Friday, October 28, 2011

Marathon Training Week 6 - A Peak Week

So it's Friday of Week 7 and I am just now getting around to sitting down to tell you all about Week 6. It's been a long two weeks, filled with extra activities and obligations for Halloween. Not to mention that Week 6 was a "peak training week"!

Here's how the week went...

Sunday 10/16/11

One of the ladies that is in our Sunday group, Cathy W, is running the Healdsburg Half Marathon on October 29 and she wanted to be familiar with the course. So at 5:00 am, the alarm went off, and I got up to get ready for the morning. I picked up Cathy B and we drove up to Warm Springs Recreation Area at the base of Lake Sonoma (the finish area for the Healdsburg Half Marathon). Cathy W and Jennifer met us there and we all climbed into one car and drove back down to Francis Ford Coppola Winery, where the race would be starting. This is where we started our 14 miles. As we made our way over the first few miles, we happily chatted and caught up on how all our weeks had been. The hills along these first few miles were not as big as Cathy B and Jennifer remembered them being so this was great news to Cathy W.

Soon we arrived onto Dry Creek, where it got exciting for a mile or so. It just so happened to be the day of the Wine Country Marathon and Half Marathon. It wasn't long before we saw the first men of the half marathon passing us in the opposite direction. Not too far behind them were the top two or three women. It was a lot of fun to cheer them on and witness how well they were doing with only about 3 miles left in their race. This was also the place we had to deviate from the Healdsburg Half Marathon's course because it goes along West Dry Creek and that was were the Wine Country Race was too. To avoid the racers, we stayed on Dry Creek, all the way out to Warm Springs Recreation Area.

As we approached the finish area, Cathy W & Jennifer finished their 13 miles, while Cathy B & I continued on to get our 14 miles. Little did we know that as we passed the parking lot we would have to head up a rather steep hill to get our total distance! Coming back down for our last half mile was nice, and we finished feeling good. Cathy B & I have done 14 miles once before so this was still a distance that we could wrap our minds around and feel okay with. My training schedule had me at a 11:20 pace and we were faster than that. Our stats for the day: 14.0 miles, 11:12 average moving pace, 2:36:53 total moving time; and my heart rate was right in the middle of the range I should have been in.

After some stretching, non-fat chocolate milk and a change of clothes, Cathy B & I drove Cathy W back to her car and then went into Healdsburg to get coffee and take it to our friend Leslie, who was announcing finishers as they crossed the finish line at the Wine Country Marathon. We hadn't planned on staying; we were just going to say hi to Leslie and give her, her coffee; but we ended up staying to see the last marathoner finish the race around 6:15 (six hours, fifteen minutes)! It was so inspirational to be there and see everyone finishing the race. There were children waiting for their mom or dad and when they saw them they ran out and joined them on the final stretch, running the finish with their parent. It was so sweet, it made me cry! I know... sappy... but it's true. These people had trained hard and their families were there to support them all the way to end!

Cathy B & I hanging out at the announcers tent.

Leslie in her super cool, personalized announcers chair.

Monday 10/17/11

Rest Day - technically - but at work in the afternoon I did some strength training. I did some partner work with tubing focusing on core and upper body. My partner and I used a medium weight band and it felt good! After work I came home to dinner being all cooked thanks to one of my best friends, Amy. It was so great to just be able to help her serve up dinner, sit down and enjoy it. Plus, it helped make the evening shorter for all since everyone was tired.

Tuesday 10/18/11

Tuesdays are typically my busiest day of the week. I get the kids to carpool, run, go to acupuncture, help in Sevannah's classroom, drive the kindergarten carpool when they get out, have lunch with Jazper, take Jazper to piano, then drive the "big girl" carpool when the grades get out at 2:45pm. I like my Tuesdays, but they are exhausting.

Today's training schedule had us doing 2- 5 miles at a nice slow pace since it's suppose to be a recovery run from Sunday's long distance. As always, Cathy B and I ran too fast. We did 4.15 miles at a 9:38 average moving pace; and my average heart rate was one beat over the range I was suppose to be in. But we both felt good and it was a great start to the day, not to mention a beautiful morning!

After driving all the carpools, I sat at the computer and did some research. Well, tried to do some research! After Sunday's 14 miles the balls of my feet were really sore, so I wanted to research some shoes to see if I could find some that had more cushion in them. Our refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen is also having an issue so I was also looking into the cost of a new one. Lesson re-learned for the day.... One should not do research on important things when you are exhausted and would rather be asleep! All I succeeded in doing was getting frustrated because I couldn't make sense of anything. Oh well.... it'll still be there another day.

