Last week was the second week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I am also pacing a marathon in 3 weeks! I didn’t make many notes about the easy runs last week, so this will be fairly brief. Uh, just kidding. I decided to write a novel about each of my workouts.
Here is what my training looked like the week of 11.13.17 – 11.19.17:
Monday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.1 miles (8:41 pace)
Tuesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:43 pace)
Wednesday AM – Brisk: 10 miles (7:38 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:10 pace)
Wednesday morning my training plan called for a 10 mile run with 5 miles easy and 5 at a brisk pace, which is very similar to goal marathon pace. The goal range for the brisk portion was 6:45 to 7:00 pace. It felt great out Wednesday morning (once we got warmed up :)). It was a brisk 50 degrees with a slight wind … perfect weather for a brisk run!
I had company for this workout! Workouts are a million billion trillion times easier with friends. We averaged 8:28 for the first 5 miles of the run and then it was time to pick it up a little bit! We averaged 6:45 exactly for the second 5 miles, so right at the low end of the goal range! Woo! Our splits for the brisk miles were 6:57, 6:53, 6:45, 6:32 and 6:39. We got a little overly ambitious on those last two miles, but it felt good, so I just went with it.
Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:32 pace)
Friday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:39 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace)
Saturday – Fast Finish Long Run: 20 miles (7:29 pace)
For this long run, we decided to revive a tradition that only a brave few have dared in the past, the Turkey 20 miler. It is only in the throes of marathon training that a runner would dare to attempt such a feat. I, myself, have done it once before (circa 2012), also in preparation for the First Light Marathon. Others in my training group have done it many a time, but they are far braver than I. We spent what felt like ages (i.e., weeks) discussing the plans for this event. There was a local 10 mile race that we planned the long run around. We planned to get to the race about an hour and a half before it started, to run the course “easy” beforehand and then to run the race at or close to goal marathon pace. This was definitely a key workout in my training and I was looking forward to it. We all talked about it a good bit over the last few weeks and the hype had me … well, hyped.
We got started on our first 10 miles at 7:00 a.m. The race started at 8:30 a.m., so this gave us an hour and a half to get our 10 miles in and hopefully have a minute or two to go to the bathroom, take a gel, get some water, etc. before the actual race started. It was 75 degrees and humid for the run. What the what?! The weather has not been cooperating for races recently. We’ve actually had some really chilly mornings (like today for instance … it’s 35 degrees), but it is NEVER chilly on race day. One of these days it will be. If I say that enough, hopefully it will be true at some point.
The 10 mile “warm up,” if you will, went by fairly quickly and with no major issues. We averaged 7:56 pace for the first 10 miles. We didn’t have much time at all once we got back to the start to get ready for the actual race. I did manage to take a gel and hit the bathroom (it was essentially a sprint to the bathroom and a sprint to get to the start line on time … that was probably the fastest I ran all day). I *attempted* to make some UCAN gels the evening before the race, but I don’t think that I got the ratio of powder to water quite right. I put the gels (which were basically just liquid) into plastic baggies and I just bit the corner of the bag to take the gel. In theory, this seemed like a good idea, but in practice, I wasn’t a fan of the plastic baggie method. I’ve got a 22 mile long run coming up and I might try again (using a different recipe and a different container).
As far as the race itself goes, my plan was to run as consistently as possible, somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range. Rather, that was my plan in ideal conditions, but 75 degrees and humid is less than ideal for a race in November. My husband ran the first 7 miles of the race with me, which was lovely. We talked a little bit, but not a ton. It was just nice to have someone there to work with. We stayed pretty consistent for those 7 miles. Our splits were 6:58, 6:54, 6:59, 6:59, 6:56, 6:56 and 7:04. I started to fade at mile 7 (17 for the day), but he felt good and I wanted him to go on ahead. While I definitely faded, it wasn’t a total crash. The last three miles were 7:10, 7:19 and 7:08. In the moment, I was a tad disappointed that I wasn’t able to keep it under 7:00 pace, but after thinking about it a little bit more, I’m okay with it. My average pace for the race was 7:02, which is not far off from where I ultimately want to be on race day. I still have 8 weeks to get to that point. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am where I am, not where I want to be … yet! That’s why we train!
Sunday – Easy: 6.8 miles (8:28 pace)
Total – 75.0 miles (my little OCD heart is so happy!)
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!