Week Five of marathon training is in the books! Even though I had a couple not-so-great runs, I feel like it is all coming together. I neglected to work on getting more sleep (darn Olympics!), but I am trying something new with my recovery that you may have seen me post about on Twitter – tart cherry juice. It’s only been a few days, but seems to be having a positive impact so far! It’s been a while since I’ve run a marathon (May 2011), so seeing all the nice little X’s on my training plan in July and flipping the calendar over to a new month is helping me feel more confident about my goal. Look out 4 hours – I’m coming for you!
Monday – 5 miles easy at 10:15 pace – though that hardly tells the full story. I started off tired, slow – just not quite right! I was glad to have the GPS watch on this run, because it helped me realize exactly how much those first few miles were sucking and motivate me to pick things up for the final two.
Tuesday – A 5 mile negative split/progression run. (This means that each section gets faster than the last. My “sections” were 2 mile, 2 miles and 1 mile. I managed 9:49 overall, with splits of 10:27, 9:34, 8:57 – goal achieved!
Wednesday – Just a short 3.4 mile bike ride around the neighborhood. We’d hoped to go longer, but fun stuff like trips to Home Depot got in the way, plus I was concerned about saving my legs for Thursday’s workout.
Thursday – Hilly interval time! I did 6 repeats of 3:30 each at about 90-95% effort. With my warmup and cooldown, I had 6 miles total.
Friday – 4 mile run at 10:38 pace. I have nothing redeeming to say about this run. My legs felt heavy from the get-go and I just couldn’t shake it.
Saturday – 16 miles at 8:51 pace! As I mentioned last week, a friend unexpectedly signed up to run the marathon with me since the timing on her original goal race wasn’t working out. Yay! As a bonus, she knows another woman around our pace who is doing a marathon the week after ours. So the three of us set out on a local shared-use trail for 16 miles. We all had slightly different workouts on the schedule, so my buddy turned back early. As you may know, though, running with someone makes you form a really quick bond and I chatted up a storm with my new friend. It was definitely an eventful run, between getting caught in a rainstorm and finding a lost nursing mama dog. We helped each other push the pace and I am excited to have made a new running buddy!
Saturday night, I got my cross-train on in the form of some light hiking and a “moonlight” canoe adventure at Natural Bridge State Park. This place is awesome! We had time to hike the Original Trail and the Balanced Rock Trail before embarking on the water. While the overcast skies meant we didn’t get much actual moonlight and were instead aided by glow sticks, it was definitely a fun outing.
Sunday – Rest day. I’m feeling everything I did yesterday, so I’m quite content to sit on the couch and get caught up on the Olympics!
Total: 36.1 miles running, 3.4 miles on the bike, approx 2 miles hiking.