Colfax Marathon Training Week 14

Thanks everyone who listened to my complaining last week and gave me encouraging words as I was heading into a race week. I spent a lot of my training unsure if maybe something was wrong with my legs or if I was on the verge of an injury. I am still having the extreme soreness, but I think it’s getting better. I’ve been making a gentle yoga practice a real priority while also trying to cut back on my mileage a bit to give my legs a rest. I am under four weeks out from my first marathon and this next week is my peak mileage week.

This was my week:

M: Total Rest Day – did a lot of whining though

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

W: 8 miles – 5 at goal MP tempo + strength training

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

F: yoga

S: 13.1 trail race + biking

S: 10 miles hiking

Total Running: 33 miles + 10 hiking

Last week started with a lot of nervousness and hesitation. I was having a nerve-like pain going down the outside of both of my legs causing weakness that felt almost like my legs were going to buckle out. It was very strange and not anything I’d ever felt before. I was supposed to hit some pretty high mileage last week, but since I had a race, and this weird pain, I decided to cool it and air on the side of caution.

As usual, my easy days were a struggle and my tempo run was fantastic (why is easy so hard?!). Even though I was having the weird feeling in my legs, I still held the pace fine and without too much effort on my lungs. This gave me a lot of confidence that a 9:00/mi pace will be okay at Colfax. I started to wonder if this feeling in my legs is just mental (I’m still not entirely sure that it’s not).

On Thursday I went for my sports massage. I gotta say, that was an incredible experience. The massage therapist tortured my legs for a while, but at the end asked me if I knew that I tend to kick my right foot out to the side while I run (he could tell by the “imbalances” in my muscles on that leg). Of course, I did know all about this. I’ve seen it in pictures and video of my running. Basically, he made a total believer in me of sports massage and of his knowledge of anatomy. It definitely helped the weakness and pain in my legs a lot, but it didn’t take it completely away. While practicing yoga, I came out of a handstand a little funny and felt it again, so it’s not gone, but it certainly got better.

I took a day off heading into my race on Saturday and was feeling reasonably refreshed. The race was AWESOME and those of you who follow me on twitter already know what happened. I’ll save the story for my race recap. But I will leave you with this photo:

img_2601-1

So… that happened. 😉

Frank and I went biking after the race for a few hours and then camped at a state park close to the race. The next day I woke up pretty sore, so instead of running, we just hiked about 10 miles through some of the hilly grassland prairie.

This week is the peak of my training. I’ll see how many miles I get in, it really depends on how I am feeling and holding up. I’m getting very excited about the taper, but the last 20-miler is definitely sitting heavy on my mind. My goal is to make it through with healthy legs so I can taper and be ready for Colfax in less than 4 weeks (really?!?).

Congrats to everyone that ran Boston yesterday! I hope you had a great time!

How do you mentally prepare for really high mileage weeks? Do you look forward to the taper?

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16 thoughts on “Colfax Marathon Training Week 14

  1. Congrats on an awesome race and an overall award!!! Not bad for a “personal worst”, eh? (did you actually run a PW?) Wahoo!! So glad you had fun.

    I’m glad to hear that your massage went well and that your leg soreness is starting to get better. I wonder if it might be your legs trying to get used to the high mileage. A few weeks back, I had a persistent uncomfortable soreness in my upper left leg, mostly in my quad. While it wasn’t painful, it was uncomfortable during runs and just felt weird. It took a few weeks but it finally, gradually went away – I think it was just my body’s way of adjusting to my mileage increase. Is your fatigue starting to go away too?

    And, I hate to be a nag because I know everyone harps about this, but since you mention your easy days still don’t feel good: are you doing your easy runs easy enough? Slowing down a bit on your easy days might help a lot with your recovery. While it may feel easy, 15-20ish seconds slower than your goal MP is really not slow enough for your body to adequately recover. Just a thought to consider – in general you should feel more refreshed after a truly easy/recovery run, not less.

    Keep up the great work! Sorry this comment is like a novel, haha. But you are going to crush your last week and you are ALMOST TO TAPER!!

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    • It was my personal worst! But the trail was unbelievably rocky and technical, so even the winner was slower than 2 hours. It was a bit of a slog with giant rocks a few sections that I didn’t think was runable.

      Earlier in my training, I had no problem making easy runs really slow, but lately that has been hard. I’ll be a slave to my watch and be good for a while and then accidentally throw in a sub-9 mile. My legs feel really dialed in to a 9-minute pace, which is probably good. I just really hate running slow. I like speed and tempo work way more than slow runs and easy days.

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      • Haha that’s so awesome that you placed overall during your PW! The trail sounds tough but I bet it was really cool too. Excited for your recap! And yeah, everyone hates to run slow. I always have to remind myself that many of the elites run 2:00 min/mile slower than their goal pace, so if they can do that, I can slow down a measly 10 seconds. In general I actually believe in running by feel, but if you’re consistently feeling bad on easy runs it might be worth forcing yourself to slow down for a while. If it still doesn’t work, then forget it, but maybe it will. Good luck in peak week!

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      • Not to give away my race recap… but it was a RACE! I had to chase a girl down at like the last half mile. It was super exciting!

        Thanks! Peak week is going well so far. Hopefully I come out on the other side just a little stronger. 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on making the podium in you half marathon! That is so awesome! And aren’t sports massages absolutely amazing. I mean sure sometimes they hurt like hell, but they have completely saved me from not being able to race/train in the past. So glad to hear that your legs are coming around.

    Oh and I’ll echo what Hanna said about keeping your easy runs easy. It will feel super awkward and uncomfortable at first, but it you can get the pace on those runs down to 10:00-10:45 (based on your goal pace) it will help you recover faster but still keep your mileage up. Just a suggestion 🙂 and at this point with only 4 weeks to go it probably won’t make that big of difference.

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    • Thanks! It was so much fun!

      I usually do keep it around 10:00/mi on my easy days. Lately, that has been very hard. I accidentally throw in a few faster miles and it is definitely something I’ve always struggled with. I’m hoping that for my next training cycle that I can get it right.

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  3. I sometimes have weird pains that are in my head! I pretty much convince myself weekly that I have planter fasciitis, haha. But I don’t. I’ve had it before, so I know what it feels like. 🙂 Hey congrats on your award at the trail race!! Can’t wait to hear about it. 🙂

    I too am one to err on the side of caution when it comes to niggles and feeling over tired. I figure if I am that tired, my form may suffer.

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    • I generally do too. I felt none of my weird pains during my race… but I feel them on training runs. I don’t know. My brain is weird like that. I’m always convinced that I have a stress fracture.

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  4. I absolutely look forward to my tapers & I’m only running halfs!

    And now I’m a believer in sports massages, too. Just one certainly wasn’t a cure, but it made a big difference already — I have a month to my half and I’m planning to get a few more to really work the kinks out!

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    • Me too!!! I already scheduled one. It’s for a week from today and I’m so excited. It was seriously the best thing ever.

      I look forward to my tapers running half marathons too. However, I do have a tendency to get a little overly anxious about stuff during my tapers.

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      • I’m usually too busy during my taper to really get terribly anxious.

        Now that I know which day my long run will be this weekend I’m ready to schedule the next sports massage. 🙂

        If only I were independently wealthy . . .

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