NYC Marathon Training (Week 15)

PEAK WEEK PEAK WEEK PEAK WEEK! Is done. ~exhale~ And what a week it was, for better and for worse. Last time, my peak week was my best training week. This time was turning out to be the same until the 20 miler came along and killed me. Sigh…at least I’m finally tapering!

Previous weeks:
NYC Marathon Training (week 1)
NYC Marathon Training (week 2)
NYC Marathon Training (week 3)
NYC Marathon Training (week 4)
NYC Marathon Training (week 5)
NYC Marathon Training (week 6)
NYC Marathon Training (week 7)
NYC Marathon Training (week 8)
NYC Marathon Training (week 9)
NYC Marathon Training (week 10)
NYC Marathon Training (week 11)
NYC Marathon Training (week 12)
NYC Marathon Training (week 13)
NYC Marathon Training (week 14)

dessert

(6 miles in Denver! I was so scared of dying in the high altitude after training at sea level, but I rocked it without issue. Maybe it had something to do with all the dessert my sister and I consumed, like these sugary sweet churros…along with chocolate cake, ice cream, soufflé, and warm beignets…at D Bar.)

WEEK 15 (10/10/2016 – 10/16/2016)
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 6 mile run (54:20 min @ 9:03 min/mi)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 10 mile run (1:26:30 @ 8:39 min/mi)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 20 mile run (3:06:27 @ 9:19 min/mi)
Sunday: rest
TOTAL = 36 miles

Thoughts: This was a week of new happenings for me. I felt super strong (but a tiny bit tired initially) during my 6 mile run, which I ran in Denver while visiting my sister. My first ever high-altitude run was a success! Now let’s talk about Thursday’s speedy 10 miles. I really pushed myself on this run and had to overcome some mental barriers, and surprised myself each time I hit a mile only to see that it was under a 9 min/mile pace. AND THEN, at approximately 8.75 miles, I TRIPPED and FELL. You guys, this has never happened to me in all my years of running. My right knee was completely destroyed and I was bleeding profusely. Ugh I was so mad! My run was going so well, and then I found myself sitting and trying to stop my knee from bleeding so I could finish. My anger worked to my benefit though, and I eventually knocked out the last mile with a 7:51 min/mile pace!

I had high hopes for my 20 miler, but it didn’t go as planned. I felt dehydrated and regretted the mussels I ate for dinner the night before. My stomach started complaining around the halfway point and I eventually had to stop around mile 14 and mile 16 to chill out. You know you’re dehydrated when every sip of water tastes like the elixir from the heavens. I kept drinking often, which only made my stomach pain worse, but I had no choice. I felt like I was running on empty, and the Central Park hills destroyed me near the end. Somehow I made it though, somehow. Also, at one point my Garmin lost satellite reception and marked mile 6 at a 7 min/mile pace. Hmmm yea nope not possible, meaning I probably ultimately came out slightly short of 20 miles and my pace was actually slightly slower. Whatever.

Here’s a list of everything I did wrong so I will never ever ever ever repeat it again:
– ate mussels (oh mah gawd so delicious though…in coconut broth) and too much bread the night before at Flex Mussels
– drank half of a cocktail the night before (my NYC bestie moved this weekend and we went out for one last time, so so so sad)
– didn’t hydrate enough in the days leading up to the run
– didn’t carbo-load at all
– dressed too warmly
– started out way too fast (this one is key…I was too ambitious!)
– walked too much the day prior (I actually flew back from Chicago to NYC on Friday and, because of a cancelled flight, ended up walking all over O’Hare between terminals to catch another flight…all in heels)

Luckily, my knees barely bothered me! I started doing basic squats (double and single legged), clamshells, and leg lifts at least every other day as per Bethany’s suggestion, and it seems to be helping. Whyyy did it take me so long to do such simple yet helpful exercises?!? Anyway, it’s taper time and I could not be more thrilled to run shorter distances. The 20 miler secretly damaged me mentally just a little, and I’m hoping that these next three weeks will boost my excitement and confidence for November 6th.

