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It’s been a rough start to marathon training. I missed two of my runs in training week 3 and generally felt defeated at anything I attempted (thanks, PMS!). I don’t want to make a habit of having every other week be awful, so I’m letting it go and reconfirming my dedication to the remainder of this 20-week cycle. I’ve got vacation coming up and “destination runs” to plan — and there’s no time to feel bad about missing a couple workouts (or complaining about my STILL-broken treadmill). I used Week #4 to get recommitted to my goal and determined to get all 4 of my runs completed.

So since Week #3 was mostly a bust, here’s how Week #4 of Marathon Training went:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo Interval Run + Core
Wednesday: Easy Run + Strength
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Run with Fast Finish
Sunday: Recovery Run + Core

MONDAY: Mondays are my usual rest day — alternating bi-weekly with a call with my running coach. I always have a good takeaway from our chats and she truly keeps me honest, accountable and POSITIVE!

TUESDAY: The last couple weeks my speed workouts have been on Tuesdays, and… if I’m being honest, it’s HARD after having a rest day. Though I’ve somehow lucked out with every other Tuesday having some crazy ice or likewise weather concern.

Week #4 was a longer tempo interval (1200 repeats). I don’t really know how this type of workout translate yet into marathon pacing, but it keeps me focused on my running effort levels and awareness of when I’m pushing myself to a faster pace. Though sometimes I feel like I’m running much faster, which can be a little deflating. I try to remind myself that even a 10- or 15-second increase in pace is faster.

I didn’t complete my Core workout post-run, since I was surprised at the door with a glass of wine and a diamond. As far as excuses go, that one takes the cake, no? lol

Mile warm-up [10:31]
Speed intervals: 9:47 [400 rest: 10:38] / 9:52 [10:53] / 9:49 [10:48] — I like the consistency!
Mile cool down [10:47]

WEDNESDAY: ARGH, this week was SO COLD. I didn’t realize until I was back inside that it was only 10 degrees. But man, it felt even colder. I couldn’t finish my entire three miles because I couldn’t warm up (no thanks to you, $140 thermal North Face pants), but completed a respectable 2.13 miles given the conditions. I had to get into a hot shower immediately to get warm, so I didn’t do my strength workout either.

2.13 miles / average 9:48 pace

THURSDAY: Yoga Roots at LifeTime Fitness — this week’s class was probably my favorite session so far, since returning to a regular yoga routine. The instructor was in a sassy-but-silly mood and I laughed (at him and at myself) a lot during practice. But I felt better afterward then when I entered and really felt like I “blissed out.” It’s a wonderful feeling!

FRIDAY: YAY! REST DAY! We went out to celebrate and I had my once-a-year steak. haha

SATURDAY: I’m really enjoying the weekly Striders group runs — despite the 7:30 am start — and it’s been awesome running with and getting to know some great people and the Des Moines city neighborhoods. The Saturday morning events always have at least 2 routes (a long and short route) and sometimes an in-between third option. There is usually a water stop worked into the map at the shorter distance turn-around (though we somehow missed it this weekend).

This week I had 8 miles on the plan, with a Fast Finish for the last mile. It worked out well, as I was with the group for the 6-mile short route and finished my workout around Drake University again. I DID THE FAST FINISH — and actually felt really, really good (but, cold OMG WINTER).

Splits: 10:23 (1) / 10:17 (2) / 10:47 (3) / 10:32 (4) / 10:40 (5) / 10:56 (6) / 11:45 (7 — oops! forgot to pause my watch when I went inside to use the water fountain!) / 9:22 (8)

I also got myself an Orange Mud seat wrap for the new car. For some reason, all this fleece-wearing in winter makes me super sweaty and I don’t want that stank to invade my vehicle. Is that how “moisture wicking” works? It’s weird. I love that the seat cover transitions into a wrap to help you change with some modesty outdoors (or, in my case in the summer, my work parking lot). Also, it comes in hot pink.

SUNDAY: Easy recovery run, followed by a Core workout. I will say it again, how much I HATE having to bundle up for the temperatures for only a 20-minute run. Last week I went to the gym’s treadmills before my massage, which worked out well; this week, while it was sunny, I cursed my way through the cold outdoors again. I love winter better when it snows.

2 miles / average 10:19 pace

WEEKLY RUNS: 2 (week #3) + 4 (week #4)
WEEKLY MILES: 9.7 (week #3) + 17.1 miles (week #4)

I have a cutback week for this upcoming week, and have already packed for all my planned runs and workouts while on vacation (and yay, some vacay running buddies!). Once I get back, the double-digit long runs begin. ?

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