Welcome to New York!

 

I have some belated news to share… I’m running the New York City Marathon!

I know, I know, I had sworn off running a marathon this fall (this year even) and I was on a #5Krevolution. While I really loved 5K training and was beginning to see some large gains, I still felt like something was missing. Not having a big race on my schedule had me feeling a bit lost and unmotivated with my training. That said, I still wasn’t too excited about the idea of running a marathon so our coach here at Runner’s World, Budd Coates, came up with a two-week 5K training rotation for me. We were in the midst of picking out some fall races when I got an incredible opportunity—the chance to run the New York City Marathon in November.

The minute I read the email, my mind started running and I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of running 26.2 miles through the five boroughs. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about running New York from coworkers and friends and the experience would be incredible. But I was not looking forward to the training one bit. After what happened in Chicago, I had huge doubts that I could even run a marathon again, let alone the 18, 20, and 22-milers necessary to train. But the allure of the Big Apple began to outweigh my small doubts so I took the leap and registered.

Now I’m five weeks into a 16-week training plan and so far everything is going well. With vacation and weddings filling up the summer I’ve done a bit of maneuvering with my long runs but so far I’ve only missed one easy 3-miler (no big deal). I’m going into this training with a totally different outlook than Chicago. Here’s my plan

  1. No time goal. I know New York will be a crowded and congested course so I’m going into it with zero times goals. I don’t want to have a bad experience like I did at Chicago because my goal was slipping away. I also want to truly be able to enjoy running 26.2 miles through the five boroughs because honestly, when will I ever get to do that again?
  2. Training with people. My biggest gripe about marathon training in the past was running my long runs solo. Two-to-three hours of running alone can get pretty boring, IMHO. This time around I’ve done a few of my long runs with other people and it is SO MUCH BETTER. The miles fly by and running with others also helps me maintain a more even pace.
  3. Have fun! The last marathon I ran was not fun at all. And it was so not fun that I completely forgot to enjoy and take in running through Chicago. That’s not going to happen this time around. I vow to enjoy it, finish feeling not completely dead, and ready to run another marathon (with a time goal).

For now and until November 1 I will stay true to these goals while jammin’ out to some Tay!

1989-lyrics-taylor-swift-welcome-to-new-york-Favim.com-2441671

 

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Chicago Marathon Training: Week Four

(Kinda) True in Training & Life

(Kinda) True in Training & Life

I forgot to post about week three of training – oh well, it was uneventful! This past week however was really solid. I managed two mid-week pre-work runs, a very early long run, and a couple of strength sessions. I also got to go to spin on Monday which was fun! The only part of marathon training that I don’t like (OK, there are more than a few parts I don’t like) is having to miss out on other activities I like, like spin. I’m usually too tired, or don’t want to risk hurting myself, to get to spin but this week was the perfect time to fit it in.

Monday, July 14 – 45:00 Spin Class + Abs

Since I skipped my long run on Sunday I was able to go to spin. It was a really tough class because we rode stage 10 of the Tour de France which is a crazy-hilly section with nearly no flats. It was fun! We rode the section while watching the Tour on TV too which is probably the closest I’ll ever get to riding the Tour, ha!

Plan: Spin
Actual: 40 min of spin, 11(ish) miles on the bike

Shoes: Adidas Energy Boost
Conditions: Indoors

Tuesday, July 15- 4 miles, easy

It was extremely humid out this morning. I nearly opted for the treadmill but was happy I got up and out early to get my run in.

Plan: 4 miles, easy (10:00/mile)
Actual: 4.01 miles in 35:47 at 8:55/mile
Splits: 9:39, 8:36, 8:47, 8:38

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6
Conditions: 78 degrees, 98% humidity

Wednesday, July 16- 5 miles, hill repeats

I was finally able to run at lunch again today because the weather was so nice so I took the opportunity to run up 10th Street by work – a 500 ft elevation gain over about a mile. I hadn’t done this in weeks so it was really tough, there were a few walk breaks, but I did it!

