marathon training

2

Survived a very hot afternoon run. Never again. I’m going to start making some changes and start doing my runs in the morning. I’m heading out of town for work on Sunday, that might be the perfect time to start forming my new habit.

2016 Summer training: week 8

65.1 miles (104.8 km) of running last week.

8 runs:

  • 5 easy.
  • 1 speed workout.
  • 1 race.
  • 1 long run.
  • 2 doubles.
  • 1 rest day.

Weekly training via Strava.

MON:

REST

TUE:

AM: Easy - 6.5 miles (10.5 km) at 7:57/mile.

PM: Easy - 5.7 miles (9.3 km) at 9:22/mile.

WED:

Easy - 10 miles (16.2 km) at 8:25/mile.

THU:

Tempo - 6.6 miles (10.6 km) plus warm up/down.

2 x 1 mile cross country loops - 5:49 mins, then 5:20 mins.

I’m trying out a new app for filters, Prisma. 

FRI:

Easy - 6.3 miles (10.2 km) at 9:45/mile.

SAT:

Race - 10k in 36:49 PR! 

PM: Easy - 3.2 miles (5.2 km) at 8:29/mile.

SUN:

Long - 15 miles (24.2 km) at 7:48/mile.

Thoughts 

Last week was a pretty standard pullback week. I didn’t want to dip under 60 miles so it’s good that my coach and I were in sync there. 

An incentive for a pullback was that I wanted to have a shot at PR’ing in Saturday’s 10k race, but without taking a dip in my training volume. Normally I prefer 2 weeks over 5 days of tapering to run my best, no matter the distance. But I think I could only manage it because I was slightly overdue for a 10k PR. I’ll take it! 

Thursday was a session I shouldn’t have done. My coach’s Mile2Marathon group set up a back to back pacing time trial over a mile loop. I only did it because I wanted to sharpen my legs for the race, and aimed to keep it between 10k to half marathon pace. I’m happy to say there were no last minute injuries, but I’m in my 30′s now and I’m slowly waking up to the fact that it’s best that my older body has at least 2 days between speed to recover. 

This week I’m getting back into volume. Quantity doesn’t always equal quality…except when it comes to running! Truth, lol. 

Hola! Long time, no selfies!

Actually, this post has been sitting open ALL DAY which is pretty indicative of my general life lately. Too many tabs open, too many things going on all the time.

But you know what? Marathon training starts ONE WEEK from today. In case you missed it, I signed up for the Richmond Marathon on November 12 of this year. Why? I mean, why does anyone sign up for these crazy things. Glory, honor, an excuse to buy more accessories?

I’m following Hanson’s plan again and have made modifications! I think I hinted at this a while ago but I reread their training theory and then realized I’m not actually as creative as I think I am but here goes.

My problem with the Chicago Marathon, despite the PR, is that I ran out of steam. It could have been weather but I think part of it was just endurance. The plan wasn’t able to get me past mile 22 smoothly and that’s where I lost almost all of the time I fought so hard for over the course. So this time around, I want more miles.

Hansons has a couple of ways you can do this: the first and what they seem to say makes the most sense, you can nix the rest day and add in an easy run day. In my case though, that rest day is holy. My body needs it and it’s something I looked forward to each week.

The other way to add more miles is to add some on over the course of the week. Here’s the way I’m going to do it. I’m going to stop running for distance and I’m going to run for time. For example: for me, an easy run day of 6 miles at a 9 min/mile pace works out to roughly 54 minutes of running. This time though, I’m going to convert all the miles to 10 minute miles. Overall, this isn’t a huge leap: 54 minutes to 60 minutes is a little over 6.5 miles. As the training gets longer, however, that distance becomes more significant. Now, a 16 mile day (the longest distance of the plan) is 160 minutes of running whereas before it was about 144 minutes. It’s still not hugely dramatic but that’s almost two extra miles if I’m at a 9 minute pace. 

Follow me so far? I’m hoping that doing it this way is continues the logical progression of training so I’m not going too far too fast. But I do hope it has a measurable impact on my marathon!

