Berlin Marathon Training: Week Nine

Hoo boy, week nine. I think it says something about how well my training has gone so far — and it has gone really well and I just knocked on every piece of Ikea furniture in this apartment — that week nine was the first time things felt like they were going off the rails.

In reality, it was no big thing: a missed swim, a skipped yoga class, a shortened ride. But added to the emotional exhaustion of offering on and then not getting a house, it sure felt like everything was going straight to hell. Plus, there was the momentary IT band freakout — which surely couldn’t have been related to temporarily jettisoning all auxiliary activities that weren’t running, right? Har.

The good news about week nine is that I got all 28 of my miles in, nudging my weekday mileage up another smidge and hitting a personal distance record with Sunday’s long run. This is the first week I’ve run more miles than I’ll be running in a day on September 30th, a fact about which I have mixed emotions. On the one hand: Hooray! Progress! On the other hand, wait, huh? When I was training for Wildflower, and folks would panic about not running or riding enough, Neil would say: Look, you’re training for nine or 12 hours a week, but on race day, you only have to execute for three or four. And I got that; I saw how swimming for 90 minutes could translate into racing for 30, or riding for four hours to race for two. But this math is a little less comfortable: I’m running 28 miles a week so I can eventually run 26.2 in a day? I know pool running counts for something — as do swimming and riding and yoga-ing, probably — but I don’t see the translation as clearly. Again, I’m not racing — Not Racing — Berlin with a specific time goal in mind, and I believe in my endurance to get me through respectably. But should the day come when I really do want to race a marathon? I suspect the plan will look quite a bit different.

Anyway. Here are the particulars:

Monday: Rest. By which I mean, I skipped my swim to sit at home and nervously check my e-mail 7,000 times and figure out how to sign offer papers for the house.

Tuesday: 5.2 miles through the park, trying out the Ravennas. This is the only run I’ve done in them so far, and given that my IT band went slightly nuts later in the week, I’m not sure whether to revisit them. I felt good during and after the run, though, so I’m probably just being paranoid. Skipped yoga to drink fancy beer at a fancy beer release party.

Wednesday: Rest. My recommendation: Don’t ever combine the aftermath of losing out on a house with the aftermath of a fancy beer release party.

Thursday: Misty morning 7-miler (longest weekday run of this cycle so far) into the park and around Stow Lake. I finished this run with a decent pace (9:30/mile) but actually thought it would be faster given the way I felt I was running. I haven’t been looking at pace much during my normal runs — usually just a few times once I get past the frequent stoplights, only enough to make sure I’m not drastically overshooting or undershooting — and it’s been interesting to see how poor I still am at predicting pace from effort. PT stuff at night, trying to get back on schedule.

Friday: 50 minutes of aquajogging — a few with my buddy, a few with my podcasts, and a few awkward ones in between talking with the lifeguard about the Olympics.

Saturday: A slow 13-mile ride, which I intended to be more like 16-20 but failed to account for the Outside Lands music festival and the fact that big swaths of the park would be restricted to ticket-holders, even at 8:30 a.m. I ended up doing a mini-loop of the park, doubling back to the Legion of Honor hill, and doing another mini-loop before heading home. Meh. I need more good city routes.

Sunday: 16 miles, captured in painstaking detail. The only thing I’ll add is that I felt good on Monday, with only my standard calf/Achilles soreness; I’ve hurt far more after far shorter runs.

Week 10 is shaping up to be a doozy. On Thursday and Friday, I’m flying 2/3 of the way across the country to observe a particular activity for work that takes place between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., then immediately flying home. I’m hoping to run Thursday before the flight, rest Friday, and be able to run long on Saturday, though I’m not sure how the whole three-hours-of-sleep-if-I’m-lucky part of things will play out. Fingers crossed.

Week Nine by the Numbers

  • 28 miles run; “five” aquajogged
  • 13 miles biked, at an average pace that is below the number of miles biked
  • 90 seconds spent ranting about Nuun changing the formulation of the Fruit Punch tabs before realizing I’d mistakenly bought the Citrus Fruits kind instead
  • One lovely accidental nap taken (while watching the replay of the Steelers preseason game)
  • 16 ounces of cherry/Coke Slurpee consumed post-run
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3 thoughts on “Berlin Marathon Training: Week Nine

  1. Kelly says:

    hooray, another week down! nice work, lady. Also, whatever you’re going to be observing in the middle of the night sounds… interesting?? Good luck with that and try to get some rest!

  2. Kristina says:

    It´s great to hear that the training has gone so well – especially the long run. Hope that the logistics of the week haven´t thrown you for a total loop!

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