Plan: 5 miles, hills
Actual: 5 miles in 45:15 at 9:03/mile pace and 500 ft. elevation gain
Splits: 8:26 (warm up), 10:45 (hill), 9:05 (still hill kind of), 8:12 (downhill), 8:46 (cool down)

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6
Conditions: 75 degrees

Thursday, July 174 miles, easy + Strength Training

I got to run at lunch again today because it was absolutely GORGEOUS outside! I felt pretty good but my GPS signal on my watch was wayy off. I went on a very typical 4-mile loop I do at work and my watch said it was only 3.59 miles. So, I’m still logging it as 4 here but my paces are all messed up.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 34:xx at 8:40/mile-ish

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6
Conditions: 78 degrees, sunny

Oiselle “Dozen” Ab Workout + Ankle strengthening exercises

Friday, July 18- Strength

Oiselle “Dozen” Ab Workout + Ankle strengthening exercises + Arms

Saturday, July 19- 4.57 miles, easy

My watch was seriously struggling on this run and logged it as 3.84 miles. I knew it was longer than that and when I mapped it out it was 4.57 miles. Woof. No idea what the pace ended up being.

Plan: 4 miles easy

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6

Sunday, July 20- 14 miles, easy

Like I said in my post yesterday, this was a really solid long run. I managed to keep it very controlled the whole time. I woke up early and ran on a local rail trail and the weather was perfect. I ran sans-music and just enjoyed the run.

Plan: 14 miles, easy

Actual: 14 miles in 2:08 at 9:09/mile (my goal pace!)

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6

Weekly Mileage Total: 43 miles (32 running + 11 cycling)

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Two + Heart Update

Post-race medal photo!

Post-race medal photo!

My second week of training for Chicago was jam-packed with some really exciting things that I’m happy to share (with anyone who cares)!

My Bitty Heart

First, after doing a stress echocardiogram on Monday, my cardiologist cleared me for running. For the past two months I’ve been going through some tests at the hospital to figure out the cause of my chest pain during my April half marathon. After an abnormal EKG, my primary care physician referred me to a cardiologist for further testing. I had a normal echocardiogram done which showed I have an AV conduction delay. At first my cardiologist wasn’t sure why this was showing up, as it’s usually more common in elderly people, not athletic 24-year-old women, but with further testing and the stress echo, he concluded the conduction delay was actually a result of me having a healthy runner’s heart. After reviewing blood work, he told me, “I think you should just keep running.” Yay! I haven’t had any issues with chest pain since the half in April so I think it’s safe to say I can now fully dedicate myself to training hard for Chicago.

Firecracker 4-Miler

Another bit of good news from last week is that I won my first ever age group award at a local Firecracker 4-miler on the Fourth of July! It was quite a surprise, and I will probably write another post about it since I did everything wrong leading up to the race and somehow managed setting a 5-minute 4-mile PR and came in second in my age group. Adam came in second overall and I couldn’t have been more proud of him!

Hardest Run Ever

One other thing to share is not really good but I just wanted to put it out there- I ran the hardest 8-miler of my life on Saturday. We decided to go on an adventure run through the Trexler Nature Preserve. Adam ran this a few weeks ago and he said it was tough (his average pace slowed by two minutes which is saying a lot because he’s wicked fast) but man, it felt impossible to me! It was a humbling experience but worth it for the beautiful views of Pennsylvania hills and we got to run through a river!

That’s all the news I have for now! Here’s a recap of my workouts last week:

Monday, June 30 – Rest

I had my stress echo at the hospital at 2:00 p.m. so I had to miss the yoga class at work. However, the echo included about 20-minutes of walking/running on a steep inclined treadmill.

Tuesday, July 1- 4 miles, easy + Strength Training

It was a warm and humid run out there this morning, even at 5:30 a.m.! I was happy to run in the morning before work though because any other time would have been impossible. My pace was a little slower than I would’ve liked, especially the first mile, but I think that was due to the humidity and my legs still feeling a little sore/sluggish.

