Marathon Training: Week 12 Summary

Marathon Training: Week 12 Summary

Where is the time going? Only a few more weeks until the big day. I’m writing this post about a week too late, but that’s pretty much par for the course. Week 12 was an easier week, with a drop in mileage so my body could rest up for more mileage the following week. I only ran 5 days in week 12, but they included a brand new route as well as a 10K race PR!

Monday I had an 8 mile “AYF” (as you feel) run scheduled but I decided to switch it with my day off, scheduled for Wednesday. I’d just done a 20 miler the day before, and following that with an 8 miler seemed strange. I messaged one of the NYRR coaches just to be sure. She agreed that Monday should be the day I take off that week, not Wednesday. It’s weird: the algorithm-generating program knows what I do from week to week, but it doesn’t always know what I do from Sunday (the last day of the week) to Monday (the first day of the week). So I’m glad I went with my gut and that my gut was confirmed to be right.

So on Monday I just did my usual Fitness Blender upper body strength training workout with 10 and 15 lb. weights. (I have a set of 20 lb. weights that belonged to my mom, but I’ve only ever used them for biceps and I can only do like 6 reps with them so I usually just leave them on the floor to collect dust.)

Tuesday I had a prescribed 7 mile “regular run” that I was supposed to run at a 9:07-9:18 pace, which is slightly faster than my easy pace. Knowing that I could run slightly faster than my easy pace combined with feeling good and well rested actually made me run faster than I’d intended, with an overall 8:57 pace. Aside from the first mile, all the other miles were faster than 9:00. This is about where I want to be for the marathon, so it felt good to know that I could at least maintain it for 7 miles and feel fine afterward.

I ran this in Central Park on a morning where the temps were on the cooler side, but still humid. I still had some minor aches running up the back of my left leg, but, as I wrote in my notes for that day, “nothing terrible.”

Wednesday I planned on doing Monday’s “AYF’ run of 8 miles. I decided to go a different route this morning. I usually run in either Central Park or down the Hudson River Path and back, but today I decided to run to a place I keep hearing about: the Little Red Lighthouse. This is about 4 miles north of my apartment, right on the Hudson River, so I thought it would be perfect for an 8 mile run.

Although I glanced at a map the night before, I didn’t take exactly the route I should have and wound up on the wrong side of the parkway. Luckily, I found a pedestrian pathway that got me there. These were the only pictures I took on a run this week, so I’ll post a few.

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This was in a cool area – a bit secluded but not desolate. There were definitely other runners out but nowhere near as crowded as Central Park.

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Once I was on the right side of the parkway, I made my way up through a nice, quiet park with the occasional picnic bench. Normally, runners share the road with bicyclists but up here, they had separate paths, so it was even more peaceful. There’s just something nice about not running inches from cyclists training for the freaking Tour de France.

Finally, I saw it!

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Look, we match!

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I actually wound up running 8.9 miles, I guess with the indirect way I got there. I kept it pretty easy, with an average 9:48 pace. This was a really nice route and I want to do it again soon.

Thursday I had a 9 mile “Pseudo Long Run” on my schedule. The pseudo long runs typically replace actual long runs when they fall on race weeks (which this was). I was supposed to keep this between a 9:07 and 9:54 pace – a pretty wide range, but I guess they wanted to leave it up to me how much to push it.

I decided to push it even further by doing my favorite lower body workout first, Fitness Blender’s squats & deadlifts. I’ve been trying to do this workout once a week, with 10 and 15 lb. weights. I feel like it gives my legs that much more strength and, I’d like to think, a barrier against injury.

Then I headed to Central Park for a couple loops around the reservoir and then an almost full loop around the park to get to 9 miles. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as strong as I had the last time I preceded a run with squats & deadlifts, despite getting enough sleep the night before. My right leg was kind of annoying me the whole time, but I still wound up averaging a 9:30 pace, which is right in the middle of what I was supposed to do – so at least I did what I set out to.

Friday was a “Flex Day,” which gave me the option of “6 miles, cross train, or day off.” I made the executive decision to just run 3 miles. I’m still trying to figure out the best thing to do the day before a race. It really depends on how I’m feeling. The day before the Mini 10K, I ran 6 miles. The day before this last Cow Harbor 10K, I didn’t run at all. Today, the day before Grete’s Great Gallop, I decided on 3.

Running in Riverside Park, I kept it super slow. In fact, I decided to not run faster than a 10:00 pace, at all. So every time I hit 9:55, I slowed down. This was actually a really nice relief from my usual self-pressure to run faster, faster, faster all the time. I averaged a 10:26 pace and indicated it was a “1 out of 10” effort. I felt good about my decision.

Saturday I was glad I’d taken it easy the day before, as I ran Grete’s Great Gallop 10K and set another PR (47:53), my fourth 10K PR in a row for 2018! I ran this at a 7:43 pace, my fastest ever for a 10K (or a 5K, for that matter). Should I have gone this fast during marathon training? Eh, maybe not? But I’m not one to sign up for a race and not race it. For me, using races as just training runs is kind of a waste. All or nothing, baby. No regrets.

Sunday I had a day off prescribed and gladly took it, as the back of my right leg was a little sore. I seem to be more sore the day after a 6.2 mile race than I do after a 20 mile easy run. So I did some upper body strength training instead. And stretching. Lots of stretching.

It was a lower mileage week that was both a nice recovery as well as a good lead up to my final race before the marathon. On to week 13…

Week 12: 35.64 miles

4 thoughts on “Marathon Training: Week 12 Summary

    1. If you mean NYRR’s virtual trainer program, yes, as a first-time marathoner I’m glad I had something to follow that wasn’t just a static plan. I liked that I could email the coaches questions, the plan could modify to fit my schedule. and there is a facebook group for a lot of the runners where people could ask questions and bounce around ideas. I paid for the slightly more expensive version where coaches will answer your personal questions via email, but honestly I think the cheaper one ($49.99) would have been fine, as one of the coaches often answered questions in the facebook group!

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