This week was the polar opposite of last week. This whole Hansons Marathon Method has some really insane peaks and valleys, and at this point I’m just holding on for dear life some weeks and killing it other weeks. This was a killing it week, which was much needed after last week’s struggle bus road trip. It was the final push, or peak week, before the taper begins, and it was the highest mileage week in the training program. I was a little surprised at how well things went, especially with all of the traveling involved. Most years, we head up to Dallas to celebrate Thanksgiving, and since it can be quite the trek we break it up over several days. I call it our Thanksgiving voyage. It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t live in Texas, but if we drove straight from our home to my mom’s, it would take well over eight hours, which is not a good time in my opinion. This year, we drove to San Antonio Saturday, which meant I got to run on the Leon Creek Trail Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon we drove the short distance from San Antonio to my dad’s house in the hill country, and spent a couple of days with him and his wife. My dad’s house is really relaxing for me, because he has all the toys for my kiddo to play on outside (four wheelers, motorcycles, bicycles, and lots of space), and I get to run some beautiful, rolling hills. Wednesday, we drove about four hours from his house up to Dallas, where went split our Thanksgiving between my mom and my brother in law’s family. We missed the annual Turkey Trot because of some less than ideal weather, which was disappointing, but also meant I was able to get my tempo run in on Thursday. We stayed in Dallas until Saturday morning. After my long run on Saturday, we packed up and made our way back to the hill country for one more vacation night. Overall, it was a lot of driving, but also a lot of fun for me and the boys.
Knowing we would be traveling quite a bit this week, and I had such high mileage plan, I was very mindful about scheduling in my runs. Normally, I allow some flexibility in whether I run in the morning or afternoon, but I made sure to plan all of my runs in the morning so that I was sure I wouldn’t miss any. I was also very deliberate about ensuring our travel times occurred in the afternoons, so they didn’t interfere with my runs. I allowed a little more flexibility with my CrossFit workouts this week, keeping in mind that my runs would take priority if I had to choose between the two.
This Weeks Workouts
Total Miles: 61.5!
Hansons Marathon Method, Week 15 (Peak Week!)
How The Runs Felt
I was really excited for this week. It was my marathon peak week; after this week it will be all taper until the race. Thankfully, this last high mileage week felt amazing. It could be that last week’s down week gave me some good recovery, or the fact that I got to run in some beautiful places, or both. Sunday I was able to get in a good run on the Leon Creek Trail in San Antonio, which I was very happy about. If you’re interested in more information on the Leon Creek Trail and the amazing Greenway system that it is a part of, check out my previous post. Monday was a strength workout, and I was a little nervous about this run happening at my dad’s house, because of all the rolling hills in his area. They make for some very scenic runs, but it can be difficult to pace when you’re going up and down so much. It can also be hard on the legs and core, but I’m happy to report that the run went great, and my paces were amazing. It also didn’t feel like a struggle, which was very refreshing after last week. Thursday was my missed Turkey Trot that turned into my tempo run. I split this run up once the rain cleared up, about 7.5 miles in. Tempo runs on the tread are always mentally challenging, and this was my first 10 mile at race pace run. Despite spending a large portion of it on the treadmill, it felt fairly relaxed, and getting outside for the last portion was a nice mental break for those last couple of hard miles. Overall, it was a complete success. These tempo runs were the hardest part of my training when I first started this training program, and they can still be really challenging. So when I have a week where they don’t feel like I am near death towards the end, it is really exciting for me.
