This past week was a week where running was much needed for the mind and body, don’t you agree? I peaked at 54 miles this week, with a hard workout midweek and a long run with miles at marathon goal pace.
And so begins the taper/sharpening phase! I’m a big believer in a sharpening phase to prime you to peak for the race and to avoid that dull, antsy feeling during the taper.
Monday: 8 mile easy run
I alternate in my preference for easy runs on Mondays. Sometimes I love them because they let me transition gently into the workweek and new training week, while other times I enjoy a hard workout to get an extra endorphins boost when I need it. This week, an easy run on Monday was what I needed, especially since I wanted to make sure I was recovered from the back-to-back long run and long hike from last week.
Tuesday: AM: 10 miles with 2 x 3 miles tempo; PM: 25 minute Pilatesology workout
2 x 3 miles at half marathon pace is not an easy workout. But then again, sharpening up for a goal race isn’t supposed to easy! I warmed up for about 2.25 miles, since it takes me forever to warm up during marathon training.
The first 3 mile repeat was fairly manageable, but the second one felt more challenging. I set the goal of keeping a 7:30-7:39 pace (since the goal pace was half marathon pace) and somehow managed to achieve that while maintaining the appropriate effort level.
Pilates is hard during marathon training. I feel all of those muscles in my core and glutes burn during the workout.
Wednesday: 7 mile easy run
After a poor night’s sleep and being in a less than great mood, I knew that a run would help me. I considered running with the dogs, but I really just needed that quiet time out on the trail. Nature and running both have a calming effect on me and help me keep things in perspective. Running doesn’t make problems go away, but it helps highlight the good things in life.
Charlie, Ollie, and I are trying to make more afternoon walks. We were walking along a path over the bog when suddenly Ollie found his inner Labrador and decided to go for a swim…and so he leaped headfirst into the bog. Of course he did this at the furthest point away from home, so for the next 20 minutes I had a crazed, wet, algae-covered labraheeler on my hands (and a puggle who wanted to stop and sniff everything).
Thursday: 6 mile easy run
I ran with both Charlie and Ollie (separately…they would pull me over if I ran them together!). 3 miles with Charlie, a quick transition, and then 3 miles with Ollie. Ollie is still learning how to run on a leash and pulls a bit, but he’s also just a puppy and has some new strength since he’s gained some much-needed weight. It was so fun to run with the dogs and made a very slowly paced run far more enjoyable.
Friday: 20 miles with
10 8 miles at marathon pace
This workout served as a race simulation run: practice almost everything as I would on race day. This meant the exact pre-race meal (bagel with peanut butter, banana, coffee, and water with Enduropacks), same outfit I anticipate to wear on race day, and do my fueling and hydration just as I intend to on race day.
Except I took only one 10-oz. water bottle with Enduropacks spray in it on my run. You would have thought that I learned my lesson last week when I needed more water on my 20 mile run. The morning was sort of crazy (our fridge broke, Ollie peed on the carpet, etc.) so I just went on auto-pilot when grabbing items as I headed out the door for my run.
After 10 comfortable miles, first few miles at a goal pace felt comfortable until I stopped to use the restroom. After that, I felt the telltale effects of under-hydration that I felt at the Portland Marathon: stomach cramps, heavy legs, and thirst. I still kept a good pace, but I opted to cut my goal pace miles down from 10 to 8 since I was feeling off. Save the digging deep for race day.
I’m glad that this happened though – it reminded me that on race day, I need to start hydrating with both water and electrolytes early and often at CIM. At my PR half marathon, I alternated water and Nuun at each aid station, even early in the race, and that’s my plan for CIM as well (they offer Nuun at the aid stations) and carry my Enduropacks for extra electrolytes.
Hydration is almost like a switch for me: 10 miles or less and I’m usually fine without any water (unless it’s a hot day), but over 10 miles and I need a lot of water and electrolytes. It’s weird, but at least I’m realizing that’s how my body works.
Saturday: Rest Day
Ryan’s mom visited over the weekend, so we took her to our favorite place to go when family and friends visit: Leavenworth. The mountains, a quiet Bavarian style town, and of course beer and brats are the perfect mini getaway.
Sunday: 3 mile easy run
Ryan, Ollie, and I went for a quick run on Sunday morning. It felt good to shake out the legs and finish up my highest mileage week of marathon training.
We went downtown on Sunday. I prefer living in East Seattle, but I love visiting downtown. Seattle is probably my favorite American big city (although Portland is awesome as well, albeit a bit weird). I love the smell of salt water that wafts through the city.
I’m ready for the taper now. This upcoming week isn’t quite a taper week and has quite a couple hard workouts on schedule, but it’s still less mileage than this past week so I’m excited about that! I’m also hungry.
How was your week in running?
Love or hate the taper?