Plan: 4 miles, easy (10:00/mile)
Actual: 4 miles in 35:25 at 8:51/mile

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: 70 degrees, 78% humidity

Wednesday, July 2- 5 miles, hill repeats

I had to do hills today so I decided to do 5x100m hill sprints. It was a humid morning though- at 5 a.m. it was already 75 degrees with a real feel of 81. I was soaked by the time my run was done!

Plan: 5 miles, hills
Actual: 4.91 miles with 5x100m hill sprints in 43:58 at 8:57/mile

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: 75 degrees, 87% humidity

Thursday, July 3- Strength Training

Oiselle “Dozen” Ab Workout + Ankle strengthening exercises

Friday, July 4- Firecracker 4-miler (+ 0.5-mile warm-up for 4.5 miles total)

Well this was a huge surprise! Adam and I registered for this race the day of and I wasn’t planning on “racing” it at all- I just wanted an excuse to wear my 4th of July themed #RUNootd. I ended up setting a 5-minute 4-miler PR, won second in my age group, and ran my fastest mile yet.

Plan: 5 miles, easy (according to my training plan)
Actual: 4 miles in 30:55 at 7:43/mile average (plus 0.5-mile warm up)
Splits: 7:48, 7:43, 8:26, 6:55

Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 6

Saturday, July 5- 7.9 miles, trails

This was arguably the hardest run of my life. I ran through Trexler Nature Preserve on trails and it was difficult. The climbs on this run were crazy and I had to walk most of the hills. It was also incredibly hot!

Plan: 5 miles, easy (according to training plan)
Actual: 8 miles, trails

Shoes: Nike Zoom Kiger trail shoes

Sunday, July 6- 11 miles, easy

My legs were absolutely dead from the race Friday and the trail run Saturday so this was a long, slow slog. Once I actually started running I felt good but I was pretty unmotivated and tired so I didn’t get out the door until much later than I would have liked.

Plan: 12 miles, easy
Actual: 11 miles in 1:45:29 at 9:35/mile average

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4

Weekly Mileage Total: 32 miles

Chicago Marathon Training: Week One

Photo from running in York Harbor, Maine with Adam. (Photo credit: Adam K.)

Photo from running in York Harbor, Maine with Adam. (Photo credit: Adam K.)

The first week of training went pretty well! Despite it being incredibly hot and humid I was able to get all of my runs done. I was a little disappointed to only be able to get one strength training session in but my schedule unfortunately didn’t allow for any wiggle room. I had a really great first “long” run and I was relieved because for some reason I was a little nervous. This upcoming week I’m hoping to get in more early morning runs and strength sessions than last week. Happy running!

Monday, June 23 – Yoga

XT – 45 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

A nice and easy Vinyasa Flow yoga class to kick off week one of training for the Chicago Marathon!

Tuesday, June 24 – 4.28 miles

I ran with the local running store tonight and Saucony was there wear-testing shoes. It was perfect because I’ve been thinking about adding a more cushioned shoe into my rotation for training and they were testing the Ride 7. It was much more stable than I’m used to (I typically run in the Mirage 4) but it felt good and I think it will be good for long runs and easy runs. Other than that the run was good. I went a little too fast to start, first mile ticked off at 7:59, but it was a hot one so I dialed in the pace for the rest of the run.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4.28 miles in 37:35 at 8:46/mile pace

Shoes: Saucony Ride 7
Conditions: 85 degrees, sunny, humid

Wednesday, June 25- 4 miles

I ran up 10th Street for this workout (500 ft. elevation gain over a mile). It was the first time I ran it in months so it was pretty hard. I walked a lot but I got to the top and the downhill was so great.

