This week has rust-busting, fun week of training, due largely in part to the arrival of fall temperatures but also because marathon training is finally clicking. I wore arm sleeves on all of my runs this week, which means it’s the perfect temperature.
A temptation emerges when training for the same race to repeat the same training plan as the year before – but then that lays the dangerous trap of comparison to past workouts. While my approach is similar and I do plan on repeating some of my favorite workouts from last year’s training cycle, especially during the peak weeks before the race, I have different workouts on my plan now. What worked last year may not work this year – and the new workouts make training fun.
Monday: 5 miles at half marathon pace (8 miles total) & 25 minutes strength training
It was windy and humid, but I really did not care because it was finally cool! After just over 2 miles of warming up, I ran 5 miles at half marathon pace. My first mile of a tempo run is usually slower and I started at 7:34, and then worked down to 7:30, 7:21, 7:26, and 7:22. What matters more than those paces is that I felt comfortable at this comfortably hard effort; long tempo runs can be challenging, but this one went really well.
In the evening, I went to the gym to strength train while Ryan ran. I did single leg deadlifts, reverse lunges, lateral lunges, shoulder presses, triceps cable extensions, lateral arm raises, side planks, single leg bridges, and weighted calf raises.
Tuesday: 7 miles easy & 15 minutes core/mobility work
Ollie and I ran an easy 7 miles together to celebrate the anniversary of his adoption (or Ollie Day, as we call it). One year ago, Ryan and I adopted Ollie because we wanted a friend for Charlie and a running buddy for longer distances.
I finally replaced my stability ball after Ollie popped it almost a year ago. I had been relying on the stability ball at our apartment’s gym, but it seemed to need inflating far too often. I did a quick routine in our living room: hamstring curls, pikes, and back extensions all on the stability ball, followed by some ankle/calf exercises and leg lifts. The plantar fasciitis in my right heel and the tightness in my right calf have been a little cranky lately – nothing bad enough to interfere with training – so I have been adding in some calf and foot strengthening work this week.
Wednesday: 7 miles at marathon pace (9 miles total)
This was a really good run. Ollie and I got out the door a bit earlier than normal and were treated to a beautiful sunrise. We warmed up for one mile before settling into a moderate effort. The route we ran has constant rolling hills and windy turns. The combination of windy turns and tree cover can throw off the GPS sometimes, so I stayed focused on effort. I was surprised that even as we climbed and winded, we maintained very close to my goal marathon pace.
Wednesday was Ryan’s and my third wedding anniversary! After my run, I met up with him for breakfast at one of our current favorite restaurants (the same one we went to for my birthday). I had a veggie scramble with potatoes and a link of sausage and Ryan had steel cut oats and a side of sausage. Their breakfast potatoes are stellar.
Thursday: 30 minutes Pilatesology
Ahhh, a rest day. When I can, I enjoy taking my rest days during the work week. When I run, I ruminate; on rest days, all the ideas come out so well onto the word. I knocked out blog posts and freelance articles in the morning, hosted a Facebook Live for Rainier Fruit, and worked on training plans in the afternoon.
Since I do like to have a little movement on my rest days, I walked the dogs and did Pilates. Pilates is so low-impact and gentle that, while it is a good core workout, the right routine can be light enough for a rest day.
Friday: 16 mile long run
I completed this long run and my immediate thought was “that was a really good long run.” I ran 16 miles with some rolling hills and some flat stretches and finished feeling both muscularly and aerobically strong, as if I could keep going.
I had been a bit nervous about this run before I started – 16 miles seemed long, especially since it was an easy long run – and Ryan suggested I take my headphones. I never listen to music or podcasts when I run outside. I just run, think, and listen to the sounds of nature. But once the run extends over two hours, even a good run can get a bit boring. Since a majority of my run was on a paved trail, away from any traffic, I decided to try listening to an audiobook for the middle miles… and I really enjoyed it. After 4 miles of quiet, I listened to my current audiobook through mile 13 and then turned it off for the last few miles.
While drinking beer and spending hours on my feet isn’t the best recovery, we could not turn down the opportunity to attend the Kirkland Oktoberfest. The festival was right along Lake Washington – you really can’t beat lake views and a good beer.
Saturday: 5 mile easy run
Ryan and I took Ollie and Charlie on a mid-morning run and had so much fun. The weather was beautiful and both dogs behaved so well. My legs felt sluggish at the start of the run, as if I only had one speed, but the light activity helped loosen them up.
After the run, we bottled our Oktoberfest ale that we had been conditioning for a few weeks. I’m so excited to try it, as it tasted good even before the bottle conditioning. In the evening, we commenced Ryan’s birthday celebrations with a delicious dinner out (same place as Wednesday!) and drinks at home. Since he turned 30, one of the gift I got him was Lagaluvin 16 Year Scotch – possibly one of the best scotches either of us has ever tasted.
Sunday: 7 mile hike
We went on one of our favorite hikes – Annette Lake. The weather was gorgeous and the fall colors are slowly painting the mountainsides. Such a fun day!
Do you listen to anything on your runs or run without headphones?
How was your week in running?