Thursday, October 2, 2014

Marathon Monday: Peak Week

Yep...a "Marathon Monday" post on a Thursday again...but in my defense, I warned you ;)

Peak week is the week during marathon training where you run the most amount of miles...and guessed it...that was this week for me. My peak week consisted of 40 miles total and included the dreaded 20 miler. Back in July when I was putting together my training plan the 20 miler seemed so far away...and honestly it just kind of snuck up on me. I don't know what it is/was about the 20 mile distance that is so scary...I ran 17 and 18 miles no problem...what's 2 or 3 more? I don't know how to explain it...but 20 miles is totally different than least for me :)

As if running 40 miles in a week wasn't time consuming enough we decided that it would be the perfect weekend to move (not was just an unfortunate coincidence) While last week was probably one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging weeks for me...I am happy to say I survived :) What doesn't kill us, just makes us stronger right?

Unfortunately in the last week my Garmin and phone had what I like to call an "episode" which resulted in me losing photos and data from my runs from last week. I posted a few of them on Instagram so I was able to get some poor quality screen shot photos...but other than that I don't have much to share. I know you're devastated that you won't have get to see more photos of my watch ;)

Monday- 8 miles

8 miles before the sun came up...and a tempo run at that. While getting up at 4:30 this week wasn't my favorite thing...I do have to say I love, love, love my early morning runs. It's so quiet and peaceful and I love the lack of traffic because there is nothing I hate more than waiting at a cross-walk. The only thing I don't love about early morning runs are the critters I see out and about...on this particular run I came face-to-face (okay like 20 feet away) with a skunk. It's a good thing he I stayed far away because it may have resulted in a spraying match...him with his stinky cologne and me with my pepper-spray. I think it's safe to say I would have gotten the raw end of the deal on that one. 

Wednesday- 4.5 miles

Another early morning run...I ended with a half-mile of sprints up and down the street in front of our apartment. It's a good thing we moved because I am sure the people that saw me thought I was nuts. I was running as fast as I could for 30 second intervals. Looking cool just comes naturally to me ;)

Friday- 8 miles

After making the mistake of running too fast on the run before my long run 2 weeks ago I made sure to take this run really easy. I didn't want to have tired legs when re-attempting my 20 miler. Moving one billion boxes on Saturday kind of defeated the purpose of this though.

Sunday- 20 miles 

It is no secret that I was feeling kind of anxious in the days leading up to my 20 miler. Not only is 20 miles a scary-as-hell distance...but after my failed attempt at 20 miles the week before I wasn't feeling the most confident. I knew that running solo was not an option again so I was planning on running with my Sunday Runday group. 

Well on Friday at work one of my friends asked me if I wanted to run the Go Girl half marathon on Sunday. She had signed up several months ago with some friends and it turned out that they were not going to be able to do it and she offered to transfer her registration over to me. I was hesitant at first because I knew I needed 20 miles and I wasn't sure how to make it work. However, the more I thought about it I thought it would be the perfect way to run my 20 miles. I decided I would run the half-marathon and then come home and run the last 7 around the neighborhood. The thought of breaking up my 20 miler made it a little less scary. 

I have to say I am SO glad I decided to run this race. It was seriously the most fun I have had at a race in a long time. Over the last few weeks running has become some what of a nuisance...something I HAVE to do because it's on the training schedule not because I want to. This race was the complete opposite of that...I genuinely enjoyed every mile. I ran the race with zero time/PR expectations (and was still able to finished in 1:56!) and just allowed myself to have fun. Sometimes putting my overly competitive spirit to the side can be refreshing change of pace...quite literally ;) 

On top of being a great race, they had these GIGANTIC finisher medals, wine glasses and adorable t-shirts (yes...the race swag is always important)

At the finish line of the race I luckily ran into my chiropractor. They had set up a booth and were giving out free post-race massages/treatments. Being the VIP that I am (clearly, this is an exaggeration) I got to hop to the front of the line and see my doctor for a quick tune up! 

While splitting up the 20 miles was easier mentally...I can't say that physically it was all that great. I was feeling on top of the world after my race but about 3 miles into it I knew the last 4 miles were going to be legs were very stiff and I was just plain tired. I had spent all day Saturday moving and got up early on Sunday for the race and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Luckily I was able to push through those final 7 miles (they weren't nearly as tough as the week before) and get all 20 miles accomplished!! 

I don't drink very often...but after moving all weekend and running 20 miles I figured it was only appropriate to have a beer....or 3 :)

Have you ever run a race as part of a training run? 

On a scale of 1 to impossible, how tough was it to start running again after stopping?


  1. I didn't even hear about the Go Girl Half until this weekend. It sounds like a fun one to do before KC or even instead. I'm glad to know it was fun!! How was the course?

  2. WOW! I love the medal from your race, Heather - that is super cool! Congratulations and also on your training; you are doing AWESOME! I always think about you, when I don't really feel like getting up so early and heading out for a long(ish) during-the-week-run; I know you're out there, too. :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and no more moving boxes!

  3. I don't think peak weak is that bad! I mean, at least you don't have to run faster, right? Just longer. :)