Mother Nature is really wanting to see how dedicated I am to training for my first marathon! Jason and I have gone back and forth over the years in regards to buying a treadmill. I’ve often felt the cost for a high quality one, over 1k, would take years to make it worth the expense given it’d likely only be used a handful of times per year. I’m starting to think we would’ve gotten our money’s worth had we bought one a few months ago!
Anyways this week’s plan of 4 runs per week changed to 3 runs partially from the forecast and partially from me wanting to scale things back just a bit. In reading Hal Higdon’s book and reviewing his novice plan we’re already ahead of schedule with long runs and mileage. Sunday’s run was a doozy so I figured a little extra recovery time wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Week 4 Total Miles – 25
Sun. 2/14 – 14 miles planned for the Hallmark holiday (aka Valentine’s Day)! Dad plotted a route he had ran years ago from his house and warned it would be challenging. Ice was predicted overnight Sat. into Sun. so we delayed our start time until 10am. Fortunately conditions were decent, cold but not overly windy, for our hilly route. I ran with the group for the first 3 miles before deciding to intentionally drop back knowing I wouldn’t hold the pace by the end. Dad and Todd walked on a half mile long hill and started running again once I passed them. Jason doubled back more than once, running ahead of everyone most of the time and having to come back to find out where to turn. We took a mini break at 7 miles to refuel. I’m glad only half a Honey Stinger Waffle fit in my belt; if I had eaten a whole one I think I would’ve had major sugar belly. I’ve only used gu and Honey Stinger chews during half marathon races, but felt the waffle would give more of a “full” feeling to use during a marathon so I wanted to experiment with it. I had a good run until 10.5 miles then my legs started to crap out a bit on me. My pace slowed and the 3 miles back to dad’s house toggled between being ok and wanting to just be finished… the fact that the miles involved several climbs didn’t help matters. Jason continued to double back for me until we reached the church parking lot across the street from dad’s house – Jason determined to hit 15 miles and me to hit 14. I debated stopping at 13.75 when I reached the turn onto dad’s road but figured I had made myself suffer those last few miles I might as well finish it off! We all showered then dad made egg sandwiches for us for lunch.
Tues. 2/15 – 6 miles on Jason’s lunch through a nearby development. I was pushing the pace this run to keep up with Jason/ensure we got the 6 in since we only had an hour. It was tough to get the legs going initially but they loosened up about a mile into the run. We did two loops of the development then returned to finish 3/4 of a mile in the cemetery. The houses must’ve shielded us from the wind because running that last part with strong head winds was tough. Coaching the track kids later that afternoon and having to stand around in the cold wind was even tougher. The irony was the forecasted temp was 40*.
Wed. 2/16 – 5 miles with the running group in Columbia. Tues’s storm overnight into Wed resulted in us running through town instead of on the river trail. I hung back and ran super easy as I was definitely feeling the 14 miler and pushing the pace the previous run. Armand treated us to some dried apples after the run courtesy of the orchard he works for.
Given the snow is just now wrapping up I’m glad I axed worrying about running today or tomorrow. I’m going to get some strength and yoga work in and look forward to a scaled back 10 mile run on Sunday instead. Right now I would say my marathon training is going well with the weather as the biggest challenge. I’d like to get some flatter rail trail runs in since that’s what I’ll be racing on, but the fact that they’re snow/ice covered means I have to stick to my hillier road routes. Next week shows 40* days… here’s hoping that happens and everything melts!