Say what? Week 12?! No way. What seems like no time, I am now 3/4 done training and super close to taper. The first of 2 50KM+ weeks has come and gone:
Week 12 of NYC Marathon Training
Monday – 2.5K with the XCountry Team in about 14:00
Not exactly a run that is on my training plan, but I had to run with the kids. We were running a fartlek-style workout and I participated every 2nd run. Although, I will probably not do this with them again (I plan on sitting on my butt for today’s speed workout), as their tempo/fartlek pace is pretty much my 5K race pace – a pace that is not allowed right now.
Tuesday – Off – felt sick!
Wednesday – 3.5K steady run with hills in 23:00
Another run with the XCountry team that should have been a bit longer (4K) but we had a bit of miscommunication with the faster members of the team and we got separated. We were supposed to meet in our usual practice location, but apparently they forgot that and went to the football game. The run was fairly steady for me, but involved going up and down some nice trails near my work.
Thursday – 5K steady run in 32:00
I planned on running 7K today, but I got called into two different schools and worked the entire day. I originally had a 2 hour break in between my assignments. So I had to run 5K right after school. Luckily, I was working at my old school which is right next to the Ottawa River pathway.
Friday – 29K long run in 3:28
LET ME JUST SAY IT IS REALLY HARD TO TYPE THIS WHEN YOUR KID PRESSES THE CAPS LOCK 500X
The 29K long run. Another week with the temperature over 22C and in the sun. I stopped by Running Room just before my run to stock up on GU Gels. I took one 15 minutes before and then every 35-38 minutes afterwards. I ran the 29K in loops – two 5K, a 10K, another 5K and the last 4K. I stop inside the house for fuel and to go to the bathroom. Once again, I ran with no music and no running buddies. As I’ve mentioned before, I am deliberately making these long runs psychologically hard to help me tackle any mental difficulties that marathoners tend to deal with in the later stages of the race. Obviously, we will see if this works on the big day 🙂 The first 5K came and went with no issues. The 10K loop was fun for the first half and a bit on the painful side for the 2nd. My muscles are starting to get on the tired side, and that means my form starts to go a bit – so I had some knee pain with this run. It pretty much went away that night once I rolled out the muscles that felt sore. I also did not take a GU gel with me for the 10K and that was a mistake. I will definitely need the gels every 35-40 minutes on race day. The next 5K wasn’t too bad, but again, the knee pain was bugging me a bit. The last 4K loop was the fastest 4K that I ran that day with 3/4K being under 7:00. My pace overall was a bit faster than last weeks run too. As soon as I got home, I hopped into the ice bath right away. It is magic how much it helps! So far (as I’m writing this on Saturday), no big pains anywhere. I keep getting blisters on two of my left foot toes when I wear my Pro Compression socks – which is annoying!
Saturday – off
Sunday – 10K in 1:07
What a difference a week makes in weather. Last Sunday it was 26C – this week it was 12C when I went out for my afternoon run. Last week I was covered in sweat during the Beer Run and this week I had long sleeves and mittens on. It is good running weather and more like the weather I will encounter in NYC. I set out for my 10K route along the Ottawa River. One of the first times in awhile that I saw only 2 other runners out. I guess they all had long run Sunday and went out in the morning. I kept a pretty steady pace, speeding up at the end like I normally do. I will say that this is one of those runs that I did not really want to do and just had to run it. Max was sick with a bad cold all weekend, which meant I was up every day at 5:30-6am and tired. One of these days, I will get to sleep in! Oh and speaking of Max, I went out running while he was napping. When I returned, P was washing the inside of his car and I could hear Max screaming in the house. Poor lil guy was in the front bathroom (where he could see the car) and was yelling at us with tears running down his face. When I opened the bathroom door, I accidentally pinched his fingers in the door. Opps. He totally knows how to open the door too.
So a few things about this weeks training: First, I think I have my race day plan developed. I have a good idea what I will be wearing and eating. I am going to carry my own fuel as I know that GU gels cause zero tummy issues since I have had them on hand for all my half marathons and every long run. Any tummy issues I have had is because I haven’t been eating any gels. I believe bananas and bagels will be available at the race start village, which will take care of my breakfast. I have run my last few long runs in the late morning/early afternoon, another race day scenario practiced. I will not be starting the marathon until 10:30am-ish on race day, so practicing an early morning routine isn’t necessary. The start time is one thing that makes me really happy about NYC, since we all know how much I hate running first thing in the morning.
As I approach the taper period, I am starting to feel like I can run a marathon. Yes, I will probably be in some pain, but I am sure I can run it. I have no time goal for the race and quite frankly, if I feel like I need a quick sit-down, I’m going to take a break. Actually, I was thinking that I might just take advantage of course portapotties and have a nice sit down. If you have read my training plan, you know that it is on the low side of mileage. Higher mileage is required if you want to get faster. Again, I don’t care what my time is. If I see 4:xx I will be very happy. If I see 5:xx, I will be very happy. I’m not really worrying about it.
I have to look back at all the long runs I have done from 18K onwards. Whenever I run a longer distance for the first time, it always feels like the last 4-5K is awful and there is no way that I’m going to make it beyond that point. Clearly, I can. Another factor that might prove that I will have a good marathon is that with every long run that has been 20+, I have had consistent pacing and have negative split. Prior to this training cycle, I used to get super slow for the last few KM. Not this time. My “race pace” will probably be about 6:50/km – but I will probably be running KM 1-3 over 7:00. The slower I go in the beginning the better.
This upcoming week is my heaviest mileage week. I have the 32K scheduled for Sunday. Everyone knows I am running 32K on Sunday and Max will have lots of company – so I will probably take this run super slow. I will also be running this long run in a new place – which will test out my running in an unknown place mental barrier. Then, since it is Canadian Thanksgiving – I shall be eating lots of food! YAY!
Because of Canadian Thanksgiving – next week’s post will probably be up on Tuesday!