Gina had created a one mile circuit with chalk marks to run either in the yellow (easy), orange (moderately hard), or red (hard) zones, with one station for core work in the middle.  Total for day: 8 miles.

Wednesday

Dinner with the running squad.  Rest.

Thursday

We had a long day at school with a curriculum fair for parents and students that evening.  I managed to squeeze in five easy miles on the Kiwanis Park greenway between classes and the fair.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

We (the half marathon group) ran 12 miles on the greenways and streets of northern Cary. It was hot and hilly, which made for a difficult run.  I ran with the 12-13 pace group, which felt just right.  Three extra miles afterward made a total of 15 miles for the day.

My best friend and I have season tickets to shows at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and we had one that evening. My legs were very sore and restless as we sat in our seats for 2.5 hours. (I didn’t get up and move around during intermission, and that was a big mistake.  My legs would have felt much better, had I done that.) I was exhausted not only from the run but because I had gotten up before four that morning, and the show was not very interesting to me; I had a lot of trouble staying awake and fell asleep many times throughout the show.

Sunday

Rest. When I got out of bed in the morning, my legs felt pretty good and recovered from yesterday.  The first thing I thought was “I should go for a run.” However, I needed to spend a day on chores and resting, something I had decided as my mind was wandering in the theater last night.  And the reason that I did three extra miles yesterday was so that I could rest today. I ended up doing more chores than resting, but my week will be better because of it.

Run Coach Certification, here I come!

Today, I became a member of the USA Track and Field, and I registered for a Level 1 coaching certification school in June in Greensboro.  I’ve been watching for registration for this to open up for a long time, so when I saw that it finally did, I jumped on it.  It just a few months I’ll be a CERTIFIED running coach!

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Upcoming St. Paddy’s 8K: Virtual Option

One of my favorite races takes place next month here in Raleigh, the St. Paddy’s 8K put on by the nOg Run Club (click here to read my race recap of the St. Paddy’s 8K 2016).  I’ve been waffling over participating this year for the past couple of weeks, since we have a half group run that same morning on the Tobacco Trail, and I’m not sure if I can get to the race on time for the start or not.  I’m also concerned about overtraining if I do this race.  Not only do I not trust myself to run it at a nice, easy pace, it also takes place during a weekend that is bookended by two other races: the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on March 19th (which I  AM planning on running easy), the St. Paddy’s 8K on March 25th, and the Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half on April 2.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll half was my first and is my favorite half marathon of all half marathons.  It’s where I have my PR, which I would love to keep shaving time from each year.  So, I do not want to be overtired from the previous two weekends.  For all of these reasons, I went with the virtual option on the St. Paddy’s race.  I will pick up my shirt AND medal with everyone else in the two days before the race, but I will not have a bib, and I will run the race on my own schedule.  (I’m not sure if they are having virtual participants submit a time after completing; this is something that I did not see on the registration website, and I need to find out this information.) That way, I will attend the race as a spectator, cheer on my Lynnwood Run Club friends, and enjoy some brews in the Raleigh Beer Garden with them afterward.

Decision to revamp my training plan

Since January, I’ve been following a training plan that includes more mileage per week than my previous two marathon plans.  This plan also includes back-to-back Saturday and Sunday runs, splitting up the weekend’s long run into two days.  The premise for this is to run on Saturday, tire the legs, then go out for more on Sunday, holding marathon race pace and getting the legs used to running at that pace when tired.  I thought that this plan would be perfect since I would be coaching a half marathon group on Saturday, and then I would do the Sunday miles solo.  However, I was really struggling with these Sunday miles when they increased to over ten miles.  The amount of mileage combined with just one rest day a week was proving to be too much for me and for my legs.  They always felt sore; not the kind of sore that makes you feel happy, like you had a good workout, but the kind of sore that is painful and is bordering on injury and overtraining.  I was hoping for a “breakthrough” moment when my body was adapting to the plan, but each week in February, it seemed to get harder.  After mulling this over for the past 3-4 weeks and listening to a podcast yesterday about women over 40 and overtraining (apparently, we need more rest, sleep, and rest/recovery days after strength and speed workouts), I decided to revamp my training program.  For most of the remaining weeks, I will add miles on to our Saturday runs, doing the extra miles on my own after we’ve wrapped up the half program, similar to what I did when training for the Outer Banks Marathon last fall.  Sundays will be rest days for the most part (although there are still a few weekends where I will need to run on Sundays due to other scheduled events).  I will also adjust weekday runs as necessary, getting miles in on Mondays and/or extra on Tuesdays and making sure that I take enough rest before and after speed workouts.  How do I feel about making these shifts in my plan? Like a weight has slid off my back. I’m curious to see how the next week will go.

This week’s mileage: 28

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