Marathon Training Week 11

This week has been hard.  My energy levels have been so low.  I often found myself sitting at my desk daydreaming about my bed.  Several nights this week I went to bed at 8pm (not ashamed to admit it!).  Thankfully, I’ve taken it easy this weekend and am feeling much better!  I can really tell that we are at the peak of training because my body is drained!

I also had really tight calves this week.  Sometimes they get so tight that the inside of my leg (kinda between my shin and calf) hurts when I run.  I’ve talked to my PT about it, and he said it’s just a result of tight muscles.  I’ve spent every day foam rolling the crap out of my legs, and spending extra time on my calves, and they’re feeling better, too!

Here’s my rundown:

Monday: Planned 0, Actual 0 – I had a headache most of the day.  I saw my nutritionist and she recommended some supplements for my energy levels.  We also talked about post-long run recovery meals!

Tuesday: Planned 5, Actual 5 – I met two running friends who live close by for an early morning run.  My legs felt heavy the first mile or so, but then I loosened up.  The last two miles I felt great and ran those around a 9:30 pace!

Wednesday: Planned 9, Actual 9 – I already wrote about this terrible run here.  The good news is that my planned route was actually only 8 miles ( I miscalculated), but I pushed and ran the extra mile at the end.  It would have been so easy to cut the run a mile short, but I didn’t!  I know there are a lot of factors that went into this run so I’m not sweating it anymore.

Wednesday night I got an email from the organizers of the race about a change in the course.  Here’s an excerpt:

We have spent the past 7 months working diligently with local agencies and developers to secure the best course, and as a result we have made some adjustments to the marathon route to accommodate these changes.

Runners should be prepared for a course that:

  • Showcases the new sections of the Capitol Hill Historic District
  • Eliminates running through the 9th Street Tunnel
  • Includes Fort Dupont Park, which will have a hill at mile 22.5

The event remains the only 26.2-mile marathon that runs entirely within the District of Columbia. All on-course music, support and entertainment will not be affected by the changes and will continue as planned.

Um…..what?! When Christina and I signed up for this race, one of the things that drew us to the course was the fact that it was very flat, with only a couple of hills at the beginning around mile 5 or so.  Here is the new course:

DC course


See that spike at the end? That used to be flat!!! I looked it up, and it’s about a 15 story climb over about a mile. We have a similar hill here that is a little shorter…it has its own name, “Cardiac Hill”.  Needless to say, this was not a welcomed change!

However, it’s the course now, so we just have to prepare ourselves.  Luckily both of us are used to running on hills so we’re in shape to do it.  We are going to add a big hill at the end of our 20 miler and I’m going to start adding a hill at the end of my mid week runs, too, in order to get used to doing it on tired legs.

The positive side to this is that we now have a place for our family and friends to be waiting for us…just on the other side of that hill! I actually had a vision of cresting the hill and seeing my family/friends there while I was running the other morning…it got me pretty pumped!

Thursday: Planned 5, Actual 5 – much better run endurance-wise.  Calves were still tight but not as bad.  I almost got hit by a car, so that was fun.  I now have a new habit of checking over my right shoulder before crossing an intersection (the car was turning left toward me).  No joke, if I had been just two steps ahead I would have gotten hit…the car definitely didn’t see me.  Scared the shit out of me!

Friday: Planned 0, Actual 0 – Slept in a bit and it was glorious.  Had a big bowl of spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner and went to bed at 8:30.  Really enjoyed the rest day!

Saturday: Planned 14, Actual 14 – I did 3 of these solo and 11 of these with MARC.  It was chilly at the start but I warmed up pretty quickly.  My endurance was great (I actually pulled away from the group I was feeling so good) but my legs were TIRED.  Overall it was a good run, though.  I felt pretty good afterwards.  I had my recovery meal and then promptly took a 3 hour nap.  Brian and I went to Hibatchi last night for dinner and that totally hit the spot!!

Sunday: Planned 0, actual 0 – I slept in very late today.  I’m surprised that I’m not sore at all.  I can’t believe that I can run 14 miles now and not be sore the next day! I treated myself to a pedicure and Brian and I are going out for steak tonight!

So that’s the rundown on this week.  Overall, a hard week.  However, I got the miles in and made it to the other side.  This week coming up is peak week in training….I can’t believe it’s already here! Christina is coming down on Friday and we’re doing our 20 miler together Saturday morning.  This is our race day dress rehearsal!! Less than a month to go until we’re marathoners!!!

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