Weekly Workouts 12/16 and 12/23

Ack, so many posts, so little time! Has it really been 2 weeks since I posted a workouts recap? Oops. Things have been so crazy these last few weeks I feel like I've barely even sat down at a computer for more than 5 minutes.

Week of 12/16-12/22
This week was a stepback week in running mileage, yay! I had my longest weekday run ever at 9 miles, but my long run was only 14 miles. Excuse me for a minute while I laugh at the fact that I just said "only 14 miles" hahahaha wow, thanks marathon training! The bad news is I started developing some knee pain (I am thinking runner's knee, but not positive) that hasn't totally resolved itself. It hasn't affected my running in any way, so that's good, but it's still annoying to not be able to bend my knee correctly. The whole week I ate and drank WAY too much and slept not enough at all

I was not expecting much from Monday's run. Sunday night I hung out (i.e. drank wayyyy too much) with a friend who is in town who I hadn't seen in a year. I woke up Monday feeling sufficiently crappy but that didn't change the fact that I had 5 miles to get through. Surprisingly, they weren't terrible and I even pushed myself to make the last mile my fastest at 9:16, and ended up with 9:40 average overall. It's hard not to enjoy a run with a view like this!

I see this view on my runs 5 or 6 times a week and it never gets old!

Tuesday I did an hour total on the trainer, but because of some things I had going on, I had to split it in to a 40-minute and 20-minute session. I also completed a weight training session - started my strength training for runners program again, which meant 12 reps, my least favorite workout! I would much rather do higher weight/fewer reps than lower weight/more reps.

Wednesday was 9 miles. I ran the first 4 alone and was struggling to get through them. After the 4-mile loop I was back at my house where I met my dad and a friend and we finished the last 5 together. The pace was still slow, but it was nice having company! Later, I realized that I was exactly a month away from the marathon, scary but exciting!

Thursday I needed to get in 5 miles before leaving for NYC, so I headed out at 6:00am. It ended up being one of the scariest runs of my life. I don't know if I was in any real danger or if I was just on high alert running alone and in the dark (most likely scenario), but I was creeped out enough by a guy who came up running behind me, out of nowhere, and then stopped when he got right to me, that I called my husband and dog to meet me. It was smooth sailing after that, but I think it will be a while before I put myself in that situation again.

Friday was an unplanned rest day. I had thought I'd be able to sneak in a core workout while we were in NYC, but I wouldn't even have had time if I wanted to!

Saturday was my planned rest day since I had a long run on Sunday.

Sunday was my long run in NYC! I was really looking forward to it, and it lived up to my expectations. I will be doing a full review on the run and the experience with City Running Tours.

Week of 12/23-12/30
My last big push before taper time! This was actually my peak week (by less than a mile, from Week 11) and it ended with my longest run yet: 22 miles!

Monday I ran 5 miles with a training buddy at an easy pace. I don't like to run the day after my long run, but sometimes it just happens that way.

Tuesday was Christmas Eve, and I frantically tried to pack in all the errands, gift-wrapping, and working out I needed to do that day. I somehow got in both my workouts, a (boring) hour on the trainer and a strength training session.

Wednesday I had the most glorious 5 mile Christmas run! I spent all day planning to run at a certain time, then not getting to, rescheduling, then repeat...I finally got it done right before dark and it ended up being the best run I have had in quite some time!

Thursday I was up ridiculously early to hit up the after-Christmas gift wrapping sales with my mom, and afterward I ran with my dad around our old neighborhood. My stomach wasn't feeling great and my legs felt like bricks, but after a couple of miles I started to get more comfortable. I was running around a 10:15 pace the whole time but the last mile I pushed myself to kick it into high gear and busted out a 9:34 mile 5!

Friday was a rest day! I spent it shopping with my mom and resting up (fighting a cold, grrr) before my BIG run, my last long run of marathon training!

Saturday was the biggest day yet of my running career, no big deal. Not only did I run 22 miles, my newest distance PR, but those miles put me at over 1000 for the year! That wasn't something I had set out to do, but it was a pretty cool milestone to reach. I ran 14 miles alone before meeting my dad and training buddy to finish the last 8. Having them there was a huge help. I felt pretty good for most of the run, but I started to lose some steam around mile 18. I remember being about 17.5 miles in and actually saying out loud, "It's been over 3 hours, what's another 45 minutes?" Turns out...it was a lot. 19 miles in, I was hurting pretty badly, mentally and physically. I got a little pep talk from my peeps, cried it out for a few seconds, and kept going. I posted a picture the night before my run, just a simple picture that said, "You are going to be great. Keep going." That was the mantra I adopted for this run, and I kept going back to it when things got tough. Once I got to mile 20 I was actually starting to feel a little better, at least mentally. Physically, I'm not sure if the movement I was making could still be considered "running," but I know that my feet were off the ground and somehow I was moving forward, so I guess it counts. I had to slow down during these miles but I never walked or stopped. At mile 21 I actually started to pick it up a little. I think it's more mental than physical, but no matter if I'm running 5 miles or 20, once I get to that last mile and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I tend to suddenly get a little pep in my step. I actually hit 22 miles a little earlier than I had planned, and since I technically wasn't at the "finish line" (the sidewalk in front of my house - it's where I finish all my runs, I don't stop until I get to that point) I just kept on trucking. I turned on my power song and with every block I crossed, I kicked it into higher gear. I ended up running an extra .2 miles and Garmin tells me my pace for that last .2 was 8:46! Overall pace for the run was 10:41, not too shabby! That's actually about 10 seconds per mile faster than I ran my 20-miler. I would be very, very pleased to run that pace in 3 weeks. This run was not easy, but other than wanting to stop and chop off my left leg starting at around mile 19, I am really happy and pleasantly surprised with how it went.

Sunday I did some strength training in my new home gym! I have been working out at home for almost a year now and my workout space has been less than ideal. I have a mat, some dumbbells, and a little corner in living room. It's all I've really needed, but I will admit it's been pretty limiting. My sweet, romantic husband took it upon himself to upgrade some of my equipment and help me expand my space as part of my Christmas present!

This is our spare room and has always been our catch-all room. It's our ferret/cat room, craft/home improvement project room, but mostly our junk room. We did some major rearranging and overhaul of our furniture and are in the process of turning this room into a room we can actually use. The animals will still live there, but I actually have a place to set up my sewing machine and craft area now. Its main use will be for working out, though. We have plans to put in a TV and some display areas for my medals and retired shoes. I can't wait to get it all set up! 
After I finished working out, I rested for a little bit then did yoga. I don't know if it was because of the run, the lifting, or the fact that it had been 2 weeks since I had done yoga, but my legs felt awful. I think it was good for me to do anyway, though. 

And now...I have arrived in Taper Town! 

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