I made it through peak week! Man oh man was it a tough one. I’m not one who looks forward to tapering, but I am so relieved that it’s here.
The plan was to hit 50 miles last week, but I fell a little short at 44.4 (no accident on the 4’s). 4 is my lucky number. After I cut Thursday’s run short and realized I wouldn’t hit 50, I went for 4’s across the board. The week started great with my usual easy 4 mile stroller run. After Tuesday’s track workout felt tougher than it should have I started to get the feeling I was in for a long, hard week.
Wednesday was supposed to be an easy run day, but since it was the Nite Moves season opener, there really was no chance (as many times as I tried to tell myself not to go guns a blazing) I would go easy. Note to self: Not a good idea to follow up a track workout with a race the next day, even if it’s only a 5k (5 miles total with warmup and cool down).
Nite Moves is a weekly 5k race that occurs each Wednesday all summer long followed by food and music on the beach. K and I both had a blast (or at least he tells me he did) 😉 running all 18 weeks of Nite Moves last year trading off the stroller pushing duties. I was soooo looking forward to this opener until T came down with a fever that morning. K insisted I go anyway while he stayed home with the boys since I needed to get a run in one way or another. I went and ran fast enough for 5th of 45 in my age group, but my heart wasn’t really in it without my family there.
Thursday morning K left on a work trip to New Orleans at 7am. The plan was to get up extra early so I could still get a full 8 mile run in with time to spare before he left. Plan failed. Alarm went off at 4:45 and I promptly hit the snooze button. I did get out shortly after 5:30 and got in 4.5 miles. I probably could have squeezed in 6, but that would have required me to go faster than my legs were willing to move that morning after the previous days hard efforts.
Friday was a MUCH needed rest day. I treated myself to a massage before picking T & C up from school. That evening I took them out to Taffy’s with my mother-in-law for some major carb loading.
The next morning my mother-in-law came over at 5:15am to babysit the boys so I could head out for my last 20-miler. My marathon training has really been made possible by her and my wonderfully supportive K. We try to do as much training and errands as possible while the boys are sleeping and she is always happy to come over for baby monitor duty and playtime with them until we get home.
In the beginning weeks of my training, I would start my Saturday long runs after the boys went down for naps around noon. As the runs got longer and it started heating up, I decided it would be better to start them early in the morning. That made a HUGE difference in how I felt during and after the runs. It must be my Swedish blood. My body does so much better while running in cooler temps.
Even with the early morning start, this last 20-miler felt much harder than the first 20-miler I did just weeks prior. I knew almost immediately I was going to have to dig deep for this one. My legs felt heavy and I had to will them to move the first few miles, but then they loosened up and I was able to do 10 miles at goal marathon pace (8:45ish avg). The next eight miles at easy pace were much harder, but I pushed through the thoughts of quitting and finished strong.
Sunday I took the boys out for an easy 3 mile stroller run (again didn’t feel so easy on sore legs) followed by play time at the park. It was the best way to celebrate. The only thing that would have made it better was if K was with us. He was still gone on his work trip (I’d like to talk to the person who thought it was a good idea to schedule a conference Mother’s Day weekend). He didn’t forget to send flowers and delicious treats though. My most precious gift were the flowers T & C made for me at school. This blog and my social media accounts are largely devoted to one aspect of my life, training and racing, however my boys are by far my greatest accomplishment. My biggest goal in life is to make them happy. I’m not perfect, but so far I’ve managed to balance it all pretty well.
Although it wasn’t my best training week, it wasn’t my worst either. I am beyond happy to have come this far and to have made it through the toughest weeks of training. On to the taper!
20 days until I’m a marathoner!