NYC Marathon Training Recap Week 1

Week 1 By the Numbers: 

Miles Run: 27.1

Longest Run: 12 miles

Gym Sessions: 2

Miles Biked: 6 (0 commutes) 

Marathon training has a way of sneaking up on a girl! I've spent the entire year to date preparing (mentally, as well as physically...) to jump into my NYC Marathon training plan on July 2, but this first week has been anything but a triumphant slam-dunk. 

I'm following the Pfitzinger 18/55 plan (18 weeks, peak weekly mileage of 55 miles), so getting started with a 27 mile week wasn't exactly what I had planned. 

Because the first day of the plan was a "rest or cross-training" Monday, I was already starting on an anticlimactic note.  To double down on that, I returned from a week-long trip to Germany last Friday afternoon, and because of the heat/humiditywave we were having in NYC, battled through jet lag last Saturday to fit in my 10 mile Long Run before the weather got even worse. I stayed indoors last Sunday, for 4 treadmill miles and Leg Day.

Boy, was that a mistake. I still run when I'm traveling, but I don't lift — so that workout took more out of me than I expected after a week off! My first official marathon workout on Tuesday was 8 Lactate Threshold (tempo) miles, with 4 at 15k to half marathon pace, but even after a complete rest day, my heavy, swollen legs, the 80 degree weather, and 80% humidity made it quite a challenge. I barely came close to HMP despite taking a water break every mile! However, I kept fighting and ultimately decided that given the circumstances, I was satisfied with the effort I put in, if not the paces I hit. For fun, I looked back at how this workout went last year when I started training for the Philadelphia Marathon. I had a tough time then too — perhaps I'm just keeping a tradition of starting off with a difficult workout! 

Unfortunately circumstances didn't get any easier through the rest of the week. I had been fighting off an infection last week, and despite a relaxed July 4th Wednesday (well, some beers probably didn't help my immune system), by Thursday I was back to feeling quite fatigued and achy. I cut Thursday's 9 miles down to 7.1, and when I still didn't feel better after rest day Friday, went to the doctor Saturday. Sure enough, I've got a gnarly sinus infection. Fatigue, stuffy nose, headache — none of these things will keep me from running entirely, but I decided to skip Saturday's recovery run and lifting session to rest up for today's 12-mile Long Run, a bigger priority. I also wanted to make sure I started recovering right away: it will only get more difficult as my training gets more intense.

Today's 12-miler felt more difficult than I would have liked, but I know I was feeling this infection (and how hard it was too breathe!) more than getting proper read on my running fitness. I wasn't truly exhausted by the end, and this evening I squeezed in some pre-hab for the IT band that gave me trouble this spring, and the lifting session that I'd postponed from yesterday. This training cycle I want to prioritize pre-hab exercises so I don't inflame any old injuries or muscle imbalances, and try to continue my Push/Pull/Legs lifting routine to stay in better condition overall. I'm also hoping to use a few bike commutes each week as low-impact cross-training. However, running will still be my #1 priority, so we'll see how this plan fares as training picks up and my work routine gets busier in the fall! 

Overall this week wasn't a complete bust, but it was a strange way to kick off the process I've been looking forward to since crossing the finish line at the Philly Marathon last November! Looking forward to continuing my training, and hopefully feeling more confident, healthier, and stronger in the weeks to come.