This week was 82 miles of “real running” and 10 “miles” pool running, no swimming breathing drills -- training log is here.
Last week of marathon training is done, and now I’m tapering. My week ended up being a bit skewed – since I needed to run my last 20 on Saturday (so I could cheer at the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday), I needed to push back my last tempo to Thursday. In turn, I ended up skipping my Tuesday interval workout – it just didn’t make sense to pile a 10 mile race, an interval workout, a tempo, and a 20 mile run into 8 days. So subbed easy miles for Tuesday’s intervals.
The workouts that I did do went well – despite feeling the cumulative effect of the past month’s training, I was able to hit the paces I would expect to hit while sustaining the proper effort level (not straining). My legs feel like they’ve traded their top end speed for strength – that seems like a good tradeoff for marathoning.
I was particularly happy with my long run, which I paced exactly how I wanted. 7:03 feels very natural and comfortable, though I’m thinking that I’ll still start out with a more conservative marathon pace, and then see how I feel at the halfway point. If I run my marathon and finish feeling like I had too much in the tank at the end, that’s not the worst thing in the world. In fact, pretty much ideal for a first marathon.
My long run also taught me an important lesson. My coach continually reminds us to hydrate and eat early -- “if you wait until you start feeling hungry or thirsty, it's too late!” I’ve read that and processed it, but I didn’t really comprehend it. Until Saturday’s long run. I carried a water bottle with me, but wasn’t particularly thirsty, so I didn’t drink much during the first parts of my run, and just took a brief sip at water fountains – I had the bottle with me, so I figured I could just drink whenever I wanted – i.e waiting until I was thirsty. So, not much water.
Whoops. Towards the end of the long run (just past 18 miles) I suddenly got ridiculously thirsty, and running got a lot harder. Drained my handheld in about 2 seconds and wished I had two more. Hung on to finish a full 20 miles with 8 at marathon pace, but had a valuable lesson drilled into my head as well. The memory of how those last few dehydrated miles felt will help me take my hydration seriously during my race, and hopefully ensure I don’t make the same mistake again.