Friday, July 10, 2015

A tough week of training and goal setting ahead

This past week of marathon training has been a tough one for me.  Maybe it was the back-to-back 6 mile race on Saturday then 9 mile run on Sunday.  Or maybe it was starting the week with a lack of sleep from sharing a bed with two 6.5 year old boys over the weekend. Or maybe I'm just running myself too hard.  But I've been tired this week.

All my runs felt like a struggle.  I mean, I guess I haven't had much rest.  I went from those back to back running days over the weekend to a 16 mile bike ride on Monday night to a 3 mile run Tuesday, 5 mile run Wednesday, 3 mile run on Thursday, swim on Thursday evening and swim on Friday morning.  Oh with some weight training in there too.

The bike ride on Monday night was really enjoyable as it was just a gorgeous evening.  And Tuesday morning started just as beautifully with a gorgeous sunrise.  Unfortunately, I just felt like I was running through jello.  I was fighting to keep up with my friends whom I was running with and were they not there I would have gone much slower.

Despite feeling like crap, the run did end up pretty decent in the end when we finished with a 9:35 pace.  And on Wednesday, I went to the gym in the morning to do a little weight training and then ran in the evening after work.  This was the first time in this whole training cycle that I just did not want to run.  I was dreading doing it and just wanted to go home and curl up in a ball.  However, I know I can't miss my runs and actually, it worked out because I felt pretty grumpy at the end of the day and just channeled that into my workout.  I felt gross the whole time running but fought out the miles and was shocked at the end when I looked at my pace and saw that it was 9:13.  I am sure it was helped by the fact that I ran on totally flat ground, but still.  I felt like I was going much slower than that at the time!

And I swear, post run, I was so drenched in sweat with all that humidity - I was trying to remember if I had ever been sweatier in my life and I couldn't think of a time.  Do you see how my entire body is soaked??

When I got home from that run, I actually threw on a bathing suit and went down to the pool in my apartment complex to soak for a bit and cool off.  It was much needed!

Thursday AM I got up early and met a friend in Piedmont Park for 3 miles.  Again, I felt like I was chasing him a bit and fighting to keep up and get through the run, and my pace ended up at 9:20.

My calves started feeling really sore this week and when I got back to my car I used my "stick" to roll them out a bit and also brought it to my desk to use, but it just kept getting more painful throughout the day.  I planned to swim this evening, so I decided to still get that workout in despite the soreness.  I didn't push hard in the swim, I really just wanted to swim 1500 meters and get a feel for how long it would take me to do.  I did the swim nice and easy and finished it in around 30 minutes.

In addition to the marathon, I also recently signed up for an Olympic/Intermediate distance triathlon that is a 1500 M swim, 22 mile bike, then a 10K run.  I am a bit nervous for it so am trying to increase my swimming and biking and maybe do some brick workouts in between there too.

I don't write about my paces too often, so hopefully that doesn't turn people off.  I don't want to be one of "those runners" and the real reason that I am sharing it or paying attention to it lately is because I have been trying to decide what my goal is for the Chicago Marathon. Lately, I have been surprising myself with what I am capable of.  In the past when my goal has just been to finish a race, it's been great.  Now that I am getting more experienced, I want to keep pushing myself.  I am sometimes not sure where to set my sights and what to expect out of myself.  I have already accomplished more than what was in my wildest expectations a couple years ago. I've been really impressed with my "casual" run pace and the fact that the majority of the time my pace is under 10 minute miles.  That used to be such a rarity for me and now is a bit more of a regular thing.

As I put together my training plan for the Chicago Marathon, I want to include some speed work and tempo runs because I like the speed that I have developed.  I haven’t really put together a goal for the race yet in October, but I am starting to think about it and what will be realistic for me.  I think what will be smartest will be paying attention to how my pace adapts as the runs get longer.  I was able to do my 7 mile run under 10 minute miles but then when I did my 9-miler this weekend, I was back up to a 10:30 pace.

Chicago is a flat route so I think that my goal will definitely be to get a personal best time, and beat my time at the Paris Marathon of a 4:37.  But what after that?  

We'll just have to wait and see!!

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