Marathon Training: Week 9 Summary

Marathon Training: Week 9 Summary

Once again I am late posting this weekly recap. I would love to be a full-time runner and blogger, but alas. I am constantly playing catch up. Fortunately, when my biggest problem is being too busy, I know I’m doing okay in life.

Week 9 was the week preceding the Cow Harbor 10K and my lowest mileage week since week 4. If we’re measuring the weeks Monday – Sunday (as the NYRR Virtual Training Program I’m using does), I only ran four days this week. So this should be a short post!

WEEK 9 (Sept. 10-16)

Monday was my usual day off from running, which almost always consists of an upper body workout. I do the same one from Fitness Blender every Monday, and I should probably be a little more adventurous about changing it up but I’m lazy in that way, inasmuch as someone who works out every day is lazy. Also, the two upper body workouts I do a week are the only times I manage to do crunches, which I’m still not sure are doing anything.

Tuesday was a 7 x 1000 interval workout. I did this in Central Park, having programmed the workout on my Garmin ahead of time so all I needed to do was wait for my watch to beep and tell me what to do next. The workout:

Warmup: 1 mile (9:24-10:00 per mile)
Intervals: 7 x 1000 meters (0.625 mile) @ 8:40-8:51 pace, 35-50 seconds rest after each
Warmdown: 1 mile (9:24-10:00 per mile)

“Rest” was supposed to walking, but I hate walking in between intervals unless they are a full sprint. The 8:40-8:51 pace range isn’t all that exhausting, so I just jogged in between each one. I managed to hit all the paces, coming in between 8:40 and 8:50 for each interval, and even ran an 8:13 on the last one. I was surprised at how good I felt during this workout. I even maintained my pace going up Cat Hill. I really like running in the 8:30-9:00 range because, compared to any race I’ve run in the last year, it feels easy.

Wednesday was a prescribed day off, but this felt weird to me, as I had just had a day off on Monday. The program is set by some kind of algorithm, and a couple weeks earlier it had mistakenly given me back-to-back long runs. When I brought this to the attention of the coaches to ask about switching the order of the workouts, they told me that it was a glitch and that I should not do two long runs two days in a row. I decided that this day off was a glitch as well.

So instead I did two workouts: Fitness Blender’s squats & deadlifts workout, which I am trying to do once a week to build up some much-needed strength in my legs, and then a 6 mile run along the Hudson River Path at a relaxed 9:36 pace.

The ground was still wet from rain the night before, and my shoes did this annoying thing where they got wet unevenly. Does this happen to anyone else and does it drive you as crazy as it does me? I won’t even go into the ridiculous OCD ritual I do that involves glancing down at my shoes a certain number of times when they’re in this state.

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This was the only run this week (other than Cow Harbor) where I actually took pictures. Here’s another one I took this morning at the halfway point, all the way at the end of a pier before turning back around and heading north again. I love fog.

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Thursday gave me a choice: 1) a 9 mile “Pseudo Long Run” where 4 of those miles would be at marathon pace, or 2) seeing that I was giving up a long run that weekend to do the Cow Harbor 10K, a 9 mile run “AYF” (As You Feel) and replacing the following weekend’s 13 mile long run with a 19 mile long run.

If that sounds confusing, trust me, I had to read the instructions several times before I understood what I was choosing. I decided I didn’t want to push myself too much two days before Cow Harbor, so I opted do this 9 mile run AYF (which means at whatever pace I felt like) and then run 19 the following weekend. I did this run in Central Park, running to the reservoir, circling it twice, then running the park loop. I was supposed to cut across 72nd but I forgot, accidentally tacking on an extra mile to make this 10 miles. I did this run at an easy 9:35 pace.

This was a really humid morning and I got an ugly rash not only under my sports bra, but on the sides of my torso. Sorry if this is gross BUT I AM TRYING TO KEEP IT REAL ON THIS HERE BLOG.

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This is a real part of running, unfortunately. Especially (for me, anyway) in the summer. I can usually stave off the sports bra rash with healthy glops of Vaseline, but I think the running tank I wore this morning – which is fairly old – has some seams going up and down the inner sides that caused this. The weird thing is, the rash never itched and I didn’t even notice it until later that night when I got changed for bed and was like what the hell is happening to me am I dying for a scary minute or two before realizing it was just from running. Luckily it mostly faded by the following morning.

Friday was a Flex Day – I had the option of “4 miles, cross-train, or day off.” I don’t have a hard and fast rule about running the day before a race. It depends how I feel. There have been times I have, maybe doing 3 or 4 easy miles. But my legs were feeling pretty weary from the week – my right calf especially. It wasn’t horrible, but teetering on that precarious border between “fine I guess” and “oh shit.” I decided to take the day off and instead do an upper body workout. Plus crunches. That’s it. Easy day.

Saturday was the Cow Harbor 10K, which was my third time running the race, my 12th race of 2018, and a 10K PR for me! Read my race recap.

Sunday was another Flex Day. I noticed that the next day was a day off. It made sense to me to just do some easy strength training today, giving my legs a much needed day of rest the day after racing the hell out of Cow Harbor. I figured I could just run on Monday. I’ve found that don’t really need more than one day off after a 10K. Maybe after a half I would. Also, the back of my right leg was feeling not 100% and I didn’t want to chance it. I just did my usual Monday upper body workout. Plus crunches. Still waiting for those six-pack abs. Any day now.

I almost forgot to mention: on Sunday, I spent a few hours in the late morning / early afternoon volunteering at a cross-country event in Van Cortlandt Park! This was my first time volunteering at a NYRR event and it was super easy: I helped out with bag check. There weren’t many bags and two other people were there, so it went really smoothly.

This volunteer shift also completed my 9+1 program. Now I have guaranteed entry to the 2019 NYC Marathon! So now you have THAT training next summer to look forward to reading about!

The only downside to this volunteer shift was that it was really hot and sunny. And I hate being in the sun. I’m glad I wore sunblock, although my neck got a little red. At least they gave me this nice hat to keep:

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So while I ran fewer miles this week, I got in three upper body workouts, a squats & deadlifts workout, and a race with a PR. And my 9+1 is complete. Not a bad week.

Seven weeks and many more miles to go.

Week 9: 31.19 miles

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