Hardest week (ever?): done!

Working a swim meet was part two of a long Saturday.

Working a swim meet was part two of a long Saturday.

Holy cow was last week a tough week of running! But I am really, really happy with how it all went down, feeling more confident in my goal marathon pace than I ever have.

Tuesday was a speed day– six 90-second hill repeats (that makes for a loooong hill), followed by four miles tempo. I was beat at the end of this one, and when I told Coach Jeff this, his response was “perfect!” He was looking to fatigue my legs right from the get go last week. It worked.

Wednesday and Thursday were easy days, followed by Friday’s eight miler with six at MP. This run could not have gone any better–I’m not going to go so far as to say MP was effortless, but this was the easiest pace run I’ve done by far. Still, my legs were feeling a bit tired at the end of it, which worried me for Saturday’s monster workout. Jeff wrote it like this: 22 miles, broken up with miles three through nine at MP plus 15 seconds; miles nine through 16 at MP; and miles 16-20 as fast as I could go, followed by a two mile cool down.

When I first started my run that morning, I really had doubts that I’d be hitting those paces. I was definitely running on some tired legs and just couldn’t imagine doing it. But I ran the first six by myself and then joined up with two of my faster friends who jumped in and kept me company for the final 16 miles. And you know what? I nailed my paces all the way through mile 16. Miles 16-18 I managed to keep below MP, and then 18-20, I slipped back up over MP, especially as I hit the long series of gradual inclines on that section of our run. Overall, however, that was one seriously strong run.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with the decision to work with Jeff. Had I not done this, I would never, ever have pushed myself like this. Not because I didn’t want to or lacked the motivation, but because I lacked the confidence to believe my body could handle this much hard work. I was sure this volume of harder training would put me on the DL, or at least leave me so exhausted I wouldn’t have the energy to handle the rest of my life. But I am handling it and I am getting incredibly excited for my marathon now.

On a side note–after Saturday’s run, I headed straight to my son’s swim meet to work the concession stand. For the first hour, I was doing ok, but as I headed into the second hour, fatigue was starting to set in. My duties ended up including working the grill and I’m telling you, the grill nazi boss who was overseeing me was pushing every tired, cranky button of mine. Lucky for me (or her?), Mr. Zippy came to the rescue. After already working as timer for four hours, he stepped in and took my spot for the last two hours, sending me home for a nap. Husband of the year, right there!

Now onto the final four weeks of training. Wednesday promises to be a tough one–two by six miles at threshold pace. But after Saturday’s run, I know I can manage it.

Ever had a training cycle push you further than you thought you could go? End result–awesome race? 

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  1. says

    Man, I love facing down a really hard week! I trained on a Jack Daniels plan for about 18/24 weeks (before busting an ankle trail running, and being sidelined for a few months….ooops?) for a full marathon. It involved some of the hardest running I’ve done, in terms of mileage, pace, tiredness, etc – but darned if it wasn’t working! Even the workouts I doubted I could do – I did. I’m pretty sure if I had actually run that marathon, I’d have kicked its tush. Although we’ll never know….

    There’s NOTHING like the physical exhaustion/mental high of conquering a tough week. Congrats on getting it done, and kudos to your husband for taking over grill duty! :)
    Holly KN recently posted..Chinese New Year, Day -1My Profile

  2. says

    What a week! First off, so glad that Mr. Zippy stepped in for you. I can’t imagine. I would have been asleep on the floor :-)

    Second, I’m so happy to hear how well your training is going!! Sometimes we do need someone to push us a little further and harder and frankly, just to believe in us. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own heads about what we think we can or cannot accomplish and it helps to have someone tell us otherwise. Congrats on rocking a tough training week!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Lessons from Ski School – Part 2My Profile

  3. says

    One alway thinks the week is harder than it is… I had the boys doing 30 x 200m a couple of weeks ago as the one session, and after that the rest of the week looked easy…

    Over the next 5 weeks some of the guys I coach will be facing the hardest weeks of their lives…
    Coach Dion recently posted..LISTEN TO YOUR COACHMy Profile

