Week three brought more speed and a little more mileage. My intention for this week was to find my routine, but not look too far ahead. It can be tough to start training again after a few months off and re-figure out how to make regular life and marathon training life happen. I’m always learning.
The weather was much more mild compared to week one and two and I actually snuck in TWO extra daylight runs. I usually run in the dark because it’s dark in the morning before I have to get ready for work and dark when I leave the office. Luckily, I had Monday off so I ran in the sunshine and snow in the afternoon and Friday I made my run happen on my lunch hour so I could get some extra sun time.
I love to run – that isn’t a secret – but I don’t love every single in the dark slow roll or treadmill hour. The sunny, beautiful runs are the ones that light me up. This week reminded me how much happier I am when I spend more time outside soaking up some vitamin D. I hope January keeps up this nice streak.
Here’s what week three looked like:
January 15th-January 21st: 35.52 miles
Monday was a slow roll. 45 minutes running in zone 2. I kept my pace at 9 minute average and covered 5 miles. Simple, but great. Running in the snow is so much fun for me. And I had time for an extra hour long yoga class before my run that helped stretch me out and make me feel even more grateful for the day. Tuesday was strength and incline workout day. One hour on the treadmill with 10 minute incline intervals at 8:06 pace. This felt pretty tough. I was gassed after the hour and then had an hour of strength with my trainer to get through. I was exhausted by the end, but I still had a great lift and felt really proud of getting it all done.
Wednesday evening speed workouts are officially back. I’m not going crazy yet, but I had a timed interval fartlek style workout with pushes at 7:30 pace and walking recoveries. It was freezing cold, windy, and dark but I got outside. Slow warm up and cool down brought me to 6.68 total miles. These intervals felt dare I say “easy.” I wanted more and I wanted faster, but that’s a good sign. I like ending a workout feeling like I had more to give. I’m trying to be patient while my legs find their speed again.
Thursday cross training double day is a favorite day. 6am hot power yoga and a 7:30pm 45 minute cycling class. I think this combination works really well for me. I like stretching out first thing the morning after my Wednesday evening speed workout and the cycle in the evening helps flush out my legs. And I get to spend time at Studio Three so its obviously a really good day for me. By Friday my legs weren’t feeling as sore and I was able to log another easy 45 minutes at a relaxed pace with what felt like little effort. Another 5.05 miles at 8:55 pace. Just miles in the bank, but I know these type of runs are really important.
Long run Saturday brought me the biggest smile of my week since it was 35 degrees and felt like spring in Chicago. I know it’s really just a tease, but I’ll take it. I had 1 hour and 45 minutes easy on the plan. I ran to Fleet Feet, met Arielle and Steph for 2 miles of their warm up and then did the last 9 miles on my own at a slower pace. I was supposed to keep my average pace above 8:40 and I didn’t do that, but 8:32 is close right?! I was holding myself back the entire time. I wanted to let my legs fly so badly because I was feeling so good, but I restrained. It was tough. But I was so happy to be out there that it didn’t really matter how fast I was going. I wanted to run forever. I stopped for water and a little Gatorade at 5.50 miles and again at 7.50 miles, but otherwise didn’t use any fuel. I like to wait for 13+ mile runs and this one totaled 12.51 miles.
Sunday is my recovery day which means sleeping in, eating well, recapping my week, planning meals for the upcoming week, and going to yoga. I love my 75 minute yoga flow on Sunday evenings. I look forward to it all day and end the weekend feeling refreshed.
Week three was a good one for me because I completed all of my scheduled workouts, recovered well, and still felt like I had gas in the tank. It’s nice to hit another 35 mile week and not feel drained or super sore. I am trusting this plan and feeling grateful I have really learned what it means to take care of myself during marathon training.
I don’t take my ability to train for granted. I love training. I love the workouts, the schedule, the hard efforts, the dedication. I am 12 weeks out from my dream race and I’m ready to keep working hard to be in the best shape I can be at that start line.
Bring on week four!