Week 4 - Eugene Marathon Training

This week was not a success on paper, but it felt like my most successful week so far. I am considering never doing a spring marathon again because I look back at all of my spring marathons and they seem to be the roughest cycles for me. I'll probably forget this thought after my fall marathon when it's time to sign up for a spring race. Maybe someone can call me out and remind me? I hate training in the heat of summer, but for whatever reason, fall training cycles are always stronger than spring.

To continue on the weather front, maybe I'm doomed because I live in CA and am so used to amazing weather, but the weather this past week was frigid (for CA) and that made motivation hard starting on Monday. This coming week doesn't look much better with lots of rain on deck, but I'm going to keep chugging along and doing what I can.

Eugene Marathon

Monday we got a bit of rain, and I was resolved not to run in the rain and figured I'd go to the gym and dreadmill it. I'm glad I waited, because about 20 minutes later, the rain cleared and I got my run in outside and had the beach path to myself. The week went pretty well until Friday, when the winds were 20 mph. I live by the beach, so that means sand everywhere and it can be rough trying to run with sand pelting at your face. I woke up early to do the 6 mile easy run and the winds were rough, so I figured I'd wait until after work to get it in. The winds were even worse at that point. I wanted to save my energy for my long run the following day, so I skipped the run. I felt BAD for all of 3 minutes because I've finally realized one run will not make or break my cycle. Here's a recap:

  • Monday: 7 miles @ 8:09 average + a massage!
  • Tuesday: 8 miles @ 7:19 average. This was a great workout and I went into it with positive self-talk that really helped me nail it. 2 m w/u + c/d, 1  mile @ 6:36, 1 mile @ 7:05, 2 mins easy, 1 mile @ 6:35, 1 mile @ 7:03. Finally did a successful speed workout where I felt strong!
  • Wednesday: Called for a double, but I only had time for one run, so I got in 8 miles @ 8:37 average + core work. Gotta make it work for you! Finally saw my ART doc today and he fixed me up so good.
  • Thursday: 4 easy miles @ 8:36 average + kettle bell strength workout. I always feel a bit sore the day after ART, so kept the miles super easy.
  • Friday: Impromptu rest day instead of my 6 mile run.
  • Saturday: 18 miles @ 7:44 average. Workout called for 6 miles comfortable, 4 x 2 miles @ 7:30 w/ .5 mile recovery at 8:00 + 2.5 mile cool down. Nailed this one and felt pretty decent until the last 2 miles. My first 18 mile run is so hard during training because it's the first run I have to practice fueling on. The fact that this one called for pace work as well made it doubly hard. I was successful on both fueling and pacing, so felt pretty strong after this!
  • Sunday: 5 morning miles @ 8:39 average + 3 evening miles @ 8:28 average.

53 total miles that should've been 59, but it's all good. Part of what made this week good was hitting my two effort sessions - my speed workout and long run - with confidence and no real hiccups. The first long fueling run for me is a tough one. I don't fuel on runs that are less than 2 hours, so once I get to 18, I have to start again. Not fueling for almost 4 months in the off season and base building phase means my body is no longer adapted to processing fuel while running and it struggles to make sense of what I'm asking it to do. This was the FIRST time my first fueling run of the cycle went well. I missed some strength work this week as well, but you can't win at everything every week. I made time for more self-care this week with a massage, ART, and my Epsom bath, so that took time from strength work.

More than 90% of this is mental. I feel like I talk myself in and out of success every day and each training cycle, I have to relearn the confidence I had the last training cycle. It's a struggle, but the gains are worth it and when you see the positivity start to work and pay off, it's great. the other 10% is hard work, and damn. This shit is hard.