So it's been a while because I have been bogged down with bar exam studying and celebrating my city's first championship in 52 years (GO CAVS!!!!), but my running hasn't suffered at all, because Big Cottonwood training started a couple weeks ago! I am definitely going to get back to posting my weekly training updates, but for this week, since I am a little behind, I thought I would kick off my discussion with an overview of how training has gone in general so far.
So in general I have been slowly ramping up the mileage, but being careful not to do too much, too fast in order to avoid any injury. I was careful last training cycle about how I ramped up my weekly mileage, and I was rewarded with feeling strong, and getting to that start line injury free and healthy. I'm currently at a hair over 30 miles per week. I also have been cautious about adding in too much speed early on to prevent injuries close to my last marathon. I'm currently maxing out with my fastest runs being slightly under 8 minute miles. I'm finally recovered and feeling good, so next week will begin the speedwork and I will start making 1 run a week done at 7:30-7:40 average. I have been throwing in some hill work already to make sure that I am really working on that down hill training to get prepared for my race. The core training and quad training will begin next week as well. Finally, I have been consistently making sure to nail my negative splits as I really would like to try to run a negative split in my marathon.
The final thing that I have been throwing in is improving my diet. Post-Cleveland Marathon, I got a little close to falling off of my healthy eating track, and I have really been working to make sure to get back on track. This involved making sure I stick to my list in the grocery store (to keep the crap out of my house) and making sure I have complete and filling healthy meals to prevent unnecessary snacking. But, because I believe in balance, of course I have my post-long run pizza :)! See the pics below for some of my healthy, filling, and delicious (and all gluten free!!) meals and snacks that I have been cooking up!
So how did this week go training wise? For the most part, it was pretty good, although the long run was a little rough because I tend to get in my head when I do "short" long runs during marathon training.
I started off the week with 4 miles at 8:25/mile and a 6 minute plank. In the future, this will probably be my speed work day. My focus this week, however, was to make sure my legs were really ready to go for next week and to not push too hard. I did make sure to do a negative split for this run (8:45, 8:30, 8:20, 8:05).
I was able to run in a new-ish spot on Tuesday as I am watching someone's dog this week. I have ran in this portion of the Metroparks before, but last time it was the dead of winter and I was running the Green Jewel 50k relay, so it was quite different. I kicked up the pace a little, holding 8:11 for 5 miles and making sure to get my negative splits in. I also ran the first 2.5 uphill (gradual) and the second 2.5 gradual downhill.
The place where I am staying has pretty much no sidewalks so I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that most of my run was on gravel or grassy shoulders which were uneven and all downhill one way and uphill back. It definitely made for a difficult run where I was working harder than usual. I did 5.5 miles and then took a .5 mile walk up a huge hill (seriously, I've never seen one like this before) and then worked on running downhill. I definitely would advise my future self to do the portion of the hill at the beginning of my run, rather than the end, because I seriously wasn't even sure I could walk to the top. But the downhill felt great and I was able to hold a 7:30-7:40 for the down hill portion. 6 miles at 8:31/mile overall.
While I usually take Fridays off, I was really aching on the side of one foot and on my shins from all of the slanted, uneven surfaces on Wednesday's run. So I shifted things around a bit and headed out for a Friday morning run. The run felt really good overall and I was able to work in a negative split. 4 miles total at 8:31/mile.
Saturday - 12 mile long run
I headed out early with my running partner to log 6.5 miles before meeting the club so we could save time and beat the heat. I could tell as soon as we took off that I didn't like running the day before (although he suggested it was because the Friday run was too fast for the day before a long run) and I could tell this would be one of those short long runs where I was in my own head the whole way. Luckily my running partner picked up on those vibes and got me talking the whole way to the club to distract me with good conversation. After we met the club, we set back out for 5.5 more miles. The first couple were fine, but I could quickly feel myself getting in my own head. I really used this as an opportunity to work on getting out of my own head. The last mile and a half my running partner really helped to talk to me out of my funk, even yelling at me when I called it a terrible running, which I really needed to hear. We got it done. 12 miles at 8:53/mile.
All in all, not a bad week of training and a week full of opportunities to learn and improve. I can't wait for this week of training to really get into it!