Marathon Reflection Monday

Happy First Monday of the Olympics!

Have you seen this commercial?  They’ve been playing it non-stop.

I’m starting to feel like I can relate to this man.  He’s running, and all of the sudden he looks up and realizes that he is waaaay further out than he meant to be.

This weekend I put in 25 miles.  17 miles on Saturday and 8 miles yesterday.  Both were kind of miserable.

Saturday we ran from our house down to the University of New Mexico (UNREAL.  Our house is nowhere near UNM), around campus, and back home.

This was the first time in our marathon long runs that we did an “urban” route, having to cross streets, stop at stop lights, and endure people looking at us funny.

We also got to see some of the highlights of the city including a lovely lady doing her walk of shame at 6:30 am, and at 8:30, two already drunk teenagers drinking Bud Light under a bridge.  Stay classy, Albuquerque.

The course was also a lot harder than what we’ve been doing.  The last 4 miles were uphill and my legs wanted nothing to do with it.  My solid cruiser 9 minute mile pace dropped to a 10:30.  But new and improved non-long-run-pace-obsessed Amy let it go.  It is also amazing to me how much your pace can drop just by pausing at an intersection to check for traffic (not that I was paying attention to my pace….)

We did a section running through the UNM campus, which was kind of slow because we had ramps and steps and all sorts of weird surfaces  (running up 20 steps and then down 20 steps is hard on the legs at mile 8 by the way).

We stopped at mile 9 at a gas station for Gatorade, water, and to take our Clif Shot.  My guess is that 17 miles is the point where we’re going to have to add a second Clif Shot to our routine.  Regardless, starting up again on an uphill after that brief break was reminder enough why you shouldn’t stop.  Taking a break sounds nice until you do and then can’t get started again.

Overall, 17 was not fun.  But, we did it.

Afterwards, we watched some games, grabbed some burrito bowls at Chipotle, and then I slept all afternoon.  I woke up to watch rowing, slept some more, woke up to catch up on The Newsroom, and then went to bed.  Exciting life, the one of a marathoner.  Run, fuel, and sleep.

I’m also realizing that while I can probably talk myself through running an 8 minute mile for the marathon, there are a lot of little pace-slowing factors that I need to consider.  I got through 17 miles without having to use the restroom, but I can I assume that I can hold it for 9 more miles after that?  And we stopped for about 5 minutes to drink water from a park water fountain at mile 14 (bless that little water fountain).  Am I going to have to spend more time than I’m used to at water stations to gulp down multiple cups of water?  In half-marathon land, I grab a cup, take a sip, pour the rest down my neck and keep going.  Points I need to start considering.

On the injury front, I think I have my IT band under control for the moment.  Hooray! If I could only get this heel issue to go away.  (I’m working on it!).

What Went Well:

1) Rehab continuation: Even though things like my IT band are not hurting as much, I’m still giving them a lot of attention to make sure they stay that way.

2) Cross training/weight-training/core work: This was an “on” week.  My core still needs some work though.  Like, lots. But at least it is getting incorporated in the routine.

What Needs Work:

1) Avoiding burn-out:  I’m starting to feel like my life is being taken over by running (probably because it is).  I don’t see myself becoming a marathon maniac anytime soon.  This may be a once or twice in a lifetime activity for me.

And this has nothing to do with today’s post, but I thought it was funny (I’ve also used almost all of the good inspiration off of Pinterest.  I may need to start making my own inspirational posters!).  Also, this girl actually looks like she could be a runner instead of a fitness model.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

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24 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday

  1. Glad to hear it might be normal to take a nap or two after long runs!! Like clockwork, at about 2 hours after a run I have GOT to take a nap to survive the day. Awesome job with the mileage!

    • 17 was definitely daunting. I can’t believe in just 3 weeks I’ll be hitting 20 miles! Aaron isn’t at 100% yet. He’s still not doing the Sunday runs, but he’s trying to do as many of the long runs and speed workouts as he can. He may not be able to fully recover until after the marathon is over.

  2. It’s amazing what a difference it makes running where there are stop lights, etc. Nice week of training and of taking care of that IT band. And yay for burrito bowls!

  3. Hills and stairs towards the end of a run is a terrible idea, I am mapping an all downhill 12 mile run for this weekend and I may just take the metrolink back home.

