Marathon Reflection Monday

Welcome to a new week!  It’s kind of hard to believe that I’m only starting week 6 of training.  I keep having to remind myself that even though it feels like I’ve been doing this marathon thing for forever, I still have so many more weeks to go! Good because I need them, but bad because I’m starting to get a case of serious 26.2 bumper sticker envy.

This week was our “back down off it” week (Is this the name of a hip hop song? Because it should be).  The way our plan works, we increase mileage for two weeks and then back down off it for a third week (this may be standard marathon procedure.  I’m not really sure).   My body has started to notice that it is being tortured more than it ever has, so I’m really valuing these “rest” weeks, even though in a few weeks, “rest” week will include a 12 mile run.

And I have my running buddy back!…Kind of.  Aaron joined me for the 10 mile run on Saturday! He is still working on getting healed, but he’s trying to at least get the long runs in if nothing else.  I’m still having to do about 70% of my runs solo, but he’s slowly getting back in the game!  I was hoping Saturday would be the day that I finally got to beat the gimp, but nope.  He still ran faster. With an injury. Taking it easy.  Must be nice.

I’ve been doing my last few long runs along the Bosque Trail which runs parallel to our “river.”  Chicago’s course is flat, so I’m trying to train on a flat elevation (hard to do in Albuquerque since the entire city slopes toward a giant mountain).

I’m getting a little bored with the route because it really is miles upon miles of the same thing, so we might change it up a bit next weekend. I WILL however miss the roller bladers.  There are so many of them! And these people look serious about it, and totally unconcerned that we aren’t in the 90’s anymore. If running doesn’t work out, it looks like roller blading may be the next option for me to try.  Any roller blading blogs out there for me to follow?

Also weird, was that 10 miles felt so much harder than 14 last week. We did get a later (read:hotter) start than normal (8:30 am), and Albuquerque was strangely very humid (oh my goodness, I don’t envy you people who have to live in that everyday), so that didn’t help.  But the run felt long, my legs didn’t feel as strong, and it was overall just not the most enjoyable experience, even with my running buddy. I think maybe I went in with the attitude that it was “only 10,” forgetting that a 10 mile run can be a battle in itself.

And yesterday’s 7 mile run wasn’t too much better.  I was able to run 2 minutes faster than the same course/distance last week, but it just felt so much worse.

HOWEVER, even though the two longest runs of the week didn’t feel particularly superhero-esque, my slowest splits are getting faster and I’m running more and more splits in the 8:50 pace range, which is 50 seconds slower than my marathon pace.  So improvement is being realized!  I’m cool with being miserable as long as I’m getting faster! It’s being miserable and non-improving that makes me sad and emo.

What Went Well:

1) Attitude and confidence: Considering where I was a couple of week ago, I feel like this is the biggest victory.  I CAN do this!

2) Cross-training: I’ve been substituting a recovery run day with a different form of exercise like spin and elliptical.  It is helping to keep things interesting, and I’m hoping that it is preventing my body from total burnout. Also doing well with lifting weights and working on my core everyday.

{Again with the picture.  No ladies I know run with their hair in their face.}

What Needs Improvement:

1) Icing/rolling/stretching/compressing: I’m doing this after every run still (GOOD), but  I think I’m waiting too long after finishing my runs to do it (BAD).  Also needed? A sports massage.  I usually get massages sporadically throughout the year, but they are more of the “spa day” type massages as opposed to ones that improve my muscles for running.  I’m beginning to see regular sports massages as less of a spa treat and more of a necessity.

2) Staying injury free: I’ve had an annoying ache in my heel the past couple of days.  This is not a good thing.  What’s funny is it is in the same foot where Aaron has been having his foot problems.  I’ve been icing and really babying that calf, but I’m scared. Almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, I started getting Plantar fasciitis symptoms AFTER I relayed how terrified I was of it.  After seeing how frustrated Aaron has been, this is not something I want to play around with.  It isn’t to the point of slowing me down yet, but I don’t like that little ache at all.

3) Food and Sleep: Same old story, different week.  Friday I ate an abundance of fried food goodness for the first time in a long time.  It was tasty, but not as satisfying as I wanted it to be. And it was SALTY.  I could actually feel the repercussions on my body during Saturday’s 10 miler.  Every once in awhile, I think it is good to indulge because then you remember why it isn’t a good idea.

I think from here on out, my life will slowly be taken over by training.  I’m looking ahead 4 weeks and wondering how I’m going to have the time to get some of these runs in.  And this week I noticed the recovery runs jumped up to 4 miles when they’ve always been three.  Sneaky little plan, increasing recovery mileage like that!

I hope everyone had a great weekend, AND that everyone has a wonderful upcoming week.

Random Question: Have you ever felt uncomfortable saying if you were going on vacation or not going to be home at a certain time on your blog lest evil burglars got a hold of that information and used it to steal all of your valuables?  I try not to advertise where I’m going to be too much, but sometimes I just get so excited and want to talk about it.  Dear Evil Burglars: we really don’t have anything of value unless there is a big market for little succulent plants.  We have lots of those!

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17 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday

  1. I have found myself disrespecting my runs as well and I am only in week 3! I did get b slapped this weekend when I thought I could go out and run a route that was 80% trails in 80 degree heat for my 9 mile long run…I haven’t ran that distance since February. I was reminded around mile 8 that I need to not only have better run nutrition but also the fact that this the last distance I comfortable with.

