Marathon Training Weeks 9-13

I've been so bad about blogging lately...but here I finally am, covering the past 5 weeks all in one post.

For starters, choosing a winter marathon is proving to be a little more difficult than I was expecting. I thought about the cold weather when signing up for it. What I didn't think about, was the daylight...or lack thereof, I should say.

I am doing my best to get into the habit of treadmill running (aka hamster wheel running). It's going okay, but I still refuse to do any long runs on it. 8 miles is my max thus far (and I hope it stays that way!). And let me just say trying to get 8 miles in pre-work is pretty miserable. It means getting up at 4:30am...yuck. 5:00 is early enough!

Other than the cold, early mornings, training has been going pretty well. Had a couple of Nordic adventures and one last race of 2013, which I will briefly touch on below, but my plan is to do a whole blog post about them later (soon hopefully, so I don't get too far behind).

So without further ado, Marathon Training Weeks 9 thru 13 (only 5 to go!):

Week 9: November 4th-10th


This week went okay, except I skipped my long run over the weekend, and did 2 short runs instead. It was a step back week, so I'm okay with it. Sunday's run would probably be the highlight - a trail run up to Devil's Thumb with Jen (who goes to some of the run club events) and our pups. We got the idea from another runner (also named Jen actually). Unfortunately we never really could find the trail, so it was more of a cross country trek. It worked out, except Argie stepped on a few cacti which he wasn't a fan of.



Views from the Thumb
If you look closely you'll see Argie and I at the bottom of this picture!


DATE
PLAN
ACTUAL
Day 57, Monday 11/4
Cross Train
Cross Train – 6.8 Miles on the bike and rowing machine
Day 58, Tuesday 11/5
4 Miles
4.3 Miles on the treadmill
Day 59, Wednesday 11/6
5 Miles
Split – 3.06 mile lunch run followed by 2.75 miles at the track after work
Day 60, Thursday 11/7
4 Miles
4.26 miles on the treadmill
Day 61, Friday 11/8
Rest
Rest
Day 62, Saturday 11/9
Rest
6 Mile run with Scott
Day 63, Sunday 11/10
Half Marathon (race)
4 Mile trail run with Argie
WEEK SUMMARY
26 Miles
24.37 Miles 


Week 10: November 11th-17th


Nothing too exciting during week 10. Another lunch run on Wednesday - I'm kind of liking these - I know I could never do it in the summer because I sweat too much, but it's been great in the cooler weather and allows me to get some daylight running in during the week! I also went to the Saturday morning group run, where we ran over to the track for some speed work.

Confluence Park as seen on my "lunch run"
DATE
PLAN
ACTUAL
Day 64, Monday 11/11
Cross Train
Cross Train – Stairmaster and some strength training
Day 65, Tuesday 11/12
4 Miles
4.23 cold and dark morning miles outside
Day 66, Wednesday 11/13
8 Miles
Split again this week – 4.51 lunch run then 3.5 miles at the track after work
Day 67, Thursday 11/14
4 Miles
1.5 miles on the treadmill followed by ½ mile on the elliptical. Wasn’t feeling good so called it quits after this.
Day 68, Friday 11/15
Rest
Rest
Day 69, Saturday 11/16
8 Miles
8 Miles at the Saturday “fun run” put on by the San Juan Mountain Runners
Day 70, Sunday 11/17
17 Miles
17 Miles around town
WEEK SUMMARY
41 Miles
39.24 Miles


Week 11: November 18th - 24th


Week 11 was great. I got all of my weekly miles in, tried out Cross County Skiing for the first time, and got my long run of 18 miles in!

The cross country skiing was through a group called "Western Slope Adventures". They put on various outdoor activities around the Western Slope. I had really been wanting to try some winter activities this year, so I was glad to tag along on Saturday. I originally wanted to snowshoe, but all of the people I was going with were going to be cross country skiing, so I figured I would give it a shot. And it was actually quite fun! I really enjoyed the flats and slight uphill sections. The downhill sections scared me a bit - I felt like I couldn't stop without falling over. But I was starting to get the hang of it by the end.

Oh and the weather was perfect. I was afraid I was going to freeze my butt off, as it was snowing on the way up. But it ended up snowing off and on, never for too long - just enough to really enjoy it! It really was like being in a winter wonderland! It's amazing how much snow they get up on the Grand Mesa.





The 18 mile run went pretty well. It was a good thing I did an out-and-back because it started raining around mile 8, which then turned to snow around miles 10-11, and kept snowing (right into my face) for another 6 miles or so. If I had been closer to home I probably would've called it quits. But I pushed through, and it ended up stopping with about a mile and a half to go. So I finished all 18 miles which felt really good!

Foggy start to my 18 mile run!

