I did it! I peaked for O24! I safely made it to 54 miles per week with no injuries beyond a little post long run quad soreness that subsides within 24 hours or so. I trained as smart as I possibly could-10% increases in mileage per week, cut back weeks and rest days, quality over quantity, foam rolling, massage when needed, hip/core/glute strength work. I felt great throughout. I had the random tough run and tough miles and struggled with motivation at times but I’m here; 3 weeks out from the big day!
Monday: 5 solo miles-I did a quick tempo workout and actually focused on decreasing the tempo miles and increasing the speed. Instead of an 8 mile run with 6 miles at a slower than recommended tempo pace, I decided to scrap that and focus on actually getting the pace right. I’ll blog more about that decision at a later time.
Tuesday: 5 miles. Last minute decision to join my local 5am group. Good decision.
Wednesday: 10miles- double run day! 6 with Amy in the morning on the track and treadmill. This was actually really really hard to complete-I switched from track to treadmill to track but was eventually able to finish. I later attended a SugarStride event at my local Lululemon and ran an additional 4 and helped to mark the course
Took Thursday and Friday off-didn’t plan to but I was like “why not?” and didn’t have a good answer haha!
Saturday: 24 freaking miles! So the plan here was to run a 2.5 mile section of the Towpath out and back. And out and back. I managed to run 20 miles of out and backs before I decided to run the last 4 miles in the opposite direction. And the amazing part was I had company the entire way! An advantage of running on the same section is my friends were able to find me really really easily! My legs felt strong and I managed to stay within my desired pace: 10:30-11:00 minute miles with a walking break at every turn around, and my nutrition plan of 100-200 calories every hour. The only thing that caused some trouble was the fact that the difference between the starting temperature and the ending temp was a swing of 30 degrees!! It was 26° to start and 55° when I finished hours later! I knew it was going to be warm but I truly could have done with an entire clothing switch to manage. So while I was able to drop my top layers, I still was wearing long tights, and a long sleeve top. Plus I had neglected a hat and sunscreen (for the record, we had a snow day in NE Ohio the day before!)
Sunday: 10 miles to finish the week. I ran with my regular Sunday group. We set off on a new to me route and although I was tired, my legs felt really light which really shocked me given the miles put on them the day prior. I even averaged about 10:20 a mile which was my pace that I chose without using my watch-I just ran what felt comfortable.
This weeks marks the start of my 3 week taper. And while I’m looking forward to reducing my volume a bit, I am going to miss those weekend super long long runs which I always enjoy. To me, there is nothing like pushing yourself further than you think you’re capable of. There is such a sweet feeling of success on the other side of that long run. Looking forward to race day!