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Marathon Things – Part 2

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The first time I wrote about marathon training was during week 7, then again at a difficult week 11. Now i’m writing about Week 13. A breakthrough week. The week where confidence begin building and I’ve started to believe I can run a marathon at a speed that scares me.

First, I have to say congrats to all those who ran a marathon over the past 2 weekends. My Instagram feed was full of people who qualified for Boston or ran a SOLID race. This was exciting and got me pumped for my shot at the marathon next month.

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Lauren KILLED her race @breathedeeplyandsmile Congrats again girl!

Pretty sure all the positivity on social media had given me a boost, either way this week was full of so many goodies I can hardly contain myself! Starting with some non-running related things: I won Mario Party! I haven’t won in a while and was super proud. #N64

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If you hadn’t noticed I got my hair fixed and I’m blond again and I love it. My stylist fixed it at no cost and was super cool about the whole situation.

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Now to the running stuff! I finished out the week with a mileage PR of 60.9 miles and raced a 10K earning a new PR of 43:40 (recap coming later this week). The weather finally cooled down a bit, which meant LE got her long walks and I’ve been running much happier without all the humidity.

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Tuesday started with Crossfit at 6:00am and then a 3 x 2 mile workout in the afternoon. I felt strong and the paces felt good. The first speed work session of the week is always mentally tough, but once it’s completed I feel like I can take on the rest of the week with no problem.

But this week was different, the workout I was most concerned with was Thursday’s 9 mile tempo at marathon pace. Most of these workouts have been done on a treadmill because Philadelphia is flat and I live in hills. It’s important I get time on my feet where there isn’t much of a grade change and can get my quads used to the repetitive, flat running. Now, I don’t want to do all tempos on a treadmill because it is different running on a treadmill and having a little help with leg turnover and being able to set a pace and stick to it. Thursday I wanted to take the tempo outside.

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Thursday was a big test. Try to maintain a 7:55/pace on hilly terrain (again after morning Crossfit). Good news – I did it. 2 mile warm up + 9m tempo @ 7:30/pace. Bad news is that 7:30 is too fast. Slowing down on these workouts will be key to pacing myself early in the marathon to avoid the dreaded wall. But tempo’ing on hills is all about effort so i might be ok? It’s hard to tell. Now i’m rambling since I’m questioning the workout! haha.

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hilly tempo splits

Friday and Saturday were both easy, long runs. Friday I logged 10 miles at a 9:05/pace and Saturday was 16 at an 8:52/pace.

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Saturday I had a small hiccup and almost quit 6 miles in because my knee felt a little off. I ran back home for a 5 minutes break, used the foam roller on my quad and did a quick stretch. Pain was gone immediately and I left feeling good about the knee being a freak thing (although I will keep an eye on it). Also noted: the Brooks Launch 3’s feel great and will possibly be the race day shoe.

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water fountains still on: another good thing! (Launch 3s on!)

I got a few fun running photos up on Instagram. I get asked often how I take them – usually i just put a self-timer on and run in front of the camera a few times. That’s it. Not much to it, I don’t drag Cameron along or have any special photographer with me, although one day I should get some professional pictures done!

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The most notable difference this week is finally believing in myself. Mentally i’m tough, but getting work done and believing you can do something are different. I can hit workouts yet still disbelieve I can do a marathon at goal pace. I can mind-karate my way through the toughest Crossfit workout or tempo workout, but somehow at the end of the day still think i’m not a good enough runner and that horrible marathon will get the best of me. This week was different because I’m starting to believe that not only can I run a solid marathon, but I have so much more in me that I might surprise myself on race day and in the future.

The 10k from Sunday was a prime example. I set out at a pace that seemed so far out of reach, yet by the 2nd mile I believed I could keep that pace and told myself to go for it and it worked out.

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Heading into these last few weeks of marathon training i’m sure will bring up many more thoughts. Hang in here with me, we’re almost toeing the start line.

Last Week

Monday: 5.3m easy 10:00/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 7:30/pace)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 11.7m tempo ( 2m warm up, 9m @7:30/pace)

Friday: 10.2m easy 9:05/pace

Saturday: 16.1m easy 8:52/pace

Sunday: 10K race (1.2m warm up, 6.4m race)

Total Miles: 60.9

Random thoughts you get during training?

Do you run outside, treadmill or mix it up?


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Week 11, You Were a Jerk.

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

I’ve been waiting for it to happen. Waiting patiently for the week of training where it felt hard, unachievable and where tears would roll. Up until now marathon training has been going almost too good to be true. Every pace, every workout, every strength session, better than the last. Recovery has been second nature, I’m sleeping like a dream, eating well, foam rolling, early AM wake ups, all on point. Then came Week 11.

