Richmond Marathon Training – Week 5

Whew, this was a tough but rewarding week.  I’m starting to see my training really work and I’m feeling good about where I’m at.  I’ve started visualizing the marathon which is getting me so excited!

Monday: Planned – 4 easy. Actual – 4 miles @ 11:07 pace.

This was a pretty easy run and a great way to start the week.  My knee was feeling achy again.  I’ve been really paranoid about my knee because last fall I got a slight sprain in my MCL, and it’s the same knee that’s been bothering me.  I spent some more time foam rolling Monday evening than normal.

Tuesday: Planned – Strength training + 5 miles easy pace with 5 x 1 minute sprints during miles 3 & 4.  Actual – 5 miles @ 11:00 pace, 30 minutes strength training.

I spent a little extra time warming up and decided that if my knee wasn’t feeling right again I was going to go back and do the elliptical.  Luckily the extra foam rolling and stretching seemed to have really helped and my knee felt fine.  The sprints went well and I hit the gym on my lunch break, where I focused all on legs.

Wednesday: Planned – active recovery or restorative yoga.  Actual – 30 minutes stationary bike.  

Gosh I was sore for this workout, but I really enjoy my Wednesdays.  I sleep in and hit the gym on my lunch break…and I love doing the stationary bike because I can read while doing it! It’s a great break mid-week.  Wednesday night I met a former coworker for dinner and drinks downtown!

Thursday: Planned – Strength + 6 mile pace run: 2 miles easy pace, 3 miles @ mid-tempo pace (9:37), 1 mile easy pace.  Actual – 6 mile pace run (splits: 11:49/11:22/9:33/9:28/9:23/10:54).

What an amazing run.  It was really hot, I was still REALLY sore from Tuesday and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hit my paces, but I did! I had some great reflection during this run and it was such an amazing way to start the day.  The margaritas from the night prior didn’t sit well with my digestive system, though…luckily I made it home in time!

Great morning run!

Great morning run!

I was really sore still from my Tuesday workout and busy at work, so I skipped strength training.  I regret this, I wish I had still gone and done upper body and core.

Thursday night Brian and I went to the last Falcon’s preseason game of the season.  I’m soooo excited that there are no more weekends without football! We have season tickets again this year and I’m hopefully that the coaching staff changes will allow for some more wins…at least when they play at home!



Friday: Planned – rest day.  Actual – glorious rest day.

I was really tired Friday from going to the game the night before and was glad for a rest day.  I considered going to yoga Friday night but opted to stay in and go to bed early, instead.  I kept with my pre-long run dinner of chicken, white rice, and a baked potato.

Saturday: Actual – 15 miles.  Actual – 15 miles @ 11:24 pace.

I planned to do this run with MARC and my friend Carrie, and we had a 6am start to beat the heat (and a lot of people in the group were doing close to 20 miles).  Since we were meeting in Smyrna (about 20 minutes from my house), I got up around 4 and ate then.  I had 2 hard boiled eggs with a salt pill, and then on the way there, I had a Clif Bar.  I wasn’t super pumped for this run, I was in a funky mood and was having trouble getting myself in a good mental state.  I’m glad I met the group!

I decided to try a different strategy for fueling this run, and aimed for a gel every 4 miles OR 50 minutes, whichever came first.  I also wanted to do a salt pill every 5 miles.  I tried more flavors of the Huma Gels for this run, and two of them had caffeine in them.  I carried water with me and planned to take Gatorade at the stops if needed.

It was a little warm but there was a nice breeze and we settled into a rhythm pretty quickly.  The first few miles seemed to drag on, the hills were killing me, and I really looked forward to the first gel.  We had a water stop around mile 3 and I had about 3 oz of Gatorade.  I had a cafe mocha Huma Gel at mile 4, which has 2x caffeine in it.  I really felt a boost from this, and suddenly the miles started to go by faster.  I took my salt pill at mile 5 and was feeling really great by the time we got to the next water stop.  I refilled my bottle and took a potty break, then we were on the Silver Comet Trail.

