Tobacco Road Marathon Training: Weeks 11 & 12 of 16

Getting closer...

Getting closer...

Two twenty-milers down, one to go! Just a few short weeks ago I was running long runs in the high 9:40s. I'm incredible pleased (and relieved!) with this 20-miler. This is the fastest I've ever run 20 miles in training. 

There's something about marathon training, and maybe this training cycle in particular, that resists the kind of weekly check-ins I write here. Being in the thick of training  almost demands that I *don't* ask myself "how it's going" every single week, that I just kind of turn my mind off and let training do its work. Still, I've had a low-frequency thought buzzing in the back of my mind since I started training, which asks, "Could I really do this? Is sub-3:35 possible.....now? Now? What about now?" Then my next thought: "DON'T JINX IT!!!"

Meanwhile, we are still "living" (feels more like camping) in chaos  at home. I'd love to ramble on and on about it all, but this blog isn't called INSIDE TIME, so. 

BUT, just to give you a sense of the physical toll of renovation: I started painting around 6 when I got home last Friday, painted until around 11pm, woke up Saturday and painted all day from about 10am to 10pm, then woke up Sunday, went for a 20 mile run, then came home and painted from 2pm to 10pm. Then it was Monday, so I went to work, exhausted and covered in rather unprofessional crust of dried paint splatters that wouldn't come off in the shower. My left calf is very tight, my knees hurt, and the muscles on the outsides of both of my calves are sore. I think all of this physical trauma is probably more from climbing up and down ladders all weekend and spending like 25 hours painting than my 20-miler.

With my house still in total disarray, I couldn't find the charger for my iPod anywhere, meaning that an ominous voice chanted "Battery Low" at me several times during my run. Additional motivation to finish faster, I guess.

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 5 miles: 1000(4:09); 2000(8:37); 1000(4:09); 1000(4:09) 400 RI
  • Wednesday: Cross-training bike workout, alternating hard & easy minutes
  • Thursday: 7 miles with 5 @ GMP (8:12)
  • Friday: Cross-training bike "tempo" workout
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 20 miles (8:46 pace)

Total running miles: 32

Total training time: 5:54

The following week was kind of blah, owing mainly to lingering and serious-feeling calf tightness in my left calf and some soreness in my left Achilles. I tried to take it easy but was in denial about how much it would set back my training this week. I should have foamrolled on Monday, but I didn't get around to it until Friday night. Because of my calf, I wound up cutting short every single run this week: Wednesday was 6 miles planned / 4.5 actual, Friday was 12 planned (10 @ tempo), /  10 actual ( 8 @ tempo); and Saturday was 15 planned / 12 actual. I'm mad at myself, but it's too late now. I'm just going to foamroll the crap out of my leg and try to get in all my hard workouts this coming week (peak week!)

The good news is that even though the mileage is low, the total training time is still pretty much the same as last week's.

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Calf sore, so swapped T & W's workouts: Cross-training bike workout
  • Wednesday: 4.5 miles, with a super tight calf: 3x1600 @ 7:24 pace, 400 RI
  • Thursday: Bike workout alternating hard/easy minutes. 
  • Friday: 10 miles with 8 @ GMP (8:12)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 12 miles (9:05)

Total running miles: 26.5

Total training time: 5:48