So, this was a tough week of training. Physically, I am feeling fine – the pain in my foot disappeared as quickly as it appeared and I have been running pain-free all week.
But mentally, it was a challenging week. I flew out to SF on Friday morning for one of my college gf’s weddings, so coach and I adjusted the plan so I would get my long run in on Thursday. Realistically, there was ZERO chance (or desire) of me running long while I was in SF – my focus was on spending as much time with my West Point girls as possible – and a 21 miler did not fit into the plan.
So we decided to shift the week and do the long run on Thursday. Unfortunately, I woke up Thursday and just didn’t have the motivation to run for almost 3 hours. I made it 5 miles and called it a day. The thought of another 16 miles – alone and mostly in the dark – sounded miserable to me.
So the plan changed to me running at 4am on Friday. I’ve never run that early before but I needed to be on my way to the airport by 8am. I was in bed by 9pm with my alarm set for 3:30am. But of course, things never run that smoothly when you have a short timeline. I woke up at 12:15 and was up for a bit before hearing my older son awake around 1am. I ended up in bed with him for a few hours until he finally drifted off to sleep just after 3am. It was one of those nights where you just stare at your clock as it gets later and later and as you constantly do the math to see how many hours of sleep you could still manage if you fell asleep at that moment.
I returned to my own bed and felt frustrated, annoyed and exhausted. I was *this* close to shutting off my alarm and just calling the long run for the week a wash. But the thought of regret on race day was what got me out of bed a few minutes later. I told myself that there was no time for a pity party and to suck it up and just get it done. Coffee helped and by 3:45am, I was on the treadmill (watching episodes of the Real Housewives of Orange County and Below Deck) – trashy, mindless tv to pass the time. 8.1 miles later, I felt comfortable enough to head outside where I ran another 13 miles.
Overall, it was a solid long run – the longest of this training cycle so far. Average pace of 7:57 on the treadmill for the 8.1 miles and 7:47 outside (with 500+ ft of gain) for the 13 miles.
Splits: 8:32, 8:00, 8:12, 8:02, 7:52, 7:52, 7:38, 7:41, 7:45, 7:48, 7:27, 7:24, 6:53
I’m not going to sit here and say things like sleep is a crutch or no excuses. If I had no excuses, I would have run 21 miles on Thursday. And sleep is not a crutch – it’s necessary and oh-so-important. In some ways, the early flight to SF was the ideal situation – I popped a few advil PMs as I was boarding and was out solid for about 3 hours and then slept about 7 hours Friday and Saturday night. There is no way you can continually train hard on little sleep. The more I run, the more sleep I need. And thankfully, my boys have been sleeping incredibly well the last couple of months – early bedtimes, sleeping through the night and late wakeups (~6-6:30am which is late for them!). So I’ve been getting a solid 6-8 hours of sleep each night. And therefore, I felt like I could suck it up for one run and just get it done and make up the sleep later.
The rest of the week looked like this:
Planned: 7-8 miles
Actual: OFF because of pain in foot
Planned: 1 mile easy, 9 miles at AT tempo (7-7:10), 1 mile easy
Actual: 1 mile @ 7:57, 9 miles @ 7:17, 1 mile @ 8:41
This was not a successful run if you just look at the paces. I was well outside the range from coach. But it was hot and humid and the effort was there. The only thing you can hope for is that the paces will start dropping when the temps and humidity do. It can be discouraging to have a run like this where you struggle for 9 miles at a slighter faster pace than you ran 11 miles the week prior (and felt comfortable). Those thoughts of doubt, fear and worry start to enter as you question your training and your ability to run these paces for 26.2 miles in just over a month (AGH!). The important thing is just to work hard – do the work – and have faith that it will come together on race day when your legs are rested, your fully fueled and the excitement of race day kicks in.
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Planned 4-7 miles, 7-8 on Sunday
Actual: 5, 5, 6.15, 6
Easy paced, recovery miles for the other days this week including one gorgeous run in SF on Saturday morning. Legs had more pep than I expected after the 21 miler on Friday, cross-country flight and lots of walking in heels on Friday night.
Total of 52 miles for the week with 1 unplanned rest day.
I’m SUPER excited to share that I am running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon this weekend with Humana!! I’ve been on the hunt for a good half marathon to race as a tuneup for Wineglass and unfortunately, had no luck (the only ones within driving distance were on weekends where I already had a commitment).
I’m going to be flying down on Friday and racing on Sunday! Should be a great way to get some hard effort miles in, see where I am in terms of fitness and speed and most importantly, spend some quality time with a few good friends. My good friend Jess and her family will be down for the weekend (her and her husband are both racing!), my Boston-buddy Kris and Megan will be there (Megan is racing) and Chris from RunWestin will be in town.
I’ve read a few race reports already and will be studying the course map a bit this week. If you have any tips/comments about the course, please share them with me!
For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:
- Instagram: NYCRunningMama
- Twitter: NYCRunningMama
- Facebook: NYCRunningMama
- Pinterest: NYCRunningMama