The trail is great because it’s shady and mostly flat.  I also like that you don’t have to worry about cars! My friend Jerome passed us around our mile 8 and it was great to see him. I took an Apple Cinnamon Huma gel and it was DELICIOUS, this flavor did not have caffeine. Around this point Carrie and I had run out of things to talk about and I was still a little in my funky mood so there was a lot of just running and listening to music.  It’s really nice to run with someone though, even if you don’t talk much.  Just having someone running next to you seems to help! I took my salt pill around mile 10.

We had another water stop around mile 11 and I had a small cup of Gatorade.  I took my last Huma Gel (Chocolate with 1x caffeine) at mile 12 and then it was just 3 miles to go! I got a huge kick from this gel – the ones with caffeine seem to really give me a great boost.  We were also going slightly downhill at this point (maybe about a 2% decline) and we crushed our last three miles.  It was great to finish strong! I could have definitely kept going.  My joints felt achy starting around mile 10, and my legs were tired (and STILL sore from Tuesday’s workout…yikes), but overall I felt good.  I was in a much better mood after this run!

Photo Op with Carrie on the Silver Comet Trail

Photo Op with Carrie on the Silver Comet Trail

During the last few miles, I reflected back on my first 15 mile run ever.  I really struggled the last 5 miles of that run and had a “holy crap this is going to be hard” moment. Here is what I wrote about that run last January: “I was around mile 12 and my legs were burning and mentally I just was having a very hard time.  I started wondering if I could do this, and thinking about how far 26.2 miles really is.”

This run, I just felt good.  Tired, but confident.  I can feel my training working and I’m getting excited for the marathon!!

Fueling worked well.  I really liked these flavors.  The caffeine flavors seem to work best, but I’m not sure if it’s wise to exclusively use gels with caffeine in it.  I do think I’m going to try having a gel right before I start my run next week to give me a boost when I start, as I seem to really look forward to that first one around 45 minutes in.

I had a 90 minute deep tissue massage Saturday afternoon and I felt like a different person afterwards! Saturday night, Brian and I did a date night out for pizza, and then stopped at Gamestop on the way home.  We found a couple of pre-owned Wii games for super cheap – $3 for the two of them! We spent the night playing Wii mini golf.

Sunday: Planned – rest day. Actual – yoga for runners.

Between the 15 miles and my massage, my legs were tight and I knew yoga would help them.  I just love this class, especially since we use our foam roller! My legs felt so much better afterwards!

Sunday night, we went to a wedding in Midtown Atlanta at the Georgian Terrace Hotel.  The ceremony and reception was held in the same ballroom that the Gone With the Wind Gala for the actors was held after the world premier! It was pretty cool to dance in the same room that Clark and Vivien did back in 1939! The venue was amazing and we had such a great time.  It was nice to have an extra day in the weekend.

The ballroom at the Georgian Terrace Hotel

The ballroom at the Georgian Terrace Hotel

All dressed up with Brian!

All dressed up with Brian!

Total Miles for the Week: 30

What went well this week: A thirty mile week! Talk about feeling like we’re really in marathon training! I was really tired a lot of days this week because of some other stuff going on (don’t worry guys, it’s a good & exciting thing…but it’s taking up a lot of time and energy).  I was proud to get almost all my workouts in, feel strong, and really nail my goal paces.  I also did better about foam rolling and noticed a big difference with my finicky knee.

What didn’t go as well: Nutrition.  I  had quite a few meals out, and it wasn’t the best food for fueling. I nearly had a bathroom accident on my Thursday morning run after having Mexican the night prior.  I know this also impacted my energy levels.  Now that we’re really getting into the thick of training, I have to stay on track.

Focus for this week: Staying on track while travelling.  I head out of town Wednesday morning for work and won’t be back until Friday.  I made sure to book a hotel with a fitness center, so I should be able to get my workouts in.  I fly back on Friday night, and Christina and her sister Angie are coming into town that night, too! We are running the Diva’s Half Marathon on Saturday.  For Angie, it will be her second half marathon! I know she’s nervous but is going to kill it! I’m looking forward to running some miles at goal marathon pace and getting a medal after a training run, and of course seeing the girls.

My knee is feeling completely fine now, and I think that the massage and yoga really helped.  I need to be sure to continue to do my foam rolling, and I may even move to try to do it two times a day.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Do you use fuel with caffeine in it? If so, do you mix in fuel without it as well?

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