DATE
PLAN
ACTUAL
Day 71, Monday 11/18
Cross Train
Cross Train – 5.6 Miles on the bike and rowing machine
Day 72, Tuesday 11/19
5 Miles
5.25 miles on the treadmill
Day 73, Wednesday 11/20
8 Miles
8.22 cold and dark morning miles outside
Day 74, Thursday 11/21
5 Miles
5.2 mile lunch run
Day 75, Friday 11/22
Rest
Rest
Day 76, Saturday 11/23
8 Miles
5ish?? Miles of cross country skiing!
Day 77, Sunday 11/24
18 Miles
18.05 Miles around town (got rained and snowed on!)
WEEK SUMMARY
44 Miles
36.72 miles ran (but 47.32 with my cross training activities)


Week 12: November 25th - December 1st


Thanksgiving Week! I don't know what is with the holidays, but it automatically seems to give me an excuse to forego a bunch of miles. Skipped Monday's cross training and Tuesday's 5 miler. Almost skipped Wednesday, but did get a few miles in on my lunch break.

I finally picked things up at the end of the week (which seems strange considering that was actually the "holiday" portion of the week). Thursday, I got my family to all participate in the Turkey Trot again this year. I think they had fun. Scott had fun beating me! I started up front, and he started back with my family, so I didn't see him the whole race, and at the last second, right before the finish line he comes sprinting past me.

After the Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Table!
Friday I took my family snowshoeing up on the Grand Mesa. We went to the County Line Ski Area this week (last weekend we were at the Skyway Trail), along with Argie. I think he had fun, but I definitely want to get him booties if I plan on taking him out for longer. His paws had a lot of snow stuck in them and I think it bothered him a lot. I think my family also had fun. I enjoyed it as well and I'm thinking I want to get myself a pair. I think snowshoes will be more versatile than cross county skis (plus I can take Argie).

Not running related, but - Scott and I's Christmas Card Picture for 2013
Views from the way up to the Mesa
The "inversion" that the Western Slope was having - from the Grand Mesa looking down



Then Sunday, I did manage to run a semi-long run of 13 miles. It was fairly cold out the entire time, so I was happy when I was finished.

DATE
PLAN
ACTUAL
Day 78, Monday 11/25
Cross Train
Nothing
Day 79, Tuesday 11/26
5 Miles
Nothing
Day 80, Wednesday 11/27
5 Miles
3.47 mile lunch run
Day 81, Thursday 11/28
5 Miles
4.3 mile Turkey Trot
Day 82, Friday 11/29
Rest
2 miles Snowshoeing
Day 83, Saturday 11/30
8 Miles
6.07 mile run
Day 84, Sunday 12/1
13 Miles
13.1 mile run
WEEK SUMMARY
36 Miles
26.94 (28.94 total)


Week 13: December 2nd - 8th


Week 13 went GREAT...until Sunday came around. I was on a roll - for the first time in what seems like forever, I got ALL of my weekday workouts in before work! Then on Saturday I had my last race of the year (the Moab Winter Sun 10K) where I got a new 10K personal record with a time of 51:25 (over 2 minutes faster than my previous PR), and placed 5th in my age category (out of 42 - so a decent amount of people).

Moab in the Snow

Not a bad picture for once (although only because I saw the photographer ahead of time!)
And then Sunday...well I don't know what happened on Sunday. I lost all motivation. Although most of it had to do with the cold and snowy weather (we got a foot of snow on Wednesday). I about froze my butt of during Saturday's 10K, and it was supposed to be even colder on Sunday. 18 degrees was the high, and NO SUN. I mean come on, this is Colorado - where was the sun?!

So after much self deliberating, I decided to skip my long run. Now I know this sounds like a bad plan. BUT, the one nice thing about my training plan is that it has "step back weeks", where I get a nice break...so I decided to just swap weekends and post pone my 20 miles until next weekend (which is a step back week). I checked the forecast, and while it's not going to magically turn into a perfect 50 degree day, it should be a little more bearable - in the upper 20's and 30's. Plus hopefully some sun, and, finger's crossed, clear, non-icy sidewalks!

DATE
PLAN
ACTUAL
Day 85, Monday 12/2
Cross Train
6 Miles on the bike + Strength Training (Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD - I'm trying to do this all December)
Day 86, Tuesday 12/3
5 Miles
5.5 Miles on the treadmill
Day 87, Wednesday 12/4
8 Miles
8 Miles on the treadmill in the morning; Ri30 DVD in the evening
Day 88, Thursday 12/5
5 Miles
5.25 Miles on the treadmill
Day 89, Friday 12/6
Rest
Rest
Day 90, Saturday 12/7
5 Miles
Moab Winter Sun 10K
Day 91, Sunday 12/8
20 Miles
Nothing :(
WEEK SUMMARY
36 Miles
24.95 (30.95 w/ the bike)

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