Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Training Recap: 4/5 - 4/11

For the 2015 marathon season, the races I scheduled closest together were Knoxville and the upcoming Blue Ridge Marathon, separated only by three weeks. I know I couldn't do much to build my fitness in this time, but I still wanted to get back to the gym and pool a little bit this week, if only to decide what I want my routine to be in the future.

I'm happy to report it was very successful! I joined the Greater Cleveland YMCA when I moved, so I'm able to go to any of their numerous branches. (But they're all priced differently depending where you join? I still don't understand that part....) There is one literally around the corner from our apartment, but it is a dump. Like, a mom admonished her child for sitting on the bench in the locker room while fully clothed dump. I decided to try the other branch by us, which is about 10 minutes away.

Holy modern gym, Batman, it is awesome! There were multiples of the most popular weight machines, two full sets of dumbbells, lots of space for free weights, plenty of cardio equipment, and an indoor track. The pool is also used by the local high school, so it is maintained to USA Swimming standard. I'm pretty sure the other pool would've given me rabies or something.

Getting up in the morning wasn't actually too bad. I think being able to sleep in Monday and Friday really helped, plus it's dawn when I leave, instead of pitch black. The place was completely empty, too, which was a nice bonus. This coming week will be a taper, but I really like the system I tried out this week, and I plan to get back to it when my next training block starts.

Sunday, April 5

We had gorgeous weather, and I enjoyed a nice long walk around the neighborhood. We had a pretty busy weekend, so it was a relaxing way to wrap it up.

The grass is starting to turn green!
Monday, April 6
PM - 30 min hills, NROLFW Stage 1A-5

I tried to the new gym after work (so much easier to get to than my actual apartment!). I had no problem getting a treadmill or any of my weights. I did look pretty dumb until I figured out the treadmill was a touchscreen - I could not figure out how to start it!

Look at the average HR. I'm clearly a super athlete!
Tuesday, April 7
AM - 800 yd swim
PM - 6 mi easy (11:24 min/mile)

I could definitely feel my lifting session in my legs during the run, but I still felt pretty fresh. We did get a huge downpour partway through, but it was very warm, so I enjoyed it. It's going to make me sound like a total hippie, but I love running outside to connect with nature - running in the rain just means spring is here!

Wednesday, April 8
AM - NROLFW Stage 1B-5
PM - 3 mi easy (11:08 min/mile)

My legs felt really dead this run from both gym sessions. There was also a really heavy fog out, so I was gently covered in water during the run, even though it wasn't rain. It was a very strange sensation.

Thursday, April 9
AM - 800 yd swim

I was intimidated going into this swim (8x100 at a tempo pace), but I figured I would give it my best shot. I was thrilled when most of my 100's were under two minutes! It was a really good cardio workout without taxing my body.

Friday, April 10
PM - 6 mi easy (11:29 min/mile)

I procrastinated running for quite awhile (I made the mistake of looking at one wedding thing, and then I fell into a black hole), but it was great weather once I got out there. My legs felt good, so I think my slow pace was caused by how windy it was.

Saturday, April 11
10 mi easy (10:56 min/mile)

This run got put off until the afternoon (I spent the morning waiting in the three separate BMV lines to get my Ohio plates - Ohio, I love you, but you are so inefficient sometimes!), but I'm glad I waited, because the evening was the most perfect weather ever. If it could stay like this year-round, I would be happy.

Donuts are necessary after spending three morning hours at the BMV!
I drove out to the Big Creek Parkway (mostly flat) again for this run, but way more people were out this time, so it was less creepy when I was in the rougher sections of the route. Also, I was confused where all these new people came from at first because my runner brain was like: "Shouldn't they have been out here no matter the weather?" But then I figured out most people don't like pulling their kids in wagons in the winter.

Run Miles: 27.5 mi
Swim Miles: .9 mi
Lifting Time: 52:08Total Time: 6:43

While I enjoyed stepping it up a bit this week, I'm looking forward to having a light week. I think my training is working out well with all my life changes, since I haven't had to do a big training block since moving, while I go through all these other transitions. However, I think I'm close to getting my groove now, so I'm getting excited to get in some solid training between Blue Ridge and Hatfield McCoy.

I think I'm also focusing on that training because I'm honestly getting really nervous for Blue Ridge! The elevation change is no joke, and while I've been doing specific hill work and running in a hilly area, hills are still not mountains. That being said, it's exciting to have those butterflies again about a race! I've done enough marathons that I know I can will myself through the pain, but this will be a new challenge. As long as I meet the cut-offs, I will be happy!

This means the goal this week is to focus on keeping my legs fresh and eating well in preparation. And checking the weather obsessively, obviously.

What pacing strategies do you use in a very hilly/mountainous race?
Have you been able to enjoy the spring weather yet?


  1. Sounds like you had a solid training week! I'm a big wimp when it comes to Hills and usually seek out very flat half-marathons so my training runs are actually 'hillier' than my races. (I'm not sure I should even say they're hilly with how flat Michigan is!).

    Good luck with your next marathon! On the brightside, it'll be GORGEOUS running in mountains!

    1. I would get irrationally angry when I lived in Michigan and read articles that said you could find hills anywhere to train if you looked hard enough. Uh, no, not in Michigan! The hills are definitely improving my running, but I still don't want to really race on them. The pictures of the course look amazing, so hopefully the scenery will keep me distracted from the pain!