Richmond Marathon Training – Week 6

This week was tough because of travelling, but it ended with an amazing race.  All the pieces are coming together and I am starting to see my training pay off, getting me more and more excited for Richmond.  Here’s how this week went:

Monday: Planned – 4 miles easy.  Actual – 4 miles @ 11:03 pace. 

I wasn’t feeling great Monday morning so opted to sleep in, since we had the day off of work.  Brian and I were out the morning and early afternoon, and I took a nap when we got home.  I got up around 4:30 and seriously considered bailing on this run.  It was hot outside, I didn’t feel great, and I despise evening running.  But, I had a feeling I would feel better if I went.  I told myself that I would just go as slow as I needed to because of the heat.

The heat wasn’t terrible because the humidity was really low (around 50%, compared to the 90%+ I’m used to).  The sun was starting to set, too, which gave me a lot of shade.  I really surprised myself with this run because it wasn’t a hard effort to hit this pace.  I actually had to dial myself back a few times.  As usual, I felt better after the run and didn’t regret going.  I was also really proud of myself for getting out there when I really didn’t want to.  As a side note, the knee I was worried about last week felt 100%.  I think the deep tissue massage and yoga really did wonders for it.

Tuesday: Planned – STRENGTH & SPEEDWORK! 1-1.5 mile warm-up, 6 x 400m repeats @ 8:08 pace (2:02 per repeat) with 400m recovery jog in between, 1-1.5 mile cool-down.  Actual – 1 mile warm-up, repeats (1:54,1:58,1:55, 1:58, 2:00, 2:00), 1 mile cool-down.  30 minutes strength training.

What a great workout! It was my first prescribed hard speed workout, and I was a bit nervous about it.  I decided to try something new with my routine, and went to the office really early.  The gym there opens at 5:30, and I timed it so that I was walking in right as they opened.  The gym is on the top floor of the parking deck, and on the roof is an outdoor track.  It’s small…10 laps equals a mile, but it’s flat and the views are amazing!

Rooftop track with an amazing view

Rooftop track with an amazing view

I started by doing my warm-up mile, then stopped and did my dynamic stretching before starting the speed workout.  The first repeat was way too fast as I tried to figure out the what the right pace felt like.  I was able to settle into it after a couple, and didn’t walk at all during the recovery.   The last two were definitely tough and I really had to push myself through them.  I walked for about 15 seconds after each of the last two and then jogged the rest of the recovery.  Overall, I really enjoyed this workout and loved my new spot for speedwork.  The views and breeze from up high really made for a great morning!

I was already pretty sweaty and realized I had time to do a quick 30 minute strength training right after, so I did it then instead of waiting until lunch.  I was on a bit of a runner’s high and may have pushed a bit too hard on the strength training…I knew as soon as I was done that I was going to be sore.  Overall, a fantastic workout!

Tuesday I also had a check-in with my coach about strategy for the half marathon on Saturday and it really got me pumped for the race!

Wednesday: Planned – active recovery or restorative yoga.  Actual – rest.  

Since Wednesday I was travelling to and attending a conference, my coach and I decided a rest day would be good.  I still ended up walking over 10k steps so my legs got quite a bit of work.  My hotel room had a big tub, so I went to the store and got some epsom salts.  I soaked in a bath and spent some time foam rolling and stretching that evening.

Thursday: Planned – 4 miles easy + strength.  Actual – 4 miles @ 10:56 pace.

Wednesday was a really long day, and I was really tired for this run.  As usual, I was happy once I was out the door.  The temperature was nice, about 67, even though it was humid.  I just ran along the road where I was staying (a coworker confirmed it was safe) and saw a few other runners while I was out.  It was a really nice run and helped loosen up my tight and sore legs.  Since I was so tired, still sore, and I had the race coming up Saturday, I decided to skip strength training and don’t regret this one bit.

Thursday night, my boss and I found a great Italian place in downtown Bentonville, Tavola.  I had a really delicious pasta dish with pesto, beef tenderloin, spinach, and mozzarella.  I’ll definitely be back there the next time I’m in Bentonville.  I capped off the night with another bath and stretching.

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

This was the day I flew back to Atlanta, and I was so grateful for a rest day.  Travelling this week really took it out of me and I was happy to sleep in.  I got back to Atlanta in time to start dinner for myself, Christina, and her sister Angie.  We had rice, potatoes, and chicken for dinner and got to bed early to get ready for our race.

Saturday: Diva’s Half Marathon – 2:10:08

A detailed recap coming separately, but this was an AMAZING race, and I set a PR by about two and a half minutes which was a bit unexpected.  The goal for this race was to really listen to my body and run by effort, and I did exactly that.  It was a great race with the girls (Carrie, Christina, and Angie) and the course was beautiful!  I was really surprised at how good I felt after this race.  I wasn’t sore or hurting at all, and had a decent amount of energy.  I didn’t even nap!

Let's run a half marathon. But first, let me take a selfie....

Let’s run a half marathon. But first, let me take a selfie….

Saturday evening, we went out for burgers at The Vortex and saw an Improv show at Whole World Theater.  It was nice to see everyone in non-running clothes!

A night out in ATL

A night out in ATL

Sunday: Planned – 4 recovery miles.  Actual – 4 miles @ 11:32 pace.

I woke up feeling pretty good.  My quads and calves were a teensy bit sore, and my legs were definitely tired.  However, the weather was so amazing (mid 50s!), I couldn’t pass up this recovery run.  I took it easy and really enjoyed the run.

We had brunch and then got foot massages before the girls headed home.  My grocery shopping is done, so I plan to spend the balance of the day relaxing and watching football.

Christina and Carrie are ready for their foot massages!

Christina and Carrie are ready for their foot massages!

Total Miles for the Week: 30.1

What went well: Staying on track while travelling.  I was able to eat relatively well, get my workouts in, and still stretch and foam roll.  Also, I am glad I listened to my body and changed around some workouts as travelling really took a lot out of me.  Executing my half marathon exactly how I planned was a huge confidence booster.

What didn’t go well: honestly, I’m having trouble coming up with something here.  I’m really pleased with how this week went.

Focus for the upcoming week: maintaining the momentum and building upon success.  I’m really getting into a good rhythm with my training and I’d like to maintain it next week.  We have just two months until the marathon and I’m really looking forward to fall running!

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Jess

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