SUCCESS! I had a great week of workouts that ended with my best 20 mile run EVER! This week left me feeling confident and ready to run 26.2 miles for the 9th time.
Here is how it all went down…
Monday: XT – Body Flow (1:00:00). I am falling in love with Body Flow. Monday evening classes are crowded but it’s so nice to end a crazy day with Tai Chi, yoga, and pilates. This was the first time I tried the new release and I liked it, and there were definitely some challenging parts.
Tuesday: XT – Body Pump/CXWorx (1:00:00). Baby Kevin had a hard time sleeping on Monday night so I couldn’t get myself up for the 5 a.m. Body Pump class. I was bummed because the evening class is the Body Pump and CXWorx combo class. I have tried CXWorx many times and honestly just did not enjoy it because I struggled with it so much. It focuses on core and mine has been destroyed from pregnancy and then neglecting it for a year afterwards. I actually left class early once because I got so frustrated. I know… quitter! After that I decided I wasn’t going to let the damn class beat me anymore and kept going to it. On this night for the first time in months I actually liked it and was able to do all the moves without a million modifications. It was a good lesson to push outside my comfort zone and to not give up on myself.
Wednesday: Key Run #1 – Speedwork. 5 miles in 41:20 (8:16 average pace). This picture is deceiving because I didn’t actually run outside on this day. I just thought a picture of the pretty snow would be nicer than another one of me at the gym all sweaty. For my speedwork run I repeated a workout that I did at the beginning of my training. I was actually supposed to do something else but I really wanted to try this one again, because I failed so badly at it last time. I wanted to test my fitness and see how much I have improved since then. The workout was 1 mile warm up, 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200, all with 200 meter recovery between, cool down. This is a tough one because even though the distance gets shorter with each interval, the speed gets faster. I did my first interval (1200 meters, or .75 miles) at a 7:15 pace, and my last one (200 meters, or .125 miles) was at a 6:00 pace. When I was done I literally had to sit down on the end of the treadmill for a minute- I was totally spent. When I did this workout last time I couldn’t meet a single one of my goal paces. This time I exceeded them. Splits: 5:25 (7:13 pace), 4:27 (7:08 pace), 3:29 (6:58 pace), 2:32 (6:44 pace), 1:39 (6:35 pace), 0:45 (6:00 pace). Last time my splits were 5:37, 4:38, 3:42, 2:48, 1:50, and 0:55. Yay for progress!
Thursday: XT – Body Pump (1:00:00). I made it to 5:00 a.m. Body Pump! It was COLD outside, and the temptation to stay in bed was high, but somehow I forced myself to get up. It was my first time doing the new Body Pump release in it’s entirety, since Tuesday was a combo class and we only did half. It is HARD! Whew… but I really enjoyed it. I love seeing my strength improve each week!
Friday: Key Run #2 – Tempo Run. 5 miles in 41:53 (8:23 average pace). This was a tough one for me. It shouldn’t have been hard at all, but I woke up with a stomachache and dealt with it the entire run. It was not easy to maintain my goal tempo pace of 8:22 but I did it and was glad when it was over!
Saturday: XT – Walk with Kevin. Baby Kev and I went for a walk with his wagon since it was beautiful outside!!! We went to a nearby playground, spent some time there, and then walked back. It was a wonderful way to get some activity in on a perfect Saturday afternoon!
Sunday: Key Run #3 – Long Run. 20 miles in 2:52:06 (8:36 average pace). My fastest 20 miles ever! I’m so glad I decided to push my run to this weekend because of all the snow and ice last week. It was beautiful outside and this was exactly the confidence boosting run I needed before my marathon. It wasn’t easy and I really had to dig deep toward the end (so many hills!), but I did it! My goal was 8:37/mile and I beat it by 1 second :). When things got hard I kept telling myself that this is my last 20 mile training run for a while. It was a bittersweet feeling when I realized that. After I was done I looked up the elevation chart for the route I did. I tried really hard to pick the flattest route around where I live, but it was still pretty hilly. Then I looked up the Myrtle Beach Marathon elevation to compare. It made me laugh out loud- a total gain of 61 feet? I can handle that!
Week 8 Total:
- Run: 30 miles
- Cross-Training & Strength-Training: 1 Body Flow class, 1 Body Pump class, 1 Body Pump/CXWorx class, and a walk with my boy!
With my 20 miler behind me, it’s time to taper! At first I was a little worried about only tapering for 2 weeks since I usually do 3 weeks, but I think I’ll be okay. I’m still going to be doing my 3 key runs each week to keep the intensity but they will be shorter, and my last ‘long’ run next weekend will be only 8 miles. This article has good taper tips if anyone is interested! I will definitely be referring back to it over the next couple of weeks.
I love this week’s quote because it says a lot about the transformation I went through during this training cycle. When I first made my training plan and saw the paces it had me running my immediate thought was “I can’t do that.” But I have big dreams and goals so I told myself I had to at least try. Now with only 2 weeks to go until my marathon I have exceeded all my expectations. I’m hitting my paces and what once seemed impossible is actually happening. It’s taking a LOT of hard work, but it feels so good to be here!!!
My pictures were taken with the FitSnap app- check it out!