Monday, September 26, 2016

{week 9} Taper Crazies and Marathon Freak-Out

Or the week in which I take a break from CIM training to run a practice marathon and...

  • Feel moody because I'm not running as much
  • Drive my friends bonkers by discussing my night-before meal and available choices for it in St. George, UT ad nauseam (veggie burger + sweet potato fries)
  • Experience phantom pains all over my body: Is my elbow injured
  • Review blog post after blog post about the race, the Veyo Hill and about how there is no beer at the finish line
  • Decide on a pacing strategy, change my mind and then change my mind back.
  • Read Surviving the Marathon Freak-Out in one-sitting during my lunch break

It seemed like a good idea way back when I entered the lottery for the St. George Marathon. I'll use it as a training run! I'll practice my pacing and nutrition. Now that race week is here, hmmm, not so sure. I'm going with it.

Week 9 (9 weeks to CIM)

Monday, September 26: Rest Day
Tuesday, September 27: 8 miles + speed
Wednesday, September 28: 5 miles, easy
Thursday, September 29: 6 miles, easy
Friday, September 30: 3 miles, shakeout
Saturday, October 1: 26.2 miles, (at least 16 miles goal marathon pace)
Sunday, October 2: REST

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

{week 8} Thank you legs (and butt)

I made it through last week without injury. It was the week I was holding my breath and crossing my fingers to stay healthy and strong. It was this same week last year as I trained for CIM that my injury--severe IT band--reared its ugly head and set me on a course to DNS the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon and defer my CIM registration to this year. 

Of course, I was the typical stubborn runner and kept running another two weeks. Which made it worse, true, but it also made me seek treatment in the form of sports physical therapy (Wendy, you have no butt!) to address my imbalances that caused the injury in the first place. I've become a stronger runner because of my injury. 

Last Saturday, my long run was scheduled for 18 miles--my longest run to-date in this training cycle and my longest run in a year. I miscalculated my route and reached 18 miles about 2 miles from the coffee shop near my home and my finish point. I decided to run those extra 2 miles because it felt easier than stopping and walking. I felt strong. My pre-run and during run nutrition was spot-on. I was well-hydrated. My pacing was good. The last few miles were not a death march. As much as a 20 mile run can feel easy, this run felt easy. 

It was great confidence-boosting run and I feel ready to run St. George Marathon (as a training run) in 10 days. And I know I will feel more ready to run a strong CIM in December. Thank you legs and butt!

Week 8 (10 weeks until CIM)

Total Mileage: 50 miles

Monday, September 19: Rest/XT
Tuesday, September 20: 8 miles with 3 miles tempo run
Wednesday, September 21: 6 miles recovery run
Thursday, September 22: 8 miles with 8 x 2 min at 5k pace
Friday, September 23: 8 miles easy run
Saturday, September 24: 15 miles long run
Sunday, September 25: 6 miles recovery run

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

{week 7} You know you're training for a marathon when...

My go-to pre-race/long run meal:
Veggie Burger + Sweet Potato Fries
There was a thread on a message board last week with the same title as this post. I responded that I think about dinner while I'm eating lunch. Under normal (read: not training for a marathon) circumstances, I think about food all the time. In the midst of marathon training I'm like Pac-Man under the influence of a Power Pill. 

I'm 11 weeks out to CIM. I have 6 weeks of base/endurance building under my belt. My longest run to-date in this training cycle has been 16 miles and I have re-acclimated myself to the mid-week semi-long runs (hello 4:20 am alarm). This week marks the start of marathon-specific training. So, yes, I think about food.

It's a little too early (even for me) to start thinking about where to eat while in Sacramento and it is probably to early to think about where I want to eat while in St. George, UT for the St. George Marathon. In 17 days. Yikes.

When I entered the lottery and was selected to race, my thought was that I would use the St. George Marathon has a training race. The week of the race I'm scheduled for a long marathon-paced run. Warm-up-->16 mile marathon-pace run-->cool-down. I've used 5k races as a scheduled tempo run before, so why not a marathon? Also, my strongest 1/2 marathons are always run after I have a few 15-16 mile runs in my training. Yeah, the more I think about this... as I get closer to race day...

