This was a great week of training! I actually felt good and strong on all my runs, and most importantly our long run went VERY well for the first time in a while! I am loving that the mornings are cooler and I can’t wait until fall weather is here for good.
I was pretty worried about our 18 miler we had on Saturday. Our long runs haven’t been great lately and we haven’t been feeling our best. I was determined to make this run better than the last few have been. I told myself I’d push through and try not to take any walking breaks. My reasoning behind this decision was that I need to run 9:00 – 9:09 minute miles during the marathon and can’t really afford much walking time to meet my goal of running it in under 4 hours. The summer heat had me walking too often and I knew that if I continued to do that I wouldn’t be prepared to run straight through on race day. I was also worried about Kevin, because he has been having some knee and motivation issues lately. Finally, we were going to be in Pennsylvania again this weekend and I was worried about that, after the horrible hills I experienced two weeks ago!
So as you can see, I was worried about a lot of things. But I had no reason to be, because this run was (almost) perfect! We decided to run on the Schuylkill River Trail, which is a very popular running/walking/biking trail in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s almost 130 miles in length, but we ran on the section as seen below, from the Betzwood Trailhead to just before Spring Mill Trailhead.
This was the second time we had run on this trail, and the first time we only ran 3 miles out and back. I was excited because I had looked up the elevation beforehand and it was as flat as it gets in Pennsylvania. I was even more excited when I woke up and realized it was nice and cool outside, and I actually felt a little cold in my shorts and tank top (no complaints though!) We drove about 20 minutes to the trailhead and went on our way.
We both felt great all the way out and turned around after 9 miles. We have been getting used to stopping at halfway and taking a little break, but that day we decided not to and just push through instead. I knew I didn’t physically need a break, it was just my brain telling me to take one. I pushed on and eventually got over the mental road block and felt good again… until mile 14 when we both desperately needed a bathroom STAT. If you are a runner you know that sometimes these tummy issues can come on pretty strong and at bad times. We stopped on the trail right alongside the town of Norristown where we thought there would be a bathroom somewhere, but we couldn’t find one 😦 It was tough to keep going after that. Even though it was only 4 miles it felt like an eternity, but we somehow finished the run without walking again. We even ran our last mile in under 9 minutes and it was our fastest mile!
Despite needing a bathroom, it was a great run and we both felt good everywhere else besides our stomachs. We plan to keep a better handle on our nutrition until the marathon which should help with that. We had kind of a crazy week and had to grab and go some of our meals (even though we had meal planned for the week- things happen sometimes!) and I know that was what went wrong. Most importantly, Kevin and I both kept a positive attitude throughout the run and I tried to visualize myself being successful in the actual marathon. This week made me feel so much more confident and ready to race!
Weekly Run Down –
- Monday: 7 mile run (1:05:12 / 9:18 pace) + Body Pump (1 hour)
- Tuesday: 7 mile tempo run- 1 mile warm up, 5 miles @ 7:52 average pace, 1 mile cool down (Splits were 7:56, 7:56, 7:54, 7:54, 7:44)
- Wednesday: Body Pump (1 hour)
- Thursday: 6 mile run (56:17 / 9:22 pace)
- Friday: Body Pump (1 hour)
- Saturday: 18 mile run (1:48:52 / 9:22 pace)
- Sunday: Rest