Columbus Marathon Training Weeks 7 & 8

Wow, 8 weeks down! Training is really flying by. I’m half way to taper and almost half way through training. Things got turned up a bit in week 7 when my weekday “long” runs increased in distance and my weekend long runs also broke past the half marathon mark. My total mileage hit 36 miles in week 7 which may not sound like a lot to more seasoned marathoners, but I’m running in uncharted territory. I was happily surprised with how well my body handled it and credit a lot of that to doing my slower runs based on heart rate.  At the end of week 7 I had a 14 mile run and tacked 4 miles on before running the Scioto 10 Miler as a LSD training run.

It was beautiful last weekend so my husband and I decided to take the dogs hiking at one of the local metro parks. The loop we did was about 3 miles and I had already taken the dogs on their normal one mile morning walk, so I was hoping to get my 3 miles in recovery zone. I came to find that the hike wasn’t vigorous enough for the shape I’m in and my HR didn’t even get high enough to hit my zone 1. It was worth missing regular cross training though, since Archie hadn’t been hiking yet and really enjoyed it!

Morning hike with the pups.
Morning hike with the pups.
I love the wooded areas of this trail and the dogs loved sniffing everything that had walked through it.
I love the wooded areas of this trail and the dogs loved sniffing everything that had walked through it.
Water break!
Water break!

Week 8 started out a little rough for me. Neither my legs nor my head were feeling motivated last week and it made for a rough couple of runs. Every few weeks my Wednesday run is just a LSD and not a tempo – this was one of those weeks. Even though I know it’s necessary to keep it slow, I find it boring. My Wednesday run was probably the toughest this week and I stopped a few times to stretch, trying to get my brain into it. My pace and HR were fine, my head was just not there. I found that a few other people were feeling the same way this week and I think it was probably just the mid-training hump we all had to get over.

Dinner with our best man!
Dinner with our best man!

Thursday night our best man was passing through town on his way to Indiana for the DCI finals, so we met up for dinner and then my husband stayed out with him since I had to head home to bed for Friday’s run. It is always great to see Randy and it’s always time spent laughing more than we usually do. Now if only we could get him to move to Ohio…

Archie did not want me to go out for my run on Friday morning.
Archie did not want me to go out for my run on Friday morning. He pawed and pawed for me not to tie my shoes.

By Friday morning I was jazzed that the weekend was coming and ended up having a great morning run. The weather was the best it had been all week and the miles just flew by. Friday was also our company’s summer outting. I recently accepted a new position at a different agency and am only working half of next week, so this was my last Friday with this firm and heading to the state fair with them was a great way to spend it. I hadn’t been to the state fair yet and I had a blast. We spent the first hour doing a scavenger hunt, then had lunch, and then spent the next 2 hours exploring the fair.

This ride gave me anxiety just looking at it, but it was a perfect day to be at the fair!
This ride gave me anxiety just looking at it, but it was a perfect day to be at the fair!
Probably the best laugh of the fair was when two coworkers headed in to check her out.
Probably the best laugh of the fair was when two coworkers headed in to check her out.

One of my scavenger hunt teammates is another fellow runner that trains with the same group. He is super talented, qualifying for Boston during his first marathon without even planning on it. We spent a few minutes chatting about my marathon training/goal and he lent his perspective on the race. It is always nice to have these kinds of talks with such talented runners and hear that they have similar thoughts and feelings.

This was a great set up to Saturday morning’s 15 miler. My training group was running 10, so I headed out an hour early and did 5 miles before joining them for their 10 miles. A friend my husband went to school with runs with our training group and I spent the later half of the run chatting with her which really made the miles go by. It was a great day for a distance PR and I felt really good afterward. A few of us were supposed to go to brunch, but some of my friends had a 20 mile day due to having an earlier race and still had 5 to get in. I was so hungry I just headed to brunch on my own and enjoyed some sunshine on the patio of the restaurant.

Saturday night my husband & I headed out to an Italian restaurant where I had not yet been and both had delicious meals. We topped it off with some chocolate mousse to share before heading downtown to the Moonlight Market. We had a great time browsing the vendors and bought some dog treats and local honey. We finished out the night with a drink on the alley patio of a little local place. We’re pretty sure our waiter was high as a kite, but it made for some good laughs – and a cheap check when he admitted he forgot my husband had a higher priced liquor instead of a draft beer!

Alley patio drinks!
Alley patio drinks!

I’m feeling energized heading into week 9 of training. I am definitely having “Oh shit” moments of feeling intimidated by the distance and questioning my running abilities, but I have had a lot of encouragement and kind words from my more experienced marathon runner friends. My BRF, Courtney, has been a great support in giving me encouragement and offering advice towards my training almost daily. Since this week is a cut-back week, on Saturday we are doing another course run together. We will run the entire second half of the course. The following weekend is a local half/quarter marathon that will be part of my 17 miler. I plan to run 4 before at LSD pace and then run the half marathon at a tempo zone pace to get in one longer run in zone 3. It’s generally very hot that weekend and the course has little shade, so it will be an interesting experience for sure. Last year they gave out cold wash cloths at the finish so I hope they’re doing the same this year!

Upward and onward, almost half way there. Hope everyone’s training is going well.

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