Week #10, this is the week that I always look forward to, but also know how tough it will be to get through. 20 MILE RUN ON SUNDAY. That's really the only theme that dictated my week. This was also my last long run before the 3-week taper before race day. Naturally, I was on high alert and horrifically apprehensive!
Here are my non-run day workouts for WEEK #10
The one thing that people tend to overlook when marathon training is core work/ab work. Knowing full well that I had to rest my legs for my 20 miles on Sunday, there was no way I was going to go hard this week on leg work. Having a strong back and core helps your gait as you can support our body better during endurance runs! Check out this video! This exercise works your legs, glutes, back and abs...everything I needed for my long run!
Back in the weight room today doing a good lot of plate work, dumbbells and kettlebell work. I did 150 reps of each apparatus, 3 exercises each. I love how using different weight resistances make for a harder workout than doing 450 dumbbell reps. It works different muscles in terms of grip strength and balance. Try this out for yourself! Start light, plates can be tricky on your wrists if you aren't used to them!
Soooo...this was a call I had to make. NO SHORT RUN. My legs were still feeling off and I just was so scared to cause more stress on then than necessary. I had an adjustment with my sports massage therapist and my chiropractor. I had to make the call not to run. I wasn't sure how this would play out on Sunday, but I decided also to go for a 40 min swim and then just goof off in the water afterwards because hey...WHY NOT??!! I just needed to not stress about this run, at least for those moments! :)
NOW the fun part...MY RUNS OF THE WEEK!
WEDNESDAY: NO RUN THIS WEEK! I swam for 40 minutes instead. See above ;)
SUNDAY: 20 MILES. This was it, this was the longest run this training season, also the last one. I'll explain the sentiments about that later. As I mentioned above, I didn't do my normal 3-mile short run on Wednesday, I still wasn't sure how it was going to affect me on this one. Per the usual wacky weather, it was a humid, balmy 70 degrees at 6am when I started my run. The sunrise was gorgeous. The air was thick, I was not happy, but was trying to stay positive and focused.
The sunrise was a good distraction for a few miles. The sun ate away at the fog and humidity, but then just was burning down on my shoulders and in my eyes. My legs actually felt amazing...that rest day was a good thought after all! My heart and lungs felt the run more than my body. The solace that I had though was that so many others were also running yesterday in that weather for 20 miles as CARA's official 20-Miler was also yesterday. What does that do for me? It gave me more bathrooms on the path, Gatorade and water stands all along the way, first aid stations and Energy Chews/Gels as needed. It was basically race day, but not. It was nice to run with random people and commiserating about the hot weather. There were some random people out there handing out ice cold water bottles, Swedish Fish and pretzels. The comradery was so nice and reminded me of how great the Chicago running community really is. ❤❤❤❤
This run isn't about pace or time, it's about getting those miles in. This run is a mental process, physically...sure...but it's your mind gets you through it. Your body will give up far before your mind will allow it to...so really, it's all up to you how to approach the run, face the run and eventually conquer the run. I finished my 20 miles and cooled off in the lake...it was business as usual for me :)
As I touched on above, my legs were in much better shape than last week! I don't know if it was the ice, rest, adjustment, massage, hot tub...or ALL OF THE ABOVE! Point is, don't talk yourself out of an injury, you can't think it away. I wish I could. I really had to change my thinking this week from run to run to a bigger picture of getting to the starting line with fresh legs. Sometimes that means sacrificing a short run, making more appointments so that professionals can look and assess the injury and treatment...not when it's too late, but when it first occurs.
I can honestly say that I have a high pain threshold, and often, my pride prevents me from asking for help as it shows signs of weakness. As I get through this final stretch, I've concluded that weakness is showing up at the starting line hurting and not being able to finish the race; being strong is about addressing problems, finding solutions and maintaining the process throughout training so that I can have the race of a lifetime.
My meal plans have been spot on! This week, especially, was very carb-focused and salt laden. I have no idea why I ate so much seafood this week! That might have come out of pure boredom, LOL!
I drank a lot of pickle juice knowing the weather was going to be hot on Sunday. In addition to my normal nutrition plan, I took up the carbs later in the week and of course natural salt content.
Meals of the week included and pictured are:
1. Breakfast Quinoa of the Week - FALL! (NOW, I am really starting to run out of ideas and just can't repeat anything just quite yet! (Ground Turkey, Sage, Dried Cranberries, Carrots, Mushrooms).
2. Lemon-Dill Tuna with Carrots, Spinach & Sharp White Cheddar on Brioche! I am seriously in love with sandwiches right now.
3. Grilled Cod Fish Tostadas with Fresh Salsa and Avocado
4. Arugula and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lentils, Red Pepper, Radish and Parmesan with Lemon Vinaigrette topped with Grilled Shrimp Scampi
5. Grilled Whole Branzino (stuffed with Pumpkin Seed Salsa, Garlic and Pickled Chilies w with Garlic Broccolini
6. I had to sneak in my Mexican fix of the week! Enchiladas! It's a great meal to pre-prep and just throw in the oven when you get home!
7. Pre-Run Lunch...Saturday included the Prosciutto Sandwich and their new Chopped Salad from my friends at J.P Graziano's! I added the salad this week for the olives and banana peppers...needed that salt!
8. Pre-Run Dinner...I took my chicken and rice formula that has worked so well and made an Asian version!
Drunken Tea-Soaked Chicken Breast with Brown Rice and Cilantro-Scallion Dressing
Green Beans with Chinese Sausage
BOTH WERE SO GOOD! Nice change flavor wise, but still worked well on my run!
Week #10...I had one goal...finish that 20-mile run and make sure I was healthy doing it. I rested my legs as needed (questioned my decision all week as well). I worked out muscles that are secondary to running in most folks' opinions, but for me, are as primary as my legs are. I ate responsibly but also freely. I knew I needed anything and everything I could get. Although I can't help the hot weather, I can certainly prepare my body for it. The additional salt was spot on, I was barely bloated after the run. It wasn't the most perfect run, but it was successful!!
Mentally and emotionally, this final long run is bittersweet. It's the last long run before race day, which is relieving. At the same time, it made me emotional thinking how far I have come this year. I mean...I did it, I'm finally at the home stretch for the 3rd year in a row! Every time I think I can't do it anymore, I do. It's an ending to training, but the beginning of my ACTUAL race day prep. Here on out, it's all about the 26.2, not so much my 8 miles next Saturday. That long-term goal in July of being ready for 26.2 is now a short-term goal that is within a few weeks reach...it's scary and exciting all at the same time.
For now, though, it's time for me to taper and reset...and yes, I will get bored.
Talk to you guys next week! :)
For those of you that are new to RB FIT and my blog, I am running the Chicago Marathon 2018 for the same charity as in previous years, The Chicago Diabetes Project - Cellmates on the Run Foundation! Click on the link below for more information, race updates and donations! Every dollar counts, help us find a cure!
UPDATE: I have reached my goal, so HUGE THANK YOU to you guys! But, please keep the donations coming as we need all the help we can get to find a cure! Thank you again to everyone who has donated!
See you guys next week!