Berlin Marathon Training: Week 13

Week 13 was my final peak week, the peak-iest of them all. Fitting, because life has been … big, these past couple of weeks. More good than bad, for sure, but just a lot. Daunting, demanding of planning, extremely good at thwarting those plans. (And bringing out my superstitious side: Someday, yes, I will write about the house we bid on, if and when I own the house, which is not yet.)

Training through the craziness has been less stressful than I suppose it could have been — probably because with my generally lower mileage, it’s never seemed like an unmanageable commitment of time. Instead, the workouts have given some structure to the week and — just as key, I’m sure — provided me with something to try to control. (And I think that’s why I lost it a bit when I was afraid my 22-miler wouldn’t happen — “but if I can’t do the run, then I can’t do anything, waaaah!”)

That’s a long way of saying: I’m proud of my peak week, and I’m also happy to have it behind me. Week 14 brings my first double-run day and several workouts that will be shoehorned in around four days of wedding festivities, so no, actually, taper could not have come at a better time.

The week that was:

Monday: Five early, sticky miles in Madison, from our Capitol Square hotel to the lakefront path on the UW-Madison campus. I loved the path — part road, part flat and forgiving trail. My legs were heavy from hours of wedding dancing, but some kind of magic happened in the middle and this nearly became a progression run. Until, that is, we had to climb back uphill from campus.

Tuesday: 1300 yards of swimming, alternating 200s of pull and freestyle with one faster 100 thrown in at the end. I’ve been feeling awkward in the pool ever since the swim clinic I took a couple of weeks ago, but this swim felt good. Yoga at night, with a substitute teacher who made me appreciate just how much I like the regular class.

Wednesday: A sweet return to pool running! Neither the chatty lifeguard nor my aquajog buddy was there, so I just put in my headphones and “ran” for 50 minutes.

Thursday: I met up with a group from Dailymile for six miles through Golden Gate Park, then rolled myself downhill home for a total of 8.5 miles — my longest weekday run of Berlin training.

Friday: Rest (planned)

Saturday: Rest (unplanned). After so little sleep on Friday, I only got off the couch long enough to take a bridesmaid’s dress to the tailor.

Sunday: 22 miles, of which I’m more proud every time I think about it. I proved I can run again — and run relatively strong — even after taking walk breaks, and I know what it’s like to be on my feet for almost 4:30. If the race were like this run, it would be rough, but I would finish and feel proud. I’ll take that going into taper.

Week 13 by the Numbers

  • 35.5 miles run — my biggest week ever, I think — plus “five miles” in the pool
  • One swim, one yoga, zero bikes. I should probably get on that.
  • Five new blisters; three that have since met the business end of a safety pin
  • Zero gym sessions (= zero episodes of The LA Complex watched; clearly must fix this)
  • 225 miles total logged in the purple Adrenalines
  • Two new sunscreens ordered desperately
  • One major bout of open-water swim envy as I ran past Aquatic Park on Sunday
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