Just 12 more weeks to go before my second marathon. My comeback marathon. The marathon that makes me a marathoner. Instead of just a person who ran a marathon once.
I'm looking forward to that last part the most.
Week twelve saw some major accomplishments. And everyone likes writing out their accomplishments.
1) Longest long run since 2/8/2015: 16.00 miles
Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidence, which I don't) this was close to exactly a year ago. This was the last long run before I decided my foot should no longer continue to support my weight, much less my running habit. My run on Saturday was hard, (I wrote about it here) but not impossible. I was exhausted. And it's scary to think a marathon is ten miles further than that. But it was still an awesome confidence booster.
2) 28.1 miles for the week. Highest mileage week since this same week in February last year as well, which was 46 miles...
At one point in my life I would have considered 28.1 miles mediocre and possibly laughable weekly mileage for marathon training. I was pushing 50 miles a week and thought that was the bad-ass point: 50 miles. But 28 miles in only three runs per week is pretty great and I'm happy with it.
Here's what went down:
Monday - awesome indoor ride - 45 minutes
Tuesday - 6 really easy miles
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 6 easy but faster miles
Friday - 30 minutes bike, easy
Saturday - 16 miles - really hard but overall good
Sunday - rest
If my foot hadn't been hurting I think I would have made the time for a ride today, or even a run since it was so nice out. But I think rest was a good thing for me this week. Even a hard bike ride is enough to aggravate my tendinitis. I feel good about the week, I'm proud of my long run.
I either have to be better about sticking to my plan, or stop feeling guilty for not sticking to my plan. I really do intend to do the workouts, I just can't get myself to push beyond what's comfortable right now. I don't know how to interpret that. Is it fear of injury, is it borderline burn-out, or is it laziness? I'm not motivated to hit more running miles - because of my injury I'm being really conservative. Previously, it felt so good hitting a lot of miles (more than necessary, usually). Now, I'm just not doing it. I'm happy to hit the ones I have planned, and I have been. But I need to be doing the non-running workouts with more intention.
In the next twelve weeks I want to stay focused on hitting all my runs, which I've been doing already. I actually don't think I've missed a run besides being out of town. I also want to make sure I'm getting in 2-3 rides per week, even if they're easy. The third thing I want to add in is more strength training - mainly glutes and core. I'm doing a good job with calf raises - I do them pretty much any time, any where. But the stuff you can't just do waiting in line at the grocery store has to get done, too.
What I've Been Eating - Week 11
I've started trying to eat more plant-based and less meat and dairy. I would say I'm to 90% plant-based, 90% of the time. The other 10% is a random pizza night (I will go white-trash on some Pizza Hut), honey in my tea (I recently discovered that the mysterious tea served at my local Moroccan restaurant (because everyone has their local Moroccan restaurant, right?) is, in fact, not exclusively grown, packed and shipped for Marrakesh in Studio City to make me want to go there), milk in a Starbucks cold brewed iced coffee (whatever), or I don't know, cookies.
I've also experimented with some other things, like Tart Cherry Juice. I don't think this does anything. And smoothies. Okay, I made one smoothie. And a homemade pineapple-ginger "cleanse" which also didn't do anything. I tried cashew cheese (Heidi-ho) for the first time (amazing in a grilled "cheese" sandwich). I have also been eating a lot of avocados, pears, apples, hummus, and granola.
I'm trying to not have as much soda (I do love Diet Coke, it's true) and have sparkling water instead. The problem is... when I buy a 4-pack of Trader Joe's sparkling water, it's gone in two days. >_<
Next, I'm experimenting with the philosophy that if you're not hungry enough to eat a plate of vegetables, then you're not really hungry. Interesting, no?
Join us next time for What I've Been Eating: Goes to Hollywood!!
As you know, I was registered for a local 5k this past Saturday. I was pretty excited and I was hoping to come in under 25:30. I was feeling good about that goal going in.
I prepared a little by stretching the night before. I ate well and went to bed on time with everything already laid out. I was planning to run to the race because it's only a couple miles from my house and I knew I would run much faster having warmed up well.
My alarm went off at 5:40 and I was up and getting ready. I procrastinated a bit and left the house for the start line at 6:55. The race was scheduled to start at 8am and I still needed to pick up my bib.
I jogged slowly and combo'd that with walking. My right calf was a little tight (Note: foam-roll that tonight) and I had forgotten that my Kinvaras seem to just make things worse in that department. I was wearing my old, worn-out Kinvara 4's because it was super muddy and I didn't want to get a new pair dirty. The shoes held up just fine, though.
I arrived to the race site around 7:25 having ran 2.85 miles to get there. I hadn't known exactly how far it was going to be because I had never run exactly from point-to-point, and I was trying to take the shortest route, which usually is not the case.
I picked up my bib, stopped by bathrooms, and started the wait.
