NYC Marathon Training: Week 7

Monday - 17 miles 

Monday was another new PDR. It was, by most measures, a pretty solid long run. I felt pretty great, despite this: 


No flat parts?

No flat parts?

It turns out reading a bunch of blogs by people who train for marathons ≠ actually knowing a lot about marathon training. As training goes on, I have become more and more certain that I know nothing about marathon training. I can see now why people get coaches! 

Example: I'm doing my long runs at least a minute slower than my McMillan "goal marathon pace" (as predicted by my May half marathon time). Everyone everywhere seems to say long runs need to be done at goal pace, or, at least a few of those miles should be done at goal pace.  In an average long run I have around 0-1 mile done at goal pace, and that's usually by accident. Should I speed up? Or is this one of those rules that doesn't apply to beginners? The sheer stress on my body of running 17 miles seems like enough. 

In addition to everything I'm learning about running, I'm learning a lot about running in a not-city. 


I'm trying to do each of my long runs in a new part of town, to learn the area and to keep things interesting. I was really excited for my idea for this week: I planned to run to Duke Forest (a 7,000 acre research forest), run around in there, and run home to get all my miles in.

But I was in such a rush to get out the door that I hastily scribbled a not-well-researched-at-all route to get there and back. You can imagine my regret when I found myself on a long road with no sidewalks, over an overpass, under an underpass, dodging broken bottles and whatever detritus disgusting polluters toss out their car windows at 55 miles per hour.

"Okay, lesson learned," I thought. "This is a gross stretch but it's not ruining my run. Next time I'll google satellite it and check for sidewalks."



I thought to myself, "And now there is a terrible smell, on top of everything?"

I tried to place it, but I'd never smelled anything like it before.


I located the source of the smell when I NEARLY TRIPPED OVER A DEAD DEER. 



If you ever want to gauge how much of a city slicker you've become after living in cities for however many years, listen to your own scream when you come across a dead deer on the side of the road during your run.  Is it just like, "Whoops, there's a deer!" ::leaps over deer:::? If so, you're adjusting nicely. Is it more like the horrible wail of a person being tortured, and is it accompanied by frantic arm waves for no reason? If so, you have some adaptin' to do.

Another not-city first? There are no public water fountains, so I refilled my water bottle with someone's garden hose on the side of a house.


I'm slow now and IDGAF.

I'm slow now and IDGAF.

Tuesday - Rest 

Weirdly, I woke up feeling great and invincible and wanted to go running. Still, I suspected that this was some marathon training test everyone must pass before getting to unlock the marathon start line level, so I swiftly rejected the idea. I did ride my bike a little (6-ish miles?) and took Tilly for a walk (2-ish miles?) to run errands (the former) and out of guilt for leaving her behind the day before (the latter), and it was good to move around some.. My legs did not feel like they ran 17 miles the day before, which was really exciting. They're getting strong! 

Wednesday - 4 miles  

As usual, I tagged along with the Fullsteam x Bull City Running Co. group run. I don't care for the 4-mile route but I keep doing it because the alternatives (3 and 6) sound either too short or too long. Still, I love running in groups. I'm more motivated to push myself a little and since so far my plan hasn't had much speedwork, I figured, why not?

Thursday - 5.3 miles -- failed tempo

This is why not. Maybe I shouldn't have pushed myself the day before a scheduled tempo run. This was supposed to be 7 @15k-HMP, which is about 8:30. My splits were 8:11, 8:19, 8:36, 9:29, 9:58, and the .3 was 8:54. You can see I kept up the tempo pace for three miles, then dropped down to an easy pace for two miles, as I thought about quitting. I tried to speed up again for the remaining two miles -- figuring 5 out of 7 wouldn't be a complete waste, especially with my heart rate up -- but quit when I realized I couldn't keep that nearly 9:00 pace for just 2 more miles. 

I'm not entirely sure why I couldn't finish this workout. I floated some of my theories on dailymile, and this also got me thinking about how to know when it's best to not do something, and when to push through.

The only thing I have to add is that I wish I hadn't seen my pace on my Garmin. I wonder if I would have run differently if I tried to do my tempo based on effort instead of a number -- I definitely wouldn't have known how slow I was going, and probably wouldn't have quit, at least. Something to think about for future tempos.

Friday - 6.5 easy 

Still feeling cranky about yesterday's run, I just wanted to get some miles in. Are these junk miles? I don't know, but I also know that running more miles = better endurance, even if they aren't "quality" miles. In my naivete at the beginning of my plan, I imagined I'd be running all quality miles, but apparently training is much harder on my body than I thought it would be. I'm done whining though; it was a beautiful day and I got to explore more of campus.

Saturday - 4.6 mile hike 

We packed up our car Saturday morning for a road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Asheville. We camped somewhere in the Black Balsam Area, in Pisgah National Forest. My legs felt like lead, but fortunately the hike in was pretty easy.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

Sunday - 6 mile hike 

I had 6 miles of running on my schedule for Sunday but blew them off for this. I figured I still kind of got the miles in, and definitely spent time on my feet. After a medium-chilly night in the woods I felt like a brand new woman and ready to slough off this less-than-great week of running and try again.

Total: 32.84 (running miles only) 

+ some miscellaneous biking and hiking miles. 

47 days until NYCM!