Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Running lessons: A last tough week of marathon training

Phew.  I did it.  Survived my longest week of training before Maritime Race Weekend in mid-September.  It mostly felt okay.  I did hill repeats on Wednesday night because I donated blood on Tuesday night. Thursday, I tackled a 8k tempo run - that turned into a 9k fartlek when I couldn't quite sustain the effort - but I comforted myself that at least I did some kind of speed training.

Saturday, I hit the road intending to run 32k south along the river. It was a beautiful day and I felt good when I set out but, perhaps because of the blood donation, I ran out of steam sooner than usual. Though I set a relaxed pace, I only managed 31k before calling it quits and the last 14k were really pretty pathetic. My legs felt painful and heavy and I had nothing left in the tank by the time I reached Petite Riviere.   

On the upside, it was a gorgeous day so there was plenty of pretty stuff to look at en route. 

The end point of my LSR - loved the exuberant optimism!

And Husband met me in Petite Riviere with a big hunk of hot, homemade veggie pizza which I ate sitting in the car at Green Bay enjoying this view. 

The pizza tasted amazingly good. When I finished it, I waded up to my waist in the cold North Atlantic water to cool and soothe my legs.

From there, it was up to the road to Rissers Beach campground, where I took a quick shower, hung out on the beach for a couple of hours, then ate supper and spent a wonderful evening with Husband and my folks by the campfire, talking and listening to the waves lapping the rocks just beyond our campsite.  Sweet.

Sunday morning, I tackled my last run of the week, a 10k "recovery" run. It was slow but I ran steadily, stopping only a couple of times to stretch and enjoy the scenery.

All in all then, a good week's effort - though I must say that I'm glad it's time to taper. I'll do one more hill training session tonight and a 23k run on the weekend, but the rest of my runs between now and race day will be relatively short and relaxed.  My goal at this point is to arrive at the start line as healthy and well-rested as possible. 

Incidentally, I took a few minutes to watch a video of the Cape to Cabot route this past week.  It was sobering to say the least. I'm not too concerned about the first 12k. They'll be tough but manageable so long as I resume serious hill training after the marathon. The really scary bit is the long, steep downhill from Shea Heights into St. John's.  (You can check it out starting at about the 6:00 minute mark of the video.)  I'm not at all sure how I'm going to get to the bottom with enough left in my legs to finish the last 6k of the race - including the mile long climb to Cabot Tower at the end - so any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome

Anyway, here are the stats for the week:

Total distance: 58kms
Total # runs: 4
Longest run: 31kms
Hill training: 1 x 7 hills
Speed work: 9k fartlek 

Happy running and writing, friends!


  1. As always, great pictures, Janice :) I watched the video last week - tough, but you'll be fine. Just keep it slow and steady for those first 12K! And I highly recommend running Conquerall Bank road from Millie's to the Hebbville turnoff (the bridge/damn) -hills both ways (according to my Garmin, it's a 790ft elevation gain and a 781ft elevation loss for the run - almost 16.5km).

    1. Thanks, Janet. Sounds like good advice. I rode Patti up the Conquerall Bank Rd on the weekend to measure the length of the hills, etc. Will likely try tackling it sometime this weekend as part of my 23k run. Fingers crossed!

  2. After that post I am totally missing Nova Scotia! Any special reasons so many places are named some variant of Lahave?

    1. Sorry to make you feel "homesick", Keith, but sounds like it may be time for another trip east. No, I've no idea why there are so many names that include LaHave but, according to Wikipedia, LaHave was the economic centre of fishing, trade and shipbuilding for the surrounding area for many years so perhaps it just made practical sense to delineate East from West, and Upper from Lower. Who can say? But, seriously, you should come for a visit. Imagine you and me and Janet going for runs that end at the LaHave Bakery. Yum!!