Vancouver Marathon Training: Weeks 8 & 9

I always try to stay positive about my training. Well, I kind of try to stay positive about most things in life, but especially running. After all, I like running. I choose to run. I want to run marathons. I think.

I’ve struggled much more during this training cycle than any other before. Usually, I can at least see progress, but I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. So maybe it’s a fluke, and maybe it’s because I had a sort of serious illness, and maybe it’s that I’m just off for no particular reason at all. Yes, it’s bothering me that I can’t figure it out, but I’ve already spent almost 10 weeks training, so I have to trust that it will get me through 26.2 on May 3.

I had a pretty awful long run last weekend–20 miles that I could barely finish, even at a reasonably easy pace. If I had been near my car around mile 15, I definitely would have quit, which is not like me at all. When I did finish, my body hurt much more than it ever has after I’ve run a full 26.2, and even after my ice bath and much quality time with the foam roller, I was still in a lot of pain. I felt a little better yesterday, but was still achy for today’s 4 miles. At least it was a gorgeous day–as was Saturday when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom on the mall.

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I’ve made a deal with myself that I will run this race for fun and try to enjoy it. I know from the way my body’s behaving that this probably won’t be a PR race for me–and if it is, I will be very pleasantly surprised. Either way, I’m going to look forward to seeing my family there and know that we’ll have fun and enjoy Vancouver regardless of whether I run a 3:30 or a 4:30 or a 5:30. So there.

I’ve also made a deal with myself that I’m going to get through a couple tough workouts this week and then do some hardcore resting during my taper. I’m also in the phase of my training where I up my protein, reduce sugar, and drink water like it’s my job. What that all means is shooting for 80-100g of protein/day, limiting sweets to the weekend (and only if I want them–once I cut them out, I’m much less interested), and 4 liters of water/day, which actually isn’t hard for me to do at all.

As for training the last 2 weeks, here’s the rundown:

Week 8
Monday 6 miles easy (@8:28)
Tuesday 5 miles easy (@8:52)
Wednesday 8 mile tempo run–6 miles at tempo (7:24–7:19–7:19–7:19–7:16–7:13) Felt really great during this run. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
Thursday HIIT workout ~40 minutes
Friday REST
Saturday 18 miles @8:19 overall pace–was supposed to do 2 sets of 4 miles at tempo pace of @7:34-7:37. It was crazy windy (30 mph, yo), and I struggled through this one. Nothing to be done about bad conditions, but still did nothing for my confidence.
Sunday REST
Week 8 total: 37 miles

Week 9
Monday 6 miles easy (@8:26)
Tuesday HIIT workout ~40 minutes (mostly core and upper body)
Wednesday 8 miles total — I was supposed to do a workout similar to last week’s, but with 6 miles @7:13-7:19, which should have been no problem since I basically did that the week before. Nope. nopenopenopenopenope. My legs felt heavy and the whole run was a struggle. Barely made it through one mile @7:19, then dropped down to half mile repeats. I did 6 @7:19 with half mile jogs in between each one, and I really had to make myself do it. My lungs were burning, and I had chest pain pretty much the whole time. I’m sure my cardiologist would not approve.
Thursday 6 miles easy recovery run (@8:27)
Friday REST
Saturday 20 miles (@8:32) as mentioned above. The worst.
Sunday REST
Week 9 total: 40 miles

Given that I just let out the heaviest sigh known to man, I’d say that’s a pretty good indication of how I’m feeling now. Tomorrow is a rest OR cross training day on my training schedule, and I’m going to rest. I just feel done, you know? Hopefully, that’ll get me primed for a tough workout on Wednesday, and I can rebuild some of my confidence with a successful workout. Here’s hoping!

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5 thoughts on “Vancouver Marathon Training: Weeks 8 & 9

  1. I think it will be hard not to enjoy a race in Vancouver. If nothing else, Canadians are so friendly, so I know they will be cheering you on each step of the race! Hang in there, friend! You are a tough cookie (and deserve a cookie, so maybe one more before you cut out the sugar!)

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