Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 15

This was a good week! I think it helped me to know that this was the last big week of training before taper!

Training for:
Shamrock Marathon
Virginia Beach, VA
March 19


Week 15
Monday 2/20
Rest Day
I thoroughly enjoyed having the day off from work and from working out! I didn't realize it at the time but I had actually worked out 12 days straight prior to this (even though one day was just lifting weights for 30 minutes), and after 20 miles on both the run and bike over the weekend, I needed the rest day. 

Tuesday 2/21
45 minute YTri Spin / 5 mile run @ 9:00
Spin this morning was a bit better than last week. I enjoyed the structure of the class more and, in turn, felt like I phoned it in a little less. I really like that these spin classes are specifically for triathlon so they're more endurance based than traditional spin classes. They're work though, for sure.

I really wasn't into running after work, but I got 5 easy miles done.

Wednesday 2/22
30 minutes strength training
I had a meeting for YTri tonight and had just enough time to get to the gym for some weights in between work and the meeting. Screwed up my schedule a bit, but no big deal.

Thursday 2/23
5 mile run @ 8:42 / 1 hour trainer ride
Our run this morning was TOUGH. We've been running further north than I usually run - i.e. where the hills are. We started out with one pretty hard one basically right off the bat, then did a really long one a couple miles in that made the first one look like child's play. Fortunately there was more downhill than uphill in the second half of the run. I felt pretty good for most of it, but I definitely pushed myself more than I would if I had been on my own.

I hadn't ridden on the trainer in a while, and it was boring. I turned on Zwift while watching Project Runway on Hulu and I don't know why but it just wasn't doing it for me. There's a big climb that I kept turning around on because I wanted the ride to be easy, but when I got to it at the end I decided to just go for it since I'd be done with my hour ride when I made it to the top. I'm not ready to kill my legs on hills quite yet but I know I need to get the practice for Mountains of Misery.

Friday 2/24
2500yd YTri Swim @ 1:46/100yd
I got in what is apparently the slower lane (the one I was in the first week) and it was SO much better. I still had to push my pace but I didn't struggle as much as last week in the fast people lane, and I even moved up in the line rather than back. It was definitely more confidence-boosting than last week! I'm also already getting back to my swim paces from last fall during peak Ironman training, so I'm hopeful about what swimming with this group is going to do for me.

Saturday 2/25
19 mile run @ 9:21
This week's long run was a bit of a conundrum: the Striders Distance Series 20-Miler last weekend was 4 weeks out from race day rather than the 3 it should have been (they schedule it that way every year and I have no idea why), so I had no idea what to do this weekend. I had originally written 22 in my plan but my Shamrock training buddy, Carl, had 15. More than 20 seemed like a lot on the heels of a 20 last weekend, but 15 didn't seem like enough. He asked his coach who suggested we do 19 (why not go to 20, I don't know) so that's what we did.

Carl drove up Friday night and we hit the road Saturday morning to see as many of the D.C. sites as we could fit into 19 miles. We hit the White House, the Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the zoo, Adams Morgan, DuPont Circle, my office, and everything in between. The run was a bit of a struggle, especially when we got to mile 11 and started going uphill. We had 3 major hills on our route and walked 2 of them, which I think was mostly my fault - I just couldn't get my legs moving. We also had a lot of stops and starts because hi, city running, which got more and more painful as we got further along. It wasn't my worst run but it certainly wasn't my best, and with walking the hills it was my slowest super long run yet. We both agreed that, since we really should have peaked with the 20 last week, this was a bonus long run and that our goal was to get through the miles without doing anything counterproductive, like getting hurt, so in that respect it was a success? It just didn't make me super confident since it was slower AND felt worse than previous long runs. I'm definitely not feeling as fresh as I was 3 weeks ago when we did our first 20-miler. Then again, reading that sentence...holy shit, we've done three 19-20 milers in the last four weeks?! And that first 20 was only 3 weeks ago not like...6? Well no wonder the legs are feeling like lead.

Sunday 2/26
5 mile run @ 9:07 / 40 mile trainer ride
This run was supposed to be an 8 mile speedwork run on Friday night, but Carl and I didn't make plans to run together until Thursday afternoon and since we decided to do our long run Saturday, a Friday night workout was obviously not going to happen. And neither was my planned workout the day after a 19-mile run, so I took just took it easy for 5 miles instead of 8 miles of speed. My pace was a little faster than I was expecting with tired legs, but I kept an eye on my heart rate the whole time and it never got very high. 

This was the longest I've been on my bike since October! I really need to start getting it together for my half Ironman and century ride in May, and I'm running out of weekends to do longer rides. I've been telling myself for weeks that I would start doing long rides on the weekends and I just haven't, but today that changed. I was committed to getting 40 miles done on a hilly course - check!

I have already started riding the taper roller coaster and have a lot of thoughts about how this training cycle has gone, how I'm feeling about my race goals, etc. These last few weeks have been hard on my body - I know they're supposed to be, but I just hope I've done the right amount of work and that now I have enough time to recover and that those things will be the right combination for hitting my goal.


  1. Sounds to me like you've put in a lot of work! Wow, you've done 3 19-20 milers in 4 weeks! Great job!

  2. You're getting so close to race day! I love when it's finally time to taper... and sounds like you need it after all of the 20 mile runs you've been logging lately.

  3. You actually hit on what I was going to say - it's almost race day, your legs aren't going to feel fresh and that's not only okay, it's to be expected! Great work!

  4. Three 19 - 20 milers in 4 weeks. That makes me a little tired just to type that. Very impressive week - good luck at Shamrock!

  5. I was going to say: I don't think you should beat yourself up too much over your slightly disappointing 19 miler and the fact that you don't feel as fresh as you did three weeks ago, given all the work you've done in the mean time. If you were still feeling super solid, I'd be concerned that either you weren't really trying hard enough, or that a marathon wouldn't be enough of a challenge for you! I think if you take taper seriously and give your legs the break they deserve, you'll feel a lot fresher come race day than you did on Saturday :)

  6. I found you on Courtney's link up. I think you did a great job on your runs and on your 19 miler. For your goals and for this far into training (almost to taper), it looks like you had a good run. One good or bad run won't break your training, either- it is the sum of all the parts. I'm super jealous you get to run in DC too... it is such an amazing city!

  7. A great week of training! And Three 19-20 miles in 4 weeks is amazing!

    And an impressive 40 miles on the turbo too! The most I’ve done on the turbo is 20 miles and that was pushing it for me! xD

  8. 19 sounds like it was a good compromise. Remember, (as if I need to tell you, hah!) that race day is a whole different animal. You'll have the benefit of all your awesome training PLUS a taper that will leave you rested and well prepared to give it all you've got in the marathon. So much faith in you!

  9. Pretty impressive training (from the eyes of a newbie). I would love to run in DC one day and pass by all the monuments. Itching towards signing up for RnR Virginia Beach. Would love to know how your race goes. Good luck!