Grand Rapids Marathon – 7 weeks!

The week of August 24-30 was a cutback week and it was absolutely glorious! Instead of following a strict plan, I set out to run 38-44 miles throughout the week. It was really nice to decide each day how far and how hard I wanted to run.

Monday 8/24
rest day

Tuesday 8/25
Distance: 8.67
Pace: 9:34

I ran with my friend Maria for about half of this run. I was only aiming for 8 miles, but had to take a slight detour for a mid-run bathroom break.

Wednesday 8/26
Distance: 7.17
Pace: 2 mile warm up, 5 x 800 at 5k pace, 1.82 mile cool down

This speed workout was listed in the cutback week of my training plan, and since I haven’t run anything close to 5k pace since June, I was curious to see how it felt. Impossible. That is how it felt. My basic plan was to start with a 7:15ish pace for the first interval and then work my way down to actual 5k pace (6:50) by the end of the workout. A minute or so into the first interval I looked down and saw my pace was 7:40. It was like I had completely forgotten how to run fast! I fought hard to pick the speed up; the first two intervals were so freaking difficult! Finally in the third interval things came together and I was able to hit the paces I was expecting without feeling like I was going to die (7:09, 7:06, 6:54, 6:54, 6:53).

The workout called for 8 miles total, but I was quite exhausted so when I finished my final 800, I just ran back home and called it good enough.

Thursday 8/27
Distance: 5.0
Pace: 9:45

I paid for Wednesday’s speed work with a slow and sluggish run on Thursday. Fortunately I was running with Maria again, because if I was running alone I would have ended up walking half of it.

Friday 8/28
rest day

Saturday 8/29
Distance: 5.0
Pace: watch free run

Best run of the week! And it almost didn’t happen. I was in the crankiest of moods on Saturday. I didn’t feel like running, so I decided to take an extra rest day. I also was in such a mood that I didn’t even feel like having a movie marathon and snuggling little kitty on the couch, which frankly is the best way to waste a Saturday. I just didn’t want to do anything.

All day, everyday.

I talked myself into running just 2-3 miles to see if that improved my mood. When I told my husband that I was only running 2-3 miles he laughed and said I’d probably end up running 6.  After insisting that making it 3 full miles would be a miracle I set out for my run. And then I ended up completely zoning out and missed the turn around spot for a 3 mile run. So I decided to just do 4 miles. And by then I was feeling so much better that I decided if I was going to do 4 miles, I might as well do 5.

So yeah. 5 mile run. I guess my husband knows my running habits better than I do.

Sunday 8/30
Distance: 16.23
Pace: 9:14

The weather during this run alternated between disgustingly humid and light rain. Last weekend might have felt like fall, but summer is still holding on for another few weeks.

Pace for this run was in the 9:30s for the first 9 miles with the last 7 at marathon pace (8:28 average). I mixed in one crazy fast mile (8:00) just for fun. Feeling strong at the end of a long run is the best feeling ever.

Total: 42.07 miles

This coming week I will jump back up to a 55 mile week ending with a 20 miler on Sunday. For speed work I am considering adding some HMP miles to one of my midweek runs (weather dependent…forecast is showing highs of 90). My long run will probably not include a fast finish since I don’t want to short change myself when it comes to the physiological benefits gained through easy long runs.


4 thoughts on “Grand Rapids Marathon – 7 weeks!

  1. Nice job this week! Yeah, during marathon training I cannot run fewer than 4-5 miles on any given run, even during taper. 3 miles is basically a warm-up for me when my mileage is that high; if I stopped there my legs would be like “wait, huh?” LOL.

    It's probably a good idea to forgo another FF long run just because your body deserves a break but, FWIW, I doubt you'd lose any of the physiological benefits of time spent on your feet if you did one. Assuming you'd shave 1:00 per mile off your time for the fast miles, we're talking a difference of like 5 minutes in total time. As long as you run for at least 2.5 hours, the benefits are there.

    Nice job overcoming your desire to be lazy on Saturday! Although you totally deserved the rest day, I wish I could be more like that. Laziness almost always wins with me, LOL


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