The only things I’m not modifying are the speedwork and tempo days. Those are deliberate distances at a certain pace so I am not qualified to mess around with those.

Things I’m worried about are the usual: burnout and injury. The burnout factor is actually very real to me. Mostly because i think I’m STILL burned out on running. This is part of the reason I’ve been quieter on tumblr lately. Running is part of my life but it’s not all of my life anymore (for better or worse). I’m not feeling a ton of passion in it these days. But I am nothing if not a creature of habit and routine so having a goal and a training plan still makes me feel better about my life. 

Running Tip #1:

When training for a race, or for general fitness, training in three week cycles can be extremely beneficial.

 I-I-P: Introduce. Improve. Perfect. 

During the first week, introduce a new speed workout (such as a tempo-run, intervals, or hill repeats) Without over exerting yourself, start off small. Slightly slower than goal pace, slightly shorter in duration. The goal of this run is to get your legs and body accustomed to the new added stress of the speed to come.

During the next week, improve from your previous workout. Say you went out for a tempo-run with 3 miles at 7:00 pace during your introduction phase, this week build upon the prior week by going 4 miles at 6:50 pace.

During the third and final week of the training cycle, perfect that given workout. Continuing on with the example of a tempo-run training cycle, perfect the workout by going 5 miles at a goal pace of 6:45. 

After the three week cycle, you can continue on to another cycle of training, such as interval training, fartleks, or hill training. Mixed in with long runs, recovery runs, and easy paced runs, you will be well on your way to setting new PRs. 

*For personalized training plans, holla atcha boi*

Post-Marathon Tea Time

Running is awesome but not running after a hard race is also awesome. I’m enjoying sleeping in and eating a lot of carbs right now. 

I might go to the pool tomorrow if I wake up in time. I might not. So much freedom!

Currently I can’t wrap my head around another marathon quite yet. People keep asking me what’s next? Dudes, I don’t know. My legs still hurt.

Speaking of which: SO SORE. Definitely more sore after this race than Boston or Marine Corps. I also ran way faster so that may be part of it. 

I’m very very proud of Chicago because you know what? I worked really hard for it. I didn’t phone in my training, I did the work. I don’t mind saying that it was hard and a lot to do but I survived. Even those “easy” runs were hard sometimes. I’m glad that I’m done with training for a while and don’t have to wake up and wonder how far I need to go today. 

Chicago also feels like redemption. This has been a tough year for me personally plus I’ve had some really lackluster marathons the past two years. I’m SO glad that I’m not a marathon one-hit wonder (serious thought that I’ve been having the past year).

I still want to break 3:30 though. While Chicago was a solid win for me, it still didn’t feel as good as I expected. I know, that’s weird. But I know I can do better.

Oh, and a week from today I’ll in in LA and two weeks from today I’ll be in RENO! I. Can’t. Wait. 

2

Richmond Marathon W2D1
4 Miles

Went for a late night run around old town Alexandria. It was gorgeous out. A little humid after the storm that came through here this afternoon but it wasn’t unbearable. Plus the storm clouds were just off in the distance and I got a little bit of a light show from the lightening in the far off clouds.
The run was probably the best part of today because work was so crazy. I’ll be happy when this week is over. I’m getting ready to head out of the country for work and the prep has been insane. I’m ready for the trip to be over and it hasn’t even begun.

6

Boston Marathon 2016

Okay so here’s a nice long race recap instead of studying like I should be doing. Just some things I did wrong and right and in between. I went into the race extremely unprepared, undertrained in terms of running/hills, overtrained in terms of biking, physically and mentally exhausting, and had some pretty earth shattering academic news dropped on me 3 days earlier. I worked and volunteered a lot the weekend before (like 6+ hours a day) in addition to walking and biking around campus and to/from work, which likely was not the best plan.

