Marathon Training Week 9: The Best Week Yet!

This past week started off slow and ended with a bang!  Last Sunday, I was apparently hit by a truck…I mean a virus…and the nasty thing took me out of commission for over 24 hours.  This meant an unexpected day off from training while I recovered.  Thankfully, I kicked that virus to the curb and was able to get back to business without losing too much time and haven’t looked back since.  I’m so thankful, because this week has turned out to be my best week yet!

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Here’s my recap of Week 9.

Monday –  I called out of work and had to call in reinforcements to watch the kids while I slept off the virus.  Thankfully, Monday was a planned rest day anyway.

Tuesday –  Based on my training schedule, I was due to run 9 miles at marathon pace.  If you’ve ever trained for anything, you’ll understand when I say that even though I was only feeling about 60% better, I debated with myself all day long whether to do those 9 miles.  “I’ve gotta do them…” turned into “I could flip flop and run 3 today and 9 tomorrow…” turned into “I’m so exhausted it’s just a bad idea to run…but maybe I could (still hanging onto some hope!)…”  turned into my final decision which was not to run.  I skipped the 9 miles all together and decided to start fresh in the morning, in line with my schedule, and never look back.  This turned into one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made while training.  Word to the wise… DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF WHILE SICK.  It will likely only extend your recovery period causing you to miss out on even more training time.

Based on my Tuesday so far, you’d think it wasn’t a great day all in all, but in fact, Tuesday was the beginning of my amazing week!  I received an E-Mail I had been so patiently waiting for informing me that I had been accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach.  WOW!  If I said this didn’t make my day, I’d be lying to you.  I was so excited to become part of this amazing community of women and so proud to be the newest representative for Fit Approach.  Stay tuned for more as I start this new journey!

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Wednesday – I woke up with no alarm at 5:25 AM and knew right away I was 100% better.  NO MORE VIRUS!  WOOHOO!  My body was back in rhythm and so I jumped out of bed and onto the treadmill.  My training called for 3 miles today, so I decided to do a quick 5K because I had signed up for a virtual 5K race with Ainsley’s Angels.  I completed my “Run With Your Heart 5K” as part of the Roll With the Wind Race Series and dedicated it to my IR4 buddy, Angel.  This was the perfect way to get back in the saddle after a slow start to the week.

As if things weren’t already going well for me today, much to my surprise I got another amazing E-Mail.  I was picked in the lottery to run the 40th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM)  this coming October!  What an honor and privilege!  I really couldn’t believe my name had been picked.  I booked my hotel room before my head hit the pillow to ensure I would have a place to stay near the race start and that’s about all I’ll do right now for this marathon.  When it comes to running, I operate with one big goal at a time.  So until I achieve my goal of completing Sugarloaf in May, I will not be focused on training for MCM.  Come mid-May/early June though, that’s all I’ll be thinking about!

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Thursday –  I was up early again on Thursday for my first real attempt at Yasso 800’s.  What’s a Yasso 800 you ask?  It is thought that you can predict your marathon finish time by how fast you can run 800 meters.  (Check out my link here to a quick video to learn more.)  I heard this and at first thought it was crazy, but after reading more about Yasso 800’s and reviewing testimonials from other runners, it seems to work in many cases.  I am hoping it does, because based on my Yasso 800 workout, it seems I am capable of running a 4:13 marathon.  My goal for Sugarloaf is 4:20.

Here is the workout I did today.

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Friday –  Today was a planned rest day, but I knew I had a 20 miler coming up Sunday and on Saturday my kids birthday party was planned so I flip-flopped days and ran my 3 miles late in the day.  I’m not sure what happened to me, but I got on the treadmill for 3 easy miles and ended up daydreaming and cruising to a 24:57 finish.  All I could think about was that I could not let another week go by without some strength training, which I’ve been slacking on lately.  Not good.  So I finished the 3 miles and added in another 30 minutes of strength work including planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, bicep curls, triceps extensions, “100’s” (a core exercise I learned in Pilates and LOVE!), and weighted squats.  It wasn’t my usual one hour of strength, but it was a solid 30 minutes of quality work.  I’ll take it!

Saturday –  Rest day.

Sunday – Today was the Eastern States 20 Miler.  This was my first time for this event.  After getting up early, heading to Hampton Beach, NH , hopping on a bus to Kittery, Maine, and waiting around for about 2 hours, the race finally started.  I was dreading the waiting part, but I am now so thankful for those 2 hours spent chatting with friends, catching up, laughing, and getting rid of the pre-race jitters.  Most of all, I am so honored to have met Dick and Rich Hoyt of Team Hoyt New England.  This was the highlight of my week!  What a way to end it!

Anyone that runs, especially anyone that runs here in New England, has heard the story of Team Hoyt.  Team Hoyt is the epitome of inspiration.  In fact, they were the inspiration for the start of the MyTeam Triumph Massachusetts Chapter that I am so proud to be a part of.  Seeing Rich Hoyt along the course with his “captain”, Bryon Lyons, the Vice President for Team Hoyt New England, and seeing Dick Hoyt along the way cheering me and so many others on played a huge part in keeping me moving forward.  Their “Yes You Can” attitude is amazing and I love it!  I hope to someday be part of Team Hoyt New England.

Team Hoyt - "Yes You Can!"

Team Hoyt – “Yes You Can!”

While the sea breeze was brutal and I am now sun-burnt/wind-burnt, the Eastern States 20 Miler course was absolutely beautiful and the perfect way to end this week.  I started in Kittery, Maine, with the most amazing group of running friends around and ran into Portsmouth, NH, continued on into Rye, NH, Hampton, NH, and finally crossed the border into Massachusetts 20 miles later.  The route offered amazing views of the ocean and good crowd support too!  I felt very strong up until the water stop at mile 17 where I started to fade a bit, but knew I would finish.  I finished in my best 20 mile time yet, estimated at about 3:14 and change.  I felt fantastic…my calves did not.  They tortured me for a good 25 minutes post race.

Now,I’ve just gotta get myself mentally ready for another 6.2 miles at Sugarloaf.  I’ve got this.

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Total mileage Week 9:  34+

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