It’s happening! In less than a week, I’ll be running the London Marathon with 40,000 of my new friends. We leave on Wednesday and I can’t wait! I’m also soooo looking forward to vacation. I figured this would be a good time to recap the final third of my training and share some thoughts regarding how I’m feeling, race strategy, etc.
Week 13: I had a work thing in SF so I stayed in Fisherman’s Wharf for part of the week. It was delightful to run to Crissy Field one morning and to the Embarcadero the next. The highlight this week was the Oakland Half Marathon, which included a 5 mile warm-up for a total of 18 miles. I was happy with my race/long run, but I think I pushed myself a little harder than I should have. My average long run pace never got faster than 11:15/mile for the rest of the training cycle. And I was soooo tired!
Week 14: This was a fairly uneventful week. I gave myself an extra recovery day after Oakland. I ran 14 very slow miles — probably the worst of this training cycle in terms of headspace. However, I told myself to just put one foot in front of the other and I eventually got it done. As weird as it sounds, I was actually happy that I finally had a crappy run. I didn’t want to go into race day without any negative experiences under my belt.
Week 15: It was a really busy week at work (including an overnight in Sacramento), but I worked proactively to get into the right mentality for Sunday’s 20 miler. My training program only called for one of these, and I wanted it to be good. I downloaded the “Dirty John” podcast and binged it. It was the perfect distraction for the slowest 20 mile run I’ve ever done. I wasn’t distressed by my speed because I felt that my effort/pace was fairly consistent. I also kept my eye on the prize — post-run lunch at Casa Latina, one of my favorites from my Berkeley days. I got an al pastor burrito and a horchata latte (best espresso drink ever!!).
Week 16: Taper!! It didn’t really feel like taper because I was still doing the same 3-mile runs during the week like I always do. But at least I didn’t have any super long runs hanging over my head anymore. I was down in LA and San Diego for 3 days for work, which tired me out. A slow, 12 mile run closed out the week.
Week 17: Another week, another work trip. This time, it was down to Irvine for 2 days. This particular trip was stressful for reasons I won’t get into, but at least I got to visit with KP over dinner on Tuesday! It finally hit me this week that I’m actually leaving for London soon and maybe I should start reading more about race details and logistics. (Of course, I headed over to RaceRaves for some intel!)
In addition to running, I’ve also been going to Orangetheory Fitness every Saturday, and then doing my long run on Sunday. Because I often get such a good workout during OTF, I feel like these are almost like running doubles? I’m usually sore for 1-2 days after OTF, so I’m running on tired legs on Sunday.
London calling: yeah, so the race is next week! Am I ready? Well, I know I can complete a marathon. The question is how long will it take me? Right now, my best guess is 5 hours. I think I could finish in 4:45 if all goes well and I’m feeling good, but there’s also the distinct possibility that my undertraining results in significant bonking and/or cramping, which could mean 5:15 or 5:30. I’m not really stressed about it because the goal isn’t to run a PR, it’s to enjoy the experience. The only PR I’m planning on setting is a PR for number of photos taken during a race, lol.
See y’all when I get back!