February 14, 2012

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 7

So, let's just assume that from now on I'm probably going to write these posts about my training every other week. Oops. Last week, with The Pilot's birthday and being swamped at work, I just never got around to writing my Week 6 training recap.

Training has been going really great. I've been really happy with all of my runs, my pacing, etc. and up until this weekend, I was really excited about the Cowtown Challenge which I'm racing in just under 2 weeks. I was really excited...until I got sick.

I'm still feeling awful. My chest is so tight, I feel like I've been walking around with bricks strapped to my chest. So needless to say, I'm not running right now. I'm kind of surprised that I'm not freaking out about what that will do my training, but I'm not. I'm just trying to focus on getting better...despite the fact that I keep getting worse...and I'll worry about running when I can start running again.

Hey, maybe a few days off will be good for me.

In the mean time, I've been thinking about Marine Corps a lot. The fact is, I was really disappointed with Marine Corps. The 5 1/2 minute PR wasn't good enough. I wanted that sub-4, and I had it until Mile 25 and I hated that everything just feel apart and that I had to climb up that gargantuan hill at the very end of the race. I mean, I literally blacked out at the finish line.

I could barely stand up straight post-race. Lucky I had a handsome  pilot to lean on!
In looking back on my training, I realize a lot that went wrong in training that could have avoided my downfall from Mile 25.

First off, I was racing way too often - I ran 2 back to back half-marathons during training...both of which were in my last 2 weeks before taper. Since I was racing all the time, I was constantly adding miles before and after races, which often resulted in something like a 20 minute lag between runs. I don't think I ever went out and ran a distance of longer than 15 miles without stopping during MCM training, so when I hit Mile 14 of the race itself, I started to slow down. I stopped to stretch and drink some water...because that's what I had done in that point during all of my training. I didn't think about it that way at the time, but that's what my body felt so that's what I did - I listened to my body.

Even though I set a PR at one of those half-marathons, I seriously regretted it at my worst race ever the following week. 
Second, I changed my goals...a lot. my initial goal was 3:59:59. Then I started thinking I could race a 3:50, then a 3:55, then back to a 3:50. So every one of my Marathon Goal Pace runs was done at a different pace. This definitely presented a challenge when I was trying to clock into a pace on Race Day.

So, now, I'm into Week 7. I haven't raced once this training cycle and while it's been hard to not succumb to the peer pressure of signing up for fun races with friends, I've held my ground. I know what my Madrid goals are and I'm not balking on them. I'm feeling good and I know I won't make the same mistakes this time around.

Next weekend, I'm running the Cowtown Challenge. I'll be running the 5k with my little sister on Saturday and the half-marathon on Sunday. My training plan calls for a half-marathon during that week as a sort of midterm test to see how training is really going. The 5k run is, well, just for fun...although my 17-year-old sister who has never been a runner has been throwing back 8:00 miles like its her job. And, well, I signed up for both races because you get a really sweet medal for completing any 2 races on Race Weekend and who doesn't like some new bling?

So, Cowtown, I'm coming for you. I just have to get better first =/

No Week 7 plans or goals since I'm not too sure what they'll be. My biggest goal is to be well enough to run 16 miles this weekend! Cross your fingers!

Oh and Happy Valentine's Day! 


  1. It's all about learning! Sounds like you are a much smarter runner now :)

    Hope you feel better soon!!

  2. Great training review! I hope you feel better and you can race this weekend! Sending you tons of healing thoughts :)

  3. I hope you are feeling better Christy! I know it's frustrating to miss the running, but you are just so smart and level-headed about your training and I know you will jump right back into it when you're feeling better!

  4. I've always wanted to do 2 races on one weekend and this one sounds manageable!

    It's smart to take time off running even though it can be frustrating. I hope you feel better soon!


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