Philly Training: Week 11

It’s taper week…Not for the big show (the Philadelphia Marathon…), but rather for the preview race, the Staten Island Half Marathon.

And I’m nervous. Like really nervous. I don’t remember the last time I was this nervous for a race.

I still feel like my goal might be out of reach, but then I also feel like it shouldn’t be based on my training. At this point, I think my only option is to give it my all and see.

Unfortunately, my workouts didn’t do much to help calm me down. Here’s what it looked like:

Week 11

I had to travel for work on Thursday & Friday, so I shifted my workouts for the week up a day, which turned out to be a really good thing because it rained for most of the second part of the week.

Monday, I had my final half marathon-paced workout of the season, with 2 x 4 miles at half marathon race pace. This workout got off to a rough start, with the first mile at pace clocking in at 7:11 (!!), when I was aiming for 6:52-7:00. I tried to pick it up on the next three miles, but it felt hard.

The first set I averaged 7:02 min. / mile. The second set was better, with a 6:56 min. / mile average, but it was hard, with my heart rate getting much higher than it should have. It wasn’t that warm out, but it was ridiculously humid, so maybe I can blame it on that?

My next workout was some cruise intervals, which are intended to help improve your lactate threshold. I ran 6 x 1000 with a goal of falling between 3:55 and 4:04 per the McMillan calculators.

This workout went better than Monday’s workout, but again, it felt really hard and had me questioning my goals.

The only good thing to come out of this workout was that it was supposed to be raining Wednesday morning (per the forecast when I went to bed), but it wasn’t when I woke up. That meant I had the track mostly to myself. I think a lot of people used that forecast as an excuse to skip their morning workout!

The only other run of note was a 14 mile “long” run on Saturday. I was supposed to run with friends, but they bailed (because of the forecast). It ended up being pretty good running weather that morning (with the exception of some strong wind gusts), so I knocked out that run at a 7:36 pace, and the only times my HR was higher than I would have liked was when I was running over the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges.

Hopefully the weather cooperates on Sunday so I can put up a good effort!

Total: 46 miles

Now that all the harder workouts are done for this half, this week my focus is working out some random pains (the ball of my right foot??) and my diet.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t think about or worry about what I was eating when I was on vacation a few weeks ago. But I brought that mindset back home, and a month later, it is starting to show on the scale!

After all the hard work I put in earlier this year on eating healthy and losing some weight, I really don’t want to back slide now!

I know it isn’t smart to cut calories before a race (my muscles will need all the energy they can get!), but my focus this week is going to be to make sure I’m eating only as many calories as my body needs, and to focus on quality of foods.

Next week, after the race, I am going to go back to a small deficit to get back on track in the final weeks of training before the marathon.

Do you have any tips for getting back on track after vacation? Do you have any go-to recipes to help motivate you to eat healthy and clean?

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