  4. says

    I knew it! I knew you would nail it. I as as excited about your 22 miler as you are, funny how connected I’ve become :) I feel like your one of my training partners! Anyway, it is amazing to have someone tell you can do something when you don’t believe it yourself and then, BAM you do it. Alison did that to me at the starting line of a race, she said “you can do a half marathon at a 7:30 pace”. I thought she was nuts, but I did it. Love that girl! Congrats on the long run and for not having to use toothpicks to keep your eyes open at the concession stand, hubby is incredible!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..#KleanAthlete Review: Protein Peanut Butter Cups and Protein Sunbutter CookiesMy Profile

  5. says

    Awesome job on all of the running last week! Sounds like you are definitely on pace for a great marathon! (Does your coach live in the same place as you or just send you your training plan?)
    WooHoo for Mr. Zippy being a life-saver and awesome husband! Super sweet!
    Kim recently posted..Steppin’ OutMy Profile

  6. says

    Wow, fantastic week! You’re so right- we can definitely benefit from coaches who push us. I definitely lean to the conservative side of things as well. But it’s so empowering when you can nail all those paces in a tough week! And kudos to Mr. Zippy- thank goodness for supportive husbands in marathon training!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..The Pursuit of SuperwomanMy Profile

  7. says

    Wow, you really had a wonderful training week! This training cycle I’m definitely pushing myself harder than I have before when it comes to running, but I’m loving it and feel like I’m seeing real benefits. I’m a new runner, so I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I can only hope that I’ll meet my goals at the NYC Half!
    Jen @ Jens Best Life recently posted..Weekly Goals and Workout Recap: Low-Key Weekends and Food PrepMy Profile

  8. says

    I love all of this!! It is great to hear you training so hard and so well. It is really going to pay off!! I am really happy for you and excited for you. :) And three cheers for your awesome hubby. Good luck with the 2×6. You got this for sure!
    Erin recently posted..NEXT!!!!My Profile

  9. says

    Whew, you are working your butt off! That long run sounds like it was killer, but go you for sticking it out and pushing through! It’s awesome that you are finding that your body is capable of more than you thought it was, and I’m sure that confidence will help at your goal race. Sounds like your hubby is a keeper. :)
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Long Run Reward = Fro YoMy Profile

  10. says

    Congratulations! What an awesome week and how wonderful to find out you had it in you! And here’s to Mr. Zippy, too, for stepping in and helping out… Great news all round!

  11. says

    You had a seriously amazing week. The long run is incredible. Other than last weekend, I’ve never run miles at MP…but like I said, I am going to give this a shot – maybe this weekend – I have 22 on tap…
    Your husband is awesome. So glad you were able to go home and rest for a bit!!! Best Valentine’s gift, huh? =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Race Report: Cold Feet 10kMy Profile

  12. says

    First of all, your husband is a man among men.

    I love that long run workout. It is similar to a workout I used to do “back in the day,” when I really trained hard for marathons. That, and 12 mile tempo runs, 4-5 miles of 1600 meter repeats on the track. Oh, and what we called “double pelicans,” running a trail that gained about 1000 feet elevation in 2 miles. Twice (the hill was called the pelican).

    And yes, it payed off. That was the year I ran my marathon pr. Totally worth all the hard work.

    Nice job on your training week.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Weekly Training Recap: La Jolla Half Marathon Week 4My Profile

  13. says

    I can’t tell you how happy this makes me reading this. A coach, I have found, is invaluable (well, at least until I fired mine ;)) in pushing you to do things you didn’t think you had it in you. For me, it was slowing it down…for you, speeding it up. I know you’re going to have a fantastic marathon…I’m so stinking excited for you!

  14. says

    Flawless commitment and execution. Dang, that’s some stellar training right there. I was chatting with one of my running buddies about you this morning on our 10 miler: how I admire your ‘no excuses, just get it done’ mentality, which inspires me to do the same. (ps. I’ve got my first 20 miler this weekend. Bring. It. On.)
    Efo recently posted..Losing vs. Retaining EnduranceMy Profile