MCM Training Week 5: Lessons in Flexibility

Along with becoming the kind of person who works out in the morning, I became the kind of person who can function during the week on six hours of sleep sometimes.

In the past, if it looked like a workout would compromise my eight hours of snooze time, I snoozed on the workout. Well, there’s no time for snoozing when you have an aggressive marathon goal to pursue, and so I’ve sacrificed blogging in favor of sleep. Hey, the less I blog, the more I have to blog about, right?

So let’s talk about my Week 5 of marathon training.

I give it a solid A-.

On paper, it was great. I got in every single mile, my five scheduled runs, a session with my new trainer and learned how to be flexible in my training.

Mentally, it wasn’t the best. Sticking 100% to my mileage meant a bit of a jump from previous weeks, and that definitely showed in my pace and how easy my runs felt. (Spoiler: not easy.)

Tuesday: Personal training session with Jaz + 4-mile run. My quads and glutes were SHOT from the training session, but they loosened up as I shuffled along.

Wednesday: I had 7 miles of hills on my schedule, but for myriad reasons–starting late, not wanting to completely drench the heart monitor in sweat, not wanting to go back up to the park–I did 5 miles tempo instead.

Thursday: Rest day on my plan, which is awesome, because I have an early meeting every Thursday.

Friday: My schedule called for 4 miles, with 2 at marathon goal pace, which is a scary 9:09. How the hell am I going to do that for 26.2 miles? I now completely understand the idea of MGP runs–it’s pretty hard to hold one pace consistently, but training my body to know what 9:09 feels like will help when I’m trying to stay around that pace for three hours and fifty-nine minutes. As I looked at my Garmin, the pace for the MGP miles kept bouncing anywhere between 8:40 and 9:20. So I have no idea what MGP feels like yet. I was also sick to my stomach for whatever reason and had to stop at the awesome Chelsea Piers bathroom both before and after those two miles. I don’t envy Ali’s life.

Saturday: Woke up too late, decided to swap my long run with Sunday’s run and did six. I had four on the schedule, but I did two miles to make up for Wednesday’s run. It was hot and I felt sluggish the entire time.

Sunday: 13 miles done in sunny, hilly Franklin Lakes, NJ. As Kimra and I discussed, running in a place you don’t usually run in requires a bit more alertness to figure out where to turn and face whatever changes in terrain may come, so I never really got “in the zone.” Unless that zone was at CVS and Starbucks, where I stopped to get water (at mile 4 and then at mile 11.) My pace (10:04) was a bit slower than it had been on previous runs, but it was hot and hilly, so that makes sense, frustrating as it may be.

So, this week’s lessons learned: even though sometimes you really need to sleep in (Saturday), don’t do it both days if you don’t want your runs to suck in the summer; strength training is good for you; flexibility is key in marathon training if you want to get all your damn miles in. That’s both the legs-that-aren’t-as-tight-as-rubber-bands flexibility and the juggling-things-around flexibility.

How is your training going? How do you fit your training in around a busy schedule?

8 comments on “MCM Training Week 5: Lessons in Flexibility

  1. Andrea @ theMFDre

    Meh, my training is about the same as yours. I didn’t realize quite how hard training in the summer heat was. I’ve some winners and this past sunday i sold out to the heat and my geriatric right hip which called it quits at mile 12/17.

    win some lose some. And I hear you, 3:59:59 is the goal. Gotta figure out how to stick to MGP.

  2. Jess

    Oh man do I know what you mean!! A few times recently I’ve chosen to swap a run early in the week for later in the week for one reason or the other and its TOTALLY bitten me in the ass big time. By the end of the week I’m the most tired, so I’m trying very hard not to back myself into a corner anymore with pushing too many planned runs to the end of the week. Next time I try to skip a Sunday or Monday run, I”ll work hard to rethink it!!

  3. Katie

    I am constantly re-learning that lesson in flexibility. I think we all set lofty goals and realize that other things (like sleep) take priority. My goal is to focus on quality-like bailing on a junk run to have a quality run the next day-but push myself to make it work.

    At the end of the day, remember that you are doing a lot more than most people!

  4. Emily @

    Congrats on getting in your miles! It’s always a mind game…and it can feel like sacrifice working in extra workouts/runs into a busy schedule. You decided it was worth it and made the commitment to the race and I know you can push through it! Think how much stronger you are! You seriously amaze me-keep it up! : )

  5. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content

    I’m aiming for that same pace for a sub two half marathon and I never seem to get it right…either 9.30 or 8.45 or something. It’s a big mystery. I don’t have a garmin, so can’t monitor my speed on the go either. Oh well. Well done for getting your miles in, it’s all coming together beautifully!!

  6. Ali

    OMG I love the Chelsea Piers bathrooms. I think they are what I miss most about living on the west side. Enjoy them on my behalf.

  7. Kristin Miller

    I kept sleeping in and paying the price last week and into this week. I was so stressed about 13 miles on vacation that I decided to run it today. Runner freak out moment. I felt so much better when it was done, I’ve been on a cleaning/packing frenzy!

  8. Glenn

    I, personally, cannot underscore the important role a personal trainer can play in keeping you motivated. Now, if only they could do the long runs for you, too. If you need a mid range long run, check out the Manhattan Training Run. It is a 14 miler on Labor Day weekend. Train hard until the marathon, celebrate on Marathon day.


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