Marathon Reflection Monday

Happy Monday and Happy July! Crazy, isn’t it? (and yes, I said the exact same thing when June rolled around).

I’m now a month into marathon training, and the mileage is starting to indicate that we are not in half-marathon land anymore, Toto.  Saturday I did 13 miles which is the longest I’ve ever run in a  non-race situation. And then I ran 6 miles the following day.  It seems like just the other day that 6 miles WAS the long run.  But surprisingly, my body seems to be taking it pretty well.  My legs are definitely tired, and there are some deep-rooted knots in my muscles, but I appear to be functioning as a completely normal person despite the increased mileage.  Hopefully I can say the same when I’m running 20 miles in just one month’s time (Doubtful.  Even just saying that made my stomach do a little flip-flop).

But all is not is sunshine and happiness in Lavender Marathon Country.

After the 10-K last week, Aaron developed tendinitis (I forget where, but his foot hurts), and after our 2.7 mile dog rescuing run last Monday that aggravated it more, he’s been out of commission.  As you can imagine, this is extraordinarily frustrating for him, but we’re glad that we still have plenty of time to make up for it, though essentially he’ll be having to start over in a few weeks once he’s all healed up.

He’s been sticking to bike riding, elliptical, and swimming while trying not to go crazy over not getting his runs in.  So I’ve been running on my own, which is something I’m not used to.  I started running so we’d have something to do together, so running by myself seems weird.  Though, it was nice on Saturday when he rode his bike along the trail during my 13 miler  because he was able to carry lots of water and provide it to me along the way! Hey there, water boy!

I guess all of the planning and training in the world is no guarantee that a little glitch won’t ruin everything.

So, this week, I’ve decided to switch up my tactic to this whole marathon thing.  Instead of focusing on every. little. detail, I’m going to take a big picture approach.  In other words, Amy is trying to take a chill pill.

I’ve had 4 really good races.  3 out of those 4 were run without a Garmin or other time keeping device.  2 of them were without following a real training plan.  I’ve never sat there and analyzed every little thing that I was doing right or wrong, and I certainly didn’t change my diet/ beer:30 habits. I figured that if I took that approach, I could go from the faster end of average to a 3:30 marathon, but instead, all I’ve been doing is driving myself INSANE and probably driving everyone else insane too. Nobody likes an OCD drama queen.

So I’m going to take a step back.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m still going to push myself to the point of not being to go any further, and I’m still taking this whole thing seriously, and my goals haven’t changed.  I’m just not going to get obsessive over not hitting a certain pace on long runs (Dear Amy, get it through your head…LONG RUNS ARE FOR ENDURANCE, NOT PACE OBSESSION), or feel guilty over eating a cupcake at lunch because that might ultimately cost me my BQ.  (it won’t).  Trying to be perfect and then having a meltdown when things don’t go my way will not make me run any faster.

{Yes, I enjoyed every second of this cupcake and its banana salted caramel goodness with Zero guilt}

Push myself? Yes. Transform into Marathon-zilla? No.

{This girl’s form kind of annoys me}

WHAT WENT WELL:

1) Despite losing my running buddy, I’ve still kept up with my training! I haven’t had to run by myself outside of a treadmill since….college? So, this is a big step! I’m also prepared to use my kung fu training on any possible Amy-nappers.

2) Cross Training! I went to spin class last week! It was actually fun to do something completely non-running related.  I also started the 30 day ab challenge with Amanda from Run to the Finish yesterday.  I’m hoping to have some awesome abs by the time July is over!

3) Recovery. Me and the foam roller have reconnected, and I’ve added icing to my post run rolling/protein routine.

4) Hydration. Ever since I started drinking a Nuun after my longer/overheated runs, I haven’t had any dehydration issues, even though I am still running in 90 degree temperatures.  Highly recommend!

5) Making good food choices. In keeping with the “let’s give Amy a chill pill thing,” I’m not going to stress over what I’m eating as much as I was (truthfully, I was still eating cheeseburgers but feeling horribly guilty about it.  I don’t want that kind of relationship with food).  I AM making better choices.  For example, we went to an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet yesterday, and I really wanted a second serving of the  chicken masala, and I totally didn’t go back!  Also, surprise! Chicken masala sauce has flour in it.  Let’s just say Aaron was not very comfortable digestively speaking while watching the Espana/Italia game yesterday (P.S. GO ESPANA! Those are my peeps!).

6) This is kind of irrelevant, but I ran 13 miles by myself with no music.  And I was ok with it.  I feel in some small way, this contributes to general bad assery.  Little victories!

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT:

1) I have a tendency to get really tense in my shoulders when I run (if you haven’t noticed I tend to be a pretty tense person all of the time anyway).  I want to work on 1) building up shoulder/back muscles so they can hold their own and 2) RELAXING.

2) Sleep.  For some reason the last couple of weeks I’ve been having a hard time getting to bed at a reasonable hour and/or sleeping through the night.  So, I’ve been sleeping for 5 hours, loading myself up with insane amounts of coffee, and wondering why I have no energy all day.  If y’all could please stop being interesting after 8:00 pm MST, I would appreciate it!

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So, I hope you have a wonderful week! I’m loving the 4-day-ness of it, but having a day off right in the middle is stressing me out.  You’re so surprised, right?

