Lehigh Valley Marathon Training – Week Ending August 13, 2016

Hard to believe that it’s almost August AND it’s less than 30 days until the Lehigh ValleyMarathon on September 11th.

I was away on vacation last week and had a great time.  Unfortunately training did not go as planned and I arrived home missing my running watch.

BUT once I woke up with Sunday morning, the running czar “gently” nudged me out of bed and I was back on the training train.

Here’s (the good and the bad of ) how my week went down:

Lehigh Marathon Training – Week Ending August 13, 2016

Lehigh Valley MarathonSunday – 5 miles

  • So – last week I was on vacation.  Training did not go as planned.  I don’t regret the rest and relaxation that I took during that week. In addition to coming back rested, I also came back with a stubbed/sprained toe and a chest cold.  But after getting some good “drugs” after arriving back, I felt a bit better.  I was a bit nervous – I mean I took time off during what some might consider “peak weeks” and the Lehigh Marathon is coming fast but Coach James was right – I did not lose as much fitness as I thought.  Easy miles were tough to start but once I got into the groove, I ran on autopilot.

Monday – 7 miles

  • Back to the grind!  Still watchless (it should be arriving tomorrow afternoon), I mapped out a 7 mile route and headed out at 5AM.  It was a little harder to get those extra 2 miles in, especially having to get up at 5AM (oh vacation how I miss you) but I just did the best I could.  I know it will get easier as the week goes on I just have to work out the kinks.   Also – I hate having a cold, but having a cold in the summer is the worst – so much blowing of my nose this morning.  Let’s just say, Mark did not want to hug me until after I took a shower this morning.

Tuesday – 9 miles

  • So glad that I will be getting my watch tonight!  It has been nice running without a watch BUT I like looking down and seeing not really so much my pace but how many miles I have run.  Also – I think my cold is finally getting better.  So much less blowing of my nose during my run today!

Wednesday – 3 mile warm up; 3 x 3 miles (marathon pace); 3 miles cool down

  • Yes – you are reading that correctly – Coach James placed 15 miles on my schedule.  WOOF!  This was definitely not happening after work as 1) I am not an afternoon runner and 2) the weather was looking unsettled.  So – I was up and out the door by 4AM.  Yup – again you are reading that correctly.
  • Since I am still under the weather a bit, I figured that heading to the track would be the best way to make sure I hit my splits – it would be one less variable that I would have to deal with.  There is something oddly calm and serene about running that early in the morning.
  • Yes – I know there are some that are going to say 1) it’s not safe and 2) it’s crazy.  That might be true but 1) I am always aware of my surroundings 2) Mark knows where I am at all times 3) I do not take “chances” that early 4) the marathon is just around the corner and 5) if I took all the precautions in the world and someone really, really wanted to cause me harm, there is only so much I can do to protect myself and still do what I love.
  • With that being said – 3 miles from my house to the track and I was off to start my quality miles and boy it was definitely a workout in not only physical but mental toughness as well.  I have run a similar workout in the past but the combination of feeling under the weather AND the weather (thick as pea soup) had me riding the struggle bus.  During the third set – I ended up stopping at mile 2.  I don’t know why but I did.  I quickly told my mind to “Shut Up” and got those last 4 laps in.  My times were about 10 second faster but I was hurting at the end and really for the rest of the day.  I started to doubt myself that I would be ready on September 11th – I mean if I could not hold the pace for 9 miles – where would I be after 26.2
  • During work, I remembered an e mail I recently received from Coach James, which stated that when the temperature increases one must temper their pace expectations.  So I plugged the temperature into the Run Smart website and lo and behold I was running a FULL minute faster than I should have been.  It brought everything that I struggled with earlier in the day into perspective.Lehigh August 12a - CopyLehigh August 12b

Thursday – 9 miles

  • Oh the humidity!!!  If I thought it was humid yesterday, today was worse.  I even made the mistake of checking the weather (77 degrees and almost 100% humidity at 5AM).  It was definitely an “I hate my life” moment but what am I to do – 30 days out from the marathon, I have to suck it up and get out there. Luckily I was not the only one and I silently praised the 6 or so other runners slogging out the miles.  Finally at mile 6.5 I could not take it any more – the shirt came off.  What a difference it made.  I am usually not a “shirtless” runner but I pretty much did not give a F*** at that point.  Taking my shirt off also gave me a second wind if you can believe it.

Friday – 5 miles

  • New Shoes are the best way to start a Friday!  I realized while on vacation last week that my Brooks Adrenaline 15’s were past the point of no return.  I won’t show a picture because I am a bit embarrassed at how far gone I let them get. So – as soon as I got home I ordered a new and upgraded pair since Brooks Adrenaline 15’s have been replaced by a new model (the “16”).  However I did not want to wear them until today because although I have worn Brooks Adrenaline’s for a couple of years, I was unsure how the “16’s” would feel.  Let me tell you there is no better feeling than new shoes, especially when you are sweating buckets.  I felt like I was running on clouds.

Saturday – 6 miles easy; 6 x 1 mile at marathon pace; 2 miles easy

  • At this point I knew it was going to be hot and steamy no matter what time I left.  Luckily, Mark had an early tee time so I was awoken at my normal 5AM time.  It was probably 80 degrees when I left so I headed to the track once again to get my quality miles in.
  • A sweaty mess after 6 miles, I quickly changed to my racers and hit the track for my miles.  I have to say – as opposed to Wednesday, I am proud with myself.  I know you are not supposed to “blow your paces out of the water” during training, especially in the heat and humidity we were experiencing BUT I was impressed with what I accomplished (7:40; 7:31; 7:24; 7:36; 7:41; 7:40).  To put that in perspective, my marathon pace is 8:21.  Yeah me!  Don’t get me wrong – I was spent when I was done.
  • It took me a good 30 minutes to stop sweating after the workout was over and I realized that there is a certain point where you sweat so much that chafing is not an option.
  • I also practiced fueling and hydration during the workout – Huma gels worked like a charm and did not upset my stomach at all.  Coach James wanted me to take 1 every 30 minutes but I ended up taking 1/2 every 30 minutes since I was not sure how I would be effected taking them in the heat.Lehigh August 12 - Copy
  • I also tested out my marathon outfit – we have a winner!PhotoGrid_1471092937620

I give all who got (or at least attempted) their workouts in today.  Conditions are tough out there, more so than I can remember (although I think as runners we sometimes tend to forget certain details of training in the summer.

Less than 30 days to go until the Lehigh Marathon!

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