Home stretch

I hit my final peak week!

I actually had the ultimate test in that it was my longest run and I had to do it solo. Previously, I had only ever run about 8-10 miles by myself and only a handful of times. Generally, at a race and having to split with whoever I was running with, or because my usual long run buddies weren’t available. But I had to go to California for work and I knew I just had the one and only weekend to get my run in. The following weekend was already going to be booked with two races so 20 had to be done on my own.

Lucky for me, I’m a planner, and I had a lot of friends in the area who offered some suggested areas to get in that distance. I ended up planning a lunch with friends in Capitola with the caveat that I would have just run 20 miles and would need a shower to de-stinkify before we could go out. They were in so I mapped out my route.

I ended up running from the Capitola Beach area to downtown Santa Cruz, past the boardwalk, and to the end of Cliff Dr. Then I turned around and ran back.

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It was an incredible run and so gorgeous. I couldn’t have asked for better weather, and I actually did alright solo. I listened to an audio book (a long, long audio book) and only started to get uncomfortable and antsy around mile 18, when I was just TIRED of being on my feet and the fact that I was still moving. I was tempted to call friends to tell them to meet up with me and just help me get to the end, but I made it. Not a step over 20 miles and I was done!

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Week 14
Total miles 10.1
Wow, not my best week! But I wasn’t just sitting around – I taught a bunch of PiYo classes and got in a couple of short runs… but then I was hit by a stomach bug and had to miss my long run. I tried to make it up the following week.

Week 15
Total miles 35.61
Long run miles 20, in California as I was traveling for a work conference
Cross training included Cycle and PiYo

Week 16
Total miles 19.27
Long run miles 13.1
I was in California all week and pretty slammed with activities. I got in my long run and a mid-week run but aside from that I just didn’t have time. However, once I was back in NC, I was back at it… instantly coming home to run a 5k on Saturday and a half marathon (Durham Bull City Race Fest) on Sunday. I PR’d in both and have been working on getting back into my regular running and PiYo routine since to make sure I’m ready for race day.

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So now, I’m back in North Carolina and I’ve been running all weekend and week. Doing some PiYo to stretch things out, and working on speed and just getting my miles in. Just two more weekend runs (all tapers now) and then we’re at marathon weekend! I’m excited and scared… but I’m looking forward to being there with my friends and crossing this off my list!

Marathon training peak weeks

This is it! Just one really long run and then it’s all downhill for my marathon training. Tomorrow is a shorter run (12 miles), but next week it’s 20 and then the taper starts.

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Running solo in Savannah

Things I am finding with this training process is that the weeks that I really follow the plan (I know, crazy, right?) and do the proper amount of mid-week mileage, I generally have an easier time during my long runs. Sometimes, it’s just hard to fit it all in to properly do that! I’m now teaching at the Y several times a week, in addition to working full time and two young kids, oh and I just added in being a Coach for Girls on the Run… that and we keep a pretty active schedule on top of everything else. It adds up and can definitely be tiring. Balance is not there yet, but it will come one day, right?

That being said, I find that I really do LOVE teaching PiYo. It makes it an even more challenging workout for myself – I really push myself when I’m teaching – and it already has so many great benefits that help balance out these grueling long runs that I’m packing in. My calves have been so very tight, as well as my hips, so I really feel some of the stretches that are in the routines. Water aerobics has been really fun, too. I love the people in the classes and it isn’t quite so high impact (I’m still demonstrating on the deck), but I’m getting a workout or at least moving around constantly while I’m doing it.

Here’s my training breakdown for the last few weeks:

Week 10
Total miles 24.5
Long run miles 6.2 miles, so not so bad!
Cross training included PiYo with a side of more PiYo

Week 11
Total miles 45(!!!)
Long run miles 18 miles. Boom.
Cross training included PiYo and Zumba. But as evidenced by my mileage, I really focused on making my weekday runs count.

Week 12
Total miles 26.6
Long run miles 13.1
Cross training included Cycle and PiYo

Week 13
Total miles 27.1
Long run miles 19 miles (getting closer!)
Cross training included Zumba and teaching water aerobics twice

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My marathon running crew

I’m getting nervous for the big day in November… it’s coming up fast! But I’m feeling pretty prepared. I have my longest run while I happen to be traveling for work. A whopping 20 miles! I’ll be in California so I’ve already researched a few routes I could do. I think I’ll be sticking to some flat, beach path terrain. It’s be nice to 1. see the scenes of home, and 2. be somewhere completely new from a running perspective for such a long distance solo. The week after I get back I’m doing the Gigi’s Cupcake 5k for Make a Wish Foundation and then the Durham Bull City Race Fest half marathon the following day. That will be the start of my last taper. Two weeks down after that and then (fanfare) the Savannah Rock ‘n Roll Full Marathon! I’m excited for the weekend trip with friends. And the jacket. And of course, the medals (yes, plural). I should be getting at least three: the full marathon, the triple RnR medal, and then the completion of the Southern Charm race trio… the whole reason I signed up for this crazy year of racing in the first place! If I’m counting correctly, I will have done 5 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and a handful of 5ks and 5 milers… only to kick off the New Year with the Goofy Run. So until then, it’s time to get some rest because tomorrow is Long Run Sunday!