Six weeks to go until race day (three weeks to taper time!)
This was a pull back week for marathon training, meaning that instead of increasing my long run mileage from the 15 I did the week prior, I pulled back and ran 13. I’ll increase to 17 miles next week.
It was also a week of modifying schedules, and pulling back in other ways. I had a busy week at work so I left the office late a couple of nights getting me home too late (and hungry) to run. And at least two of the nights I came home on time, I spent the evening working.
Trying to make up for missed workouts, two of the nights I did run, I combined running with strength training in the same night. I also switched up my long run from my usual Saturday morning to Sunday evening. Lisa and I planned to return to Badwater (aka the Palos/Sag Harbor Forest Preserve) but she had a change of plans and couldn’t run Saturday morning. Brian was leaving Sunday afternoon, so I wanted to spend time with him Sunday morning so … we decided to go crazy and run Sunday evening.
It ended up working out on many levels, including the fact that I got to spend a few hours with my college friend and sorority little sister, Carrie, Saturday afternoon. She was in town with her husband and son (whom I met for the first time Saturday!) and they were kind enough to share her for a few hours. We had a great time lunching and shopping on Michigan Ave.
Sunday afternoon turned out to be ideal for running Badwater. The temperatures, in the low 50’s, were perfect for a long run. It wasn’t as muddy as the last visit, but I managed to record my first (and, hopefully, only) fall of the running season.
Lisa and I split up for the first eight miles. She’s not training, so she hiked while I ran and we met back up to run the last five together. We were basically running opposite directions in the same loop. I made my way around the loop and had about another mile and a half to go. I headed down a side trail, this one way less developed than others. As I hurdled over several downed trees and ducked under low-hanging branches, I saw Lisa heading toward me.
“This is THE Badwater of the Badwater trail,” Lisa said.
Me: “Yeah, I know. I’m jumping through an obstacle course.”
Well, I had no idea it was going to get much worse. About 30 seconds after passing her, I was down in this narrow, muddy ravine trying to navigate through a maze of tree roots sticking up from below, and branches hanging down from above on a trail wide enough to only run with one foot directly in front of the other. All of a sudden, I was flying face first into the mud.
A loop from my shoe laces got caught on a tree root and when I pulled my foot forward, not realizing it was caught, it was like someone pulled my leg out from under me. Luckily, I broke my fall with my left knee before I got a mouth full of mud.
Also, lucky for me, it was mud and not rocks or concrete so I was able to hop back up and continue on. I got a little dirty, but nothing was broken and I didn’t even tear my pants!
I knew I couldn’t make it though training without at least one epic fall. 🙂
BUT (!!!) despite my fall, and the rough terrain in general, I knocked another minute off my personal best half marathon time, set only a week ago! We got back to the car with about 0.3 miles to hit 13. I looked at the time and realized I was two minutes under my best 13.10 run. With energy left to sprint, I went for it and succeeded. Another record-setting run for the books.
Total miles: 22 miles
Number of runs: 3
Longest run: 13 miles
Cross-training: 3 strength-training sessions
Weight: I know I said last week I wasn’t going to continue monitoring it, but my clothes were definitely looser so I had to know. I am four pounds down from last week!