    As far as TV, you are much more dedicated than I, I had a long day with no naps and had to forego The Newsroom. I fell asleep during the Olympics after about an hour and tonight I am going to try and sneak in Breaking Bad, ABQ REPRESENT, ha!

    As for water and fuel, my goal is to not “stop” but fast walk while I drink and take in a gel pack. I did it yesterday and it helps keep the legs from going into full rest mode. Marathon training is definitely taking over my life, I am looking at the “low-mileage” long run weekends as the right ones to get out of town…its all very sad but I think this may be my first and last marathon at this rate. Half Marathons seem like the way to go!

    • Watch out for the downhill. While I’ve never experienced it, apparently long distances downhill will really mess with your quads.

      And I didn’t necessarily wake up to watch sports/Newsroom. I more watched what was on in between naps. I have truthfully never felt so tired. It was a waste of a Saturday, really. And I love Breaking Bad just so I can recognize the places! Walt and Skylar’s house is just down the street from my parents’ house!

      And yeah, I’m hoping that I can get my BQ for this race, and then do Boston in 2014, and then, that might be it…maybe New York because it looks awesome. Otherwise, I think I’ll be halfing it. But we’ll see. I never thought I’d do more than one half either until after I finished my 1st.

      • It won’t be really downhill, just a lot more flat with less hills but definitely good to know!

        As for ABQ, you and your crazy meth head infestation! I think you should take a photo in front of the house with a beaker or a bunsen burner.

        Yeah, I don’t really have any ambition to run Boston, Chicago, Long Beach, Pasadena or LA but just like you, I told myself I only wanted to do one half marathon. I think it is just the current mental state I am in. I bet if I have a six pack come November and I am injury free my tune will change drastically.

  4. Yay! So exciting!! But yeah, doing a hill at the end of a long run can be torture! But you made it through, so that’s good!! Hopefully, Beers were to follow. I’ve thought about someday running a good ol marathon, but I would be asleep all day after a long run. I’ll have to wait till my toddler grows up!

    • Marathon training is definitely a luxury. I can’t imagine doing this and having other responsibilities. I know a lot of moms run with their kids, but that doesn’t account for the exhaustion afterwards!

    • Thanks! I think I’m going to have to start substituting runs with other stuff during the week. I think I was mostly bummed out that my Saturday seemed completely wasted. You are so awesome for doing this with a little kid! I can’t even imagine.

  5. I hear you one the ‘once, maybe twice in a lifetime’ thing. At this point I cannot wait until the marathon is over so I can start claiming back some ‘me time’. I think I’m going to stick to halfs for a looooooong time after this!

    Way to get 17 done. That’s my aim for this weekend, and the next day the boyfriend wants to do a 30 mile round trip hill walk. I am obviously psyched about that…

    • Hahaha! Good luck with that hike!

      And I thought I’d be more into the whole marathon thing, but I’m really not. I have no idea how people do this more than once a year.

      • I thought so too, but I think anything that hits double digits should be forever considered a ‘long run’, not a ‘mid-distance’. I’m going to have such a retarded smile on my face when I finish because I will know that I am giving myself an entire week off running afterwards! (I’ve stupidly signed up to a 10K a week afterwards, however, so I’m going to go ahead and place bets on the fact that my time is going to suck hard.)

  6. Hey Amy, everybody’s different, but in training I take a gel every 6 miles and in a race it’s every 4-5 miles depending on how my stomach is feeling. You’re going to start noticing when you get up past 20, but your body will run out of energy (bonk, wall, etc). You can get by on 17, but it’s a different ballgame getting up to 26. A lot of things go into running a good marathon — endurance, speed, pacing strategy, etc. But fueling is pretty important, too. Getting enough, starting with enough, not burning too fast … I’d try a gel every 6 miles next time and see how it goes.

    Nice job on the new distance high. 17 miles is a long ways to run. You’re getting there, no doubt. And pace on a new distance long doesn’t matter. You knocked out the miles, which is what you needed to do.

    • During half marathons I usually fuel at mile 7, but I’d been feeling fine fueling at mile 8 for the last few runs. I’ll probably try 7 and 14 for the next few long runs. I’m definitely starting to notice a breakdown in energy around mile 15.

      And I promise I am trying REALLY hard not to care about pace during long runs. But it is hard.

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