    As far as blogging…I don’t have enough local followers to be concerned but I should probably start limiting the amount of specific personal data I post.

    • I like that. Don’t disrespect the runs! And yeah, our first run back, I thought the same thing, but with only 7.5 miles. Sure, it used to be easy, but when you haven’t been running that type of distance for a month, it will hurt.

      And I’ve realized that I’m pretty open about my life on here. So far nothing has been used against me, and I’ve never known anyone who got ripped off because of something they posted on the internet, but kind of makes you wonder.

  2. We’ve got a nice paved trail that runs right along Lake Michigan. I’ve only run on it a couple of times because it’s always crowded with bikers, rollerbladers, and roller skiiers (I’m not sure what they’re officially called, but people scoot around on mini ski skate things with ski poles). I agree that rollerbladers always seem so hardcore!

    I’ve had so many terrible runs lately that I’ve grown to really appreciate the good ones I had… way back when. I’m looking forward to the day I can say I had a really successful run that felt good!

    Glad to see Aaron’s feeling a little better! Sending healing thoughts his way!

    • Luckily this trail has a dirt path next to it for runners, otherwise I would get run over by the bikers! The rollerbladers are all over the place, and we have one guy that does that roller skier thing (I think…it kind of looks like an elliptical?), and the bikers HATE him because he takes up the whole trail.

      Sending you good run vibes!

  3. Since it’s just you and your husband, I guess I could see you getting nervous. I never travel with who I live with, so when ever I’m gone, someone’s how! Take that evil burglars!

    • Very true! And really, out of the people who read my blog, about 85% of the hits are from out of state people, and about 10% are from my family who I hope don’t moonlight as evil burglars. But, I keep hearing all sorts of things you should and shouldn’t have about yourself online, and I break just about every one of them!

  4. I love that picture both for it’s comic value (seriously, it’s called a ponytail. look it up) and because I need to be telling myself that right now!

    • Right??? Every time I find a good quote on Pinterest, some (usually overly toned) girl wearing a sports bra…or running with her hair flying all over the place has to ruin it! And YOU CAN DO IT! Whatever it is!

  5. I think as long as you don’t post your neighbourhood, a photo of your house and your address, you’re fine in terms of evil burglars. I keep my location quite general (Aberdeenshire is one of the largest counties in Scotland), so that also helps. It also helps that even when we give people directions to our house, they still have a hard time finding it!

    The heel thing… I’m still experiencing pain in my heel, and I’ve been doing calf stretches (straight leg and bent leg), then rolling my arch with a tennis ball and massaging it afterwards, then icing, but all of that has been sporadic, hence why it still hurts. Perhaps if I get my ass in gear over rehabbing it, it would be better. My physio was telling me that heel pain can also be a sign of issues in your lumbar region, and when I went to get me heel checked, she assessed me for that as well. Sports massages are wonderful! I used to get them all the time in Canada, when I had teacher’s benefits to pay for it 🙂 If/when you go for a massage, get your glutes massaged as well (I know that sounds funny, someone massaging your bum); your glutes are such an important group of muscles for running and also just supporting your body, and I’m always amazed at how tight they can be even though I’ve not done anything directly using them.

    Sometimes hard runs are worth it, because then you look at your time and think ‘Wow!’ Also, I understand why you’d want to stay on a flat course for your training, but shouldn’t you incorporate some hills into your routes for overall fitness? Since I’ve moved to a much hilly-er area, my fitness has greatly improved because you can’t avoid the hills here (unless you want an ultra boring, repetitive run), and as a result, I knocked off almost a minute from my 10 km PR.

    Perhaps I should’ve done a post on my blog in reponse to your post, because this is a long comment! Anyway, keep plugging away, persevere and always put things into perspective!

    • Glute massage is definitely a must! I’m pretty sure the whole problem originates in my hips/glute/IT band area, so I’m really working on that.

      And I probably should have clarified that I do the rest of my runs aside from my long run going up hills (and even the long run has some elevation to it), and usually one “hill sprint” workout every couple of weeks. Because flat courses only use 1 muscle group without rest, I’m trying to make sure my muscles are up for the challenge of 26.2 miles without a switch up!

  6. ha ha ha, yes, I avoid mentioning on my blog and Facebook that I will be away on vacation/or am on vacation only because of evil burglars. There was a story in the news this weekend about a girl posting a picture of some cash she and her grandmother were counting. Like 2 hours later, someone broke in to what they thought was her home. How sad is that? If you have a house sitter – feel free to share. Otherwise, you can just say you’re going on vacation but leave out the details as to when that is happening!!

  7. I’m on vacation right now…! I live in a large building, though, and I’m sure that half of the people in my building have way cooler stuff to steal than I do. Interestingly, I discovered that another blogger lived in my building last year when I recognized photos that she had taken of her apartment/balcony/etc.!

    • Yeah, if anyone did decide to break into our house, they’d probably regret wasting their time. One time my car got broken into, and I literally had NOTHING of interest. They took a plastic tub of what turned out to be posters for an event I was organizing. I didn’t even have a CD player! (They left my ELO tape in there). And kind of creepy about discovering your neighbor! I may have to pay extra attention to not photographing my neighborhood…

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