They did some announcements, etc. and then a "Breast Cancer Boot Camp" (whatever the hell that is) lady came up on stage to lead the runners and walkers through a series of warm-up exercises as is typical for this type of event. I stood at the back stretching my calves and hamstrings and watched everyone look ridiculous doing arm circles, calf raises (?), and squats. Yes, the lady led the group through a series of squats before they started their run. I thought that was just bizarre.
Anyway, we lined up - 10k runners first, then 5k runners, then 5k walkers.
I lined up near the front, but maybe second row, among the 5k runners. I didn't want to get behind people who were jogging or walking and I could tell by looking around me (I'm not being judgmental here, I'm saying ladies carrying cross-body Coach bags and wear pea coats over their yoga pants probably aren't racing, amiright?) that I was going to be zig-zagging a bit regardless.
The course map was on the race's website. It was to go under the street past the golf course, around the "lake" and back again. 3.1-ish miles. I checked this before I lined up so I wouldn't have to follow anyone. I knew from running to the race that it was well-marked (I ran past this "lake" myself), but there was a point where I wasn't sure what some of the signs meant. When I lined up, I knew 100% what the course was supposed to be.
After the 5-ker's were off, we lined up at the starting mat, counted down from 5 and we were off. We passed under the street and the next thing we knew we were being directed INTO A GOLF COURSE instead of past the golf course toward the lake. I immediately thought this was probably incorrect because I have run by said golf course no less than 100 times and pedestrians aren't allowed. Ever. But there was an actual warm body holding the sign and pointing us in that direction, so I thought maybe we had to go this way to make the course long enough or something and then thought, well that's cool they're letting us do this because people don't ever get to do this.
I wanted to hit around 8:45 for my first mile and then speed up. I hit 8:30 and felt great.
I became increasingly aware this was not the intended course when my watch beeped one mile and there wasn't a mile marker. Or any sign at all. Or a cone. Or an arrow drawn on the path. My first thought was that this was going to be a long course and that after we went around the golf course we would still be directed to go around the lake. I kept my 8:37 pace just in case. When we turned INTO THE GOLF COURSE PARKING LOT there were no signs, and I officially knew we had been failed. Luckily there was a volunteer on hand. As I was approaching said volunteer, I heard a golf cart drive up behind me. It was a golf course manager of sorts asking the volunteer who was in charge because we weren't supposed to be running through the golf course. Ya think?
After the girl in front of me asks the volunteer "Is this the right way??" the volunteer responds with "yes, take a right" and points us BACK TO THE START LINE. This was it. This was all the racing I was going to get today. I picked up the pace and passed a couple people who were in front of me... I was super pissed we were literally racing 2 miles. Then I thought, maybe it's farther than I thought.
No, it was not farther than I thought.
I sprinted under the street again. I ran by I-think-the-photographer who was walking and he says "you make me look slow." I thought that was like the stupidest thing I had ever heard someone say.
I crossed the mat, but I wasn't fast enough. The girl I had passed must have started before me because I ended up third female, but first in my age group. Offical time: 19:08. Obvously I could never run a 5k in 19:08. That's a pace of 8:08 which might still be a bit faster than I could run an actual 5k. Of course, had I known the course was only 2.35 miles I would have ran faster. And I would have won the freakin' thing. Whatever.
Feel free to stop reading now... the rest is just a vent about how the situation was handled.
I have precisely 107 days to go before the Lincoln Marathon. (Check out the accompanying 100-day blog streak here!) I'm in week 8 of training out of 24 weeks. I feel like I'm only just starting, while I had hoped to feel like I was really getting into things.
I think most training plans are about 16 weeks... So maybe I'm still in the pre-weeks, but when I look at my plan, for some reason I think I should feel ready. I mean, I have a FIFTEEN mile run on the calendar for this weekend. How is that happening already? Well, because I'm a third the way through the plan. Thankfully I printed the plan and put check marks next to the workouts I completed so I can go back and see that I actually completed the first 14 workouts of weeks 1-4 before my vacation, and that was coming off a trail half marathon. Just feels so long ago. It's like I killed the momentum, but you know, maybe it's just as well. If I had been here cramming in 100% of my workouts I would have probably just gotten burned out faster. Better to have taken the break at the beginning, right?
Yes, I am rationalizing everything. I just feel incredibly unprepared already. Maybe it's because I already had to cut my first long run short by 2 miles? Maybe it's because I'm only running 3 days a week and biking the others? I'm 7 workouts deep since my trip, so I think I should feel back in the swing of things by now. I just don't.
I thought about just doing the plan and trusting the plan. But then I read advice that 5 days of running plus one cross training day is best and I'm doubting my plan. I can't add another run day, and I don't know what the heck else I would actually do for cross training at this point, so I am thinking of just adding another bike day. Since my other two bike workouts are more aerobic, I can add a "speed work" bike day, complete with a warm-up, intervals, and a cool-down. Heck, that sounds pretty good. I'm in excellent aerobic shape, but my explosiveness is totally lacking.
