This week of training was actually very successful despite the sad loss of my granddad on Wednesday morning. Don't ask me how, but I was able to channel my grief into some really nice runs.
I've written before about how running helps clear my head and notice my feelings, whether they're good or bad. And looking back on that post, I realize that I wrote it following the unexpected passing of my granddad's life partner of 40+ years, Michael. There's just something about spending quality time with a quiet stretch of pavement that soothes me, I guess.
I'll be in California for the rest of this week to attend my granddad's memorial service and spend time with my extended family, but I still plan to stick to my training plan as much as I can. My running shoes, clothes, fuel belt, Garmin and Clif Shots are packed and ready to hit the sunny SoCal roads. And if all goes well, I'll be running my farthest distance ever — 15 miles — the day after I get back to Seattle.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Here's a look back on Week 9 of marathon training.
Psssst — at the end of this post, I've also included links to some of my favorite race recaps from this past weekend. They're epic!
Monday: 3-mile run + Nuun pong
The week kicked off on a high note with a fun event at Green Lake. Carly and I met up with a running group at Super Jock 'n' Jill for a quick three-miler around the lake (8:50 pace), and then we competed in a fierce Nuun pong tournament! The game was just like beer pong, except the cups were filled with Nuun (an electrolyte-enhanced sports drink) instead of beer. The grand prize was a year's supply of Nuun!
Unfortunately, Carly and I are much better at running than Nuun pong, and we lost our first game. We still enjoyed plenty of Nuun and free hot dogs, though, and we had a ton of fun.
I had planned to hit the gym for my first strength-training session in a few weeks, but on my way home from work, I got the news that my granddad wasn't doing well. I said my last goodbye to him over the phone as he slept peacefully, and then spent the evening catching up with a good friend to take my mind off of things.
Wednesday: 6-mile run for Granddad Mills
My granddad passed away early Wednesday morning and I was bummed all day. I managed to get out for my scheduled 6-miler and had a great run in celebration of his wonderful 92 years of life.
He was a drapery designer and World War II combat veteran who loved opera, art, architecture and nature. He was a fantastic storyteller and the classiest man I've ever known. He also knew how to use an iPad, as you can see above.
Thursday: 3-mile run + strength
I ran a speedy three miles (8:18 pace) and starting thinking about running the Fremont Oktoberfest 5K on Sunday. I had a blast running it as my first race last year (pictured), and I thought it'd be fun to see how far I've come.
I was so happy to get back into the gym for strength-training. I completely skipped it for two weeks and was starting to worry that I'd lose the strength I had built up in the first six weeks. I think it's made a big difference in my overall fitness and I really need to make it a priority, along with running, during marathon training. I won't be able to strength-train while I'm out of town this week, but I'll recommit in Week 11 with at least two iron-pumpin', sweat-drippin' sessions per week.
I spent Saturday at my mom's house in Woodinville simultaneously watering and raiding her garden. It wasn't a great year to grow food in the Northwest — that's a nice way of saying we had a crappy summer — but I managed to collect a nice bag full of zucchini, green beans, tomatoes and gorgeous plums. The raspberries went straight into my belly. Yum!
Oh, and then it rained all Saturday night and into Sunday morning. So much for my watering job.
Sunday: Fremont Oktoberfest 5K (3.1 miles) + 10 miles
On Sunday morning, I pushed hard for a new 5K PR (25:04) and would have loooved to cash in my ticket for a free beer at the Oktoberfest beer garden afterward. But since my training plan called for a 13-mile long run, I traded that beer for some Nuun and headed out for 10 miles around Lake Union.
It wasn't my most enthusiastic 10-mile run, but it was a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle and I managed to maintain my typical long-run pace (9:38). I was really happy with this run. I was also really happy with, you know, stopping.
My knees weren't super-thrilled with the day's activities, so I later spent quality time with a few baggies of ice and some cupcakes. Cupcakes are scientifically proven to relieve knee stress, right? Right.
WEEK 9 TOTALS
Miles run: 25.1
Miles biked: 0
Yoga sessions: 0
Strength-training sessions: 1
Rest days: 3
Ratio of beer to Nuun consumption: 3:1
Ratio of sweat to tears: 10:1
MARATHON TRAINING TO DATE
Miles run: 159.3
Miles biked: 67.5
Yoga sessions: 1
Strength-training sessions: 11 + 1 shower scrubbing
PREVIOUS TRAINING RECAPS
EPIC, MUST-READ RACE RECAPS FROM THIS WEEKEND
Ali's recap of the Hamptons Marathon
Rach's recap of the Redman 140.6 triathlon (so beautifully written)
Meghann's recap of the Ironman Augusta 70.3 triathlon
See y'all next week!
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