At some point last week, I realized that this has been perhaps the most diversified marathon training cycle I’ve gone through so far – and it’s entirely not on purpose. But I love it! Every week has been a little different, and I’ve hardly been bored over the past 10 weeks. Between the slow runs, the fast runs, the trail runs, the road runs, the runs with friends, the solo runs, and the Crohn’s runs (sorry…I had to…and jk, things are a-ok in that department!) things are feeling well-rounded and fun.
Last week was a good example of this happy mix of running…here’s how it looked:
Tuesday: AM Core Power yoga, PM 6.5 mile trail run with Julia
Things got wild as we headed out after work for some miles on Green Mountain. Julia wanted to run some hills, and I tend to happily follow along with any adventure that involves being outside and running shoes. I figured this could be my speed work for the week too, considering running up a mountain at 6,000 ft elevation is basically equivalent to interval repeats. And oh baby…did this deliver. Here’s the elevation profile of the trails we ran:
That 800 feet in the first mile was seriously no joke. My lungs were burning practically the whole time, but the view and the cruise around on top was beyond worth it. An A+ Colorado evening.
Wednesday: November Project workout +run to/from, 5 miles total + 3 miles PM
By the end of the day on Wednesday, my quads were feeling royally brutalized by the steep decent we flew down the day before (see photo above). Needless to say, Adam and my evening jog was a struggle, but my legs did feel a little less robotic afterward.
Thursday: 9 miles easy + PM Core Power yoga
Still loving on the yoga, and managing 2x per week so far. It’s not extraordinary, but it’s something!
Unplanned but necessary rest day. I wanted my sore legs to feel fresh and ready for a weekend in the mountains!
Saturday: ~16 mile trail run in Steamboat Springs, CO
You know how everyone talks about getting uncomfortable and getting out of your comfort zone etc, etc? Well, this run about summed that up for me, although I naively didn’t really think it would going into it. Some November Project brethren had the brilliant idea to spend a weekend in beautiful Steamboat Springs, with activities including running and eating/drinking. A Fun Run “race” was planned with two separate courses laid out, a 16-miler and an 8-miler, and being the “in training marathoner” I am, I went with the 16-er group. Please note that everyone in this group was wearing trail shoes, hydration packs, and more than a few had finished 50+ mile races. And then there was me… with my tiny hand-held and Adidas Energy Boosts. Superb, ready to rock.
I felt supremely out of my element during the first few miles of this run. Not only was the altitude over 8,000 feet, but the course started on a climb which quickly reminded me that no, in fact, we don’t have hills in the big city (Denver). Not to mention I was attempting to keep up with trail runners who not only knew what they were doing, but they were all good at what they were doing. There were a few mild instances of fright, needless to say, as I heaved myself along in my very non-technical footwear.
But not too long into it, things started to click. I may not have been very fast or agile, but hot damn it was FUN. The dirt, the single track, the nice longgg descent we got along awesome switchbacks– it was all so enjoyable. And the scenery? You guys, this wasn’t even real life. I had to make sure I didn’t fall several times because I couldn’t stop looking around at all the yellow, red, orange, and green that blanketed the area. Fall to the max; it was perfect.
This run wiped me out in all the right ways, and while it was a little nontraditional for a road marathon training run, I’m pretty sure that spending 3.5 hours on my feet running up and down in the mountains at 8,000 feet of altitude is pretty decent training.
Sunday: 6.5 miles
It took literally all of my strength the lace up and get out the door once we drove back from Steamboat at 6 PM, but I was wildly happy I did. I felt fantastic on this run; fresh, grateful, and just happy. Fall was/is whirling through Denver, and I’m trying to soak as much in as I can.
Total= 46 miles
This current week is one of my two peak weeks for this training cycle, and I kind of can’t believe I’m already at this point. I’ve been incredibly back and forth between thinking my marathon ambitions and goals are far-fetched, and feeling confident in my training. I’m still a little bipolar about it, and I don’t really know if I’m ever going to fully shake that tendency, but I did feel this week like fitness is really starting to creep up on me. I’ve been told that’s the way it’s supposed to happen, so I’m hoping that the momentum I’m starting to feel will escalate me through the next few weeks, just in time to lock it in and start tapering. Time will tell. In the mean time, I’m really enjoying the journey.
Happy Friday everyone!