This is week 6 of an 18-week training plan that will hopefully get me to the marathon start line ready to have an amazing race, and maybe hopefully PR!
This week marks the addition of long runs to my training plan. Until now, I have been getting used to speed workouts and increasing my weekly mileage. However, with the exception of speed workouts, none of my runs have been longer than 7 miles. This needs to change, because I need to start increasing my consecutive “time on my feet” and reminding my body what that feels like, so I will be physically and mentally prepared for the marathon. Here we go!
monday, december 2
I had a chill morning, worked on a few blog posts, and scheduled an electrician to come later in the week (apparently the technician who visited last week was a band aid). In the afternoon, I ran my speed workout–this is one I have done a few times before, but as “practice” with speed work: 1.5mi warm up 12 * 400m @ 5K-10K pace; 400m rest 1.5mi cool down
The workout felt really good, but upon checking the last time I ran it, I saw that today’s effort was 3 minutes slower…then I checked the splits from October, and let’s just say that they were more of a sprint than 5K-10K, and these ones are a bit more realistic (but still somewhat aspirational). Still, after racing a 10K or running 1200m repeats, the 400s really flew by!
I resisted eating pumpkin pie right before the workout, because the past few times I’ve eaten too close to speed work, my stomach didn’t appreciate it. So I had something to look forward to…RIP pumpkin pie (11/29-12/2), you will be missed.
This evening I took a spin class. The instructor chose great music, but he didn’t correct anybody’s terrible form, and when he wanted us to move the resistance up from a 6 to a 7 (out of 10), he’d say, “add 10%”…EXCEPT THEN IT WOULD BE A 6.6. I understood what he meant, but since I’m anal retentive, it bothered me.
tuesday, december 3
I woke up from a dystopian adventure dream–before anything was resolved. Why does it always happen like that? I took a late morning yoga class with the instructor I like, then stopped by the grocery store to pick up some things. In the evening I ran to my local We Are Runners group, did the workout, and ran home. It was about 5.8 miles in total, and now I’m only 2 workouts away from free lululemon gear!
wednesday, december 4
Lior left the apartment sometime before 6am today (I woke up to say goodbye, but I purposely didn’t check time time). I went back to sleep, and resented my alarm when it went off two+ hours later. If I did not have spin class this morning, I would have hit snooze forever (or not set an alarm). I’m really enjoying my time off, but think it’s important to have some kind of schedule/morning activity, or I would probably sleep in until 11:00am most weekdays, and then fall into a huge funk. Since I did have spin class, I only hit the snooze button a few times…
Today I have seven miles on the plan, and since I’m attending a We Are Runners run in the evening, this means I’m breaking my run into two parts. I ran a bit over 4 miles in the afternoon, at just over my goal marathon pace. In the evening, I ran 4.4 miles with We Are Runners. I ended up losing the pacers and got a bit off the course, but I was with 3 other women, and I looked up the map route and led us back to the path. We had followed a different runner, and she chose to skip the hills…can’t say I blame her, but there was a nice feeling of accomplishment to smashing them! I covered 8.7 miles today in total. A bit over the plan, but nothing crazy.
On another note: I gave it a lot of thought, and decided to not enter the lotteries for the 2020 Berlin and Chicago Marathons. There are a variety of reasons, including the fact that the Berlin Marathon is the day before Yom Kippur and the Chicago Marathon is expensive to get to (and I will probably be in Chicago in June). There’s also the fact that training for a marathon during the summer is tough. I would need peer pressure from friends/fellow runners in order to wake up early enough to beat (some) of the heat for the runs. And then there’s the fact that I might want to put more time between this marathon and any (possible) future ones. And the fact that I want to focus on speed after the Tokyo Marathon, and it’s easier to do that if I’m not training for a marathon. And the fact that marathon training takes a lot of time, and I’ll hopefully be employed pretty quickly after returning to Israel…and also, do I really want this hobby to consume all of my life (as if it doesn’t already)?
I’m not going to lie, I have a lot of FOMO about “missing out” on some of the big international marathons. In the online running community, it is very common to see runners doing back to back marathons, or completing the Abbott World Marathon Majors in two years or less. It really messes with my perspective sometimes. (To be fair, I guess most of you think I’m insane for wanting to run one marathon, let alone multiple! So I guess it’s all relative.) For me, completing the World Majors is more of a long-term goal, and I’m mostly okay with that. (I’m DEFINITELY okay with not busting my butt trying to Boston Qualify anytime soon!) While I do think that I’ll want to run another marathon in the future (and I already have some possible contenders for late 2020/early 2021), I want to wait until after I finish the Tokyo Marathon to make any decisions.
thursday, december 5
I had a great yoga class today, even though it’s with the instructor I don’t enjoy as much. Progress! In the afternoon, I went for an 8 mile run. This is the first of my back to back long runs (I have another 8 mile run on the plan for tomorrow), and given all the running I’ve been doing, it didn’t feel bad…though I will say that it was a bit tougher mentally than the 9 mile speed workout I did on Monday, since I didn’t have those shorter speed intervals to focus on…
friday, december 6
My landlord booked an electrician came to fix some things in the apartment for this morning, so I cancelled my spin class. #firstworldproblems BUT THEN I later found out that the instructor had to cancel herself, and the gym wasn’t even sure they could find a replacement…so I win.
The electricians were in and out in a little over an hour…though all they did was change some light bulbs, so that’s not exactly an A+ in productivity…They were supposed to install a new lighting fixture in the living room, but almost immediately discovered that the ceiling is concrete, so they couldn’t do it. Shouldn’t that be something the owner tells them? But what do I know, I’m not an electrician. There was also the exchange I had with one of the men, where I offered to turn off the heater since he was working and I figured he’d get overheated, he politely declined…and then a few minutes later took off a sweatshirt because he was hot…so I turned off the heater. I find these types of exchanges–all for the sake of “politeness”–equal parts entertaining, exhausting, and unnecessary. Just one of the many reasons I’m happy I don’t live here permanently!
…anyway, in the afternoon I went for an 8 mile run, and I definitely dragged my heels a lot more than yesterday. Fatigue is real! (Also maybe the podcast I chose for today was too low energy?) But this is also the point of the training plan I chose–I’m going to be tired a lot of the time that I do the workouts, and running back to back long runs is a crucial part of my training. It was tough, but I got it done, and I’m very happy about it! And I’m even happier that tomorrow is a rest day!
saturday, december 7
Day trip! Today Lior and I went to Bath. I decided I wanted to do a more in-depth post about that trip, so click here to read all about it!
Visiting the Royal Crescent
sunday, december 8
After sleeping in and having a relaxed morning (Lior made breakfast, we hung out, it was great), I went for a 5 mile run. I felt like I was flying! And “only” running 5 miles was great. Perspective is funny like that. In the evening, we met up with one of Lior’s coworkers at the most Christmasy bar I’ve ever seen, The Churchill Arms:
total distance: 45.2 miles, 2 spin classes, 2 yoga classes
I am officially 1/3 done with my Tokyo Marathon 2020 training. That is terrifying! This week also represents my highest mileage, EVER. In the past, I only had two 40+ mile weeks per marathon training cycle. Here I am, in week 6 of 18, and I’ve already completed two 40+ weeks…with many more to come. And I feel ready!
I think that I might cut back a bit on some of the cross training, especially if I feel like I’m phoning it in. I still want to try and make two yoga classes per week, but if I miss a spin class here and there, I won’t be devastated. I think it’s very important to use my muscles in a different way than running, but I don’t need to make myself any more exhausted than I already am.