Monday, June 6, 2016

Akron Marathon Training: Week 1/2

Hard to believe that at this point one month ago, I was in recovery mode after having finished the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  It was also at that time that I had the crazy idea to sign up for the Akron Marathon.  After giving myself a few weeks of easy runs, I jumped into training.  Now, if you notice the title of this post, I'm combining my first and second week of training together.  The reasoning is fairly simple - my body needed a break a few days into Week 1.  I really didn't give my muscles the time I should have after the half and could feel some new nagging pain cropping up.  By Week 2 I felt more like myself and the workouts were under way!

Week 1
Monday: 7 Miles - First day of training - yay!  Or I would be excited if the run didn't start out so badly.  When I began the workout, things just didn't want to move and only got progressively worse.  I had to stop a little past the first mile to retie my shoes (my feet felt like they were losing circulation) as well as do some stretching.  While most sane people would have cut things short, I was determined to make it to the goal distance.  In easing back the pace, my perseverance was rewarded as each mile got easier.  As I finished mile 7, I felt a little more like myself.

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday: Speed Work - I'm pretty sure the last time I did a speed workout was in college when running cross country.  I was quickly reminded how much I despised these types of workouts.  After a significant amount of tinkering with my Garmin to try and figure how to time the workouts all as one workout (I did eventually get it!), I pushed through the intervals: 800 at 10K pace, 2x400 at 5K pace, 4x200 at 5K pace, 2x400 at 5K pace, and 800 at 10K pace.  I survived, but not without feeling some odd stretching and pulling from the areas in my inner lower legs.

Thursday - Sunday: Rest Days - After the speed work, my legs weren't recovering like they should have.  After much thought and knowing I still had 17 more weeks of training until the marathon, I decided to spend a few days doing yoga and icing.  By Sunday evening, I was back to normal and ready to tackle Week 2 of the training plan.

Week 2
Monday: 7 Miles - After the break, I was set to hit the road and redeem myself after the struggle of the previous week.  While this run was little toasty, I maintained my negative splits as well as achieved my goal average pace of 8:25/mile.  I was reminded though how much heat pavement retains and pours back out - so hot!  I really should have hydrated better before this workout....

Tuesday: 8 Miles - I headed over to a local park that I knew would provide shade for the majority of the run.  I'm glad I did!  With temps in the 80's plus humidity, anything that could keep me cool I was game for.  Only problem was I didn't exactly budget my time well and was running late to the meeting I had in the evening - whoops!

Wednesday: 5 Miles - So there are foods you should eat before a run and foods you shouldn't.  This workout was a wonderful reminder in how nutrition can impact exercise.  After eating whole-grain pasta with mushroom meat sauce, broccoli, and a cupcake, I headed out.  Before even finishing my warm-up, I could already feel my stomach protesting.  Somehow, I was able to keep dinner down and finish the workout, albeit in significant pain and suffering.  Lesson learned!

Thursday: Speed Work - While some speed work is a little challenging to remember because of the changes in speed and distance with each interval, that was not the case with this workout.  Plain and simple, I was challenged to do 5x800 repeats after a 1 mile tempo run.  The run definitely took a toll, but I'm hoping to see dividends from it in the near future.

Friday: Cross-Training

Saturday: Speed Work - The last workout for the week was another speed session.  In having a local high school track that is open to the public, I got dressed and headed off to it ready to do my ladder workout.  Sadly, when I pulled, I noticed I sign on the entrance gate that the track would be, "Closed Until Further Notice."  Seriously?!  After brooding in my disappointment for a very short time, I made my way to the park down the road and adjusted accordingly.  Besides the sheer number of geese that populated the area, I got in a good run while making a mental note to spread my speed workouts a few more days apart.

Sunday: Rest Day

While 16 weeks seems so far away, I know that the summer months are going to fly by.  Between training runs, prepping for our first child, and planning for the next school year, September will be here before we know it!

Happy running!

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