Marathon Training Week 13 Recap
It’s officially fall! I can’t put into words how excited I am. Fall is my favorite season. You’ve got cooler temperatures, clearer skies and football!
It also means the marathon is only weeks away. I remember when I started this training that I couldn’t wrap my head around the kind of miles I was going to have to run. Now that those weeks are here, that training seems less scary. All the work is paying off.
Monday: Rest day. But this was the first day of my team walking challenge at work. My co-workers and I will be competing with other offices and departments to see who can get in the most steps over a six week period. Let’s go Team B15s!
Tuesday: 4 miles. Thanks to the cool temperatures, there were a lot more people out running this morning. My calves felt a little tight post-half marathon but they loosened up fairly quickly and that meant I did this run a little speedier than normal.
Wednesday: 9 miles. It’s always brutal waking up for Wednesday runs but this one meant a 4 a.m. alarm. The one good thing about doing runs this early is that I have no time to think of excuses. I just roll out of bed and get going. This run felt great…minus that part where I fell. Somewhere after mile 3, near the brick sidewalk by the Kennedy Center, I tripped. I felt myself try to get my feet underneath me but it didn’t happen and I went tumbling. Joe said I slid like a baseball player and it kind of felt like that. I crashed down and my handheld water bottle went flying. I hand a cut up hand and a nasty cut on my elbow, but I got up and dusted myself off. I must have fallen with most of my weight on my right thigh because it was really sore. I knew I was bound for a tumble during one of these predawn runs so in unlucky week 13, it happened. But now I feel like I can call myself a true runner. I sort of wear these cuts as a badge of honor because I’m weird. Despite the fall and the soreness in my leg, the run felt great. Funny how 9 miles seems to fly by now.
Thursday: 5 miles. I woke up still a little sore, but I put on my running clothes anyway. We got less than a block and I was limping. I didn’t want to risk injuring my other leg so I turned around and headed home. Those 5 miles never happened.
Friday: Rest day.
Saturday: 18 miles. This was daunting. The forecast called for sunny skies and 80 degrees with slightly higher humidity. I got up at 6 a.m. to eat some toast and hydrate. We didn’t get out the door until closer to 7:30, but I was happy Joe was with me since he’s been MIA for my last two long runs and he won’t be around for the 20 miler. Because the miles through Hains Point can be tough during any race, and I knew they would be extra tough during the marathon, we decided on a route that would take us through Hains Point before crossing the 14th Street Bridge and hopping on the Mount Vernon Trail and then backtracking.
It didn’t take long for me to realize this run was going to be a battle. It felt like it was taking so much energy to get my legs to go. They were really fatigued and sore. I remember first feeling this way around mile 6. I made it through about 11 miles and then felt exhausted. Instead of doing my usual walking break every two miles, I would just pick a point, run to it, and then walk until I felt ready to run again. Gatorade and Sports Beans would help briefly but then I’d go back to feeling exhausted. I battled this way back over the 14th Street Bridge and down through Hains Point. I made a bargain to Joe that if I ran the last. .7 miles through Hains Point nonstop, that I would get to walk up the hill by the Washington Monument, then run down the hill to Constitution Avenue and then walk the rest of the way home. So that’s what we did.
This was the hardest run I’d had in a while. It wasn’t rainbows and sunshine like a lot of my runs have been lately. My average pace was 12:25, which I wasn’t happy about but not surprised considering how much I walked. That would put me on pace for a fairly slow marathon, but that’s okay. I did 18 FREAKING miles. I know for sure the sun and warmer temperatures didn’t help so again, I’m just hoping race day dawns cloudy and cool.
Sunday: Cross training. I don’t usually do any formal cross training on Sundays. I just try to get an hour on my feet. Part of this included doing a final walk through of the house I grew up in. As of Tuesday, it will no longer belong to my parents. Such a weird feeling saying goodbye to the place you spent so many years and in which you made so many happy memories.
I also spent some time on my feet walking to High Velocity, a sports bar located in the new Marriott near our apartment. Since the Giants weren’t on our TV, we headed here to watch our respective games. And every other NFL game for that matter. The bar was nice, the food was fairly decent, there was a big beer selection and I could watch the Redskins on a huge screen with other fans. It made for a good Sunday afternoon.
Now on to week 14. In two weeks, I begin tapering! And really, I feel like I only have one super scary week left because this week is a step back week. Only 14 miles for my long run before next week’s 20!