Marathon Training. Week 13.

New week, new chance.

Because I’m a creature of habit, Tuesday was track day. My schedule called for 5 x 1000 m. I had a whole lot of respect for the workouts. As I mentioned, I struggle with longer intervals and the only thing that seems worse to me than running 5 x 1000 is this week 12’s 3 x 1600. Last week, my total sprinting distance was 4 km. This week I was going to do 5 km AND longer intervals. Yikes. I had plans for the evening, so I had to get up in the morning and complete my run. My schedule allowed for a little less flexibility this week.

Like last week, I ran on my little makeshift track around the canal. I found it fairly empty. Already during warm-up, did I start having some additional doubts. We’d done front squats at CrossFit the day before [I PRed and was praised by my coach for packing on quite a nice weight for a marathon runner. ;o) ] and my quads and hamstrings were so heavy. They hurt every step during warm-up. 3 minutes in and I already started making excuses, telling myself I could just run easy and complete the distance. What a stupid thing to do.

By the end of warm-up, the soreness in my legs had eased and I ran my first interval. I was surprised at how well it went. It took some effort. Sure. I walked my 400 m recovery very slowly, but I met my target pace. And then again and again and again and again. I ended up completing all 5 intervals. The last two were really tough and I mentally had to push through and remind myself that it was almost over. Usually, I struggle with the second to last interval. It’s not uncommon for me to even miss the target pace and then run the final one faster than goal. Just before I started my second to last interval, I thought about how next time I was going to focus on not totally zonking out. Then I had a good chuckle to myself and remembered that I was about to run that interval right now and why wasn’t I going to focus on this interval right here? I was super excited (and exhausted!) when I managed to hit the target pace and still crushed the last interval too. Job well done.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the workout and my effort. I think it’s time I start having a bit of confidence when it comes to track workouts. I’m repeating this track session tomorrow. The good news? It can only be better.

Lesson: don’t give up before you’ve even tried. Stop the “I can’t” talk and just do.

 

I was traveling for business on Wednesday and Thursday. I took a CrossFit class on Wednesday and then on Thursday, I decided to move the tempo run to Friday. I hadn’t taken a rest day in a long time and after a lighter-than-I’m-used-to CrossFit class left me totally exhausted, I knew it was needed. I don’t think I need to talk about this again; as you can imagine, the tempo run didn’t happen this week. I briefly considered making it an easy run on Saturday. But my knee felt really sore and tender and I was scheduled to go to a Lululemon-organized yoga event at night and then run long on Sunday.

 

Sunday saw me struggling to get out of bed. I’d slept very poorly and only went to bed very late the night before. Subsequently, I had issues getting up on Sunday, debated multiple times to just skip the run and take another rest day because of the knee. It took a while before I eventually dragged myself out the door. I was scheduled for 17.5 km, that I had mapped out as a route through the Englischer Garten. It was over 30°C when I started, so I wasn’t fazed by my slow pace. I ended up missing my targeted pace by a good deal, but as I said, I’m not bothered by this. I remember training for New York where I started training in the middle of a heat wave too and missed pretty much all target paces. It didn’t hurt my performance in the slightest because simply running in the heat and forcing your body to deal with that will pay off some in the fall.

I changed my route a handful of times during the run. Ever so slightly, but in the end, my scheduled 17.5k were only a little under 17k. The sky became pitch black and I could hear some thunder and see some lightning as I was close to my starting point. Usually, I’m a bit OCD and would’ve continued running until my Garmin read the exact distance. This time, I was not taking any chances. Ah well. I started off with quite a bit of knee pain that thankfully went away as my joints were thoroughly supplied with blood. I only noticed some more pain during the down hills.

As I was running through the Englischer Garten, watching people bathe and ogling the pretty kids surfing in the Eisbach, I briefly choked and realized how violently I have fallen in love with Munich. I’m head over heels in love with Minga. ❤ And I remembered that I actually do enjoy marathon training and running. At one point, I thought “only” 8k to go. Yup, we’re getting to that point.

 

Week 13 MUC Marathon training conclusion:

  • Track (10 – 20 min warm-up, 5×1000, 400m Recovery, 10 min cooldoown): What a surprise. I fully expected this run to suck, but it didn’t. It was tough, but doable. I think it’s time I start having some confidence when it comes to track sessions.
  • Tempo: Skipped. First run in 4 weeks of marathon training that I skipped. I’ve not done a proper tempo run in two weeks. It’s time I suck it up. Later in the marathon training plan, I have a 13k tempo run coming up. If I want to make it through that run alive, I better actually start doing tempo runs again.
  • LSD (17.5k): A little modified, but at least it was doable and fairly pain free. I’m trying not to be concerned about missing the target pace for every single LSD I’ve done so far. I’m going to run the slowest marathon ever.
  • Total weekly distance: 26.89 km
  • Total weekly time: 3:16:50
  • Crosstraining & rest: 3 CrossFit sessions and 1 yoga session. 100 km biked. 1 complete rest day.
  • Feeling: Good overall. A bit bruised. Battered and beaten. I am a bit annoyed that I missed my first run, even though I know it was the wise thing today. I’m getting a little more scared of the tempo as time goes by.
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