...So instead I'm thinking about food and where to get it. Specifically, my pre-race meal (go-to: veggie burger and sweet potato fries + dessert) and my post-race meal (go-to: BIG burrito). I'm also thinking about where to hold an Oiselle Volée (5 of us are racing) lunch the day before and where I would like to eat breakfast the day after. So Much Food to Think About!!!

Week 7 (11 Weeks until CIM)

Total Mileage: 50 miles

Monday, September 12: Rest or Cross-train
Tuesday, September 13: 11 miles, general aerobic run
Wednesday, September 14: 5 miles, recovery run 
Thursday, September 15: 10 miles with 16 x 1 min on (at 5k-10k speed)
Friday, September 16: Rest or Cross-Train
Saturday, September 17: 18 miles long run (my longest run in a year!)
Sunday, September 18: 6 miles, recovery run

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

{week 6} No more outs

I realized last week that I am capable of running a marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon (less than 3 hours 55 minutes). The only thing that will prevent me from succeeding is myself. My mind and to a lesser extent my body. 

When the going gets tough, I give up way too easy. I don't stop, I'm not a quitter. Actually I am a quitter. Just because I finish doesn't mean I didn't quit. I give myself permission to back off. I have many examples of this during many races. 

This quote from Run, Selfie, Repeat could not have come at a better time:
No more. I need to stop giving myself outs. I need to stop committing half way to a goal and then hoping it just magically happens. From this point forward, the positive self talk is happening in full force. It doesn't matter whether I realistically think I can or cannot run a BQ, I need to start believing that it's possible. I'm doing the work, I'm going 100%, why wouldn't it be possible? I'm sabotaging myself when I say that it's not going to happen so I'm making the decision not to play that game anymore.
While working on my mental stamina and the tricky little games my mind plays, I also have to be cognizant that I'm an injury-prone runner now.  To meet my goal I am going to  have to make sacrifices to ensure that I do all the non-running essentials to keep me fit: Rest, sleep, proper nutrition, yoga/stretching, pilates, physical therapy, ART/massage.

This week is the first recovery week in my training plan. I'm switching plans next week to McMillan's 12-Week Marathon Training plan. I just finished reading his You (Only Faster) book and I have determined I am a Combo-speedster, which explains why I rock track/interval workouts but tempo runs burn me out. The point of the book is that you need to tailor training plans to fit YOU. I built a  great endurance base with Advanced Marathoning and look forward to marathon-specific training over the next 10 weeks (plus 2 taper weeks).

I'm headed to Oiselle Volée Bird Camp in Aptos, CA at the end of this week. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with friends and meeting new (to me) teammates.

Week 6 (12 weeks until CIM)

Monday, September 5: Rest day
Tuesday, September 6: 8 miles with 10x100m sprints at end, general aerobic run with speed
Wednesday, September 7: 5 miles, recovery run
Thursday, September 8: Rest day (travel to Northern CA for Bird Camp)
Friday, September 9: 12 miles, long run (Bird Camp)
Saturday, September 10: Love to Move 5k race plus warm-up jog
Sunday, September 11: 8 miles, general aerobic

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

{week 5} One Minute. One.

Head Up; Wings Out
The Santa Rosa Half-Marathon.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Dani, my training partner, on her massive PR. She tucked in and did not give up!

What can I say? My nutrition was spot-on. I've been working on dialing my nutrition requirements and I think I have something in place that will help me tremendously during a marathon. I ate enough the day before, ate enough race morning and ate a gel every 5 miles. I've raced enough to know when my nutrition is off and it wasn't for this. My next test for nutrition is the St. George Marathon on October 1st (1 month + 1 day from today!). I'm using the race as a  training run for CIM (to work on pace).
How I recover

ONE MINUTE. I ran exactly one minute slower than my half-marathon PR. My official time-->1:48:38, my third fastest half-marathon. I'm kicking myself because it was all mental. I gave up too easy; I gave myself permission to slow-down. I stopped to re-tie/tighten my shoes even though I didn't really need to. After the race, my legs felt fine. Not tired. Not like I left it all on the course. Ugh. Deep breaths and move-on. Lesson learned. I've always known I need to work on my mental game. Now I KNOW I do. 
How I recover (part 2)

On the plus side, I also know I still have it in me to go fast (for me). Other than my performance, I loved the organization, the size, the post-race beer fest (Ready, Set, Growl). Santa Rosa is a fun town, home to good beer, wine and coffee. Home to great post-race breakfast burritos from El Patio (where you can get brown rice and steamed vegetables with your burrito) and Hatha yoga.