Plan- 4 miles, hills
Actual- 4 miles in 36:42 (0.6-mile warmup, 1-mile up, 1-mile down, cool down)

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: 84 degrees (real feel 93) with 90 percent humidity

Thursday, June 26- 4 miles

I was testing out some treadmills for work today so I ran two miles on one treadmill and another two miles on the other. I was actually relieved to run indoors because the humidity has been absolutely killing me lately and unfortunately my schedule this week hasn’t allowed for early morning runs.

Plan- 4 miles, easy
Actual- 4 miles in 35:xx minutes (8:45/mile)

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: Air conditioned, indoors

Friday, June 27- Strength

Strength Training –

  • “The Dozen” Ab Workout
  • Ankle strengthening exercises – single leg lunges, single leg squats, hamstring curls with a stability ball
  • Arm exercises

Saturday, June 28- 4 miles

Just ran an easy shakeout run before my Sunday long run. Did an out and back near my house. It was really humid and I waited way too late to head out.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 35:40 at 8:55/mile

Shoes: Nike Volmero 2
Conditions: HOT

Sunday, June 29- 10 miles

This was one of the best long runs I’ve had in quite some time. My pace was extremely even, I even had enough energy to pick it up for the final two miles. I ran on the Saucon Rail Trail path because it’s incredibly flat and just about the only flat terrain around where I live. I wanted to run long on flat terrain because Chicago is going to be much flatter than anything I’m used to running. While I’m still incorporating hills into my weekly workouts, I want to also incorporate some long, flat runs as well to practice running on similar terrain as Chicago.

Plan: 10 miles at 10:00/mile pace
Actual: 10 miles in 1:33:xx at 9:18/mile
Nutrition:

  • Prerun: 1 everything bagel with butter an hour before the run, 1 cup of coffee, water.
  • During: 1 vanilla bean Gu 6 miles into the run, water
  • Postrun: 1 32oz Gatorade and Brunch with friends!

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux (still waiting for my new Saucony Ride 7s to come in)
Conditions: 63 degrees to start, humid, sunny

Mileage total: 26.28

Also, with my new Nike+ Sportswatch I’m now on Nike+.com. Add me as a friend if you’re on there too!

The Start of Chicago Marathon Training

(Source: Etsy.com although it's no longer available. Womp womp.)

(Source: Etsy.com although it’s no longer available. Womp womp.)

I love the beginning of a new training cycle.

Similar to the first day of school, a new training cycle is filled with opportunity. There are goals on the line and the hope of success at the finish. There’s also room for mistakes, meaning plenty of opportunities to learn. Sometimes you don’t feel completely prepared at the start but to me that’s the beauty of training for a marathon. You can plan for everything but then the unexpected can happen.

Yesterday marked day one of training for the 2014 Chicago Marathon. While I feel prepared in the logistical sense – I have a training plan and goals – I’m not sure my fitness is where it should be at the start of marathon training. After my failure of a spring goal race in April, I took it easy (maybe a little too easy) and I think I got a little out of shape. I spent the winter and spring training for a just-out-of-reach half marathon time goal. While I felt overly prepared going into that training cycle, I lost sight of the smaller things like taking easy runs easy, not pushing the pace too much in workouts, remembering to stretch, and more. Forgetting those things during training turned my just-out-of-reach goal into a completely out of reach goal.

That’s not going to happen for Chicago. In Chicago, I know I’m going to reach my goal. I’m going to train hard but not overtrain. I’m going to stretch and listen to my body and not push myself when it’s telling me to take it easy. I’m going to challenge myself in workouts. Wake up early for long midweek mileage. Eat right. Get enough sleep. At least that’s the plan for now.

More than all of these plans and goals I want to have fun with this training cycle. Training through the summer can be miserable, hard and really test the dedication of even the most determined runner. But with my last training cycle I pushed myself too hard and began resenting (even hating, sometimes) running. I don’t want that this time around.