This week, change of plans:
Monday: rest (check)
Tuesday: 40 minute tempo run (missed from the week before, check)
Wednesday: 40 minutes bike (60 minutes! check)
Thursday: 5 m run
Friday: 40 minutes intervals bike
Saturday: 15 mile run (going to go for 15 even though I think I won't make 15)
Sunday: 75 minutes bike
Doesn't that sound like a more well-rounded week?
I realized I never posted my actual training plan... obviously for fear that would make it real, but here goes...
This used to be Hal Higdon Marathon 3. Ok, I didn't chop it up that much, just enough to take a couple breaks in order to actually have a life.
But there's still something missing...
There's only three runs per week: a whatever run, a mid-week run that's usually speedier, and a long run. I'm starting to become concerned that my Tuesday run is going to waste. I don't need recovery runs, I'm not running enough to need those. So I need to do something more productive on Tuesday. Let's brainstorm:
fast finish, marathon pace, intervals, hills/trails, meditation, pose method, zen running, live broadcast, weight vest... ok I'm beginning to get silly, let's evaluate what I have so far.
I think these are actually all good ideas, but I'm not going to wear a weight vest or live broadcast (for now) so take those out. I'm not in a good place to try to completely change my form and I think it's improved a lot so let's leave it alone for now. I don't know if there's such a thing as "zen running" that's probably just the same as meditation which I incorporate into my longest runs, so let's save that. That leaves the "real" stuff... the stuff that might actually help me run a sub-4:00 marathon.
Marathon pace: I'm already doing this on the prescribed days, so I probably shouldn't push it and add in another one.
Fast finish: This. I definitely need to be doing this, but I don't this this is a good option for the shorter runs. I probably need to incorporate this into every other long run instead.
Intervals: This is a good one. Because these runs are longer, I would probably do one mile 10:30 or so, one mile marathon pace and alternate.
Hills/trails: Come to mama. This is obviously my favorite choice. But I'm not planning to run any trails in the dark. I need an option to start now, and then on March 15 (the first Tuesday after the time change) I can do hills/trails on Tuesdays. Until then, I will try to get in some long trail runs on the weekend. I haven't been out for a long one in a while and I really miss it.
So after careful review of my options... I think I need to do intervals for now. The white block from week 8-13 is a block of weeks where I made a goal to hit 100% of the workouts. I'm on track! (yay!) So in that block, I'll add mile intervals to the Tuesday run. Weeks 14, 15, 16 will be easy aerobic runs on Tuesdays. Weeks 17-21 will be trail runs on Tuesdays.
And then with only three Tuesdays to go til marathon day, back to easy runs, maybe with some quick intervals to maintain.
Do I plan too much? Yes, I know I plan too much. Here's the new iteration!
Now just to figure out the rest of these races...
Plan: Hal Higdon Marathon 3
Weeks til marathon: 16
Week 8 involved a lot of getting-back-into-the-swing-of-things. But I think it went pretty well.
What the plan said:
Tuesday: 7 m run
Wednesday: Bike 40 min
Thursday: 40 min tempo run
Saturday: 13 miles
Sunday: cross 70 min
Weather this week: rainy. Cold and rainy. I don't mind running in rainy, in fact I had a nice run Wednesday morning in the drizzle. But biking in the rain? Nope.
There's just not enough reward. Here's the difference:
Running in the cold goes like this: dress warmly, warm up, feel warm, start having fun, still warm, still running, feel good all day for getting in run.
Biking in the cold: can't wear warm pants, constant wind, wind goes through gloves, hands are numb, never warm up because wind, not having fun because not running, 30 minutes feels like eternity, so cold, hands hurt in warm shower, doesn't even feel like you worked out.
So on Wednesday I did something I really didn't think I would ever do- I bought a trainer. Like a bicycle trainer. For my hybrid commuter bicycle. Like that thing that turns your bike into an indoor bike for serious cyclists and triathletes. I bought one. And it is amazing. I can now do my two bike workouts per week in the comfort of my own home. Always warm and always right in front of my computer watching whatever You Tube movie or Netflix series I want. Safe from everything that's outside.
What I actually did this week:
Monday: 5.2 miles
Wednesday: 7.3 miles + 20 minutes bike
Thursday: 30 minutes bike
Friday: 11 miles
Saturday: 65 minutes bike
I am disappointed I didn't get in the 13 miles and my only excuse was I started late and didn't have time. I didn't get in the 40 minute tempo run either. But I got in the miles so I am okay with it.
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: bike 40 minutes
Thursday: 5 miles
Saturday: 15 miles
Sunday: cross 75 minutes
May sub Tuesday's 5 miles with that missing tempo run. Also may not do 15 miles on Saturday... maybe 13-14. Still cautious and don't want to overdo it.
I was supposed to be doing a 5k next Sunday (Griffith Park 5k) but I have some sort of secret plans the night before now, so I am hoping to register for a 5k on Saturday the 23rd instead. I don't feel like I've been doing nearly enough to where I would be racing already, but I don't what to get thrown off the plan altogether.
I also have dropped the ball on strength-training and stretching so it's time to put some of that back into my life!
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Running in NYC Part I
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