Marathon Training Week 15 Recap

I am officially tapering! That is so exciting to say! It seems like I started this process so long ago. Now I’ve gotten through the hardest training and it’s time to focus on giving my body some rest before the marathon, which is less than three weeks away. Yikes!

Last week’s training:

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: 5 miles. This wasn’t as quick as the previous week’s 5 miler, but still pretty solid considering it was more humid this morning.

Wednesday: 10 miles. I remember looking at this on the schedule and wondering how in the world I was going to run 10 miles before work. I was up at 3:40 to grab some peanut butter toast and water. We were out the door by 4. The world is a weird place at 4 a.m. It’s  after all the late night revelers have gone home but before most of the early morning workers are out. We decided to run down to the Mall, in front of the Capitol, back down the other side of the Mall and onto Hains Point.

Hains Point was SUPER creepy at that hour. There were a couple of sketchy idling cars on the road and then we got to the point where the road closes at night. Once we were there, it was just us. And the animals. I believe we saw a raccoon and a fox out there. If you want to feel like you live in a post-apocalyptic world, go to Hains Point at about 4:30 in the morning. On our turn around we did see one other runner but that was it. We looped back around the way we came and finished 10 miles. A few months ago I raced a 10 miler. On this morning, I did that before work. Craziness.

Thursday: 5 miles. Thursday has become my nemesis lately. I’m usually still tired from getting up so early on Wednesday. I got out of bed but Joe and I debated whether we should go out. My knees had been feeling a little rubber band-y (shut up, that’s totally a word) so I thought I might rest them. Joe hadn’t gotten much sleep that night either so I decided to do this run after work. Well,  it was still kinda humid out after work and the ORIOLES WERE ON! In my early morning fog, I’d forgotten that the game was that night. So I just decided that I’d do 5 miles on Friday night.

Friday: I bet you can guess what happened. I did not run 5 miles.

Saturday: After looking at the weather forecast, I decided to do my 20 miler on Sunday since morning temperatures were forecast to be in the 40’s (!!!). On Saturday I decided to do a bit of a shakeout run of 3 miles so that I could make up some of the 5 I missed earlier in the week. Nowadays I feel like I’m just warmed up after 3 miles so this felt like a breeze.

Sunday: The big 20. I was pretty nervous about this, especially because I had to do it alone. I woke up around 6:45, ate some peanut butter toast, drank some water and loaded up my fuel belt. Around 7:40 I was out the door. I started off with a lap around the Mall and then headed down to Hains Point. I was going to run all the way around, but there was a race going on near the point and I didn’t want to be a race bandit. So I turned around and came back out of Hains Point, ran over the 14th Street Bridge and down the Mount Vernon Trail. I crossed the Memorial Bridge and headed over toward the entrance to Rock Creek. Originally I though I’d just turn around at the 10 mile point but I didn’t really want to retrace my steps. So I just kept pushing into Rock Creek, going almost as far as Joe and I had the previous week. I felt fairly solid until about mile 14. Then my pace slowed and I walked for a couple of short stretches. I got to 16 and I felt kind of tapped out. I wasn’t overly tired but I just wanted to be done. I was bored after 3 hours of running alone. I had turned on music around mile 10 but that wasn’t helping by the 16 mile point. So I walked. And I just kept walking. I got to the point where I had walked for too long and running started to feel uncomfortable because I had gotten a little stiff and my back kind of hurt. So I completely walked the last 4 miles. I wish I had run because it felt like it took FOREVER to get home. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Joe had been there to chat with, I would have kept running. It took about 4 hours and 10 minutes to do the 20.

I kick myself now for not pushing through more but someone reminded me that I’ll likely do better on race day. By then, I’ll be going on adrenaline and my body will have had more of a chance to rest. Right now it’s just kind of beat up. I was pretty positive after 20 miles though because hey, it’s 20 freaking miles. That’s pretty awesome. My body is a little sore today but not bad at all.

This week I’ll get a chance to sleep in (hallelujah!) because Joe is out of town for a couple of days. I don’t like to run by myself in the predawn dark so I’ll be doing my runs after work. After last week, this week should seem like nothing.