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  • Anne

Fall Marathon Training Week 15

I am finishing this week of training feeling much more rejuvenated than when I started it. This week was my last week of hard marathon training before I start to taper for the virtual Marine Corps Marathon. I had a hard mid-week training session and life was just busy as usual. However, I was able to have the most relaxing weekend I think I have had since before I heard the word “COVID-19.”

I started my training week with some easy running on Monday and Tuesday and planned to do my last big workout of this training cycle on Wednesday. The plan was to do 13.1 miles at a little faster than marathon pace. I had to get the workout done and be back home showered by 7am, so I felt like the easiest option was to run the half marathon on the track. Going around the track over 52 times can get boring but it does have some advantages over the road: 🔵 You know exactly how far you have run, so don’t have to map out a course or deal with wonky GPS issues. Just make sure that you know exactly how many laps you need to run around the track before you start. Sometimes doing mental math while we are running does not work out well. 🔵 You don’t have to worry about traffic or having to stop for traffic lights. The purpose of my workout was to get a solid aerobic stimulus, so I did not want to have to stop at all. 🔵 It is easy to set up hydration and fuel to practice for race day. I was in a hurry, so I just set my Nuun and water next to the track. Previously, I have taken the time to bring a folding chair so that I can practice grabbing a water cup like I would on a racecourse. A few things I have learned while doing longer efforts on the track... (Probably something lifelong runners learned in high school track, but if any other newer runners, like me, don’t know) 🔵 Turn off Auto Lap on you GPS watch. If you want you splits, manually lap. The GPS will be off when you go around & around in circles. Yesterday, my watch was at 13.89 mi, even though I know I only ran 13.1 mi. 🔵 It can be easier than you realize to lose count of your laps, especially when you get in the pain cave. Auto Lapping your watch every mile helps a ton. But we all know how fuzzy math can get while running. Be mentally prepared. Having someone out there to cheer you on and count your laps is even better. 🔵 I am probably just really lucky that my local track is so empty in the early morning, but I am often the only person out there at 5am. When I am, I will run the track in reverse. I find it really helps keep imbalances away when I am doing a lot of running on the track.

I was able to execute my workout well, but I ran a little slower than I was hoping to. I was coming off of running a hard 20 miles on Sunday, so I was not the freshest that is for sure.

Over the weekend my group of friends and I were able to go to Pebble Beach for a “ladies’ weekend.” At the beginning of 2020, we had planned to run the Monterey Bay Half Marathon together this fall. For the last 8 or so years, we have run a half marathon together (I think we missed a few years because of babies being born, etc.) and made a weekend of it. Since the race has been cancelled, we decided we should still go away for the weekend even if we could not race.

We ran on Saturday and Sunday morning along 17 Mile Drive, but whatever distance each of us felt up to and ready for. I ran 90 minutes on Saturday with some marathon pace worked in and an easy 45 minutes on Sunday. As much as we love doing races together, we agreed that with the extra stress that 2020 has brought it was nice to be able to totally relax and just go out and run. We did not have to rush to get somewhere to pick up our packets or get up super early to get to the start line on Sunday morning.

We cooked breakfast and dinner ourselves but we at lunch at two wonderful restaurants in Carmel by the Sea. If you are visiting, one of them in particular I would highly recommend. On Saturday we had lunch at The Pocket and the food and cocktails were excellent. The Pocket is a new restaurant in Carmel opened by Chef Federico Rusciano who was born in Rome and trained by his father’s side in his 5-star restaurant on the Island of Capri. Chef Federico’s career has taken him from Italy to Mexico and throughout California which is evident in his unique twist on staple dishes. I the Radicchio Salad and loved every bite. I also drank the Aviation and Pocket Potion cocktail, both where delicious. Two of my friends had their Bloody Mary and said it was very good. The Blood Mary was served with a shrimp and piece of bacon, you could just have it for lunch. The best part was that most of the outdoor dining was off the street. I do not enjoy eating right by the street while cars pass me. The Pocket has a nice patio that is up a couple stairs, so you almost forget the street is even there. Here is their website if you would like to learn more:

I am coming home from the weekend feeling more relaxed and ready to tackle another week and the rest of 2020 for that matter. I am going to start tapering this week for the Virtual Marine Corps Marathon and it is my plan (as of right now) to run it next weekend.

I am looking forward to trying to run a hopefully fast marathon, but I am a little sad the training is going to be over. I really like having something I am working toward fitness or running wise. I am looking into some different challenges to finish out the year with so that I can stay motivated and excited about running as 2020 comes to a close.

What are some goals you still want to accomplish in 2020 running or otherwise?

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