I woke up for my long run on Saturday, and as I was happily eating my hotel bagel and drinking my coffee, I noticed that a downpour had just begun. I checked my phone for a weather forecast, and it looked like it was a short system that would pass quickly, so I decided to do a little stretching in the hotel gym and get started on the treadmill if I needed to. I don’t usually mind running in the rain, but I know I tend to get sick after running in cold rain, and I’m not willing to risk it this close to a race. I got started on the treadmill, and before I hit half a mile the rain was almost completely gone, so I finished up a mile and I drove out to the White Rock Creek Trail. I ran the small trail about two miles down to White Rock Lake, and finished the rest of my last 16 miler running around the lake. The running “trail” around the lake is almost all paved, similar to the Howard Peak Greenway, so I wasn’t too worried about mud or slipping. It was still fairly sloshy, and my feet got pretty wet, which meant I had a nice blister waiting for me when I finished. In my book, it was a small price to pay to be able to enjoy running around White Rock Lake for 15 miles.
What I’ve Been Listening To
Nothing really new to report here. I’ve been keeping up with Urge to Kill & A Murder in Oregon, and still enjoying both of them. The Night Owl Podcast is still my go to on long runs where I don’t want to mess with my phone (like tempo and strength runs), because the episodes are long and really interesting to me. If you’re into paranormal “research,” I highly recommend this podcast.
How the WODs felt
All of my “WODs” this week were either in a hotel gym or my dad’s home gym. So no real barbell work happened this week, which is fine. I’m very grateful that my dad has such an amazing home gym, and the hotel gyms at Home2 Suites, where we usually stay, are pretty decent. This week was a lot of body weight, running, dumbbell, and kettlebell workouts for me. I did the fun little burner below at my dad’s house, and wanted to share because I think it’s a workout that could be done at any hotel gym. During the holiday season, I like to have some travel workouts that only require minimal equipment and can be done in a fast amount of time. Wednesday I got in a CrossFit style hotel workout that I found on Pinterest that only utilized kettlebells, a treadmill, and a step for step-ups. I usually get three CrossFit WODs in a week (four when I’m not doing high mileage), but this week I skipped my Friday workout. We were at my mom’s house most of the day, and my kiddo was having a great time with his cousin. Three of my cousins on my mom’s side came in as well, and I only see them about once a year, so instead of rushing back to the hotel to squeeze in my workout, I stayed on the couch with my family. I know one missed workout has zero long-term impact, but missing a workout usually only happens when I’m sick or injured, so I feel a little proud of myself for making a different decision. It was a really fun evening, which means I know it was the right choice.
What Went Well
This whole week was pretty wonderful, but what I am most happy about is the fact that I was able to truly relax during the break and prioritize spending time with my family over working out. I tend to be fairly rigid (we’ve discussed my type-A tendencies) with my schedule and getting everything in, so trivial as it may seem, being ok with a missed workout is pretty rare for me. I’m also happy that I was still able to get in all of my runs and running workouts as planned, even with all of our travel and family activities.
What Went Shitty
As expected, my nutrition wasn’t exactly spectacular this week. I did fairly well keeping things reasonable despite the travel, but I also certainly had a few servings of pumpkin pie and brownies. Like I said in my Turkey Trot post, Thanksgiving only happens once a year, and I am not someone who bakes regularly, so I take full advantage of all the treats that are hanging out on the table while I can. My sister in law made an especially delicious empanada cheesecake that I had at least three servings of. #noregrets
Plans to Improve Next Week
At this point in my training, I really just have to keep the wheels on the track through the taper so that I can run strong in Dallas. I have a doctor’s appointment to look at any last minute options to help keep the ligaments and tendons in my pelvis as happy as possible. This is the time that I really need to focus on getting good quality sleep, minimizing stress, and making sure I prioritize my core and mobility work. The last week before the race I try to be really mindful of my nutrition and hydration. I know I have a propensity to get sick during tapers (it is the most frustrating experience in the world), so I plan on getting all the sleep and taking all the elderberry I can over the next couple of weeks. I read a really great blog post from Relentless Forward Commotion on why it’s so common to get sick after a race, and I think most of it explains why I tend to get sick during a taper, so I plan on taking all of the advice outlined. If you’d like to check out the post, go here. I also plan on telling anyone with the sniffles to get away from with zero guilt.