Marathon Reflection Monday

So this is kind of a super late Marathon Reflection Monday.  I just couldn’t get into writing today.  Sorry.

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I survived 24 miles this weekend!

I got in my first ever 16 mile run on Saturday, and then finished off with 8 miles yesterday after taking 3 days off from running last week.

Aside from some muscle soreness in my calves, everything appears to be working just fine, even my IT band! I slapped this sexy beast on during my run, and it seems to have worked.  Aaron called me on Friday to tell me that he bought me a present! Turns out it was this.  True love.  That’s a picture of my leg by the way.

All of the extensive rehabbing I’ve been doing has helped too!

I’m sad that I missed a tempo run on Thursday, because tempo runs are actually my favorite speed training workout (probably because they don’t involve sprinting up a quarter mile hill followed by a deep wave of nausea).  But, I think sacrificing was necessary for healing.

Aaron did the 16 with me, but opted out of the 8 yesterday.  He’s feeling much stronger, and should be back on a regular schedule here soon.

Saturday, we finally got our act together, woke up early, and started the run at 6:30 instead of 8:30.  Amazing how much cooler the world is at 6:30!  Though, of course when we finished at 9, things were getting hot and sticky.

At mile 8, we ran into a gas station, and I used the restroom while Aaron purchased some Gatorade.  Because we chugged down the Gatorade, I actually didn’t fuel with any Clif shots.  I usually don’t take more than one gel per workout anyway (this will probably change once I hit the 20 mile mark), but I didn’t really feel like I needed anything extra.

I forgot the body glide on both days, but luckily I had no chaffing anywhere!  I consider this to be pretty lucky.  Thanks, Lulu!

I’ve been doing my long runs at a solid “cruiser” pace, and I’m excited to see the cruiser pace drop each week!  I am exactly where I want to be at this point in the game.  With 11 weeks left to go, I really think that 3:30 marathon is achievable!  At the very least, I’m still in the running!

I still do have a long way to go however.  At 14 miles, I started experiencing a fatigue unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It wasn’t a lack of energy, but my legs just started to feel like jello in a way that felt way more literal than I thought possible.  At one point, I had to wait for some cars to go by at mile 15.5, and starting up again was pretty much one of the hardest mental tests I’ve ever had to endure.  But this is good.  I need to have experience with the mental push.  My pace didn’t drop during the last two miles, so I guess I have muscle memory to credit.  Just keep running!

Also noteworthy: Even though I still have 11 weeks to go, I’ve already started having marathon nightmares.  The other night I dreamt  that Boston was releasing the 2014 qualifying times at the same time that I was running my marathon. I finished in 3:32 (YAY!) only to find out that the qualifying time for my age group had gone down to 3:28.  Bummer, dude.  And then to top it off, my tweets that I was typing weren’t posting, so I couldn’t even vent to you guys about it. In another dream, I missed my flight because I decided to run a 5-K at the last minute.

THINGS THAT WENT WELL:

Rehabbing: I’ve gotten pretty good at the whole process.  And it has worked!  I seem to have stopped what was trying to become an injury. I hope that everything stays in one piece from here on out!

Speed improvement: At first, I was frustrated because I wasn’t going as fast as I was a few months ago.  But after working hard, I’m feeling much stronger and much faster.  I’m amazed at the progress I see every week!

THINGS THAT NEED WORK:

Cross-training: This seems to be an off/on week type of thing.  This week was an off week.  During my faster 8 yesterday, I could feel my belly bouncing around (EWE) instead of feeling strong and helping me go faster.  I bet you can tell how well the ab challenge is going…

Getting up earlier for long runs: Things felt so much better by starting out earlier in the morning.  Because the mileage just keeps getting higher, and temps won’t cool down for maybe 2 more months, I need to make sure that I’m not out past 10:30.

