Philadelphia Marathon Training Weeks #12 and #13

Yep, another two-in-one training recap. I almost just bailed on recapping last week since it wasn’t very exciting, but considering I’ve managed to get every other week up…I might as well. The following are a cut back week (between peak weeks) and my final tippity-top peak week, which was finished on Sunday. Here’s what was up:

Week #12 (10/20-10/26)

Monday: REST

So very necessary after Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll the day before!

Tuesday: 9 miles + Core Power yoga

Wednesday: November Project workout (PR clovers) + run to/from, 7 miles total

Somehow I managed to have a half-marathon scheduled the weekend before we do this workout twice now, which doesn’t leave me in a great position to “PR” the workout. No matter, it’s still a butt-kicker and I love it.

Thursday: 6.5 miles PM

This was one of the very few times in my running career that I was so happy I pushed my run back to the afternoon. Not only did I get a little more sleep, but it was a gorgeous evening and I loved ending my day in the cool fall splendor.

Friday: Core Power yoga

As much as I love a morning run, a morning yoga session is pretty awesome as well.

Saturday: ~11.5 mile trail run up and down Bergen Peak

I was so excited to do this trail run for a second time, and it came at a perfect point in training. I wanted to do a long run, but I still wanted to keep it shorter since it was a cut back week. I didn’t feel too great on this jaunt, unfortunately, mostly due to a wonky head and stomach, but it was still great to be out there with good people. Not to mention that climbing 2,000 feet in 5 miles at an average altitude of 8,000 feet isn’t the worst marathon training 🙂

No pictures, somehow.

Sunday: 8 miles + Core Power yoga

Fun fact: I was late to yoga, therefore speeding, and was then pulled over (for the second time in my life) and not only did I manage to only get a warning, but I still made it to the class. Namaste indeed.

Total= 42 miles

There was definitely some good training during this week, despite the fact that I feel ridiculously tired the whole time. Although it was a good step-back week in terms of mileage, I’m guessing the rebuilding that was occurring just sucked a lot of energy out of me. Not to mention it takes me probably 3-4 days to fully recover from a fast half-marathon – which took place the Sunday before. But, I was happy to get in 3 yoga sessions and a beautiful trail run a little later in the season.

Week #13 (10/27-11/2)

Monday: 12 miles

I had to get up so early to get in 12 miles before work, but it turned out to be a great run. Super quiet park, relatively fast legs, and generally really peaceful.

Tuesday: Core Power yoga

Wednesday: November Project workout + run before/after, 8 miles total

The best thing in the world happened last Wednesday: Adam came to NP!!! As if I didn’t already get enough of a happiness boost from going myself, having him there left me glowing all day.

My 6:30 am giddiness caught on camera.

My 6:30 am giddiness caught on camera.

Thursday: Back at the track! 6 x 800, 7 miles total + Core Power yoga

I’ve put off/avoided the track for speed work in favor of stairs, trails, etc. basically this whole training cycle. Lucky for me, I managed to wrangle two friends to join in on my last attempt to get in a real interval workout. And the results were encouraging: 6 x 800 in an average of 3:18, the last one in 3:14. Boomshakalaka! I felt strong and in control, and it made me excited to find some shorter races to do post-marathon.

Friday: November Project workout (stairs!) + run before/after, 7.5 miles total

I was a little apprehensive about a hard NP workout the day after speed work, but this one turned out to be awesome. Steep stair repeats, mixed up with some body-weight exercises. So good!

Saturday: 8.5 miles easy

This run could be classified as death warmed up. I was in a fog the entire time and unable to enjoy almost any of it. But, I was a little overdue for a bad run, so I accepted it and moved on.

Sunday: 22 miles

This run was a big check mark to make, in my mind. I’ve done two other 20 milers, technically, but the first was perforated with a lot of stopping (it was run around the city) and the second was broken up into two parts (7 miles + a half marathon). So while I don’t want to discount either of those efforts, I needed a long, steady big kahuna of a run. Julia and I headed out to the Highline Canal trail, and after the first 12 together, I headed back out for the last 10 on my own. And it went great! There were a few instances where my head was getting a little bogged down by the distance and time on my feet, but I was generally able to pull myself out of it and get in the zone. I was also able to negative split the run  (one of my huge goals for Philly itself) and the last 4 miles were the fastest overall. Really encouraging, and despite normal fatigue, my legs felt pretty darn good for having run 22 miles on the back end of a big week.

Total= 65 miles

BIG number! That’s the most miles I’ve ever run in one week, and it felt like the perfect finishing point of build up over this training cycle. Which also means: TAPER is here. I used to be a stereotypical runner who hated taper, but I’ve grown out of that a bit and I intend to enjoy this stage of training. I’m bound to get a little batty somewhere along the way, but I know at this point the only real work I can do now is recover like I champ. This week will be down around 50 miles, next week 35, and the week after probably a little under 20 pre-RACE DAY.

This has been a really good training cycle, and I haven’t really felt burned out at all. I mostly just feel ready to rest, rebuild, and get myself in fighting condition to let it rip on November 23. It’s been a very long time since I went into a big goal race feeling fit and ready, and while I definitely still have some apprehension and self-doubt, I intend to approach race day with a lot of gusto.

But for now, it’s time to sleep and eat.

Have a lovely week!

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