Vancouver Marathon Training: Week 3

Week 3 is on the books! The general sentiment around the interwebs seems to be something to the effect of “screw winter,” and I can’t say I disagree. Yesterday, I ran outside for the first time in almost 2 weeks, and I had to bring the last third of my run inside because I wanted to maintain use of my fingers. Remind me of this when I think I want to move back to Michigan again.

I own you. You will move only when I say you will move.

I own you. You will move only when I say you will move.

This week went really well, and although it pains me to say it, I think it’s because I cut out my beloved HIIT workouts. I’ve come to love strength training and even look forward to it, but I was noticing my legs felt much heavier than they should on my speed days. My coach and I talked it through, and I decided to dial back on the HIIT and see what happened. Worked like a charm!

Instead, I’ve made friends with the arc trainer, which seems to be like a stairclimber/elliptical hybrid. I have no interest in the stair climber, and the elliptical makes my feet go numb, so it’s a fair compromise. I’m also taking at least 15 minutes to do core work and hip bridges on my cross training days. Plus, my regular PT appointments have me doing glute strengthening exercises. I know I need to do these more than once a week at my appointments. I KNOW! Baby steps.

Monday
What I was supposed to do: 6 miles @8:40-9:05
What actually happened: 6 miles @8:50 on the treadmill
The treadmill is terribly boring, but the gym was quiet, so I put on the Today Show, set the treadmill to whatever pace 8:50 equates to, and just zoned out. Done and done.

Tuesday
What I was supposed to do: 
XT or rest
What I actually did: 45 minutes arc trainer; 15 minutes core work
I have zero recollection of this workout, but if Daily Mile says this is what I did, this is what I did.

Wednesday
What I was supposed to do:
Tempo run–7 miles total; warm up; 4 miles @7:25-7:32; cool down
What I actually did: 7 miles total–1.5 mile warm up; 5 miles @7:24; 0.5 mile cool down + PT!!!
I really love running fast, and this tempo work was no exception. Ramping down the HIIT seemed to do the trick, and I cruised through the 4 miles so easily that I decided to tack on an extra one. Leg felt fast and loose, just what I wanted!
I also went to PT, where he fixed me right up. My left glute and hamstring were tight and knotted per the usual, so he dry needled and scraped them, which helped a lot. He also stretched my hip flexors and IT bands, and he wound up needling those, too, which I desperately needed. Then I did: hip bridges on the balance ball, single leg deadlifts, squats with a band, standing clamshells (this is not the technical term, just what I call them), lateral dips, walk outs on the pulley, and probably something else I’m forgetting.
My legs were pretty tired by the time I got there (l usually run first thing in the morning and go to PT in the evening). But, as my smarty pants therapist pointed out, it’s good to work the glutes on tired legs so that I teach them to fire even when they’re tired. Sort of like what they’re supposed to do during the marathon.

Thursday
What I was supposed to do: 
4 miles easy recovery run no faster than 9:05
What I actually did: 4 miles easy recovery run @9:01; 15 minutes core work
I swear I did run my miles easy–I set the treadmill at 9:05 and only messed with the incline so I wouldn’t go any faster! But I did sprint the last 0.1 mile juuuuuust for fun 😉 Then I did HIIT work just for my core on the mat, incorporating some hip bridges and side pedestals with a leg lift, which are for the glutes. I was having a bad day and didn’t run in the morning like I usually do, so I needed this big time. Anyone else feel healed by a good workout?

Friday
What I was supposed to do:
XT or REST
What I actually did: REST and lots of foam rolling and lacrosse balling of the hip flexors and obnoxious left glute/hamstring
I wanted to workout (winter makes me stir-crazy), but I also knew that saving my legs for Saturday’s long run was a good idea. I was definitely glad I did.

Saturday
What I was supposed to do: 14 miles total–first 9 miles easy (target pace 8:25), cut down on the last 5 miles, running the last 5K @7:45 or better; run controlled.
What actually happened: 14 miles total–first 9 miles easy (8:29, 8:25, 8:22, 8:26, 8:27, 8:18, 8:09, 8:19, 8:32); last 5 miles cut down (8:04, 7:50, 7:35, 7:35, 7:30); finished with .1 @6:31
After last week’s terrible long run on the treadmill, I needed this to go well. Thankfully, it did! I headed out early Saturday with Roo, planning to do the first 9 miles with her. It was about 15* when I started, but I was bundled up and so was she, plus I had hand warmers, so I thought I’d be ok. I sort of forgot about the whole wind factor, and the first 4.5 miles or so into the wind were tough. Between trying not to slip on icy spots, making sure the dog didn’t trip me, and trying to focus on controlling my pace, I was a little stressed. The second 4.5 weren’t much better, and running the 9th mile uphill and into the wind was easily the toughest part of the run.
When I came home to drop Roo off and get myself a Gu, I realized my fingers were completely numb and useless. I could barely open a Gu or get her leash and coat off. Not good. So I quickly changed and zipped over to the gym to finish the last 5 on the treadmill. It felt GREAT, and I was so relieved to have it go well after feeling like I wanted to quit last weekend. I felt fast and loose and strong. If I can feel that way for most of my race, I’ll be thrilled!

Sunday
What I was supposed to do: REST or XT
What actually happened: nothing yet. I might make it to the gym for a little arc training. Then again, we’re having freezing rain today, and it is Nasty (yes, with a capital ‘N’) out there. I might be happy to hang out on the couch with Roo and get some things done around the house. It will depend on how much I want to avoid cleaning my apartment and doing laundry. The lesser of 2 evils and all that 😉

Week 3 Vancouver

Last but not least, despite the fact that I’ve been craving protein, meat is most definitely not the answer for me. After 3 days of adding it back in, all I wanted were veggies. And I was already eating veggies with my meat! Instead, I’m going to stick to beans, nuts, and egg whites (which I’ve eaten all along), plus some cheese here and there. It doesn’t bother my stomach in small doses, and I need the extra protein right now! I also remembered that I have a bunch of protein powder that I need to use more often. I’m so used to making it into smoothies, that I’d forgotten it can be a simple shake that’s a great snack after a run. Now I just have to remember that.

eat everything

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