I love the beginning of a new training cycle because of the opportunity but also the unknown. Good luck to everyone training for Chicago!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week 15

Post-race at the RW Half

Post-race at the RW Half

My second to last week of training went surprisingly well! It was a very busy week at work leading up to the Runner’s World Half but I was able to fit most of my runs in. It was a taper week though so my legs are really starting to feel antsy and ready to run. Also, shout out to my boyfriend who ran a PR at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday #proudgirlfriend!

Monday – Yoga

Tuesday – 3 miles, easy

I felt really good on this run. It was only 3 miles but I felt like I got some of the speed back into my legs. I know I should take it easy since I’m at the beginning of my taper but I couldn’t help myself!

Plan: 3 miles, easy
Actual: 3 miles in 25:05 at 8:21/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 8:50 (2) 8:12 (3) 7:59

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: 69 degrees, sunny

Wednesday – 6 miles with 4x800m

This was my final Yasso 800 workout and it went really well. I did it after work and although I was kind of tired, my legs felt pretty good.

Plan: 2 mile warmup, 4×800 in 4:15 with 400m recovery, 1 mile cool down
Actual:
2-mile warmup at 9:06/mile pace (Mile 1: 9:12; Mile 2: 8:57)
4×800 with 400 recovery in between each set
(1) 3:54 (7:48/mile pace)
(2) 3:41 (7:23/mile pace)
(3) 3:40 (7:20/mile pace)
(4) 3:30 (7:04/mile pace)
1-mile cool down at 9:08/mile pace

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Thursday – REST

Friday – 3 miles RW Half shakeout run

Saturday – REST

Sunday – 13.2 miles at the RW Half

I ran this race with Ashley and we had a great time! We took it very easy and it was a great substitute for a final long run before Marine Corps! Hoping to do an actual recap very soon!

Weekly Mileage Total: 25 miles

Marine Corps Training: Week 12

"I Run This Body" bracelet courtesy of Miss Dorothy Beal! (www.mile-posts.com)

“I Run This Body” bracelet courtesy of Miss Dorothy Beal! (www.mile-posts.com)

We’re getting down to the wire now and week 12 was a cutback week which gave me plenty of time to think about how close we’re getting to race day. I needed this cutback week desperately after dealing with some IT band soreness and shinsplints the week before. While the soreness is still there on my runs, I’m trying now to just focus on getting to the starting line at Marine Corps and finishing the race. My workouts went really well last week so I’m hoping this week will be successful too.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6 miles, easy

I felt pretty good on this run until I got the worst side stitch of my life nearly 2 miles into the run. Seriously, I’ve never had a side stitch so bad, it felt like my entire abdominal muscle was seizing up. Ouch! Thankfully it went away after I stopped to stretch it out and take some deep breathes. I also took this run super easy because my legs are still feeling the after-effects of Sunday’s 20-miler. This run also confirmed for me that my Garmin is off by about .05-mile which means my paces are probably actually a tad faster than they read.

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 55:35 at 9:15/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31 (2) 9:19 (3) 9:06 (4) 9:22 (5) 9:17 (6) 8:57

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, sunny

Wednesday: 10 miles total (two runs)

Run One:

I felt really good on this run. I wanted to take it easy since I’d be running later on again but I felt great. My Garmin was way off though again which was frustrating.

Plan: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.45 miles in 49:09 at 9:01/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:22 (2) 9:10 (3) 8:57 (4) 8:54 (5) 8:50

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Run Two:

4.55 miles in 39:00 at 8:35/mile pace

This run felt INCREDIBLE! So happy!

Thursday: 8 miles, easy

Ran 8 miles in 1:12 at 9:00/mile pace after work.

Friday: 5 miles, easy

Ran 5 miles in 44 minutes at 8:48/mile pace

It was Move at Work Day at Rodale so I joined in on the 3-mile group run and added 2 miles to the beginning.

Saturday: Rest Day (Mom came to visit!)

Sunday: 13 miles, long slow distance

I felt really good on this run. It was refreshing to have a “shorter” long run too. I ran on a rail trail with my roommate who had to run 11 miles. It was fun to just be out there with her and talk.

