First off, I actually registered for the race, HA … True story, I wasn’t registered until last week sometime. We’ve had our accommodations booked, and everything else organized but I just hadn’t gotten around to registering, but now I am, so I guess there’s no turning back now.
Second, we are in taper mode! AND I’m excited to say WE, because Lori had a brief battle with a knee injury that was threatening to derail her second marathon, but she was super smart, took care of her knee, and is back at it, and also registered.
Yesterday was our last super long run of this cycle! We ran 32 km’s (20 miles). It was an early morning, we started at 7:00 am (we don’t usually start quite that early – and I was questioning it when my alarm went off). Once we got going, it was great, and I was glad we had decided to get up and get it done. Now that the snow is gone from the crazy September Snowmageddon we had a couple weeks ago, it really feels like fall. The leaves are changing and falling, the mornings are crisp and cool, and the afternoons have been sunny and beautiful. Here is a quick summary of the last week of training:
Tuesday – I ran super early before work – 16 km’s with 4 x 1600 m cruise intervals. Our schedule had 4 x 1200 m @ 5k pace, but my legs were tired, and I had been feeling on the verge of injury, so I decided that 5k pace was too much. I was glad for this decision as I could barely muster a 4:50 /km pace, with the tired legs, pitch dark outside, plus fallen trees to try to maneuver.
Wednesday – 18 km’s medium long run. These midweek long runs have been the most difficult aspect of this training cycle. I think it’s partly working all day, and then running them with little fuel (not eating supper first), plus then we are strength training afterwards. The hardest runs are the ones that make you grow and improve the most though, right?
Thursday – 11 km’s at lunch with 6×100 m strides. This was a good run, and really boosted my confidence. It’s nice to feel good after two days of hard running, and to still be able to pick up the pace for those strides.
Friday – I saw my chiropractor and had my SI joint adjusted. This was a good decision, my lower back felt like something was pinching and ‘out’.
Saturday – easy recovery paced 6 km’s. The chiro had instructed me to NOT run until Sunday – HAHAHA. I nodded my head in agreement knowing that I was going to completely ignore this advice. Everything felt good, and it was nice to get the blood flowing.
Sunday – 32 km’s long run @ 5:52 pace. Of course 32 km’s always feels long, but I felt good, and feel really ready for the race.
My last couple training update posts have been strictly factual updates. I get tied up in the numbers and the facts, in running and life. I wanted to sum up how I’ve felt about this cycle. To get past the numbers. I chose a Pfitz plan for this cycle because I knew it would be challenging, that it would push me further and hopefully fitter than the last cycle.
Now that I’m done the big weeks, and starting to cycle down a bit, I can see that it definitely has done that. There have been some really difficult workouts, and I’ve logged my highest mileage week ever at 88 km’s. I managed to power through my spring marathon cycle without any chiropractor visits, without feeling any injuries coming on. This cycle has been fairly good in that regard, but over the last few weeks I’ve felt some tightness and areas of concern. None of them have prevented me from running or threatened to derail my training but they’ve definitely given me pause, and last week prompted me to visit my chiro. One adjustment though has improved things significantly and I’m confident that I will get through taper and to the start line feeling good. This is exciting! And a wee bit scary as it means that I’m going to have some lofty goals for this marathon (more on that in a future post!).
All this to say that it’s been a great 10 weeks so far, it’s been hard work, and I’m eager to see what the fruits of this labor are come race day. I’m also feeling ready for a down season. It feels a bit like I’ve been training for a marathon pretty well constantly for the last year or more, and I’m planning on taking the remainder of 2014 to recover, and run without a strict training schedule. I’m also excited for 2015, and perhaps going beyond the marathon… dum,dum,dum… (ok never mind… maybe I’m not ready to say THAT out loud yet, YIKES!)