Weeks 7+8 for Ottawa Marathon

Southwestern Ontario is in the middle of a deep-freeze which is making running outside challenging. I’ve been piling on the layers to get in whatever running I can, but on a few occasions I’ve had to run less than planned because of the extreme windchill. Counting down the days to spring…

Over the past two weeks, I completed two of the best workouts of my life. That sounds a little overly dramatic… What I mean is that after injuries in the fall and having to rebuild lost fitness, I’m finally back uncovering new territory fitness-wise. I’ve never run workouts as well as the past two weeks so I expect I should be able to improve my half marathon best in a couple weeks (assuming all external factors cooperate… weather, etc.). These workouts are also building my confidence that I’m getting closer to my marathon goal of ~2:25 at Ottawa in May. I’m not there yet, but I think I’m getting close. I’m just going to stick to the plan and we’ll see how things turn out.

Here’s the last two weeks of my training for the Ottawa marathon:

2015-02-02

Week 7/22

Monday: Rest and 30′ snowshoe jog/walk. This was a fun change-up. Wanted to do something so I didn’t have two days off running in a row.

Tuesday: 60′ easy (4 miles @ ~6:40/mile, last 3.5 jogging/hopping/limping home). Something in my back/hip/glutes tweaked out of nowhere after 4 miles and I felt pain when I tried to lift my left leg off the ground. I was able to jog a mile or two toward home but eventually my pace slowed to the point where I was hopping/limping and dragging my left leg. After things eroded further, it was all I could do to walk the final half mile down my street to get home. I was in pretty rough shape and not really sure what was wrong.

Wednesday: I got in to see my chiropractor and it was obvious that my SI joint tightened up on the left side. After a quick adjustment, I felt better walking out of the clinic. That afternoon I ran 30′ easy (4.5 miles @ 6:44/mile) without too much trouble.

Thursday: 60′ easy (9.4 miles @ 6:24/mile). Things felt much better today. Got in for a massage to loosen up my QL which was really sore/tight and probably contributing to the issues on my left side. My guess is that shovelling snow a few times was the source of this issue. Later in the evening, I worked my QL with a lacrosse ball for a while and it hasn’t been bothering me since.

Friday: [AM] 30′ easy/recovery (4.2 miles @ 7:08/mile). [PM] 60′ easy with 5 strides (9.6 miles @ 6:18/mile).

Saturday: Workout: 3E, 4x2T, 3E. The target for these threshold intervals was 5:20-5:24/mile or 10:40-10:48 each. The intervals went very well and I ran them in 10:43, 10:43, 10:46, and 10:51. This was a significant improvement over my last threshold workout from a month ago (which was only 3x2T) where I ran 11:01, 11:13, and 11:18. When I last ran a 4x2T workout, my interval times were in 10:59, 11:06, 11:11, and 11:26 (faded pretty hard…). That last 4x2T workout was a month before I raced my half marathon PB of 1:11:15 so I’m hopeful that I’m in better shape now and will be able to improve that PB at the Chilly Half in two weeks.

Sunday: 110′ easy (16.1 miles @ 6:52/mile).

Total: 7 hours 20 minutes, 66 miles.

Week 8/22

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 60′ easy (9.7 miles @ 6:20/mile).

Wednesday: Workout: 30′ easy, 12M (marathon pace). This workout was an extension of previous workouts. I previously ran a workout with 10 miles at marathon pace (~5:50/mile) and more recently I ran a 16 miler with two 6-mile segments at marathon pace (~5:49 and ~5:46). This workout was a further improvement and I was able to bring the pace down to 5:38/mile.

Thursday: 45′ recovery (6.3 miles @ 7:07/mile).

Friday: 20′ easy/recovery (2.9 miles @ 6:59/mile).

Saturday: 130′ easy long run (19.8 miles @ 6:37/mile). This run was interrupted by snow squalls and whiteouts. Thankfully, I wasn’t too far from my grandparents’ house to wait out the bad weather.

Sunday: 45′ recovery (6.6 miles at 7:17/mile).

Total: 6 hours 42 minutes, 62 miles.

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