Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feeling Fresh

It's now been three weeks since the Myrtle Beach Marathon, and my legs are finally feeling fresh after some rest and reduced mileage weeks.

Saturday, March 25th
This recovery period has come at just the right time because work has gotten extremely crazy lately. I've been meeting with our CEO multiple times a week, and preparing for those meetings has resulted in long hours and additional stress. I'm not complaining-- I truly enjoy my job and the challenge that it brings. But suffice it to say, I'm grateful that I haven't also been trying to run 70+ mile weeks for the past three weeks.

My next race is the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, which is one week from today. My focus has been recovering 100% from the marathon and doing just enough speed to keep the legs moving. I will essentially rely on my marathon fitness as my training for this race. I qualified for a special "seeded" bib, and I'm excited to be lining up at the front of the race. Here's a recap of the past few weeks.

Week of March 6th
Mainly rest, with three runs that equated to 7 miles total. It was nice to have some time off running, and I indulged in good food and sweets! I see the week after a marathon as a week to chill out physically and mentally, and I certainly did that as much as possible. It was also a great opportunity to get more focused on my friends' running as I wasn't at all focused on my own.

Week of March 13th
This week was all easy running, and I even gave myself an extra rest day which wasn't in the schedule. The snow and high wind advisory made it an unappealing week to be outside, and combined with the long hours I was putting in at work, it was a mentally exhausting week.

Tuesday, March 14th
Monday's run (30 minutes) felt fine, but Tuesday's run (40 minutes) wasn't all that great. My hip was tightening up and I definitely could feel that something wasn't right. On top of that, we had 20+ mph sustained winds, so the run wasn't at all enjoyable. Because of my hip, and the fact that the wind got even worse on Wednesday-- strong enough to tear some of the siding off of our house-- I took an unscheduled rest day, and pushed everything back by one day. On Thursday, I was back at it with 50 minutes, which yielded 5.8 miles. By the time my "long" run of 90 minutes rolled around on Sunday, everything felt 100%. My total mileage for the week came in at 34.9

Week of March 21st
This week felt like an actual training week again. I'm hoping that the really cold/windy weather is behind us and I'm grateful that it's getting light in the mornings again. When there's ice on the ground like there was last week, I won't start my run until it's light enough to see the icy patches. Which makes it challenging to get into work on time. Last week I had to sacrifice drying my hair. I guess something's gotta give sometimes!

Monday: 5.8 miles easy at 8:41 average

Tuesday: 6.4 miles, including 15 x 30-second strides. This was my "foray" into faster running post marathon. My first few strides were kind of a shock to the system, but by the end of the workout I was down to a pace of about 6:25. This is actually a bit slow for me, since I usually run 30-second intervals at a sub 6:00 pace. But I wasn't worried. The point was just to get my legs moving quickly, not to set any records.

Wednesday: 5.2 miles easy at 8:42 average

Thursday, March 23rd
Thursday: 7.7 miles, including 4 at tempo effort. This was my first actual workout post marathon and I had no idea what to expect. Greg came with me and said he would simply try and keep up with whatever pace I set. I figured I probably lost some fitness and my legs might still be tired from the marathon, so a good target would be 7:00 or slightly under. During this past training cycle, I ran my first ever tempo run at a sub-7:00 pace, so I figured being right at 7:00 would be good. But as always, I run these things by feel and my Garmin paces were quite shocking: 6:52, 6:51, 6:52, 6:40. This is an average of 6:49! I had plenty of gas in the tank at the end, and I could have kept going at that pace.

This gives me a huge amount of confidence for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. Provided it's not too warm or windy, I think I can run a pace of 6:50-6:55 by my Garmin. Anyway, it feels great have a "new" tempo pace and to know that I've gotten to another level with my running. For about 4 years (2010-2014) my tempo pace was 7:25. And it's steadily gone down since I started working with Coach Andrew.

Friday: 5.2 miles easy at 8:29 average

Saturday: 10.7 miles at 8:26 average. Greg ran with me and kept telling me that I was pushing the pace. I honestly was not pushing the pace at all and I felt really strong. It was only 19 degrees on Thursday morning for my tempo, but it was 55 and sunny for Saturday's run. Spring in the Washington DC Metro area is so unpredictable!

Sunday: 3.4 miles easy at 8:43 average.

Total mileage for the week: 44.4

Future Plans
I'm registered for the New Jersey half marathon on April 30th, but I'm leaning toward not actually doing it. Mainly because it involves a 4-hour drive, a hotel stay, and it would take up the entire weekend. I typically love weekends like these, but I feel like I have been SO busy lately and I might just prefer to stay home. I think that setting a large marathon PR and then running a 10-miler four weeks later makes for a solid spring season-- not to mention the 5K I am doing in mid-April. It might be nice to focus on shorter stuff after Cherry Blossom.

But I am not making any final decisions until after Cherry Blossom. It will just depend on how I feel physically and mentally. Usually I'm such a rigid planner and I like to have all my races scheduled out months in advance (which is why I am registered for New Jersey).  But I'm starting to see more value in simply "rolling with the flow."


  1. You've bounced back and recovered great from the marathon! Good luck with Cherry Blossom, it is on my radar but I have never actually done it. The one year I remembered for the lottery, I got sick which was a bummer.

  2. Glad you had a good recovery after MB and are back at training again. I can see why you took some down time with all the 60-70 mile weeks you were putting in and of course, real girl jobs come first because none of us are making the big bucks in running. Best wishes to you with Cherry Blossom and if you decide to run the NJ race. I agree if you're not feeling it, don't do it. I decided to race less this year because a few of the races I did just really weren't that much fun and I felt like I was over stressing my body. I do hope to run one race each month for the rest of the year, though.

  3. Isn't it nice to approach a 10 mile race knowing you've got fitness in the bank?

  4. Fantastic post-race recovery schedule. You're literally text book perfect :-) Glad you've bounced back nicely.

  5. Thx for the detailed notes on how your recovery is going. My race was a week after yours (and I'm a newbie) - sot it helps to see that "I'm feeling" about where you were post race week by week (thx again). Good luck this weekend! - Scott

  6. Not sure why you would have expected to loose fitness after 3:21 marathon performance and essentially only 1-week no to little running, then segue back to training. And that 4-mi run at 6:48 average definitely indicates you lost nothing! Keep it up...gradually work up in mileage and fine-tune that speed and I can only expect a trail of smoke behind you at Cherry Blossom 10-miler!