Hi there! How are you? I am still riding on a high from a new marathon PR and a weekend full of California sunshine.
This week felt a bit odd, as I knew it would be my last full week of running for probably a month. I plan on taking 7-10 days off to recover from CIM and then I anticipate needing up to two weeks off after my surgery. But if anything, the knowledge of an upcoming downtime motivated me to leave my all on the streets of Sacramento.
My nutrition this week has been focused on the race. I cut out foods that can irritate my stomach throughout the week, including beans or lentils, spicy foods, red meat, and dairy (I did eat some low-lactose foods like yogurt and feta). I cut back on alcohol and ensured that I kept my sugar consumption low. On Thursday, I started my carb-load but kept in fibrous, complex carbs until Saturday – this has worked well for me in the past and worked well again this year.
Monday: 5 mile easy run
I kept an easy pace on this run, despite Ollie’s attempts to speed up. During race week, I aim to keep all my miles one or two minutes per mile slower than my goal pace (except for the short tune-up workout), so all of my easy runs, including this one, were well within the 9:00-9:30/mile range.
Tuesday: 4 miles at marathon pace (7 miles total)
On Monday through Wednesday, I dealt with some pelvic pain, GI upset, and nausea (my doctor thinks these are due to endometriosis, which is why I’m having a diagnostic laparoscopy after CIM). I was a bit nervous about how this run would go, but running always makes me feel better when these symptoms flare up. I took the warm-up slow and easy and felt better within the first mile.
I focused on my perceived effort for the 4 miles at marathon pace: smooth, steady, and moderate. I held back when I noticed the pace on my watching creeping up too much (I set it to lap pace, which is more consistent and gives a better idea of my actual average pace). I ran 7:51, 7:46, 7:49, and 7:48 – a bit faster than I hope to run for the marathon, but the effort felt comfortable. Best of all, I felt better after this run.
Wednesday: Rest Day
Tapering is so weird. I didn’t run today but instead took the dogs for a long walk. Ollie nearly jumped into the bog again! He is fascinated by the water ever since he learned to swim this summer.
Thursday: 5 mile easy run
Ollie and I ran 5 very easy miles in the pouring rain – nothing much to say other than the fact that we were both soaked after just 47 minutes. I did gradually start carb-loading and I have to admit, it’s always a bit fun.
Friday: 3 mile easy run
Instead of running first thing in the morning, I met Ryan at his work late morning so we could run both dogs before I dropped them off at the kennel. We took it light and easy for 3 miles. Ollie then proceeded to throw up the moment he jumped back into the car, narrowly missing my purse and the bag of stuff for their kennel stay.
Saturday: Rest Day
I always rest the day before a race. We flew down to Sacramento on Saturday morning, visited the expo, and settled into our hotel in Folsom. After evening Mass, we grabbed dinner at Whole Foods and relaxed back at the hotel before an early bedtime.
Sunday: California International Marathon (3:29:43)
My goal was to break 3:30 and I did just that. The race was more of a fight than last year’s dream marathon, but I am so proud of my finish time. I ran a slightly positive split – 1:44 for the first half and 1:45 for the second – because I had to stop for the restroom during mile 15 and lost about 40 seconds of time. CIM is such an amazing race: the course is fun, the crowds are incredible, and I swear there’s something magical about it (87 runners qualified for the Olympics this year!). I qualified for Boston with a good cushion and plan on applying to run it in 2019.
This year, recovery is a priority (I do not want to get a post-marathon cold this time!) so we stayed in Sacramento through Monday morning. I enjoyed the Sierra Nevada beer tent after the race and then we celebrated with a few more beers and a really awesome burger in Folsom. I also fell asleep by 8:30 pm, not counting the nap I took – I was spent.
I will be sharing the full recap next Monday (I want to get the race photos!). Thank you so much to everyone who texted and left messages on social media – seriously, those words of encouragement and congratulations mean so much to me. And thank you to my wonderful husband for cheering me on throughout training and the race!
How was your week of running?
Which marathon (or race) is your favorite to run?