♥ Irina

6 Comments

  1. October 17, 2016 / 8:33 am

    I think the high altitude run helped with your pace on your next run too! I’ve actually fallen a few times when running. Nothin too drastic, but I think the worst one was when I fell and scrapped my shoulder in the middle of an 8 miler 😖

    It sounds like you had solid pacing on the 20 miler! Do you have a time goal this year?

    • October 17, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      Falling is totally embarrassing, confusing, disorienting, and obviously painful, ugh! I fell on the corner of a small intersection and there were definitely cars present. I just kind of sat down in shock and ignored everyone haha. Ouch about your shoulder! Must’ve been a heck of a fall if you managed to damage your upper body 🙁

      I think I would have a time goal if I was running a flatter marathon (like Hartford again or perhaps Chicago), but NYC is notorious for its hills + bridges so my goal is to just finish. I’m getting nervous about this so I think the best approach is to have a “try not to walk and aim to finish” mentality…and perhaps be pleasantly surprised if I PR?

  2. October 17, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    Ok, well first of all I’m really happy you’re not having leg pain anymore! That’s awesome news, and I’m so glad to hear that the exercises have helped! I’m sorry to hear about your fall, though 🙁 I tripped in 2014 and it was so embarrassing. Keep your head up after your 20 miler! The 20 miler doesn’t make or break your race–I would know, I’ve had lots of good 20 milers and lots of bad marathons–and you got through it, which is what matters the most. Happy taper!

    • October 17, 2016 / 10:06 pm

      Yes and thank you for the recommendations! I feel like I just needed to start the habit in order to slowly incorporate it into my daily life. 20 minutes is ultimately nothing and it’s so worth it, especially when seeing the benefits that arise.

      And I sure hope that 20-miler isn’t foreshadowing what will occur during the marathon. I need to be extra careful the days leading up to it. I’m so antsy about this race, but honestly still so excited. I can’t believe I still have to wait almost 3 weeks to run it 🙁

  3. October 17, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Hi! I just came across your blog and am excited to follow! I’ve only just started running this year and am training for my first half marathon in May…but before then I am trying to stay consistent with 6.2 mile runs on Sundays and sign up for some 10Ks (my first will be December 03 in Cleveland, OH!).

    I really really want to push myself to do the Chicago Marathon next year! It’ll be great to read your blog and your journey for your marathon!

    Is there anything you suggest for sore legs? I’ve been running 6.2 miles on Sundays for the past month now and yesterday (my best time yet, btw!) my legs were KILLING me! I took a hot bath last night and then iced them and they felt much better today, and I was able to hit the gym and do a mile on the treadmill and then 30 minutes elliptical…I do make sure to stretch after every run and workout, but they still hurt. Just hoping you may have any tips/tricks!

    Looking forward to following your blog! Good luck in NY!

    • October 18, 2016 / 8:27 am

      Hi Keri-Ann, thanks for stopping by! Glad to see you here 🙂 I’m so impressed that you’re already rocking such long distances within your first year of running! I struggled with completing 3-5 mile runs when I first began, and it took me quite long to feel even remotely comfortable with anything in the 6+ mile range. So congrats for totally killin’ it every weekend and best of luck on your upcoming races!

      Regarding muscle soreness, I swear by my foam roller. It’s truly the universe’s gift to runners because it’s so effective and it’s basically the only reason I’m still up and running to this day. I foam roll my legs after every run and find that I’m rarely sore as a result. It’s painful, especially when you roll over the sore parts, but it’s so effective. If you don’t foam roll yet, I highly suggest starting ASAP, especially now that you’re increasing mileage!

      P.S. – I’ve tried a bunch of different foam rollers and eventually stuck with the TriggerPoint Foam Roller. It doesn’t get soft over time like the others do, and it has different surface points that mimic a therapist’s hands, palms, and fingertips. It’s pricey but well worth it, I promise!
      https://www.tptherapy.com/product/GRID_FoamRoller