Hi there! How was your Thanksgiving?
Last week was the final full week of training – this week is race week, with a few short easy runs and a tune-up workout before the California International Marathon on Sunday. I’m feeling tapered and confident after this past week of running.
I am not going to CIM with any exact time goal, but just the intention of enjoying the race and pushing hard to do my best for that day. Similar to last year, I really want to PR – meaning a sub-3:31 – and qualify for Boston again, but my main goal is to run a smart, strong, and fun race. If I really have a big goal, it’s to run a negative split and finish strong like I did last year. I enjoyed last year’s race so much and I want to do the same this year – especially since I won’t be able to run for a good portion of December after this marathon.
Monday: Tempo run (7 miles total)
I drew back the blinds to see a steady downpour outside. I have not run on the treadmill this entire training cycle (if I recall correctly) and I wasn’t about to start now, however. The less I run on it, the more I dislike the treadmill. I zipped up my Patagonia Houdini and headed out for my favorite speed workout loop…which had several deep puddles. Needless to say, I was soaked before my warm-up was even over.
My original workout was 2 x 2 miles at tempo pace, but I accidentally hit the lap button and started a recovery interval before the end of the first mile of the first set. Undeterred, I ran the second 2-mile repeat in full, jogged a recovery interval, and then ran one more mile at tempo pace. I got in the same volume of running at tempo pace, just divided up differently.
There’s a small chance it might rain on marathon day, although after this run, I’m not too worried about the rain. If anything, I’m more than trained to run hard and long in the rain!
Tuesday: 4 miles easy run & strength training
Again, it was raining. I took Ollie out for 3 miles and his oily lab coat was matted down with rain within the first 1/2 mile. We maintained an easy pace and had a good run despite the weather. I then took our friends’ German shepherd out for a mile. Our friends’ dog is growing at a rapid rate – easily 60 pounds now, which is more difficult to control on a run compared to Ollie’s 48 pounds (and Ollie is a handful as it is).
I did a quick strength workout after a haircut in the afternoon: 2 sets of 15 medicine ball squats, 15 donkey kicks, 10 push-ups, 15 single leg glute bridges, and 30-second side planks. I taper my strength training down as well, and this workout was simply focused on maintaining the strength I built throughout the training cycle.
Wednesday: 2 x 4 miles at marathon pace (9 miles total)
It wasn’t raining on this run, but it was incredibly humid and unseasonably warm – almost 60 degrees! Despite the odd weather, this run went really well. I focused on maintaining a moderate, steady effort for the two 4-mile intervals. I finished feeling as if I could easily keep running at that effort and was genuinely surprised to see that I averaged 7:46 for the first 4 miles and 7:45 for the second 4 miles – with the final mile at a 7:38 at what felt like a controlled, comfortable pace.
Thursday: 4 mile easy run
Ryan and I took both Ollie and Charlie for our own little turkey trot in the rain. Some year, I want to run a turkey trot, but I enjoy getting to run with our dogs on the holiday.
We celebrated the holiday with our own Thanksgiving meal, since it’s difficult to return to the Midwest for such a short holiday weekend. We cooked a brined turkey, slow cooker stuffing (which was amazing), mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and pumpkin pie – and enjoyed both the meal and plenty of days of leftovers.
Friday. 6.5 mile hike
Ryan and I continued our tradition of hiking on the day after Thanksgiving. Due to landslide and flood warnings in the already snowy mountains, we opted for a closer hike in the Issaquah Alps. While the summit did not offer any good views, the hike itself was scenic and serene, with overall moderate elevation gain.
Saturday: 10 mile run
The last double digit run before the marathon! Ryan and Ollie joined me for ten flat and easy miles and their company made the run pass by quickly. It always impresses me how well Ollie handles long distance runs – and I always appreciate how calm he is for the rest of the day after the run!
Sunday: Rest day
This was a complete rest day – no formal exercise, just a fun end to a long holiday weekend. After Mass, we went Christmas shopping at Athleta (which had an awesome weekend sale!), enjoyed a beer at Redhook Brewery, and watched Interstellar. Every time we watch that movie, I enjoy it more and more – it’s definitely one of my favorites.
How was your Thanksgiving?
What’s your favorite movie?
How was your week in running?
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.