This week was a cutback week, a brief break in the miles before training really gets intense. I ended up running one less day than normal, but for a good reason – we took an impromptu weekend island getaway!
I’ve passed the halfway point in training, and after this week marathon training really starts to feel like I’ll be running 26.2 miles in less than two months. I have observed a few notable things regarding my nutrition at the halfway point of training:
- I am craving meat more, especially beef. I’ve started eating meat at lunch again a few times per week, and on weekends I want meat with breakfast (especially on Saturdays, the day after my long run).
- My iron supplements (Solgar Gentle Iron) are working well. I haven’t experienced any stomach issues with them, which surprised me. My energy feels good and I feel like I’m recovering well from my runs.
- Perhaps it’s a placebo effect, but I have also been drinking tart cherry juice after my hard workouts and long runs and I feel like I am recovering well from those.
Monday: 8 miles easy
I ran Ollie for 7 miles. We had to stop and walk for a bit (which I paused my GPS for) because we encountered slippery areas of frost on the boardwalk. If a fog descends and the temperature is cold enough, the condensation forms frost on the wood even if just a few hundred meters away, there’s not a sign of frost. I could see both my breath and Ollie’s breath. Other than a few slippery patches, we had a really good easy run.
After finishing the run with Ollie, I ran our friends’ nine-month-old German Shepherd puppy. Since he is too young for longer runs, we stick to just a mile. He half runs and half hops, which is adorably hilarious.
Tuesday: 6 mile progression tempo (8 miles total) & core work
I scale back my intensity as well as volume during cutback weeks. This workout was less demanding than others, especially since the focus was on effort over pace. After a mile warm up, I started at marathon effort and tried to run faster each mile while cutting down to half marathon or tempo effort. This workout went really well – I started at a 7:51 and worked down to a 7:11!
My core workout was simple, mostly my go-to exercises using the stability ball – pikes, hamstring curls, and deadbugs. I added some lateral lunges and leg lifts as well to work on hip and leg strength – the closer the marathon gets, the more I realize I need to be strong for those downhills.
Wednesday: 5 mile easy run & 10 minutes Pilates
I started the run with Charlie, since he runs slower than Ollie. We ran 2 miles at an easy effort and stopped a few times for puggle potty breaks (always bring more bags than you think you will need on a run!). I quickly switched dogs and Ollie and I ran 3 miles easy (with thankfully fewer stops). After the short run, I did a quick Pilates session with the magic circle.
Thursday: 14 mile long run
Since we were leaving for vacation on Friday, I did my long run on Thursday. I took Ollie with me and he ran his longest run yet! I took him on the first 11 miles of my run, paused for a minute to drop him off at home, and finished the last three miles on my own. I am certain that Ollie can run farther than 11 miles, as he seemed energetic even at the end of the run.
Friday: 30 minute Kettlebell Workout
My strength workout focused primarily on core and lower body strength. I did kettlebell swings, kettlebell squats, kettlebell lateral lunges, kettlebell single leg deadlifts, kettlebell plank rows, leg lifts, donkey kicks, and bridges.
Ryan and I took an impromptu vacation over to Orcas Island, one of the small islands in the Puget Sound. Since it’s off-season, we were able to book a room at a resort a few days prior for a very reasonable rate. We both needed a vacation that wasn’t active or filled with sightseeing – just time to relax. We dropped the dogs off at the kennel and took the ferry over the island.
We arrived on the island later in the afternoon and enjoyed an early dinner and cocktails before checking in at our resort.
Saturday: Active rest day
We walked a lot, even if we didn’t do any formal exercise – my watch recorded 6 miles of walking. We explored around our resort, investigated some of the trails at Moran State Park, and walked around Eastsound. We also spend a while at a local bookstore and drove to the top of Mount Constitution. Our day was on island time – leisurely, without any schedule.
Sunday: Active rest day
We had the intention to run, but my GI system felt a bit off. Travel just doesn’t always agree with my stomach (although it’s worth it for a trip like this!). Once my stomach did recover, we had checked out of the hotel. I am sure we could have run, but we decided to enjoy some extra relaxation. One missed easy run does not derail a training cycle. We took a long walk to a beach instead and enjoyed lunch overlooking the Sound. We could see Mount Baker, Canada, and more islands!
How was your week in running?
Do you notice changes in your eating habits when you increase mileage or intensity?
Where do you want to vacation right now?