Plan: 13 miles, easy
Actual: 13 miles in 2:04:07 at 9:32/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:26 (2) 9:23 (3) 9:30 (4) 9:30 (5) 9:53 (6) 9:38 (7) 9:48 (8) 9:27 (9) 9:46 (10) 9:34 (11) 9:45 (12) 9:30 (13) 8:54

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees

Weekly Mileage Total: 42 miles

Marine Corps Training: Week Eleven

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Eeek! I totally slacked on posting my training from last week. Well, it might be Thursday, but better late than never, right? Anyway last week was kind of tough because I was dealing with some shinsplints and IT band issues but after nixing one workout and taking it very easy on the rest I *think* I dodged an injury-bullet and am feeling much better this week. I’m continuing to ice, compress, and foam roll the crap out of my legs, especially my left one, in order to keep it healthy and strong for the last month of training.

Monday: 50 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Tuesday: 5 miles

I took it super easy on this run because my left shin and calf were still kind of bothering me. Even with the easy running they didn’t feel great. I’m hoping with some ice, ibuprofen, and compression they’ll start to feel better.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 46:00 at 9:12/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:33 (2) 9:09 (3) 9:07 (4) 9:11 (5) 9:03

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Wednesday: 2 miles, run fail

I knew this high mileage was going to catch up to me sooner or later. I’ve been battling a shin/calf pain for the past week and a half and today I knew the 8-miler on tap wasn’t going to happen. I consulted with my coach and she said it would be best to run a super easy 2 miles and scratch the 8-miler. I did as I was told and will take a rest day tomorrow and hope for a better Friday.

Plan: 8 miles, easy
Actual: 2 miles, easy (Garmin crapped out midrun so I estimated my time)

Thursday: 1 hour of strength training

Abs- 3 x
1:00 planks
0:30 side planks
0:45 supine planks
0:45 bicycles
0:45 bridge

Arms- 3 x 10 reps
Rotational shoulder press- 10lbs
Alternating dumbbell row- 15lbs
Tricep pulls- 15lbs
Chest press on stability ball- 10lbs
21s- 8lbs

Legs-
15 reps of bench step-ups
3 x 15 calf raises
3 x 15 side leg lifts

Friday: 6 miles

Yay! A (relatively) pain-free run! I felt a lot better on this run after taking the past two days off completely. My shin still felt a little sore but I didn’t feel the pain in my IT band like I was feeling on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think the pain is mostly due to overtraining and not being used to the higher mileage so I’m going to try to scale back a little from what my plan says. It felt good though to be running at my happy paces again!

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 52:00 at 8:40/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:12/mile (2) 8:37/mile (3) 8:23/mile (4) 9:02/mile (5) 8:50/mile (6) 7:43/mile (!!)

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees and sunny

Saturday: 5 miles

Ran an easy pre-long run shakeout run at the Lehigh Athletics Campus. I ran the first two miles around the campus and track and then found my way to the XC course. This was the first time I ever ran on a XC course and I loved it! It was so beautiful and I think running on the grass was good for my shin/IT band.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:58 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:02 (2) 9:12 (3) 9:00 (4) 8:58 (5) 8:46

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: didn’t check but it was pretty warm and really sunny

Sunday: 19-mile long run

It was a long run miracle this morning when I woke up with NO pain in my shins or IT band! I don’t know what happened but I felt great. I took it extra slow though during the run because I didn’t want to aggrevate the pain if it was still healing. I felt pretty good the whole time though. Hoping for a quicker long run next weekend!