Wednesday 10/19/11

Got up feeling tired, and it took me a bit to wake up. I ran my first run of the day right after driving the carpool and dropping the kids at school. The training schedule for the day had 8 miles total and Cathy B and Jennifer wanted to run in the afternoon so I split the total distance into two runs. The morning run I only needed to do about 4 miles so I decided to stick as close to the kids' school as I could and try to make a loop. I did it, but I will never run that route again! Too much traffic; almost got hit by a car in a crosswalk on Bodega Ave and it was hillier than I wanted to do for the day. Other than that it was a great run! I ran at a little faster pace than I should have but my heart rate was right in the middle of my range. Stats for the run: 4.1 miles, average pace 9:47.

After my run, I parked myself at a Starbucks and worked on last week's blog post, updated a few things online and then got to chat with one of my best friends, Colleen. I hadn't seen her in a while so it was really nice to just be able to sit and talk to her. When it was time for both of us to leave, I headed home and got ready for work.

Right after work, I headed straight to the evening run location to meet Cathy B and Jennifer. Jennifer needed to do a 60 minute run with 3 x 5 minute speed intervals with 1 minute recovery between them. We ran out for 32 minutes then turned around and headed back, adding in the intervals. Once back to our meeting location we found a space in the back parking lot where we could "safely" do sprints in the dark. We did 6 x 15 second sprints. By the time we were done we had 6.19 miles. It was a lot of fun, but I was good and tired.

Thursday 10/20/11

After getting the kids to carpool I headed over to Cathy B's house for a Tempo Run. We were suppose to do 1 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 9:41 according to my schedule (Cathy's schedule said 9:17) and then 1 mile cool down. We decided that we should try to increase the speed each of the 3 miles so that we were getting progressively faster. We succeeded! Check out these paces: Mile 2 - 9:26, Mile 3 - 9:19, Mile 4 - 8:55... HOT DAMN! For the last mile, our cool down mile, we walked to the stop light would would have to wait at to cross a street and then jogged back to her house. It was a hard run after all the hill/speed work I did yesterday, and I was feeling it. We stretched a lot in Cathy's garage when we were done.

I left Cathy's and headed to Fleet Feet to see if I could find new shoes with more cushion in the forefoot so that my feet would be happier after the longer runs. After all, we were going to be tackling 16 miles on Sunday! I was successful in finding a new pair of shoes.....

I plan on taking them for their first run tomorrow morning.

After finding shoes, I picked the kids up from school. They have been asking to decorate the house for Halloween for about a week so I surprised them when were got home from school by telling them we were going to decorate the house instead of having restie time. Here's the results....
Their favorite part is the bright green "sticky web". They think having it all over the front window and the garage is the funniest thing ever! We were all tired when we were done but the kids were so happy - it was worth skipping nap time!

Friday 10/21/11

5:45am and I was heading out the door to drive over to Cathy B's house to meet her, Cathy W & Jennifer for a chilly 6:00 am run. My new shoes were all ready for their first run....

The shoes felt good and the run felt a little hard because I was really tired. I hadn't slept well that night so I wasn't in "top form", but I made it. It was a nice, short 3.75 mile run even if it was hilly. I think we all have a love/hate relationship with the hill on Hidden Valley Rd.

After getting the kids off to carpool, I went home to try to take care of few things, and nothing worked. So, still in my jammies, I headed out to meet two friends, Natalie & Clementina, for breakfast. We hadn't done this in a long time so it was fun and relaxing to sit around and talk with them. After breakfast I went home and tried again to get things to work, and I was still unsuccessful. Leaving it for another day, I got ready for work, picked the kids up from school, dropped them off at Grandma Peggy's and headed to work. At work, I had the request to work on Core Exercises, so we did a bunch of different planks.

Saturday 10/22/11

After teaching Outdoor Family Fitness class, I got the kids and I ready to go to the Pumpkin Patch with my parents, brother & sister-in-law and my nephew & nieces. We met at my parents and drove down to Tolay Lake Regional Park. The kids had a ton of fun looking at all the exhibits, doing the crafts and of course, getting pumpkins.

Sevannah and her pumpkin.

Four of the five Cousins looking for their pumpkins.

Jazper and his pumpkin.

It was a long, hot afternoon/early evening. We didn't get home until 6:15 pm. I needed to get the kids fed and in bed so that I could prepare my things for the next morning. We were going to be doing 16 miles, which will be a first for me!

So after just over 37 miles for the week, I'm signing off on another week of training and keeping my fingers crossed that I survive tomorrow's 16 miler.... Uncharted Territory!

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