Some weeks of marathon training are a challenge. Other weeks flow together from hard workout to easy run to long run well, with the sensation of feeling strong on each run and a sense of enjoyment to the hard work of training. This week of marathon training was one of the latter; I really enjoyed my runs and had a great hard workout and a long run that was better than I anticipated.
Oh, and we hiked in snow! And not merely a light dusting – enough to make me think, just for a moment, that the California International Marathon is a lot closer than just under 8 weeks away.
Monday: 9 miles easy
Ollie and I ran 8 miles with a short pick up to marathon pace near the end. After we finished, I quickly switched dogs to take Charlie out for a mile. Charlie was so excited to run and tried to sprint the whole time – it was so adorable.
Tuesday: 3 x 2 mile repeats (10 miles total) & 15 minutes strength training
This workout intimidated me a bit, although I was also excited for it because 2-mile repeats are one of my favorite workouts. I have changed where I do some of my hard workouts. While the long paved trail is beautiful, it requires a bit of a drive and can be a wind tunnel. After a really slow and easy warm-up, I ran this workout on a paved 1/2 mile loop (with warm-up and cooldown on the nearby trail). Initially, I worried would be boring, but the loop actually made it easy to get into a good state of flow for this run. I changed directions during the recovery intervals to keep it interesting and to prevent stressing one side of the body too much (the turns weren’t as tight as a track, but I do have a weaker leg).
I focused on my breathing and perceived effort. I was really pleased with both the paces themselves and the consistency of my splits, as all were within 5 seconds per mile of each other. The last set of two miles was my fastest! This workout was a really good workout.
I did a quick core workout at home in the evening:
2 x 10 stability ball pikes
2 x 10 hamstring ball curls
2 x 10 stability ball deadbugs
2 x 10 t-raises on the stability ball
2 x 10 kettlebell offset reverse lunges
Wednesday: 7 mile run & 30 minutes strength
I split my run into two segments, the first 3 miles with Charlie and the last 4 miles with Ollie. When Charlie and I descended into the bog, I noticed a light frost on the boardwalk. Frost! It was not enough to cause any issues, although I was careful with my steps and kept my cadence quick.
Ryan and I hit the gym to strength train in the evening. I slightly modified this minimalist strength workout and did the following using kettlebells:
3 x 8 goblet squats (26 lbs)
3 x 10 push-ups
3 x 8 pendulum lunges (15 lbs)
3 x 8 single leg deadlifts (26 lbs)
3 x 8 kettlebell swings (15 lbs)
5 x eccentric pull-ups —> these are so challenging.
Thursday: 30 minutes Pilates
I usually select advanced level workouts from Pilatesology, as I’ve been practicing Pilates for about 10 or 11 years now. But as the fatigue of marathon training compounds, I need gentler workouts based on stretching. I did a 30 minute mat workout focused on stretching. It felt so relaxing to focus primarily on alignment and stretching, as if each muscle in my body loosened back up to normal.
Friday: 18 mile long run with last 4 miles at MP
After last week’s difficult long run, this was exactly the long run I needed. I simulated the California International Marathon course on this run by running hills in the first half and flat in the second half. The first 14 miles were at a comfortable, easy effort and the last 4 miles were at marathon pace – 7:47, 7:50, 7:47, 7:49. I felt really good on this run!
Saturday: 5 mile trail run
Trail running is hard. I do not possess the nimble feet to gracefully run over loose rocks without tripping, so I am significantly slower on the trails. Even with the difficulty, trail running is also fun.
Originally, Ryan and I had intended to run an easy six miles on the roads with Ollie. But the perfect crispness of fall weather and the changing leaves caused us to change our minds. Instead, we decided to do our easy run on the trails at Lord Hill in Snohomish. Ollie was beside himself with joy once he realized that we were running on rocky trails through a forest.
We only ran 5 miles because between the elevation gain and slower pace. I felt like I got in the equivalent of 6 miles on the road and was beginning to feel tired – I didn’t want to hinder recover after the previous day’s long run. Plus, we were both hungry!
Sunday: 2 mile hike
Ryan and I decided to drive down to the Mount Rainier area before too much snow accumulated. We were genuinely surprised – and excited – to discover upon arrival that snow had already fallen in the area. We drove up to Crystal Mountain ski resort to scope it out for ski season and it was as if we had time traveled forward a few weeks into winter.
The road for our first choice hike was closed due to damage from the September wildfires and snow, so we picked another nearby hike along the PCT. (You can’t hike with pets in the National Park, but you can hike with dogs on the PCT and in the surrounding National Forest.) We did not venture far onto the trail, but what we did see was beautiful. I opted for my hiking boots over trail shoes and they felt as if they had no traction upon the compacted and slippery snow.
Do you preferring trail running or road running?
How was your week in running?