Marathon Training Week 19: Can’t Keep a Runner Down

Weekly Summary 4/27/15-5/3/15

I did it! After taking a total of a week-plus off for a calf injury, I completed my highest mileage week for this training cycle: 48 miles!

Friends, I am not going to lie. I was pretty anxious about how this week would play out. I started my week off like I always do, a rest day. I completed this easily and without injury. Then I turned my sights on the rest of the week. I only had two daunting runs on my schedule — an eleven-mile tempo run and a twenty-mile long run. I was more worried about the former as my injury/re-injury history indicates that speed-work can be a real calf aggravator, so I wanted to postpone that for as long as I could so as to give my calf ultimate healing time. I took it nice and easy on Tuesday and Wednesday with mellow seven and five mile runs. A little discouraging seeing my times on these but pleased that my calf felt great, and that at least they weren’t mentally taxing like that first six-mile run back from five days off.

I missed my pre-work runs. My day goes so much better if I get these in.
I missed my pre-work runs. My day goes so much better if I get these in.

Finally, I could put it off no longer. Well, actually, I did put it off for a bit longer. When Thursday morning rolled around, I couldn’t seem to get out of bed and really had to psyche myself up. I had such a late start that I contemplated pushing off the run until Friday but knowing I had the 20-miler this weekend, I finally got my ass out the door. (I would eventually have to email my bosses that I would be later than usual that morning and luckily, they’re really cool. Or scared of me.)

The run comprised of a 1-mile warm-up, 9 miles at a tempo pace of 9:30 (originally 9:22), and then a 1-mile cool down. I told myself that I would do the best I could and just keep pushing the pace, even if the pace was more like 9:45. Well…surprise! I ran the first mile at 9:29, just under tempo pace, and at that point, I decided to change my Garmin screen and just go by feel. The “feel” was difficult but difficult like normal tempo-run difficult. The paces for the rest of the eight miles were 9:14, 9:23, 9:05, 8:49, 9:13, 9:11, 9:16, and 9:16. Pleasantly surprised to say the least and my calf felt fine. Yay!

Another successful rest day, and then a long run-turned easy run. I had planned for the 20-miler on Saturday and had even had my usual pre-long run dinner, but again got a late start. Southern California had a mini heat-wave last week, so by the time I got out the door, it was already warm and I knew that at my snail’s pace, I would most likely have to tap out at mile 15-17 from the heat. I really wanted to get another 20-miler in because I had missed one already, so I decided to turn it into an easy 5-mile run and save the 20 for Sunday. Phew. Really glad I did. It was much cooler the next day, and even though it was a trudge, and my right knee seemed fatigued the last few miles, it was not miserable, and a confidence booster.

Most importantly, I got into long run recovery right away and put myself into an ice bath for a good 30 minutes with an extra bag of ice for good measure. It actually felt good. Ha. So far, everything feels fine. Cross fingers.

In addition to wonky calf, I have ginormous running calves. Note how tight my jeans are in my lower extremities.
In addition to wonky calf, I have ginormous running calves. Note how tight my jeans are in my lower extremities.

On a negative note, my cross-training fell off. I guess I saved all my energy for getting my miles in, which is fine for this past week, but as the miles start to go down as I near taper, I hope to ramp up the cross-training again. And, well, if I’m going to be completely honest here, I full-on broke my training diet. I had been so good. So.Good. Not eating sugar or white flour…Arggh. But this weekend was the Pacquiao fight and we had people over, and you have to eat pizza when there’s a sporting event, and OMG someone brought Argentinian petit-fours and Trader Joe’s chocolate peanut butter cups, so…

This was a much-needed full healthy week of running. Even though I didn’t get my MP miles in on my long run, I got ALL the miles in. A grand total of 48, which is the high mileage week for this training cycle. My calf feels fine, and with just three more weeks to go (what?!?) before the marathon, I feel ready for a strong last week of all-out training before taper. What a difference a week makes.

Hope everyone has a great running week!

Total weekly mileage: 48
Long run: 20 miles
Abs (6x); Upper Body (1x); Leg Strengthening (7 exercises-15 reps-3 sets)

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