I know there are days of silence going on right now. I’m not really sure when the official one is (I’ve seen several), but I know I couldn’t bring myself to post for the last several days. I am heartbroken over the events of last week. I came home for lunch on Friday and I sat in front of CNN and cried, and I still can’t make it through a news story without getting a terrible feeling deep in my gut. I don’t think anyone, myself included, will recover from this emotionally for a very long time. My thoughts and prayers are, and have been, with the people of Newtown.
The family of one of the little girls just moved to Connecticut from an Albuquerque suburb recently and they were members at the gym that Aaron manages. Emilie Parker used to go to the gym day care pretty often and a few of Aaron’s employees knew her pretty well. According to the news, her favorite book was Charlotte’s Web, and she used to greet her kindergarten teacher here in New Mexico last year with a “salutations, teacher” every morning.
This weekend I was looking at my calender, and I realized that, even though I’m doing two separate training cycles, I am 4 months out from Boston meaning I am officially in the marathon training time frame. So soon? Truthfully, right now the thought of 17 mile runs is slightly overwhelming. I was so excited to start training for my first marathon back in June, and even though I’ve forgotten the pain of the actual race (MARATHONS ARE FUN!), I remember vividly the lost weekends, miserable 800’s, and chaffing/bleeding/blistering. Even now that I’m getting back into the 10-12 mile runs, I’m starting to get a slight feeling of dread as I lace up my shoes.
And this weekend’s 10 miler wasn’t my most inspired long run. Turns out, if you spend the winter running on a nice flat treadmill in a climate controlled guest bedroom and then attempt to run up a mountain, your body rebels in grand fashion. On Saturday, we kept hoping that if we waiting a bit longer to head out, the temperature would rise. It kind of did (36 degrees is warmer than 27 degrees)… As much as I run, I haven’t invested in any long running pants, so I wore shorts and compression socks. Meanwhile I saw people walking dogs who looked prepared for a walk in Antarctica. I was ok, but I think that my legs took an extra long time to warm up, and they had that weird tingling and redness that comes from sweating and simultaneously freezing.
The uphill miles were SLOW and I didn’t quite get the exhilarating feeling of flying during the downhill miles either. Our past few (flat coursed) long runs have been fast, and I’ve been able to get 7 miles in during the first hour. On Saturday I barely got 6 in during the first hour. Luckily, it wasn’t completely miserable, but it did serve as a good wake up call that I haven’t been keeping to my weekly goals and and apparently I’ve forgotten about those lessons learned the hard way during marathon training.
So, as a reminder to myself of what I said I would do at the beginning of the cycle, here’s what needs work for the next 5 weeks leading up to Operation Fast Half.
1) Train in harder conditions than you want to: Neither RnRAZ or Boston are flat. So why am I training on a flat surface? Hitting pace goals is nice, but that won’t help power me through Heartbreak Hill.
2) Weight lifting/muscle burning exercises: my muscles are tiring faster than they should. And my shoulders keep tensing. During marathon training I discovered that rows helped prevent shoulder tightness. Yet I haven’t been doing them.
3) Yoga, stretching, and general injury prevention: My calves are tight every day. Running on tight muscles without taking care of them is a sure way to get injured. I also have been neglecting the foam roller. I will say though, I don’t see myself icing any time soon. Ice is cold.
4) Cross-training: This isn’t nearly as essential during half training because the mileage really isn’t enough to completely burn me out or really injure me from over-training, but I still want to be doing more spinning and swimming for overall fitness. I haven’t in a couple of weeks.
5) Core exercises: I haven’t been doing my daily core exercises. Instead of feeling like a cohesive unit barreling through space while running, I feel like I’m flopping around like an octopus. My body parts aren’t working together. And my lower back has been aching more recently.
I’m less than 5 weeks out from what is supposed to be a strong fast half that will help me transition into “Don’t Be the Slowest Person at Boston” marathon training, and I need to start taking this seriously.
I think I started falling into the mindset that, hey, it’s the holidays, I can be lazy. But I can’t. (Sidenote: this new enthusiasm may be slightly prompted by the creation of my 10 year high school reunion facebook group. I’ve never been very keen on actually going to my high school reunion, but I suddenly feel pressure to have some noteworthy accomplishments. Like, maybe I haven’t climbed the corporate ladder or moved out of state after talking loudly about how much I hated New Mexico for the first 18 years of my life and the last 5 years after college, but I can run a fast marathon, gosh darn it!).
And really, I should be taking advantage of the fact that my long runs are only 10 miles and weekly mileage is between 20-35 miles because too soon I’ll be back to thinking 10 miles is any easy day (just kidding…I’ve NEVER thought that!).
On the Christmas front, I am now way behind on my gingerbread house. I need it to be done by Saturday, but I have so much left to do. I may have to pull some all nighters here this week….
Hope everything on your Christmas to-do list is getting done! Only one more week to fit in as much Christmas as you can!