marathon week 12: step back


Week 12 is in the books. I’m into my final month of training and this week was a scheduled “step back” before my most challenging workouts.


My motivation returned and I completed all of my runs. Spring in Southern California certainly helped. Every morning I ran was perfect. During the week I trained at Griffith Park and ran at the beach over the weekend.


While running I started to feel  anticipation for my race. After I warmed up and settled into my workout pace I needed to calm myself and stay focused on running loose and relaxed. Channeling my nervous energy was good practice for race day. I’m always amped before a race and need to hold myself in check for the first few miles.


Saturday’s long run at The Strand felt like my first real tune-up for the marathon. I ran 19 miles and the final five were at my goal pace. To use my long run as race practice, I woke up at 4:00 am and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, went back to sleep and then woke again at 5:30 to prepare. This included eating a banana, putting on sunscreen, and doing my dynamic warm up drills. I started my run slowly and spent the first two miles warming up to my long run pace, about 8:15-20.


I stopped for water every 2-3 miles to simulate the water stations on the M2B racecourse and ate a gel every six miles. When I reached 13 miles I ran the next five holding what I thought would be my race pace. The good news: what felt like  eight minute miles was actually  7:30s. The bad news: if I do this during the race I’ll crap out before I finish. I learned that I need to practice feeling my goal pace of 7:45-8:00 this month.

I was gassed at the end of my run but my recovery went well and I ran an easy 10k the next day. I’m heading into my two most difficult weeks of training- over 60 miles each week with +20 mile long runs. But I feel ready. These twelve weeks of hard work is like money in the bank. Bring it on.


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