Got up at 6, ate a banana, and walked to the commons since a 2 mile walk seemed like a good idea. Saw an AT and my advisor walking to volunteer at the finish. I had a long sleeved shirt under my singlet which I planned to leave on. There was about a million people there. My favorite thing I saw was a few 70+ guys, each with a dozen plain donuts which they ate on the bus ride to Hopkinton. I ate a clif bar on the bus cuz race day is a great day to try something new. There was even more people there. It was kinda weird not knowing anyone and weird just chilling for ~3 hours before starting. It was around 70 and everyone was sharing sunblock so at this point I ditched the long sleeve shirt. Also, I did a very poor job at putting on sunblock. Walked to the corrals finally at like 11, had some shot blocks, saw Scott Jurek, and started.

Start was super crowded. Lots of stepping on heels and bumping elbows so I followed a few others, got up on the curb and passed some people there. Super comfortable for the first 5 miles (physically and mentally). Really hot, but comfortable. It was downhill, but not enough to really notice, and just felt really good. Also, no shin pain, which was GREAT. Not sure whether it was a week off from running, the perfectly timed Advil, or adrenaline.

Around mile 5 was Framingham, which was the point that I ran back to Boston from with Nike Running Club 3 weeks earlier. It was nice to have seen the course, but it didn’t really help much because this is where I mentally hit the wall. I stopped sweating and felt really cold so I started drinking more immediately. It did nothing. I took a gel at mile 6 (very early for me), which also did nothing. More water, more struggling. I was drinking a lot and not sweating at all and really cold. I was still all the way to the right side of the road, and my quad starts to feel not great, so I moved to the middle. After a few more miles both quads feel not great. Really weird kind of pain. Lots of people walking around 8 miles.

Natick was nice but this was where I was really starting to feel it. Took my second gel at mile 12ish, more water, still not sweating, and it was getting colder. My quads hurt a lot, and I was unaware that it was possible for muscles to hurt like this?? Not sure if it was cramping, not enough water, too much water, trashing them on the downhills, or what. Hit halfway in ~1:53, which put me close to on track to hit my unrealistic goal of 3:45.

Wellesley was awesome. You could hear everyone before you were even close. This is where things started to fall apart more. Gave up on the time goal around here. My quads were searing and I just kept drinking water and eating gels and nothing was helping. The hills were much harder in the sun than they were when I ran the course last month. Got a lot of high fives, which definitely helped.

BC/Newton continued to be a challenge. The hill before heartbreak is much worse than heartbreak. I was dying. I got to the top without stopping or walking, crossed the checkpoint, stopped, tried to stretch, took another gel (surprise, it did NOTHING), and kept going. Quads were shredded, like most pain imaginable. I’m talking myself through every step and wondering why and how a muscle can hurt so bad.

Literally almost cried when I saw the citgo sign (I was still like 5 miles from Boston). This area is somewhat familiar but I was still struggling hard. I knew I would have a few friends around this area or Kenmore so I was trying to suck it up and just finish. Mile 21 I had my first cup of Gatorade (again, race day is a great time to try new things) and it was great and definitely helped a ton. Drank a lot more Gatorade between here and the finish.

Stopped again to try to stretch right before Kenmore and it did nothing. Saw the AT friends which was great and definitely is what got me to the finish because I was dying here. :’) Ran to the little tunnel at 1K to go, stopped again to try to stretch, fell, stood up, and just slapped both quads super hard (nice handprint bruises) and just kept running from there. Once I could see Hereford St, it was just like omg holy shit omg I’m going to finish I’m about to finish the BOSTON MARATHON. Absolutely amazing. It was so surreal I don’t even have words to describe it. It was hard to take it all in. Even thinking about it now, it feels like it didn’t happen. Saw an AT from BU and she hugged me and said congrats and it was awesome. Got my medal, clif bar, banana, and it was over. Also, got lots of congratulations from random strangers on my way back cuz I was rocking the plastic sheet. I was at the expo all three days and could not find the plastic wristbands that they have every year (for free). I had a super nice teal one from 2015 that I put on on marathon Monday. I’m walking down newbury st and I found a Boston strong wristband on the ground (in the 2016 turquoise color) which was great.