It took long enough and now hopefully it has passed and I can move forward. But not before giving you guys an inside look cause all the instagram pics and happy-go-running status updates aren’t always as they seem.

This was my highest mileage week ever. I topped it off at 58.9 miles and finished the month at an all time high as well, 218.6. The picture below is actually from a long run 9 days ago, not last week. It’s the only one i found of me smiling. Like hey, look at me the distance isn’t killing me at all right now.

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The mileage really wasn’t getting to me, it’s mostly everything else that happened on top of it. I had sinus headaches all week and the allergy meds I was taking made me super tired and loopy.

Then Tuesday at Crossfit, I basically took a swan dive into a box and skinned up my shin pretty bad, on the first box jump 😦 You know how people say “the mind gives up before the body?” Well, not always, cause my mind and right leg were on top the box and lefty just wasn’t recovered or ready to jump. Stupid, unbalanced, left side.

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I felt the skinned up, bruised to hell left leg days after, especially while running. Every step was a reminder that my shin was sore. I was barely holding onto g0al paces during speed work. I couldn’t get my head into the run and wished each day was a rest day.

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But when the rest day (Wednesday) came, my legs were so tight i think it hurt more not to workout that day. Exhaustion set in hard this past week, every easy run felt labored. I needed a 1-2 hour nap every day before heading back to my evening shifts at the gym. Probably because of a mix of the allergies and workouts.

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she naps with me often

I drank about half a bottle of wine one of the nights because i was super stressed all week for no reason. The wine did not help the anxiety. I slept awful almost every night, not sure if it was because of sore muscles or the naps, but either way i was getting about 5-6 very interrupted hours a night, which is NOT good for me.

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Then just as the week was ending I had one last hard run left. 16 miles. The weather called for rain/thunderstorms all morning so i decided to head to the gym for the treadmill. Not fun, but neither is running in wet weather for 2.5 hours. Even though it was only misting at the time, i figured i’d still be soaked and wasn’t into it. Of course, it never rained. 16 miles later, i probably could have ran outside. Dammit.

Next on the list was a haircut and dye job. You try running for 2.5 hours and then sit in a chair with patience for five more. It’s tough and to make a long story short i love the cut, hate the color.

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I’m basically a redhead on top and a grey/green (ashy blond) on the bottom (you can’t see it, but after one wash it happened). And i’m not looking for compliments, I asked for this:12106068_1664601663751478_1576883465_n

So yeah, i did the girl thing: came home and cried and complained about everything to my husband. The exhaustion and allergies, the missed box jump, the shitty sleepless nights, the not-so-great runs, and finally spending ALL THE MONEY on hair that I don’t even like! And then crying because i have nothing to cry about! These “problems” are hardly problems, I was just overwhelmed because everything was happening all at once. Week 11, you bastard. Cameron lovingly reminded me i’m allowed to be upset and frustrated by all those things, fed me candy and took my mind off of all my adulting with some video games.

The next day I had a run date with a few Ragnarian’s along a trail in Arlington. This was a big turnaround for my week. I got to run in a new location and catch up with friends. The best part was running finally felt easy! It was fun again and i relaxed for the first time in over a week.

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Steve, Me, Normailed, Nick

Steve and his fiance were nice enough to have us over their house after for a cook out, beers and hot tubbing. I needed this. The tub was so relaxing, the food was great and I needed beer! It was a super cool secluded house too, felt like a mini-vacation spot.

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So, i guess one Instagram picture was honest. The one with the woods in the background. “Keep me outside, keep me happy.” I meant that. I’m a solar powered machine and I need nature to stay happy.

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I cropped that picture from this one, because I look like a third wheel. Haha.

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Monday’s easy run went well. It felt similar to Sunday’s. Effortless and so fun. It just goes to show that when you have a bunch of crap runs, a good one is just around the corner. Most of the time I run for those days, but I wouldn’t notice them unless I knew what the hard ones felt like.

Bye Week 11!

Last Week

Monday: 10m interval (6 x 1m repeats @ 7:13/p)

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m easy 9:20/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 10m tempo (MGP 8m @ 7:51/p)

Friday: 7m easy 9:00/pace, strength circuit: 25# single arm db snatch + weighted box step ups + butterfly situps

Saturday: 16m long 8:25/pace

Sunday: 6.4m 10:00/pace

Total Miles: 58.9

How do you get through the tough weeks of marathoning?

What’s your happy place?