Richmond Marathon Training – One Month Down

richmond marathon training week 4

As a reminder, I am hosting a training run with the Richmond Marathon down here in Atlanta! Please see the details on Facebook and RSVP!

Hello! How’s it going today? Here in Atlanta, it’s more of the same – HOT and HUMID.  We’re approaching the record of the hottest summer ever here in Atlanta, with almost two straight months of temps well above 90 degrees each day.  It makes me very happy I am a morning runner…it’s a lot cooler! But, it’s more humid early in the morning.  Running in temps in the mid 70s with humidity close to 100% each day has made training a bit grueling.  HOWEVER there does seem to be some relief in sight since we are now getting closer to September, and I’ve found running in just a sports bra and shorts has helped a lot.  Also, I keep reminding myself that these hot summers mean we have really enjoyable winters, and the heat training will really benefit me in the fall!

Anyways, this week was a great one for my training.  My body seems to have finally have adjusted to said heat, as well as the higher mileage and more days of running.  I can see my training starting to come together and I’m feeling confident as well as excited for what is in store.  If you remember, one of the things I’m really focusing on this training cycle is keeping myself healthy, and my body is feeling great so far! I’d even go as far to say that this may be the best I’ve ever felt in a training cycle.  My aches and pains have been very minimal, and my legs are feeling smooth and strong on my runs.

This week, I started incorporating some informal speed work into my runs.  I was happy for this as I’ve been itching to go a bit faster.  Also, I’ve been focusing very hard on making sure I’m running my “easy” runs slow enough, and it’s so nice to not have to think about holding myself back too much and just run!

Here’s how this week went:

Monday: 6 miles @ 11:26 pace, hip/glute/PT exercises.  I was off of work for the day, so my dad and I did this one a little later in the morning out on the Silver Comet Trail.  It was so nice to have company for this run and for that company to be my dad! We were talking most of the time and this run felt really good.

Dad and I after our run!

Dad and I after our run!

Tuesday: 3 miles @ 11:53 pace.  My legs were a little tired from some of my strength exercises the day before, but overall, this was a solid recovery pace run.

Wednesday: 5 miles with informal speedwork, 55 minute barre class at Pink Barre.  I loved this morning run! I went on my hillier route, and my plan called for 1.5 mile warmup, pause for dynamic stretching, then 5 x 30 second sprints with a 2 minute recovery jog in between each sprint, and finishing out the balance of the run at an easy pace.

I was able to execute this run exactly, and I was so happy to get my legs moving! I felt nice and strong, especially when I was able to do this on the hills.  I ran about an 8:00 pace on the sprints, and my overall pace for the entire run was 10:51.

That evening, I took a Barre class, and the instructor dubbed the class “single leg day”.  Let’s just say I definitely got my strength in….my legs were like jello leaving the class!  I was really happy with how this class went because I’m finally getting the hang of a lot of the moves in the class, so I felt I was able to really give 100% during this class.  I’m also seeing an improvement in my strength after only attending a handful of times, I was able to execute all the sets with no rest in the middle!

Thursday: 45 minutes stationary bike.  My legs were tired but not as sore as I was expecting, so I was able to push it a little on this ride.  I did the rolling hills program and followed it with lots of stretching.

Friday: 3 miles @ 11:33 pace. I probably ran this one a bit too fast since it was a recovery run, but regardless, this run felt good.  My legs were still tired and sore from Barre (the soreness hit Thursday night), so I took an epsom salt bath and did some extra stretching and rolling in the evening.  Also, I’ve managed to convince Brian that every Friday night I “need” to practice my pre-race meal, steak and potatoes.  So, we grilled out some ginormous ribeyes! I had mine with a side of a sweet potato, and Brian made grilled asparagus for his side (plus leftovers). The nice thing about how big the steaks were is that there were leftovers for my post-run meal!

BEEF

BEEF

Saturday: 12 miles – first 10 @ 11:36 avg pace, last two fast finish 9:06/8:49.  WOW what a great run! I met up with MARC for this run and we got started at 6am to try to beat the heat.  I ran with a group for the first 7 miles, which were through Smyrna and a little hilly, and then did the last 5 solo on the Silver Comet Trail.  My legs were definitely still tired going into this run, and I really started to feel them around mile 6 or 7.

My plan called for a fast finish the last two miles, so I cranked it up during mile 11.  I don’t think the “current pace” field on my Garmin is incredibly accurate on the trail, so I just kept an eye on my heart rate….I had no idea how fast I was going, but focused on increasing my stride length, keeping my form good, and powering through my legs.  I was SHOCKED to see the time when I finished mile 11.  It felt like I was going fast, but not that fast.  Mile 11 was slightly uncomfortable, and mile 12 got very uncomfortable during the last half of a mile.  I really wanted to try to hold that same pace for the last mile, and was so excited when I finished it.  I tried really hard to stay present in the moment and embrace the challenge.

I’ve seen more 9:00 miles this year than any other year, and every time it happens it surprises me.  I’m not a 9:00/mile runner! But, clearly I can be since I’m hitting them.  It got me very excited to see what is going to happen once the fall weather rolls in.  I’m really hoping it gets here in time for my half marathon in September!

That afternoon, I got a sports massage which felt sooooooo good on my tired legs, and the Brian and I ran a couple of errands before going to grab burgers at Muss and Turners.  This is one of my favorite burgers by our house…..it was so delicious!  We finished off the night playing ladder golf while sipping on some beer outside.

Enjoying our backyard

Enjoying our backyard

Sunday: Rest Day.  I’m very excited for what Brian and I have on deck today.  We are doing some small upgrades in our master bathroom! We are changing out the hardware and faucets on our vanity, which I think will make a huge difference.  I will definitely post a before/after photo on Instagram later today, so make sure you follow me!

I’ll likely do some easy yoga this afternoon as well and a recovery walk.  My legs are definitely tired, which I feel like I’ve written about 100 times in this post.  They’re feeling strong despite feeling tired, and I know it’s all part of training, so I’m okay with the tiredness.

Total miles for the week: 29

One month of training for the @Sportsbackers Richmond Marathon is in the books #richmondready Click To Tweet

Next week will be nearly identical, with the exception of my long run on Saturday, which will be 14 miles.  I’ve now completed my last long run under a half marathon distance until my taper, so it’s really starting to feel real that I’m in marathon training.  I’m also excited because my friends Christina and Brooke are coming into town for the weekend, and we have lots of shenanigans in store.  It’s going to be another busy, but great, week!

How is your training going? How has the weather been by you this summer?

 

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Jess

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