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24 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday

  1. Yay for not neglecting beer and cupcakes! Who does that, anyway? (Spoiler: boring people) Also, that girl’s form irritates me as well, but since she’s obviously drunk, I’ll let it slide.

  2. Congrats on your 13 miler! That’s definitely a milestone as far as length for a non-race outing. As a long time runner, new marathoner and coach, I definitely think you have it right when you are looking to break away from the highly structured training plan. You definitely want to listen to how your training is going rather than forcing it, and you will do much better!

    • Thanks for stopping by! I am hopeful that this new approach will at least make me enjoy the whole process more, if not make me faster!

  3. I’m not marathon training (nor will I ever!) but I’ve read my fair share about different types of runs. Shouldn’t your long runs be about 1:30 slower than your race pace? I’ve tried to do long runs at a much slower pace and it’s really hard! That competitive side of you is constantly pushing for new heights, but you need to tell it ‘Save it for the race.’ You seem to be a very reflective person, so you’ll figure things out as they come up and make your adjustments. Keep persevering and stay positive!

    • You are spot on. You are supposed to do your long runs between 30-90 seconds slower than your race pace (for me, I can usually run a minute faster per mile for a half marathon than I do in my long training runs). Right now I’m barely making the 90 minute slower mark on very few miles, so that’s why I’m sort of having a crisis, but you’re right. I’ll just keep imagining your tattoo!

  4. You crack me up. Seriously. I love that you’re as (should we call it “high strung?”) as I am! But seriously, it sounds like you’re doing really well and I don’t think that #6 is irrelevant at all! I think that’s awesome — a definitely accomplishment 🙂

    And poor Aaron! Here’s hoping he heals up quickly.

    • Haha! Yay, high strung people! I hope he heels quickly too. He’s feeling much better this week, so hopefully he can get some runs in next week.

  5. I don’t want to write a book and reply to everything in here, but …
    – Nuun before and during the run!
    – It took me 7 marathons to stop running with music, but I’m glad I dropped it. I like my quiet time, but from a competitive standpoint, I’m more aware of my body and I don’t alter my turnover just because a different song comes on. From a safety standpoint, if you’re not running with your husband, it’s good to be aware of your surroundings.
    – Re your training paces, don’t worry too much about them. You already know you have plenty of speed. Now you’re working on the endurance. Focus on building that up and the speed will probably improve. Everything will fall into place. Don’t sweat paces that are slower than you want them to be.
    – Whatever you do, don’t take the fun out of it. If that means cupcakes or slow runs or beer, then so be it. You’re not getting paid … this is for fun. Keep it fun!

    • I think the main purpose behind my new approach was to start having fun again. I was sucking the fun right out of everything! Unlike Olympic athletes, if I don’t reach my goals, my country won’t care or hate me, so why act like it will be the end of the world when it won’t?

      And as far as the music, I realized during the 10-K that I either wasn’t listening to it, or annoyed when I song I didn’t want came on, so why not start trying to run without it? I actually ran my first half marathon without music because I forgot to charge my shuffle, and I don’t remember it being so bad! And yes, especially right now, I don’t want take any chances with not hearing everything that’s happening around me!

    • You are going to do so wonderfully! I was so nervous before my first half, but once you finish, you’ll feel amazing! Good luck!

  6. Just came across your blog from a fellow Twitter/blogger friend, and love it! I just started running a few weeks ago, and wonder of wonders, I can’t even believe I’m enjoying it. I have always hated running, swore it off, thought anyone who did it was crazy, and now, at 38 years old, I actually am loving it. (To be fair, I’ve only been running the past few weeks, though.) I really hope I can keep it up! Love the picture on this post – it is about the progress!

    • Thank you! And thanks for stopping by! I was the exact same way just a couple of years ago (who in their right mind would run 6 miles in a row for fun????). But the sense of accomplishment is addicting, and the social media running community is AWESOME and super supportive! Congratulations on starting out! I’m glad you are enjoying it so far, and good luck in your running journey!

  7. Your poor husband. I hope he heals quickly. That’s gotta be frusterating!!
    You sound like you are doing so well with your training. When is your race again and what is your longest distance you’ll run before the race?
    I get tense when I run, too. I constantly have to remind myself to relax!

    • The race is the first weekend of October. As it stands, we’ll be doing 3 runs of 20 miles, but depending, I’m looking at the pros and cons of adding in a 22 mile run one of those days. And I hope Aaron heals quickly too! I miss my running buddy!

  8. Running without your running buddy is hard! But, I’m slowly starting to learn to enjoy the quiet time and just enjoying the outdoors when I end up by myself.
    So working out the shoulders will help with the post run ache? My shoulders and neck seem to hurt all the time since I’ve been running. I try to remember to relax, but it’s not seeming to do me much good.
    Sounds like you’ve made some good headway in the mind part of the game this week. I admire your intensity!

    • I think I started running faster because I was trying to keep up with Aaron, because I also felt bad for making him wait for me. I hope he gets better soon too!

  9. I never have a running buddy! lol!!! I want one! Anyway, my shoulders get really tense when I run too…I thought at first it was from my sports bra that I wear, but I don’t think so. I’m figuring out some exercises/treatments that might help, i’ll let you know what I find!

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