Race week is upon us once more, my friends. I’ve spent the last six months in training for one race or another and it’s finally almost time for Grandma’s Marathon. Strangely enough, I’m feeling much less burnt out now than I was for my last big race back in April. I can’t help but assume there’s a correlation between burnout and the weather — it’s just too coincidental. Despite not having sunshine for every run, the temperatures have been warm and comfortable. It makes running much easier on the soul.
This week was, shall we say, interesting? It had all the makings of a normal taper week. But, let’s face it, I try not to be normal when I can help it. Or maybe I just forgot how to taper. Dunno. I skipped my track workout on Tuesday since the weather was kind of icky. I have no problem running four or more days in a row most of the time, so planned to run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Plus my load wasn’t so heavy since I was in taper. Here’s how the “normal” week shook out:
Grandma’s Marathon is Coming — And I Forgot How to Taper
Tuesday — chiro appointment #1 + strength training
Remember last week when I was complaining about my arch, my IT band, and a weird pain on my knee? Well on Tuesday I got in to see someone and it helped a little but I didn’t feel like it helped enough.
After my appointment, I finally got back to strength training. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but I didn’t cut my typical workout short. Boy did it feel good to work my glutes and hips again. I knew I would be fairly sore the next day, and I was.
Wednesday — 6.84 miles
I hit the track on Wednesday. Coach had me running 400s which are really fun: short and sweet. I’ve been grappling with a new pair of shoes for the last week and a half or so and decided to wear them to the track thinking maybe a change of terrain would help. Unfortunately I hated them on the track, too. So I did what any normal marathon-training human would do and I took them off. I had three 400s left (plus recovery laps) and figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to run in socks for the rest of the workout. I declare Wednesday’s jaunt at the track a resounding success — with an asterisk.
A couple of things here (this is the asterisk):
- Running in my socks felt amazing. My cadence went up, my effort went down, and I truly felt like I was weightless. You know that runner’s high we’re always chasing? And how the runner’s high can make us feel like a kid running carefree again? This was that run for me.
- Even if you’re in a low drop shoe and aren’t worried about injuring yourself with barefoot running, don’t overdo it. I think I ran about 800m too far without shoes.
- The DOMS was unreal (delayed onset muscle soreness). I was sore for days. I was sore upon sore upon sore. Not only did my Tuesday workout make me sore, but my barefoot running made my lower legs sore in itty bitty muscles I didn’t know I had!
Thursday — 5.6 miles
Ah yes, and this is where my week got derailed. I had 8 miles on deck for Thursday. Unfortunately due to my strength and track exploits of Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in some major, major pain come Thursday. I thought getting out for a few miles would loosen up my soreness (it often does) but man, oh man, I was in trouble. I finally called it quits just shy of 6 miles. Thankfully that was “good enough” since I technically had a 6-miler on the schedule for Friday anyway so it worked out. But daaaaaayum, I have never felt pain like that before. So much so that it landed me in an ice bath!
Friday — chiropractor appointment #2
Thankfully I was squeezed in to see my preferred chiropractor on Friday. I told him what was happening and he fixed me. He could feel the tightness in my lower calf that was contributing to my arch. Additionally, he felt something clicking in my knee since it was out of alignment and fixed that. And then, the creme de la creme, he could feel my IT band catching on the left side and fixed that, too. I felt so much relief — mentally — walking out of his office that day. Like a weight had been lifted.
Saturday — 9 miles
After my much needed rest day on Friday, I made up for my antics during the week on Saturday. I met up with my friend Candice for 9 lovely miles. We ran a hilly route and it was a little warm, but my calves weren’t too sore anymore and the sun was shining.
Sidenote: I love looking at the graph on my training calendar that compares my pace, elevation, and cadence. There’s a direct correlation to my slower paces and major hill climbs. It’s pretty cool to see on paper after the fact.
Sunday — 8 miles run + 2 miles cycling
Sunday was similar to Saturday. I ran with Candice again in a less-hilly area (though still hilly) and we pounded out 8 miles. And I took a leap of faith and wore those damn shoes that have been giving me grief for so many runs now. Wouldn’t you know it — the shoes felt fine. I’m beginning to wonder if my discomfort has been in my head all along. I still won’t wear them for race day, but I think we could get along better for 8-9 milers going forward.
After my run with Candice, I met one of my 5K runners and cycled alongside her for her workout. We finished up with burpees, jumping jacks, jump squats, and twisted mountain climbers. Overall, a really solid Sunday workout!
Race Week: Grandma’s Marathon
We’ll see what happens come race day at Grandma’s Marathon, but I’m feeling good. I think most people would poo-poo such a heavy load the week before a race but none of my workouts felt hard (okay, except for the attempt at 6 miles on Thursday) and that’s the important part. I’m really looking forward to heading up north. The north woods are calling my name!
TALK TO ME!
What’s the longest you’ve taken off between strength training sessions?
Where was your worst experience with DOMS?
Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesdays on the Run, and HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin’ for the Weekly Wrap. Also linking up with Nicole, Annmarie, and Jen today for Wild Workout Wednesday!