Twin Cities Marathon just 2.5 weeks away

The training cycle for the 2018 Twin Cities Marathon has flown by; I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not? The high school cross country season started in mid-August, which automatically puts me in over-drive, especially since I’m trying to be picky about getting my exact workouts in, instead of just running whatever the team runs. I also have been finishing up a new website for Bethel, and also starting preparations for the Nordic Ski season at the high school. I’ll be the new boys and girls’ head coach for Nordic this winter (yikes!). I absolutely love all of it, but it means that my time to reflect on my training or blog has gone out the window.

This picture was taken after a workout with Michelle Baxter, a former athlete of mine, and also the blogger behind She came to NF during her Minnesota vacation for a workout – how cool! She did 5×1 mile at tempo while I did 8 miles steady (ended up as 6:48.5 pace, HR mid 180s, drifting to low 190s by the end). We were both drenched after the workout. So much more fun to do workouts with others!

Since my last post, I’ve navigated a few lower bouts of training, including a week of illness that really knocked me out training-wise. Thanks, Greta, for bringing that one home! My legs recovered just in time for two 20 mile runs: one done on a Sunday starting at 4:20 am so I could help the XC team volunteer at a 7:30am event (OUCH), and the second just 6 days later with 4 GMP miles at the end.

  • The first 20 miler was just plain hard. I didn’t want to be out running, my legs were tired, and in general, I was hating life. I haven’t had a run – or day – like that in a long time (thank goodness). The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I knew I’d feel much better just getting the run done.
  • The second 20 miler started at 11am the following Friday. Jeff took a 1/2 day of vacation to come down to run with me & then present to the high school team — hence the late start time. It was 82 degrees with a dew point of 66 when we ended… aka not ideal conditions for trying to run hard at the end of a long run! We stopped to guzzle water twice, which helped, and I just put my head down and went to work for those last 4 miles. I didn’t look at pace, but just kept my HR in the 180s to low 190s by the very end (HR drift). I was surprised to average 6:39s for those 4 miles. Of course, I looked online and used Runner Connect’s temp/humidity conversion calc later that night, and it estimated slowing by 15 sec/mile. That would put me at where I’d like to be — but hard to put stock in a calculation! 🙂 Picture of me below, rocking Nate’s headlamp for most of the 20 miler… it does feel a little bad ass to be out at 4am, not going to lie.

This week following the 20 miles w/ 4 at GMP looked like:

  • Monday: 8x800m w/ 2:00 (400m) recovery.
    • I have yet to “nail” a track workout with Gary, and this one was more of a bust than anything. I met Anna (not my Anna, but someone equally as cool and cute :)) at the Carleton track, both of us ready to crush a track workout. Actually, I think both of us thought: thank goodness you’re here… this is going to be tough.
    •  I couldn’t muster anything faster than a 2:55. I *tried* to get my legs to turn over faster, but they just wouldn’t respond. It was still warm and humid, and I don’t know if I finally broke down n the heat or what, but that was the slowest I’ve felt in a while! I had a headache come on later that day which lasted until mid week.
  • Tuesday: 10 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 8 miles steady. Typically steady has been a zone 4 workout, but because Monday’s performance was obviously a case of dead legs, Gary dialed the prescription back to zone 3. Interestingly, zone 3 was manageable – but getting the HR up to zone 4 would have taken a lot of work. Same thing with Monday. Legs are tired enough (for whatever reason) that I can’t run fast enough to get my HR in my typical zones. Usually the heat and humidity will have the opposite effect – my HR will skyrocket at easier paces. Funny how the body goes through cycles like this. Good thing I’ve learned to roll with it!
    • Also, note HR data from the workout. I was a good lil’ athlete and stuck to Gary’s plan!

  • Thursday: 10 miles easy. Another steamy day, can you tell?

  • Friday: 6 miles easy. Sleepy tired…

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m heading up to run the Stillwater 10 mile. I’ll hold back to MP effort as it’s just 2 weeks out from TCM. It should be a nice way to get my last long/hard workout in! Hopefully I’m dropped off at the right start line this year — remember last year’s russian-accented volunteer who drove me 80mph to the correct start line (post here)? Now that it’s over, it makes for a good story! I’m excited to see where I’m at, especially since it’s supposed to be less than 60 degrees! Say, what?!? 🙂


And, of course, some cute pictures because they’re growing up way too fast:

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One Comment

  1. I am so excited to see your performance at TCM! FWIW, I’ve NEVER been able to nail an 800 workout in marathon training. My coach always gives me 10 x 800 about 2.5 weeks out, with my goal marathon time as the goal split time. We’ll just say that after CIM I texted him saying, “Just for the record, it IS possible to average 2:56 on your Yassos then run a 2:47 marathon.” My experience before Grandma’s was very similar.

    Post or send me tracking info for your race when you have it!

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