Post race stuff:
I had the best vanilla milkshake I have ever/will ever have. It was great. Lots of Advil. Stairs were a challenge. Quads stayed like this for the next day, then got progressively better. Left shin is still at the same borderline of stress fracture/stress reaction, but I’m probably going to continue to do nothing about it. I haven’t done anything in terms of working out yet, and am not sure when I will do that next but I don’t think I’m there yet. Also, right shoulder and arm are a new level of sunburned.

The buildup for the race was extremely stupid (I went from 20 to 40 mpw, stayed there for two weeks, then started my “taper” aka downward spiral/falling apart mid February). Also, having 8AMs every day this semester did not help. 3-5 hours of sleep per night is not in any way helpful to marathon training. I was around 30-35 for most of March (compared to 65+ for baystate) and ran 3 days a week instead of 5. I was just worried about the long run and then split the rest of the miles up in the least damaging way possible. I was biking 40+ miles on non running days which was not only pointless in terms of fitness, but was mentally draining and a huge waste of 2.5-3 hours. I gained over 30 pounds (and it’s not muscle) since I ran baystate, and while I’d like to think that the heat or hills or injury/injuries were the reason for the drastic change in time, at the end of the day, I think my weight was the biggest factor. That’s a lot of weight to carry for 4 hours, especially while running. That’s (literally) tons of force added to my shitty tibias with every run. That is 100% my fault, and complaining about it isn’t gonna help. Change in activity level, sleep, nutrition, motivation, and opinion of myself as a person/“athlete” likely contributed to that, but I am totally ready to make the changes I need to now.

Goals for the rest of the year: lose at least 30 pounds by the fall (this has to happen), build up SLOWLY to 40-50mpw, fix my left shin, sleep over 6 hours per night, start strength training 2x a week and don’t skip it, run a fall marathon or a few halfs

TLDR: Boston is great, 10/10 would do it again, high five all the kids, drink the Gatorade because it’s there for a reason, eat well, dont be fat, don’t be stupid, treat your body right.

2

Second run for today, this one at Lake Harriet. It was a nice and easy 30 minutes, and although I was worried about doing it after this morning’s hill workout, my legs actually feel better now.

The Jeep has the hard top back on. I could have had it off today it was so warm. I’m loving these last runs in shorts!!

Richmond Marathon W2D3

5 miles

I have been so busy as of late. I barely have anytime to run. In fact the only time I seem to have is either very early in the morning or super late at night. Today however, I didn’t have time for either so instead here is yesterday’s run that I didn’t have time to write about. (Which I’m posting after midnight so technically this is from two nights ago now.)

Richmond Marathon W2D2
5 miles

I didn’t head out for this run until after 9:30 at night. It was well past sundown so I had to run by the light of my headlamp. What was cool about this run was running toward a thunder storm off in the distance. I had this amazing light show the entire way out. Luckily I had brought my phone for this one (it was late so I figured I should take it incase something happened) and I was able to get some pretty awesome pics. 

On the way back the storm started chasing me so I had to pick up the pace a little. Good thing I did too because as soon as I got home the storm reached me. Shortly after the lightning started, the rain came. It was a torrential downpour. Normally I’m all for running in the rain…but not at ten o’clock at night in a thunder storm. Safety first!

I’ve talked to the Broach and I’m going to make up today’s run tomorrow morning and then run tomorrow’s run in the evening at a more relaxed pace. This means I HAVE to get some sleep. I feel like I have no time this week. It’s been so insane. I’m ready for the weekend. 

When I left Ohio, having just run one of the hardest trail races I’d ever run (yes, that includes the 6 days I ran through Colorado) I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to be doing any more trail runs for a while. That is until I talked to @cupcakeconditioning. She told me that her Ragnar team was in search of more members to run the trail relay in August. The intrigue was just too tempting. I told her tentatively that I would join. Well…today I made it official. 

Looks like I’ll be back on the trails one more time.