Happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all of the runners at the Boston Marathon today!
Speaking of marathons, I completed the first week of training for the Jack and Jill Marathon. Spring in all its greenery and warm temperatures has fully arrived in Seattle, making the weather and scenery ideal for longer and longer runs.
Monday: AM: 8 mile progression run with final 2 at half marathon effort, 8:25/mile avg pace; PM: 20 minutes Pilates + foam rolling
This run felt less than stellar, but only because I feel less than stellar. It was windy, seemingly somehow in both directions (I guess that’s part of running between two large lakes) and I had a mild headache. I took the first 6 miles easy and then increased my effort over the last 2 miles for a 7:30 and 7:35. Not too bad for running into the wind!
While it didn’t feel great at the time, this was a good run. I wasn’t about to let feeling off a bit off affect my attitude towards training or this run. Besides, with trails like these, I can’t not enjoy a run.
Tuesday: 4 mile easy run with Charlie, 9:10/mile
We finally purchased a hands free leash for Charlie, and now I wonder why I held off so long on it. I was worried he wouldn’t behave well on it, but the hands free leash made running together so much easier for both the puggle and I.
I talk to Charlie throughout all of our runs together. Not conversationally, but just constant encouragement: “Charlie runs so fast!” “Good boy Charlie!” “Charlie loves to run!” “Charlie please don’t chase the squirrel!” I’m fairly certain the cyclists and other runners think I’m crazy, between my chatter with Charlie and the fact that I’m one of those runners who smiles and waves at everyone.
Wednesday: AM: 9 mile progression run, 8:07/mile avg pace; PM: 35 minutes of Pilates
My marathon plan is filled with Hudson style progression runs, based on effort rather than pace. I ran 4 miles easy (8:35-8:50) and then increased my pace to what I perceived as a moderate effort for 5 miles (7:35-7:47). I set my GPS so I could only see splits at each mile – otherwise, my screen just showed the time of day – and just used my breathing and effort as a guide. What a good run!
I did a 30 minute Pilates for athletes workout plus 5 minutes of Pilates upper body work with 5 lb weights in the evening.
Thursday: AM: 20 minutes of kettlebell; PM: 4 mile easy run with Aimiee, 9:22/mile
I opted to do my strength training first thing in the morning. Apparently my brain shouldn’t quite be awake for strength training, since my pre-coffee state kept me going through the moves and not thinking about wanting to stop. I did 2 circuits of this kettlebell workout plus a few additional moves to work my upper body more.
I met up with Aimee, a reader who lives on the Eastside as well, for a 4 mile run near Lake Washington. It was so fun to meet another runner in the area and get to meet in person someone I’ve gotten to know through the comments! (Thank you, Aimee!)
Friday: 14 mile long run, 8:46/mile
Over the past few weeks all of my East Coast athletes mentioned how hard the wind made running, and this week I got a taste of it myself. Even though the wind was only about 12-15 mph (I remember that being a calm wind in Indiana!), I felt as if I was fighting its resistance for all 14 miles even though I did an out and back course. I planned on doing this run without any gels, but I needed a boost by mile 7 so I slowly sipped a Hammer gel.
So naturally afterwards I drove straight to the grocery store and bought a 12 pack of Boston Lager. To celebrate the Boston Marathon, right? Or as a reward for not quitting when I ran past Ryan’s office at mile 11.
Of course, that beer is all part of a balance. In addition to tracking my food for marathon training, I’m also focusing on consuming for vegetables on long run days to enhance recovery. Usually vegetables have zero appeal to me the day of a long run and all I want is bland food until a burger and fries or pizza craving hits later in the evening. Instead, I ate for lunch a giant plant based power bowl of sweet potato, golden beet, red lentil, spinach, and tahini. The quantity of food is not just what matters; especially when mileage increases, the quality matters for better recovery and performance.
Saturday: 9 mile hike, 3200 foot elevation gain
Ryan and I had been considering Mount Washington as our next hike for a few weeks now, so we decided to finally tackle it today. At 9 miles and 3200 feet elevation gain, this is the longest and hardest hike we’ve tackled since Mount Si back in December. Mt. Washington is a comparable hike in terms of distance and climbing to Mount Si, just a little bit further along I-90 where it draws less crowds but offers more spectacular mountain views.
Mount Washington features segments of steep climbing with flatter portions, which made this hike a challenge but not a total lung-buster. We already plan on repeating this one! Best of all, Charlie managed to hike the entire mountain.
Ryan and I initially had plans to run, but since he lightly twisted an ankle and my quads were very sore from the hike, we opted for a rest day. We drove up north to see the flowers at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. We missed the peak of the tulip blooming, but the fields were still beautifully lined with a multitude of colored tulips.
39 miles run | 9 miles hiked | 3 supplemental workouts
A few of you asked in the comments on my post about Pilates for runners which videos I recommend. I do these free YouTube videos on a rotating basis. I sometimes combine a couple of the shorter ones for a longer Pilates workout. All you need for these workouts is a mat (if you’re on a hardwood floor, opt for a thicker mat for better spinal support, otherwise a yoga mat works).
Do you struggle to eat certain foods like vegetables on long run days?
How was your week of running? Did anyone race?