Friday, October 21, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 12

Week 12 (Oct. 10—Oct. 16) was my best week of training yet! I hit a new high of 33 miles and tackled a 16-mile long run, which went so well and gave me some much-needed confidence for the marathon.

I've now been wrapped up in marathon training for three full months, and I kind of forgot that the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon has a 4:30 time limit to accommodate the reopening of roads that make up the first half of the course. That means I have to hit, at the slowest, a 10:18 average pace.

While that's not unreasonable, it's also a bit scary to have that extra pressure for my first marathon. When my long runs go well, I can easily maintain a 9:40 average pace, but who knows what'll happen on race day?

There's plenty of time left to worry, so for now, I'll just focus on training and preparing myself as much as possible!


Monday: 4-mile run

I ran lovely 4-miler in Queens on my last day in NYC. This was definitely my last taste of sun and summer-like temps for a while!

Tuesday: Rest

I took this day off of work and training to sleep in, recover from my trip (I felt a sore throat coming on) and catch up on blogging about NYC. Good decision!

Wednesday: 4-mile run + strength

Confession: I had trouble finding the post that I wrote about this workout, so for a few minutes I thought I hadn't done it and checked it off on my training plan anyway! Then I found this tweet:

Whew, I actually did it! And then I found the post about it, which was overshadowed by a big, freaky-looking picture of me from very early in the morning. Sorry.

Long story long, this workout really did cure my sore throat. It had been bugging me all day, but after running and lifting, I felt perfectly fine and I never got sick. Win!

Thursday: 9-mile run

This was one of the best runs of my life! I owe it all to my magic running tights.

These tights are lined with a very thin layer of fleece, making them super-warm and ideal for cold-weather running. I didn't expect to dig them out of my dresser so early in the fall, but after my nightmarish cold 'n' sweaty 15-miler, I figured I'd try some different wardrobe options.

Luckily, the tights kept me warm without making me feel overheated, and I flew through this run at an 8:55 average pace — super fast for me for this distance. I ran the last 5 miles in the dark, which made me realize I really needed some safety gear for night running! Check out this post about a few things I picked up to stay safe and, you know, not get hit by cars.

Friday: Strength

I usually try to lump strength-training in with two weekday runs so I can have Friday nights off, but I just didn't have the time or will this week. However, I discovered that alllllll the cool people work out on Friday nights because my gym was packed! I was really surprised. I'm sure they all had fun things to do afterward, and I... well, I made dinner. And I blogged. Wheeeee!

Saturday: 16-mile run

My low-key Friday night helped me kick ass on this Saturday-morning run with my new friend Meg! She and I have followed each other's blogs for a while now, and we finally met up in real life for a few loops around Lake Union.

Meg is super-fast — she's on the Oiselle running team and is going to be a 3:40 pace leader at the Seattle Marathon — but she ran about 13 miles at a comfortable talking pace with me, and we had a blast getting to know each other! I love running with brand-new friends because there's so much to talk about, and it helps keep me from checking my Garmin every five seconds to see how much farther I have to run.

At mile 14, we stopped at her CrossFit box to meet her husband and dog and snap a quick picture, and then I continued on home to finish my last two miles. I was thrilled with my average pace — 9:39 — and also with how great I felt for the whole 16 miles. When I was done, I felt like I could have kept going!!

I tried to imagine running 10 more miles on top of that for the marathon... oh, man. I can only hope things go this well on race day.

In banana news, I ran with this one tucked under my fuel belt the whole time — that's two hours and 34 minutes — because I thought I might get hungry during the run. (I didn't.)

The poor banana was pretty beat up and had even lost its top at some point, but it still tasted great. The damn thing also gave me a bruise on my stomach, which I discovered later when I accidentally bumped it with something and cried out in pain!

Take note of Ridiculous Marathon Training Injury #1: banana bruise.

Sunday: Rest

I had a ridiculously strong urge to bake seasonal treats, so I headed to my mom's house for the day. We whipped up delicious chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies and a chocolate pumpkin loaf!

I highly recommend the cookies — we followed the recipe exactly, except we used regular chocolate chips instead of white, and they turned out so moist, fluffy and amazing! The chocolate pumpkin loaf was also good, although it turned out very chocolate-y and more like cake than bread. Not bad, just not what I was expecting.

I ate about nine of those cookies straight out of the oven, and then five or six every day afterward until they were gone. This is part of why I run, people.


Miles run: 33
Strength-training sessions: 2
Rest days: 2
Cross-country flights: 1
Ridiculous injuries: 1 banana bruise


Miles run: 241
Miles biked: 68
Swims: 7
Yoga sessions: 1
Strength-training sessions: 15 + 1 shower scrubbing


Weeks 1-4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11


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  1. I'm with you - I've been so wrapped up in training, and injury recovery, that the 4:30 limit slipped my mind. For what it's worth, the limit is likely longer than that. I suspect the first half must be completed in 2:15, but since the half goes until at least 9:30, we should have much longer to complete the second half. I think...

  2. I think so, too. Still, it makes me a little nervous... but that added pressure just makes me want to train harder and do even better!

  3. That's fair! I've had issues with PF the past few months so I'll need the cushion!


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