Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 9

It’s hard to believe I’m just six weeks out from my seventh marathon. It’s time to get serious about my training, focus, and crack down. Of course, this “get serious” time coincides with the start of school (our first required day back is this Friday; kids come next Thursday), which might make it tough. I’ll make it work, though! Or at least give it my best shot.Good question, Philosoraptor. On that note, I’ll enjoy my last week of after-5:00 wake-ups.

Here’s how this week’s training looked:

AM: 8.2 miles with 30 minutes of fartleks in the middle. Fartleks are my favorite because they’re fun to do and to say.

PM: About an hour of strength training at the gym. I went to work Monday, which meant I was back at the gym at normal-people time… I didn’t like it. I miss the empty gym already.

AM: 9 miles easy.

PM: 30ish minutes of core work, stretching, and foam rolling

AM: 9 miles with 5 at tempo. Tempo runs are definitely my weakness, and I have a bunch of them coming up in these final weeks. That’s good for me, though, because tempos teach mental toughness, which I feel I’ve been lacking lately.It rained pretty much all night Tuesday and all day Wednesday, but stopped long enough for me to run. The rain made my usual park look pretty.

It rained pretty much all night Tuesday and all day Wednesday, but stopped long enough for me to run. The rain made my usual park look pretty.

PM: Ditto to Tuesday

AM: 8 easy miles with a nice little sunrise.
photo 2 (3)PM: An hour of strength with the gym crowd again.

AM: 7.2 easy miles

PM: 30ish minutes of core/stretching

16.5 miles. I did not like this run. I was supposed to run 10 miles easy, then gradually pick it up in the last six miles so the last couple of miles were very fast. I did the first ten out to my favorite hills, planning to use one of the long downhills to my advantage as I started to speed up.
photo (4)I. could. not. run. fast. I should’ve  been hitting somewhere around 6:30 pace for the last couple of miles. I couldn’t even get below 7, and soon even 7:30s were killing me. I even stopped running a couple of times to drink some water, take a few deep breaths, and give myself a pep talk. No dice. I just didn’t have the speed.
photo (3)These fast-finish long runs are a staple of McMillan plans, and Greg McMillan himself describes them as “grueling,” so they’re supposed to be hard. But I finished discouraged, because they should be hard, not impossible. I started seriously questioning my ability to PR in this race, blah blah blah.

A little later, though, I read this post of Tina’s, and it made me feel better. Maybe if this incredible elite athlete also has gutter days, I’m not completely abnormal. So thanks, Tina, for being willing to share your story!

Wow, sorry for the giant one-run pity party.

Rest. No formal workout, just  a bunch of yard work. But that makes me happy, because doing yard work means we’ll have a yard soon!

Totals: 57.9 miles run, 3.5ish hours strength and stretch. I hate it when I end weeks with a “.9.” Makes me want to go run a tenth of a mile.

This coming week will probably be my toughest of this training cycle. It has a tempo run, a marathon-pace run, and a 22-miler (though just a regular long run, not a fast-finish). Tempos and pace runs are the hardest for me mentally, so hopefully I’ll do some brain strengthening this week, too. And then I’ll be SO STRONG.

Have a good week, friends!

How’s your training going?

How do you deal with a crummy run/workout?

15 thoughts on “Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 9”

  1. Sorry to hear the training run was so tough! But I totally agree that some days are just off days, no matter how hard you’re working. As long as it doesn’t happen EVERY day, I think you’re good 🙂 Nice job with training this week!

  2. Don’t worry about it! On Saturday, I was running some hard hills and I stopped and walked a little at the end of the last one and this guy stopped doing yard work and asked me if I needed some water. I was like, I run a 2:42 marat… never mind. I’ve already put it behind me. Just know that you’re in good shape – and you definitely are – and that you are going to PR for sure!

  3. If I have a crappy run I just KNOW the next one will be better. Some days I just don’t have “it” but it’s good to know it always comes back. Next time will be better!

  4. You ROCK!!!!! Runs that don’t work out the way we want stink but they will make you stronger!!! You are such an inspiration already. You taking the time to talk about your “bad” run makes you even more of an inspiration to me. Keep rocking it!!!

  5. Oh my goodness, I was thinking school started for you guys in September – not AUGUST! That is SO early!! The schools here in Oregon don’t start until September. It seems to me like you had a killer week of workouts, even if your long run did not go as planned. I only dream that 7 min/miles “should” happen. Sometimes the body knows what is best for us. I’m sure you will bounce back and feel stronger during your 22-miler.

  6. “I should’ve been hitting somewhere around 6:30 pace for the last couple of miles.” !?!?! omg teach me the ways of your awesomeness! but yeah gutter days are just part of it. to relate this to bar method (even though it doesnt compare at all) sometimes i can lift my leg really high, other days my leg wont get off the floor (and neither do i) 🙂

  7. Don’t you just hate it when running is impossible? It is really frustrating, but I am sure the heat + hills + long week of running before had something to do with the lack of hitting your paces. I bet you were glad to be done that day, though. Despite being discouraged, resting after a long run always feels great! Good luck with school.

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