Moving On: Week 5 (13 weeks until CIM)

Monday, August 29: Rest 
Tuesday, August 30: 9 mile, general aerobic run
Wednesday, August 31: 5 miles, recovery run
Thursday, September 1: 10 miles, general aerobic run
Friday, September 2: Rest/XT
Saturday, September 3: 5 miles, recovery run
Sunday, September 4: 16 miles with 10 miles at marathon pace

On the plus side, I now have updated training pace ranges:
Easy Runs: 8:40-9:40 min/mile
Long Runs: 8:42-10:02 min/mile
Recovery Runs: 9:47-10:30 min/mile

How do you move on from races that don't go according to plan?

Hi-jinks with the Redlands Runegades at the Beer Fest

Monday, August 22, 2016

{week 4} the week I take it easy (kinda)

Ragnar Trail Appalachians was a blast!

Just a quick note...I'm currently in week 4 of training for CIM, but I am also racing the Santa Rosa 1/2 Marathon this weekend. I feel like I can race well, so I'm not following my training plan this week. 

I'll be back next week with more...

Monday, August 8, 2016

{week 2} Or the week that my schedule gets Ragnar'd

Nani is a great recovery run partner.
Lots of stopping!
So far, so good. My first week of training for CIM went well. I ran all my scheduled runs and I rested (well, didn't run) on all my scheduled rest days. This week I'm racing my 6th Ragnar Relay Race. My first Ragnar Trail. More on that below. 

Week 1 Recap

Goal Mileage: 33 miles

Monday, August 1: REST/XT Day - 30 minutes cycle class + weight-lifting

Tuesday, August 2: 8 miles with 4 miles at lactate threshold (8:02-8:31/mile)
Okay. So, 4 miles at tempo. Still trying to learn "comfortably hard" tempo pace and go by feel.

The 4 miles at tempo: 7:29; 7:39; 7:39; 7:40. 

However when you look at Grade Adjusted Pace (GAP): 8:27; 8:11; 8:09: 7:42, I was pretty much spot on my pace goals. 9.5 miles (8:34/mile avg)

Wednesday, August 3: REST/XT Day - 30 minutes cycle class + weight-lifting

Thursday, August 4: 9 miles, general aerobic (9:10-10:22/mile). I woke up crazy early to meet up with the Runegades for a 4:30 am mid-week longish run. 10.2 miles (9:12/mile avg)

Friday, August 5: REST/XT Day - 30 minutes Tabata

Saturday, August 6: 4 miles, recovery (9:10-10:22/mile). Recovery run with Nani (#dogmiles). Got to sleep in and run a little later in the morning (8 am) because it cooled down a bit from the intense heat levels we've been subjected to this summer. 4.8 miles (9:33/mile avg)

Sunday, August 7: 12 miles, medium-long (8:31-10:22/mile). The plan was to take this run easy, try to average 9:30/mile pace. My legs had a mind of their own and I think because I know this route very well, I went a *bit* faster than planned. 13.0 miles (8:39/mile average)
For Week 2 of Advanced Marathoning, I'm scheduled to run a 13 mile run with last eight at goal marathon pace. In my head I'm counting this run as that one.

Total Week 1 Mileage: 37.5 miles

Ragnar'd Schedule (Week 2: 16 weeks until CIM)

Goal Mileage: 36 miles

Because I'm running Ragnar Trail Appalachians - WV, I'm rearranging the Advanced Marathoning plan to fit the race.

Monday, August 8: REST/XT Day
Tuesday, August 9: 8 miles + speed (10 x 100 meter strides at end)
Wednesday, August 10: 5 miles, recovery
Thursday, August 11: REST Day - Fly to Pittsburgh, drive to campsite in West Virginia.
Friday, August 12: Ragnar Trail, 1st Leg (3.5 miles) & 2nd Leg (6.5 miles)
Saturday, August 13: Ragnar Trail, 3rd Leg (4.6 miles)
Sunday, August 14: 8-10 miles or whatever I need to hit mileage goal this week as everybody knows Ragnar distances on paper often don't match reality.

After Ragnar, I have a week off work for a staycation. I won't have to wake up as early for runs, but I probably still will.