FitStreak with Allison:

Monday: Ran for 33:34

Tuesday: Ran for 30:00

Wednesday: Elliptical for 45:00

Thursday: Walked for 25:38

Friday: Walked for 25:43

Saturday: Ran for 2:26:19

Sunday: Ran for 1:09:42

I hope everyone had a good Monday! Mine was kind of nuts.  But it is raining! That’s reason enough to end the day on a high note!

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday

  1. Sigh. As soon as I think I’ve kicked my Lulu habit for good, I’m reminded of just how amazing all of their clothing is.

    Nice job this week — 24 miles in a weekend is super impressive!

  2. Awesome!! Glad you had a great workout and that you are feeling better. That’s a big plus and I’m sure it made you super happy 🙂 I did 15 on Saturday and almost died. 24 is impressive!! Keep up the awesome training.

    • Thanks! After a rough training start, I’m just happy that things are feeling much better. And I don’t envy your humid 15 at all. But, I’m sure finishing even after almost dying feels pretty good!

  3. You seem reasonably on track. Did the math on your paces … you did well aiming for a 3:30 with a new distance long of 16. Surprising on the pace for the 8 the next day. You’re running well — it’s going to be cool to see you get up into the 20s.

    • Still not 100%, but I figure if I can get into the 20’s at a comfortable 8:30-8:45 pace over the next month and a half, then I can get myself down to an 8 minute mile on race day when I have adrenaline and competition. I still want to get my Sunday mid-distance runs much faster, but as long as I improve each week and get more miles in the sub-8 range, then I’m ok with the one dumb 9:35 uphill mile that skews the average!

  4. What week of training are you in now? You are kicking butt…also, which program are you using? I ask because I am using Hal Higdon’s and I don’t run the day after long run’s, I am asked to cross train…but now I am thinking I should run.

    • I guess Week 7? I have 11 weeks to go, but I forget if I finished week 7 or if I’m starting week 7. Our program is customized based on Aaron’s extensive knowledge of endurance training (he actually got a pretty awesome researched based education in exercise science). It incorporates ideas from many plans, including Hal’s. Our plan is really focused on building up endurance which basically translates into more long runs.

      The general consensus is that the Sunday mid-distance run helps recovery (I always feel the best all week on Sunday afternoon and Mondays), and also getting in more mileage on “fatigued” legs which ultimately builds up the slow twitch muscle fibers and all the other good stuff that happens when you train to be an endurance athlete. The Sunday long run should be very proportionate to the Saturday long run and the mileage should build up slowly. I would say, maybe try out a 4 mile run after your next long run and see how it feels!

      But…because it is kind of an intense plan, it should be noted that injury prevention must be a priority (my mistake). Aaron’s mistake was pushing himself too hard for a 10-K in 97 degree temperatures, then having to turn a 180 on the course while sprinting against a real live Kenyan, so his was more “incidental” than training related.

      • Ok, that makes sense. I think Hal’s is more generic and geared towards the middle…obviously Aaron knows that you guys can handle a little more so he can customize. I will probably see how I feel after my 11 mile run this weekend and since I am supposed to do an hour of cross training this weekend, maybe I will run 3 miles and swim for 40 minutes or so. I have no idea how to prevent injury…my best method is Pilates…I need a coach!

      • My best advice is to roll out your muscles within 30 minutes of every run even if nothing hurts, have a protein shake (or something protein heavy) within 30 minutes of every long run and address something the moment it starts bothering you by rolling and icing and any other weird suggested remedy. I love my compression gear (I put on my socks right after every long run), but I don’t know if it is completely necessary or not. Also, dynamic stretching before, static stretching after. I really think things like Pilates and weight lifting help.

      • Dominick, I’m not sure where you run, but I get in dynamic stretching when I’m waiting for traffic lights to change in the early parts of a run. Basically, I have one hand on a light post and swing a leg back and forth 10-15 times, then side to side crossing in front of me 10-15x, and then sort of a tuck and extension back 10-15x, then repeat on the other leg. Exercises that strengthen muscles that stabilize the pelvis (a lot of the Pilates exercises, lunges done right, etc.) will help prevent many of the more common running-related injuries.

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