Marathon Training Recap: Week 8

The Green Socks.

Last year, The Bataan Memorial Death March fell on St. Patrick’s Day.  I didn’t want to go full-out leprechaun since this is a race to honor our Veterans, so I ordered green compression socks to go with my black and white outfit.  In general, my calves have issues, so I like to wear compression socks on any run over 10 miles, and sometimes the green socks come into rotation (my others are hot pink and white).

I never really thought they were that out of the ordinary.  I enjoy bright clothing.  And, since I always assume that I am a target for kidnapping (fun times in the head of Amy), I figure wearing something bright might help witnesses remember that they saw me at a certain point in order to establish timelines and locations of my last known whereabouts.  Really, they aren’t anything out of the ordinary for me.

But then, during my 19 miler on Saturday, I easily got comments from 20 different people.  It was an out and back run, so many of these people commented twice (and those who didn’t comment the first time, went for it the second time!).  “Hey! I recognize those green socks!” “Way to go, Green Socks! Still going!”  “Love your socks!”  Men, women, runners, cyclists, walkers, kids in bike carriers.  Everyone.

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Having the constant encouragement was actually very motivating, even though it had nothing to do with my running performance. It made the hot long run much more enjoyable, and as a result, I ran faster than I have been for long runs, and I smiled much more.  And I am certain that if I would have gone missing, several people would have called in to let the authorities know that they saw me along the trail!

The whole thing made such an impression that I actually demanded that Aaron take my picture post-run so I could share it on the blog! Green socks have special powers!

In other news, we are now officially in the middle of the Balls to the Wall  (from the windowsssss to the wall!) portion of training.  All we have left is three 20 mile long runs with a down week in between each before heading to Taper Town (won’t you take me to Taper Town).  The mileage has been built up, so the next 4.5 weeks will be dedicated to getting more miles in at marathon pace and working to make marathon pace feel as comfortable as possible.

Workout Recap:

*Funny that on the days that I was writing my blog post last week about pushing through adverse conditions to be more like a soccer player, I was actually taking a couple of rest days to deal with some stomach issues.  Nothing too crazy, but experience has taught me that running through it equals having to crawl in fetal position on the side of the road.

Monday: 4 recovery miles

Tuesday: REST (yes, I was pretty happy to avoid an 800’s workout)

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: Tempo (15/20/10): Because Aaron was at a work event and the temperatures were hot outside, I opted to do this run on the treadmill.  I always increase the incline to 1% to simulate a more realistic effort.  Tempo pace was 7:39 which is perfect, but I’m trying not to get too excited because, incline or not,  I still had a machine pacing me and pushing me along.  When I can recreate it on my own, I’ll be happy.

20140702-122628-44788664.jpgI took a picture on the way home from work so you could sympathize with my choice to treadmill it…also, don’t judge me by my gas mileage!

Friday: REST

Saturday: 19 mile long run: Overall, drama free and with minimal pain.  The last few miles were hot, and as we were leaving after our river ice bath, an ambulance pulled up to rescue a runner who had apparently passed out, so even though we started at 6:30 am, things were getting into the dangerous realm by 10:00 am.  I ran this with an average pace of 9:22 which is 1.5 minutes slower than marathon pace and right on track.  However, in 4.5 weeks, I want this to be at a 8:52 average, so there is speed to be gained before then!

Also, we ran next to the river which means bugs.  I have so many bites on my legs, and if you look at this picture closely, you’ll see a the types of swarms we have to run through. This was right at eye level, and those little dots were bugs in front of my face.

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Sunday: 9 miles:  This was supposed to be at marathon pace, but I knew I wouldn’t come close, and I didn’t.  Because I accidentally counted the weeks wrong, we started training two weeks late which meant significant mileage jumps over the last several weeks.  After only training for 12 weeks for Boston and having major issues close to race time, I’m extremely cautious about how that ramp up affects my body.

After Saturday’s long run I was feeling funkiness in my legs and I knew that pushing the pace wasn’t a good idea.  So, I stayed in the low 10’s/high 9’s and just got the run done. Not quite World Cup Soccer Player status, but I do think that my legs recovered much faster and much more adequately because of it.

20140702-123631-45391023.jpgTaking preventative measures against injury after a jump to a 28 mile weekend…AND MORE GREEN SOCKS!

As of right now, I think I’m on track to hit about 3:30 on Marathon Day.  I’m not giving up on a sub-3:30 marathon yet, but I know that the next few weeks are critical, and now is the time to stay focused. If you see me running, please yell at me to run faster, and be sure to make a comment about my socks!

What’s your craziest/most attention grabbing article of running clothing?

 

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8 thoughts on “Marathon Training Recap: Week 8

  1. I love how the polka dots don’t even get commented on – the dot strike me as more notable than the socks! But yes, always good to be safe! My craziest running outfit is my British flag running vest – I’m considering wearing it for the 4th July race this Friday…but that may not be suitable 🙂

    • Having some British representation would make for a more authentic experience!

      And I totally agree about the polka dots! I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but the outfit is actually a 1-piece jumper, so it isn’t a typical running outfit to begin with! But nope, just the socks are what people notice.

  2. I LOL’ed at “from the windowsssss to the wall!”
    And yes, I’m judging your mpg!

    Great week — congrats on surviving a 28 mile weekend!

    • I converted from a sedan to an SUV 2 years ago, and I was so shocked at how much gas it uses! I’ve cut down my driving quite a bit, and we really stay in our own neighborhood most of the time, so I can usually get away with only filling it up every 2.5 weeks.

      And I hate the phrase balls to the wall, but it accurately describes the effort, and it gives me an excuse to belt out some 10 year old hip hop!

  3. I thought for a moment we had the same green socks (CEP are mine), but I don’t think we do. They are rather fabulous. As for most outrageous running kit? I’m considering a leopard print zentai suit for a future marathon…

    • Mine are ProCompression which is a smaller brand mostly marketed through social media. I like CEP much better (I have hot pink in that brand!). And I’m actually surprised you haven’t gone leopard print yet! I think you win as far as attention grabbing race gear. My green socks look pretty regular compared to your husky friend.

  4. I’ve heard great things about compression socks but I’ve never worn them. Maybe one day I’ll convert, but for now my calves have rarely been the issue (all about the quads now). I hope you’ve adopted Costa Rica as your World Cup team now because OH MY GOD I’M LOSING MY MIND AND CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS SATURDAY’S GAME

    • I’m truthfully not 100% convinced that compression socks aren’t producing a placebo effect, but I’m willing to buy into the hype just in case.

      I’ve always cheered for Brazil, but I will root for Costa Rica up until they face Brazil if they both make it to the final. I think it is awesome that your little underdog country has made it this far (and I use “little” and “underdog” in the least condescending tone). Good luck with the game! I look forward to seeing more Crazy Fan Dan pictures on social media!

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