I’m 12 weeks in to my training plan for the B&A Trail Marathon in Annapolis with six weeks to go. The first seven weeks went really well in terms of mileage and workouts. My lowest mileage week was 35 miles up to my highest mileage week of 54 miles. With plans to run six days a week, I was very pleased that I had only missed a small handful of planned runs over those first seven weeks.
I came into things after a bit of time off from consistent running though, so my base was not what it should be (read: mostly nonexistent). The lack of base really showed through in my speed workouts. They were all a struggle and off pace. I certainly started feeling better as the weeks went on and noticed some serious improvement, but I couldn’t seem to hit the marks I needed.
The next three weeks the wheels came off. I put in an 18 mile week, followed by a 27 mile one and then just 12. I missed most of my quality workouts and was eating great either as I was spending a lot of time on the road and eating out. It was really frustrating to watch that momentum slip and admittedly there were a few workouts I should have gotten in, but just didn’t because I wasn’t feeling it.
I’ve done a good job at getting back on track the last two weeks and putting in some quality mileage with back-to-back 30 – 40 mile weeks. Still, if my speed was hurting before, it is definitely hurting now.
I’m completely confident in my ability to finish the B&A race barring something totally unexpected on race day, but I have had to reassess my goal or reaching a BQ on that day. I’m going to continue to work hard putting in the miles over the next six weeks, but don’t think I can get myself to the speed I need without risking injury in that amount of time.
I hope to come away from this with a great base though and am on the hunt for a back up qualifying race sometime May or later. I love running in the heat, so summer marathons don’t bother me. I’m eyeing Steamtown as my fall marathon, but want to take one shot before then if possible. I’d love to hear your suggestions. My ideal would be something semi-local to DC or at least within a 5 or 6 hour drive tops.
I hope your spring race training is going better than mine has! Tell me about your goal races and how your training is coming along!
Last week was an up and down one. I was still recovering from a cold most of the week and struggled though some tough workouts before a run double race day on Sunday. Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:
Monday: Today was an attempt to make up Saturday’s 20-10-15 workout. I was supposed to do 20 minutes at a 7:10 pace, 10 at a recovery pace and 15 back at the tempo pace. I hit the treadmill Monday night and could quickly tell my lungs and chest were not fully recovered from my cold. I did bursts at a 7:24 pace and 1.0 incline with walk breaks in between for a total of 20 minutes before jogging it out at a 9:05 pace for 10 followed by a repeat of the run bursts and walk breaks for 10 minutes. Not ideal, but I was glad I made an effort to get it in.
Tuesday: I had Ian drop me off at work, so I could give my long run I missed out on on Sunday a go right after work to take advantage of as much daylight as possible. This was the tale of two runs. I started off strong and cruised for ten miles at an easy just under 9-minute pace. As I attempted to pick up the pace for the next 10 miles I started to struggle. My pace dropped by almost a minute per mile in some cases and I had horrible cramps in my feet. I pushed through as long as I could and finally called it quits at 16.5 after run/hobbling my way through Georgetown and over the Key Bridge back into Arlington.
Wednesday: Rest Day with light core workout.
Thursday: 5 miles easy on the treadmill plus a core workout.
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: I raced the Clarendon Day Double running a 5k immediately followed by a 10k. I had a blast at this race and ran pretty decent times too finishing 4th in my age group for combined times of those that ran both races. Full recap coming soon!
Sunday: Recovery Day. I planned to run easy, but my calf muscles were absolutely killing me today. I got in a walk, but even that was painful. I’m hoping lots of stretching and rolling makes this pass quickly.
I got back on track last week after being slowed by some blisters the week before and felt like it was a great week of training. I also got myself a deep tissue massage midweek, which left my legs feeling recharged and ready for the rest of the week. I ran 27.38 total miles this week. Here’s the day by day training breakdown…
Monday: Spin Class in the morning followed by a strength workout.
Tuesday: Today’s speed day included hill work. I put in 6.1 miles total with 8 sprints up the hill next to Arlington Cemetery by the Iwo Jima Memorial and Netherlands Carillon Bell Tower.
Looking down at the first part of the hill – MCM finish line hill
Arlington Cemetery – certainly puts things in perspective running past this
second stretch of the hill up to the bell tower
View from the top of the hill
Wednesday: I hit up an early endurance spin class at Revolve followed by a strength workout. I had a snowday today since the federal government closed and tried to go to my gym at the apartment after calling into a conference call only to find it too was closed even though we hadn’t gotten any actual snow. I guess you can’t be happy about getting out of one things and upset about another being closed over the same reason though! I don’t think the 30 or so minutes I planned to spend on the elliptical will make or break my training!
Thursday: After last week’s disastrous tempo run I was a bit nervous about this one. I also just really didn’t feel like working out. I almost got back into bed even after getting into my gym clothes, but instead dragged myself to the gym and figured I’d see how far I could get. I’m sure glad I did. I ran 7.31 miles starting out with a mile warm-up at an 8-minute pace, then started the tempo portion at a 7:35 pace working my way up to 7:30 before cooling down back at my 8-minute pace. I left feeling great and ready to take on anything that day. You’ve gotta love workouts like that!
Friday: Rest Day.
Saturday: I got up bright and early Saturday to get my long run in before the day’s festivities started. My parents were in town and we had tickets for the Syracuse – Georgetown game which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, but I knew I’d have to get that run in before the drinks started pouring at the noon game! It was an absolutely beautiful day for a run. It was still in the 30s when I set off, but the sun was shining and it felt warmer. I ran through Georgetown onto Rock Creek Parkway and looped around Hains Point before heading home over the Memorial Bridge. I came in just shy of 11 miles at 10.72 miles in 90 minutes for about an 8:24 pace and felt great the whole way.
Sunday: I only had a 3-miler on tap today, but I ended up splitting it up around my personal training session. I ran 2.5 easy miles up to my client’s house and then 3/4 of a mile back to a bike share dock to ride the rest of the way home after our session for a total of 3.25 miles. I did this as a progression run making each mile a little faster than the next, but it was mostly an easy uphill run.