Last week was the fourth week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I am pacing the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon this weekend!
Here is what my training looked like the week of 11.27.17 – 12.03.17:
Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:27 pace)
I majorly procrastinated my run on Monday and didn’t end up running until almost 6 p.m. At that point, I decided to just hit the treadmill and get it knocked out.
Tuesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:33 pace)
I had to be dressed, ready and out the door by 6 a.m. Tuesday. I knew that if I waited until the evening, it wasn’t gonna happen. This meant that I was up and on the treadmill again by 3:45 a.m. I don’t necessarily recommend that, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Brooks was sweet enough to come lay with me while I ran. He practiced his down dog on my yoga mat (that hasn’t been used for yoga in quite some time).
Wednesday AM – Tempo Repeats: 12 miles (7:19 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace)
My workout Wednesday called for a mile and a half warm up, followed by 4 X 2 mile repeats and a mile and a half cool down. This was the first time I have ever done 4 sets of 2 mile repeats, as the workout is typically 3 X 2 mile. I was a bit intimidated by the idea of doing an extra repeat, but I was also strangely excited to try it out and see how I felt.
Thankfully, I had company for the first 3 repeats. If I hadn’t, this would’ve been a long, lonely workout. One notable thing that sticks out from this workout was that one of the guys we were running with got The Ballad of Davy Crockett stuck in our heads. You know the “born on a mountain top in Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free?” Yep, that one. Problem was, at the time, I couldn’t recall the actual lyrics of the song, but only the lyrics that my dad made up when I was a kid which involved something about Davy Crockett being born on a toilet seat in Tennessee. Of course this also led my thoughts down a rabbit hole of other songs that my dad had “modified” the words to, such as Little Bunny Foo Foo, who in our version “went to take a crap” and “got her tail stuck in a trap.” So lovely. Thanks for that, dad!
I don’t recall exactly when my thoughts came back to running and away from toilets, but eventually they did. At some point during the workout (I think it was when my training buddies finished up their workouts (so after the third repeat)), I changed my watch screen from current pace to average pace. I keep an eye on the current pace during my workouts usually, especially on long repeats, to make sure that I am within my prescribed pace range. In this case, I was right where I was supposed to be for the majority of the workout, but when I looked down to check my pace on the last set, I forgot that I had changed the view to average pace (which included my slog (slow jog) recoveries and was thus, a decent amount slower than my current pace). I had a momentary freak out where I was like, I really feel like I am running close to 6:30 pace, how can this possibly be 7:00 pace?! I was aggravated for almost an entire mile until I realized that I was looking at average pace.
My splits for the miles and 2 mile repeats were 6:48/6:32, 6:31/6:29, 6:27/6:35, 6:31/6:20. My goal range was 6:20 to 6:30, so I am very pleased with how this one went down.
After my workout, it was time for my weekly visit to see my sports chiro. This week I got the extra special torture of having my hamstring wrapped in ice as it was hooked up to the e-stim machine. Fun times!
Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:02 pace)
My legs felt better than I expected them to on Thursday morning. The hubs got up and rode his bike with me while I ran, which was much appreciated. We did 7.25 miles and came back to the house so that I could grab Brooks for the last little bit.
We had an impromptu group run at our house Thursday evening, as our town got “lit” for Christmas and our usual running spot was in the middle of all of the festivities. I got to chat with one of my running girlfriends for five miles and that was lovely.
Friday – Easy: 5 miles (7:40 pace)
Since I am pacing the marathon at 7:45 – 7:50 pace, I decided to practice that pace during my run on Friday. It took me 3 miles to settle into it (the first mile was a tad slow and the next two were a tad fast), but once I did, I nailed it for two miles. I’m glad I tested it out a little bit and I’ll likely do that again this week just to make sure my body is used to what it feels like.
Saturday – Easy: 10 miles (9:46 pace)
I met some friends in Mobile early Saturday morning to knock out a few miles before the Girls on the Run Fall Celebratory 5K. We ran several miles on part of the First Light course, so that worked out quite nicely. My girls did so well in their race and had an absolute blast!
Sunday – Long Run w/ AT Tempo: 18 miles (7:54 pace)
My long run Sunday included 8 aerobic threshold tempo miles in the middle of the run I did a 5 mile warm up, 8 mile tempo and 5 mile cool down. My goal range for the tempo portion was 6:40 to 6:50. Most of my usual training buddies ran long on Saturday, but thankfully I had one friend who volunteered to run my workout with me on Sunday. My AT pace is not a tough pace for him to run anyway, so that worked out. He kept me on track and I definitely needed the extra encouragement.
Our mile splits for the tempo miles were 7:05, 6:44, 6:44, 6:43, 6:47, 6:42, 6:41 and 6:39 for a 6:45 average, which was exactly within the prescribed range. I would describe it as a comfortably hard effort (if that makes any sense). The idea of having to 18 more miles at just a slightly slower pace is still quite intimidating though.
Total – 76 miles