Saturday, August 28, 2010

My First 20 miler

A milestone in marathon training, the 20 miler. When I began my training it seemed really daunting.... and now that i've completed the first of two that I will do over the course of training, I can't say the second one is any less daunting. I downloaded "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" onto my ipod last night. I think I probably missed some important points of the book as my mind started to wander throughout the run, but I was super excited to start listening to the book, which helped motivate me to get out the door. I woke up early to hit the road while temperatures were still cool. I tried some new margarita flavored cliff shot blocks with some added salt since i've been having some muscle cramping on my 15 mile and 16 mile runs. Who gets to say they had a margarita while they were running? I joke. They weren't quite as good as the real thing, but I didn't have any leg cramps, so I do think the added salt helped. Somehow I managed to get lost despite the fact that I was doing an out and back run. Doh! I think I took a wrong turn off of a roundabout at about mile 12. After about a mile I realized that things weren't really looking familiar. A biker that I flagged down was kind enough to point me in the right direction to get me back on course. A big thanks to him!
On my 16 mile run I drank nearly all of the water from my fuel belt, so I was concerned that I would run out on this 20 miler. I realized that there is a library on my route, so I stopped there at about mile 14 and refilled my bottles. Getting lost actually helped miles 12-15 go by fairly quickly, as I was focusing on finding my way back to my planned route than on how much I still had to run.
Looking back to the beginning of training, one of the reasons I chose the intermediate training program was that it had two 20 milers in it and so many of my marathon running friends have said that their first 20 miler was awful, so it was nice to have a second for the mental confidence boost. I don't want to jinx myself too much by saying this, but, the first one wasn't bad. It was long, it was hard, I am really sore now, but was I surprised at how well it went. I almost can't believe that I went that far! I also can't believe that I have to do it again in a few weeks.... and then of course do the marathon itself! I will be very glad when the marathon is over, so that I can have some weekends that are purely relaxing rather than built around my long run schedule, but finishing out this training is feeling a lot less overwhelming than it was a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

16 miles!

Another record. The farthest I have ever run. I'm going to get to say that a lot in these next few weeks :-)

Between marathon training and school I don't seem to have time for anything else! I'm getting ready for my first committee meeting at the new school. Monday. Yikes! So, i'm going to keep this update short so that I can get back to work.

Last weeks temperatures were much cooler (Finally!!), which made running feel good for the first time in a while. I think me fitting weights workouts into my week has become somewhat of a lost cause as it did not happen once again this week.

Here's last weeks recap:

Sunday - 16.01 miles. The weather was overcast and in the 70's, perfect for running long. The last two miles or so were rough and my legs were feeling pretty tight, but I definitly felt like I recovered much faster than my 15 miler, which left me sore and tired for the whole week, which I'll take as a good sign.

Saturday - 3.01 miles.

Friday - off

Thursday - 6.12 miles

Wednesday - off

Tuesday - 3X (4 X 400 meters) speedworkout. With warmup and cooldown 6.06 miles total.

Monday - off

Weekly Milage Total: 31.2 miles

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It IS possible.

To have a nice refreshing run here in Cleveland! Thank God! I was beginning to thing that after marathon training was over i'd never ever run again.
I went out on my 6 miler this morning and it was almost cold. It was actually nice and I didn't come home looking like i'd been on a swim rather than a run. I actually enjoyed my run for the first time in a long while. Maybe fall is coming after all, with a break from this awful heat/humidity mix! One can only hope. The forecast is not so good for the weekend, but maybe by next weeks 20 miler it will be cooler? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekly Recap 8/9 -8/15

After my long run yesterday i'm actually feeling pretty good! During the run I felt terrible, but I take it as a good sign that the day after soreness is minimal today. I think my mood about running is totally dependent on the weather and i'm really trying to get used to humidity and not be so negative about it. I've also not been so good about getting my weights workouts in. Long days at work lead to me pushing the snooze button in the morning and making excuses in the evening. It was definitely easier when I had the scheduled gym classes. I'm going to try to be better about it this week.

Sunday - 12 miles. I slept in... my own fault, so running in the hot sticky evening was my only choice. I slogged through 12 long, slow, soggy miles at 2 min/mile slower than my usual long run pace... but at least I got it in.

Saturday - skipped my planned 3 miles due to a sore IT band. I think it was a good decision... it's feeling better.

Friday - off

Thursday - 5 miles at the Twilight Trail 8K. A fun race! I'll definitely do this one again.

Wednesday - off

Tuesday - 3X (600, 1000). I think I pushed stop on my garmin instead of lap.... so we'll call it 4 miles total.

Monday - off

Weekly total: 21 miles.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Burnout and Soreness

Despite the fact that i've skipped a few of my planned short runs these past two weeks, i'm sore. Really sore. I'm also starting to feel a little burned out. Maybe training for a marathon after moving to a new city and transferring to a new school was not the best decision. I'm feeling very cranky about everything. I have my first committee meeting for grad school coming up in a few weeks, so that is weighing on me as well. This past week I decided to sign up for a short race for one of my weekly runs to try to fight this burnout. It was definitely fun! It was a trail run, complete with a river crossing. I haven't done "real" cross-country running in a while, plus the soreness I mentioned, so I took the race pretty easy and still managed to finish in under 10 minute miles. I think maybe i'll try to find a half-marathon that I could incorporate into my long run schedule in september as well.

(I was going to post a race pic...but now i've lost the cord to transfer pics from my camera...grrr)

I never posted the weekly recap for last week, so here it is. Last weeks schedule was a little messed up. I was out of town over the weekend for a wedding, so I split my long run in half and did it on friday.

Weekly Recap 8/2-8/8:

Sunday - off
Saturday - off
Friday - 5.0 miles in the morning and 7.1 in the evening for a total of 12.1 miles.
Thursday - 5.0 miles
Wednesday - off
Tuesday - Speedwork. 5 X 1000 with 400 meter rests. 5.23 miles total
Monday - off

Weekly total: 22.33 miles

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm a bit delayed in posting this, but I made it! 15 miles!
I was very nervous about this run, it being the farthest I have EVER run, but I made it and it wasn't even THAT bad. It was definitely tough, but I feel like a major milestone in training has been reached. Although those 20 milers are still looming, they are looking a little more possible.
It was a good day to run, not quite as cool as saturday, but not too hot. I loaded up my fuel belt with 4 bottles of water (2 more than usual) and headed out a little later than i'd wanted, but still early enough to beat the heat. I even saw a deer crossing the road at about the 5 mile mark. This was the first run where I think i've really needed "fuel". I used Gatorade and some cliff chews (1 package) which seemed to go over well with my stomach. I think I might try some other Gu's and things in these next few likes to figure out what I like best for race day. The last two miles of the run were definitely the toughest, both mentally and physically and I started having cramps in one leg, but I made it home and an ice bath has never felt so good.

I was not so good at fitting weights into this weeks schedule.

Here's the weekly milage recap 7/26- 8/01:

Sunday - 15.13 miles!
Saturday - 3.01 miles easy
Friday - rest
Thursday - 5.01 mile tempo
Wednesday - rest
Tuesday - 1600, 2 x 800, 2 x 400, 4 x 200 (400 rests for the 1600 & 800's , 200 rest for the 400's and 200's). This was by far my favorite interval workout thus far! 6.11 miles total with warmup and cooldown.
Monday - rest

Weekly total: 29.26 miles