Sunday, August 2, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon Training - Week 4

This was my first cutback week  (yeah, I know - already?) of my MCM training plan.  The plan was pretty simple: deload, keep it easy.  For the most part, I did ok with that.  I do have to admit that it has been a pretty hectic/rough week around here personally and professionally.. Just yikes.

Monday: 3 mile recovery run on the treadmill.  For some reason this was really easy and I was able to go faster at the same heart rate as I have been lately!  Nice!  I usually see the impact of heart rate training/fitness in the pace of my recovery run before anything else, so it's nice to note this happening now.  After my run, I lifted shoulders, arms, and worked core as usual.  Since I'm taking it easy this week I only did 2 sets of each exercise instead of 3 and I decreased the weight on most of the exercises a bit.  I still got a good workout in, but it was honestly a nice change of pace to take a break, so to speak.

Tuesday:  6 mile tempo run.  Very inconsistent pacing.  The first two miles were within range but the next was nearly 30 secs per mile too fast, I recovered that a bit on mile 4 only to run even faster still in mile 5....   I'd be kicking myself in the ass over this if it wouldn't be for the fact that even though it was extremely humid I felt damned awesome during this run.  Like from start to finish it was all happy lovey runners high.  So why in the world would I tell myself the run was bad?  It wasn't.

Wednesday: Legs & Back.  This was a strange day at the gym, especially with the deload.  I really didn't feel like I did much, and while yes that is the point, it just felt weird.

Thursday: 4x800m repeats, equal time recoveries and warmup/cooldown.  Total of a tad over 7 miles.  Like Tuesday, I felt amazing during this run.  And like Tuesday, my pacing was terribad.  I could NOT slow down enough!  But here's the thing:  I wasn't even at max heart rate for the workout... so... I wasn't overdoing it either?  I don't know, but I felt great so again, I'm not going to beat myself up and call this a failed run.  Here's a milestone for you:  This is the fastest average pace for a run of this distance for me in around a year and a half.  I was shocked too.

Friday: I started off with 20 minutes on the treadmill at the gym.  I felt really good and got in over 2 miles.  Then I did my cutback chest, shoulders and core work.  After today I think what I'm going to do as time moves forward is have this as a run and core exercise day and then do an upper body and lower body split on my other lift days.  I rode for 10 minutes on the bike to finish this day's gym adventure.

Saturday: 8 mile long run.  This didn't feel like much of a long run at all, of course, but I wasn't about to fiddle with the plan.  I kept my heart rate nice and low in the zone and managed to crank out this run in an hour and ten minutes.  The weather was nice and it was sunny and beautiful.  I did my standard out and back and on the way back I ended up running into the herds of pace groups from SCRR.  I thought I recognized some people and it was cool to see others out there.  Although I did think to myself that I'd hate to start off my run that late... I much prefer getting done as early as I can.  I wish there was an earlier group that ran because I'd be all over that.  Then again, sunrise is coming later and later and with my new work schedule starting in a few weeks I may need to jostle things around anyway so who knows what I'll have to do.

Sunday: Rest.

It was good to have a stepback week but honestly I'm looking forward to cranking it up a bit.  I have really missed running long and logging lots of time on my feet.

This week I ran 26.23 miles (hey - marathon!  I just realized that lol).  Provided all keeps going well this is the last I'll see the 20s until taper.

Speaking of totals, since we are in August now (say what??) here are my July numbers:  21 runs for 107.3 miles - my first 100+ month since April!  Yes!  Gimme more of these!

12 weeks until MCM!

Random question:  If you were me, would you run a tester half marathon 6 weeks out from MCM?  If so, would you actually race it to get a fitness check in or would you do it as a marathon race pace run?  Just trying to think things through but am open to suggestion.

8 comments:

  1. Great week for a cutback week. Too answer your question I would run the half marathon and just use it as a training run. Maybe go a bit faster than your normal long runs but don't do anything that could hurt you

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    1. Thanks. That's kind of where I'm leaning right now - maybe run 10 miles at long run pace and try to pick up the last 5K closer to race pace? I'm just throwing ideas around - I'm obviously going to wait a few more weeks before deciding so we see how just the ramp up in general training affects me.

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  2. Congrats on seeing your paces drop at the same HR & the fastest paced run in 1.5 years! You are doing all the right things! Nice monthly mileage too. If you're shooting for a time goal at MCM I'd run the half as a fitness check. If not, I'd do it as a training run.

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking at the Montour Trail Half right now - it's not a challenging course, a pretty flat out & back, but I want to be smart about it. I'll wait and see how I feel in a couple of weeks. Although, if I keep hearing news reports and personal stories of freaking copperheads there I might not go near there at all just because of that! LOL

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  3. Great job, and I hope everything is alright! Running is always a great help for me when things are a bit hectic in my life. I think it's a good idea to run a test half at marathon pace. It always helps me to practice fueling and my race game plan, plus see how well I'm doing!

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    1. Thank you, and yes - everything is just fine! Better than fine actually, this is just one of those times in life where BOOM everything big wants to happen at one time!

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  4. I would definitely run the half marathon as a pace run (as long as you're feeling good).
    Great cutback week! I know what you mean about inconsistent pacing - especially with the repeats! Like you, I was all over but not even maxed out on my HR. I blame it on the humidity!
    Congrats on a literal marathon week - YAY 26.2!!

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    1. Thanks! The humidity does make it hard to pace... when you think you're pushing hard, you're really not and then it screws you up for when you think you're not going hard at all you are. Just one of the many things we have to suck up in case it happens on race day, right?

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