One of the pluses of completely bombing your fall goal race is that a long 4 week break post race recovery period is no longer necessary. I took a conservative amount of time off after the Philadelphia Marathon then rolled right back into running and in a way feel like I cheated the system because there was no big starting over from scratch period like their normally can be. No dragging myself out the door and trying to get back into shape, which is often times the hardest part of all. I simply never lost that much fitness and feel a bit like a rolling ball gaining momentum. Let’s hope I don’t crash.
With that in mind, running was carefree for the holiday season. December was truly wonderful. Mr. Law was deployed last year for the holidays and far beyond. Having him home this year was nothing short of blissful for the kiddos and I, therefore the last thing I was focused on was worrying about paces or miles. I ran 5-6 times a week through December but nothing fast unless I got anxious to finish the last mile or so. My mileage dropped considerably but I didn’t care in the slightest, which explains my surprise at my late December Surf N Santa race results from my last post. I may have lost some sharp speed but that endurance is still there. Now though, it’s getting a little too close to race day for me to continue on without a formal plan so with the ongoing and much appreciated guidance of Jerry Frostick of J&A Racing; it’s time to get to work. Here’s what this past week, my first official marathon training week, (11 weeks to go) looked like-
Monday- 7 miles easy. No watch. I rarely wear a watch on days I’m not completing a workout. I know the distances in almost every area I run in at this point so it’s not neccessary. 30 minute Functionally Fit/Direct Performance Strength Class.
Tuesday- 2 mile warm up, 3 X 1 mile (6:09, 6:06, 5:59). 2 mile cool down. Difficult day for me. That pace felt out of control. The speed always is the hardest for me but I trust that it will come back quickly within few speed sessions. I’m reminded a few times a week by my coach that pace does not matter, only effort. Well the effort was there. I’ll be repeating this workout today and expect it will go a bit smoother. fingers crossed
Wednesday- 7 easy miles and Strength Class. An example of a typical strength class is pictured below. Lots of core & stretching.
Thursday- 2 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo averaging 6:05 (6:01, 6:10, 6:14, 5:56), 2 mile cool down. My splits for today were almost as fast as my mile repeats…it makes no sense, which in my world is perfect sense.
Friday- Off Day. 75 minute yoga class. Sadly I’m not sure I’ll ever love yoga. My mind is too impatient and I think every little thing is funny. It took all my willpower not to giggle during the final ten minutes of “expressing gratitude for your inner grand self!” Even still I appreciate the deep stretching that comes with a formal yoga class. Also, assigned core work (planks, toes to bar, etc.) was completed.
Saturday- 13.1 miles at 6:35 pace. This was easily my best run of the week and maybe even my best mid-long run ever. I met up early with 3 male friends, all of whom I knew were much faster that I, knowing this would be a grind but also that I was fully capable of pushing myself. We started out at 7:00 pace and quickly worked into the 6:40’s and continued to drop. There was a little chatter going on but mostly I spent my focus on staying relaxed and smooth. I had two gels during two brief stops at miles 5 & 10 and fell behind the group around mile 9 but never lost confidence. Hoping to get a couple more runs like this in but a bit further before race day. My goal pace for race day is 6:15-6:25 (not sure yet) so this is a huge confidence booster but then again, at ten weeks out, who knows.
Sunday- 4 miles easy with a few local friends.
My last run of the week, the four miles easy, was spent on the boardwalk with three friends, Megan, Jess, and Kristy. All three of these ladies have running blogs that I love so I wanted to share them with you. After our run together we posed at King Neptune, the famous statue at the Virginia Beach boardwalk which also happens to be the finish line area for the Shamrock Half and Full Marathon. In 10 weeks we will all be there together again with hopefully equally big smiles. We walked to a coffee shop, chatted about running life lately and while I’ve known these three for awhile now, never really knew how they came into running or why they stuck with it….or why they blog and why they stuck with it. I may have teared up at one point listening to them discuss why they run. I know this sport has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life and it’s also given me some of the best times. Hearing their stories was the highlight of my running week. I’m hoping we can make it a monthly or bimonthly thing and maybe grow the group. Jog & Blog anyone? 🙂
Next up I will be racing a 100K relay event (only running 15-20 miles not 100K myself) here in Virginia Beach in early February. I had the most amazing time with friends last year (that recap- HERE) and can’t wait to get a great workout and trash talking game in with a new team this year. As always, thanks for reading and stay warm out there!