Actual: 19 miles in 3:05:44 at 9:46/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 10:18 (2) 9:27 (3) 9:35 (4) 9:52 (5) 9:56 (6) 9:59 (7) 9:35 (8) 9:28 (9) 10:04 (10) 9:35 (11) 9:38 (12) 10:04 (13) 9:50 (14) 9:37 (15) 9:42 (16) 9:47 (17) 9:45 (18) 10:07 (19) 9:22

Weekly total: 38 miles (plan had me running 46 miles, scrapped a total of 8)

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Ten

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Week ten of Marine Corps training presented me with a mileage PR of 44 miles. While I’ve been able to get all the miles in I feel like my legs might be starting to push back. A new pain in my left shin has me a bit concerned but I think it should subside if I take it easy on my next few runs.

As my mileage keeps increasing I’m learning the importance of post-run recovery, something I’ve almost neglected a little bit in the past.  To make sure I’m recovering properly I’m taking the five-to-ten minutes post-run to stretch out, as well as icing on a regular basis.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: Strength Training and 5 miles, easy

Strength Training– 50 minutes

Arms:
3×10 reps of:
Rotational Shoulder Press with 10lbs weights
Alternating Dumbell Rows with 12lbs weights
Tricep Pulls with 15lbs weights
Chest Press on Stability Ball with 10lbs weights
21s with 8lbs weights

3×15 reps Standing Side Leg Lifts
25 calf raises

Abs:
3×1:00 planks
3×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
3×0:45 bicycles
3×0:45 bridge

Run:

It was pretty hot and humid on this run but I waited until after work in the hopes that it would be a little bit cooler. My legs were still feeling a bit sore from Sunday’s long run but once I got a mile or so into the run it felt good to be shaking them out a bit.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 43:54 at 8:46/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31
(2) 8:43
(3) 8:37
(4) 8:48
(5) 8:12

Shoes: Asics GT-1000 2
Conditions: 86 degrees, 80 percent humidity

Wednesday: Double run, 8 miles total

Run One:

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 36:40 at 9:10/mile average pace

I ran an easy pre-workout shakeout run on the treadmill. I had 8 miles on my schedule for today with my first Yasso 800 workout. Since I couldn’t do the whole 8 miles during my normal lunch run I decided to split up the workout with 4 miles easy at lunch and 4 miles at the track after work.

Run Two:

Plan: 4 miles with 4x800m at 4:10 with 400m recovery jog

Actual:
1-mile warmup at 8:54/mile
4x800m-
(1) 3:40
(2) 3:41
(3) 3:39
(4) 3:30
With 400m in between each 800m

Shoes: Saucony Fastwitch 6
Conditions: 90 degrees, 80 percent humidity

This was my first Yasso 800 workout of Marine Corps training and it went very well! I ran them at the track and did a 1-mile warmup to begin. It was extremely hot and humid out so I wasn’t sure they were going to go well but I was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace

So this run went much better than expected. I’m still having a difficult time controlling my paces though and I know I really need to work on that but I felt really, really good during this whole run.

Plan: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace (9:10/mile) with 1 mi warmup and 2 mi cool down
Actual: 8 miles in 1:09:46 at an average of 8:43/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:19 (2) 8:51 (3) 8:43 (4) 8:35 (5) 8:24 (6) 8:30 (7) 8:45 (8) 8:37

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees, sunny, low humidity, a bit windy though

Saturday: 5 mile shakeout

It took me awhile to get out the door this morning but once I did I felt really good. Something has been going on with my left shin/knee though and I’m not really sure what that’s all about. I’m going to keep stretching/foam rolling/icing to see if it starts to feel back to normal again.

Plan: 5 miles, super easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:56 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:34
(2) 8:52
(3) 8:56
(4) 8:53
(5) 8:38

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, overcast, windy

Sunday: 18 mile long run

This long run went really well. I ran the first 10 miles with our RW Half Training Group led by Bart Yasso. We took it super easy which was really good because lately I’ve been pushing a little too hard on my long runs. After the 10 miles was done I finished the last 8 on my own. My left shin was giving me some trouble again which accounts for the crazy pacing here but overall I felt pretty good.

Plan: 18 miles, long slow distance
Actual: 18 miles in 2:54:33 at 9:39/mile average
Splits:
(1) 10:29 (2) 9:57 (3) 9:47 (4) 9:50 (5) 10:02 (6) 9:58 (7) 9:55 (8) 9:39 (9) 9:35 (10) 9:37 (11) 9:56 (12) 9:16 (13) 8:55 (14) 9:04 (15) 9:38 (16) 9:48 (17) 9:32 (18) 9:33

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: 50 degrees, sunny

Weekly Mileage Total: 44 miles

See all training recaps here.

The High Mileage Weeks Are Here

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 4.31.26 PMThe next few weeks of my training schedule for the Marine Corps Marathon are going to be my highest mileage weeks of my short running career. This week alone, the first of the monster weeks, will eclipse my peak week of Big Sur training by 4 miles.

For someone as new to running as I am, this can be pretty terrifying. Looking at the weeks as a whole has me literally waking up in the middle of the night in a panic. But that’s the funny thing about marathon training, just when you think you’ve hit your limit and you can’t go any further, another week goes by and you are able to go further than you ever thought. At least that’s how I’ve chosen to look at it.

My midweek runs over the next few weeks will range between 8 and 10 miles, with one easy run in between. Most of these are workouts or marathon pace runs, which to me, makes them much more enjoyable.

I’ve found the only way to get through these monster mileage weeks is to break it down and face each day as it comes. Yes, you need to plan. And yes, you need to schedule the time to get them done. But if you stare down your schedule on Monday and think, “Oh my God, I have to run an 8 mile workout on Wednesday, a 10 mile MP run on Friday, and other runs and workouts in between, as well as work and have some semblance of a social life?!” you’re going to drive yourself crazy.

Instead, take it day by day and figure out a time for each day to get your run done. For example, this is what my week looks like this week (different paces though):

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 9.30.13 AM

On Wednesday, I had an 8-mile run with 4x800m in between. I knew I couldn’t get the workout done during lunch, but I also knew I wanted to do the 800s on a track. So since I only had to do 4x800m (2 miles) I decided to split up the run- run 4 miles, easy at lunch and 4 miles (1 mile warm-up, 4x800m, 1 mile cool down) on the track after work. I’m still getting the benefit of the speedwork but not stressing out over setting aside a huge block of time.

I recently read a great blog post by Jason Fitzgerald on time management. He argues that if something is important enough you will set aside the time to get it done. You will not “make” the time, because you can’t just “make” time appear out of nowhere. But if it’s important, like eating, sleeping, working, spending time with family and friends, or in this case, training for a marathon, you will set aside the time to get it done.

So, how am I planning on fitting in these high mileage midweek runs in the coming weeks? Here are my tips for marathon training time management:

  • Make it a priority – Training for Marine Corps is very important to me so I wil make it a priority and set aside the time to get my training done.
  • Take it day-by-day – I will take it day-by-day but try to schedule my week to fit in my runs and workouts.
  • Run doubles – If I have to, I will split up my higher mileage runs into a double. I’ll still reap the benefits of the workout and get the mileage in.
  • Something is better than nothing – If I honestly can’t set aside enough time for a run, I will try to get whatever I can done. If it’s an 8-mile run but I only have time for 6 miles, I’ll run the 6 miles.
  • Don’t sweat it – If I really had a hard day at work, or I’m feeling extremely tired or sore, and I have to miss a run, it’s not the end of the world. Giving your body enough time to rest and recover is almost as important as getting all of the training runs done. If your body is telling you it needs a break, it probably really needs a break.

I’m not going to lie, training for a marathon is a ginormous time commitment. You sacrifice some things like going out on a Saturday night so you can have the time to do your long run (not hungover) on Sunday morning. The monster training weeks come for everyone but if you plan them out right, they are totally doable. You just need to, in a sense, brace yourself and prepare for the runs. They will get done and you’ll be much more prepared for when race day comes.

Are you training for a maraton or half-marathon? How do you manage to fit in all of your runs with work and personal life? Share your comments below!