Tag Archives: Marathon training

Happy Feet

My new babies finally came in the mail! So shiny.

Although, something sucks about getting a new pair of shoes that is exactly like your last pair. They aren’t really new. Makes me want to buy another pair of gray shoes I sort of already own.

I’ll have to admit, I was a little worried when I put them on because they didn’t feel any different from my Mizunos with 650 miles on them. I thought they would feel like stepping on sweet, fluffy bunny faces after killing the cushion in my last ones.

 Then I compared the soles.

Pretty even wear. Not that crazy. I decided to test them out with a tempo run last night. My training group has stressed that our runs be easy this week because we have a 20-22 miler Saturday morning (the run is 20, we can choose to do 22). So instead of my normal 6 miles, I decided to just run 3 faster ones.

Mile Pace Incline
1 10:00 .5
2 9:13 .5
3 9:05 .5
.50 8:57 .5

Total miles: 3.5

I don’t know if it was the shoes but I was feeling pretty awesome on this run. I had half a mile left and I was really happy with my speed. Then my stomach had other plans. So I cut it short. Eff you, stomach. I was annoyed I couldn’t get my last half mile in. I mean, I could have gotten back on the treadmill afterwards but nothing says “I just pooped” like getting off the treadmill, coming out of the bathroom 10 minutes later, and then getting back on the treadmill. So, I thought I would wake up and do a couple miles before work this morning. That didn’t happen. Much like I won’t choose to do 22 miles on Saturday.

Hubs and I started watching Spartacus again last night after a long hiatus.

We’re only through the second episode, but Spartacus cut his hair and well, there is a good lookin’ man under that mop. Now watching the show makes me sad about Andy Whitfield. He was so young. 😦

I also booked my flight and hotel to Vegas in December. So the Rock n Roll half marathon is on like Donkey Kong!

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Things I've Learned from Marathon Training

Ok, so I’m only at the halfway point in my marathon training, but I think I’ve already learned some really valuable lessons from it. I was going to do this post right before I ran the marathon, but now is as good a time as any.

1.  Picking the Right Marathon

I picked the Savannah Rock n Roll as my first marathon for a few reasons.

  • I wanted it to be out of state so I had a change of scenery.
  • I wanted it to be in cool weather – so I chose a November race.
  • I wanted to run my first Rock n Roll race.

I met all my criteria; the problem is I didn’t realize at the time that I would need to train for a November race in the summer. The news often describes Florida weather as “dangerously hot.” Not ideal for training. Plus, it makes for some pretty craptacular runs that make you wonder if you can even finish a marathon in the first place. It was pretty dumb of me not to consider.

If I could do it all again, I would have picked a race in February so training could start in November.

2.  Picking the Right Training Schedule/Group

I chose a 3-day per week training schedule for a few reasons.

  • I wanted to do the least amount of running possible so it wouldn’t take away from my personal life too much.
  • I didn’t want to burn out during training.

While I love Marathonfest (the group I do my training runs with), they started training way to early. With Marathonfest, there is over 4 months of long runs each weekend. I’m half way through and I already feel like I’m ready for the race with one 20-mile run under my belt. Next time, I would only do 3 months of training. Maybe less.

3.  Running with Friends or a Group

I decided to join Marathonfest because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t do all my runs without some type of formal meet up. I love sleeping in and once it gets hot outside, I don’t want to leave the house. So, I’m really glad I joined this group. Before Marathonfest, I only ran on my own. Running with someone is so much better. I had no idea. Not only have I met some really awesome people, but it’s nice to be with others that are working toward the same goal. They encourage me to keep going when I don’t think I can and they tell me it’s ok to cut my long run short and try again next week if I’m really struggling.

Sometimes just knowing I will see my group every week is what helps get me out of bed at 3am when hubs is just going to bed after a fun night out.

4.  Being Committed

Marathon training takes away from your social life and other commitments. A lot. While I knew what I was getting into before I began, I didn’t realize how much it would suck. Hubs hangs out with our friends on Friday nights or does other fun things while I go to bed at 8pm. Then I get up at 3am to run while he’s just going to bed.  Unless your significant other is an understanding anomoly or lives in another town, just know that it will affect them as well. Not just you. You are taking time away from your family and friends, and chances are, they don’t like it and miss you.

If you cross-train (which you should), it takes extra time too because you need to work that into your schedule on top of your running. Most of the time, I feel like my schedule is all work, training runs, other workouts, and picking up around the house. I don’t have a lot of free time for relaxing.

5.  Gaining Weight

Running long distance does not mean you will lose weight. In fact, a lot of people gain weight during marathon training. Yes, you burn a lot of calories, but you also want to see how much is “all you can eat” at a buffet until they kick you out. I’m usually really hungry for two days after a long run. And that second day of hunger is a rest day where I’m not burning any calories.

Yes. Best to cut down on that parsley, fatty.

Of course, marathon training teaches you the importance of experimenting with running gear and fuel and a bunch of other things that I think half marathon training will teach you. But I’ve found these 5 things to be unique to marathon training.

Did I leave anything off the list? What have you learned from marathon training?

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The Formula for an Awesome Run

I ran 14 miles this morning. And now I remember why I love to run.

I just followed these simple rules and had the best run since marathon training began:

  • Skip long run the previous weekend.  Check.
  • Order new shoes online, but make sure to order them too late to be delivered before next long run. Check.
  • Drink 4 huge beers Thursday night. Check.
  • While drinking those beers, meet a guy that grabs my arm and tells me I’m “meaty.” Check.
  • Forget to drink water on Friday. Check.
  • Get minimal sleep. Check.
  • Forget water at home this morning and remember after I’ve already left the house. Check.

Best.run.ever.

I’m not sure how it’s possible. But, I felt good the whole time. I ran faster than I have in months, and I finished with my fastest mile. Life is good.

Oh – I forgot to put Body Glide on my feet and still got a rash.

But that rash can suck it, because my run was awesome.

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There Will Be Running

Even with all the eating and drinking over the weekend, I did manage to work out on Monday with the personal trainer. It was really similar to this Fireman workout. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a crazy hard workout and I can definitely tell I’ve lost strength since I haven’t been seeing my Crossfit trainer. 😦 

This workout kicked my butt and now my forearms are so sore from lifting the 150lb tire that it hurts to drive. I’m going to need something to keep my mind off the pain when I’m in the car.

That should do it.

Monday night, I was desperate for some girl shopping. So I headed out to the Premium Outlets with my friend, Klainie. I don’t have a recent picture of her, so here’s one from my Mexican themed birthday party a couple years ago.

And there was the hub’s 80s themed birthday party a few years before that.

It’s weird, but we wore our hair just like that when we went out shopping on Monday.

I bought a few things at not-so-outlet prices, including a dress from Gap that I wore yesterday ($50):

A watch from NY and Company for 40% off ($16):

(I used to hate big watches, but I love them now. Big watch lovers unite!)

And a necklace from Charlotte Russe ($10) that I’m wearing today:

I kept Klainie out way longer than I expected to but she’s probably rockin’ a few cute new dresses this week because of it. You are welcome for no sleep and new dresses, Klainie.

Last night, I didn’t necessarily feel like running but after slacking all weekend, I needed to get my butt in gear.

Mile Pace Incline
1 10:00 warm up .5
.50 mile  9:41 .5
1200 x2  (3/4 m)  9:41 .5
1000  9:23 .5
800 x2    (1/2 m)  9:05 .5
600  8:49 .5
400 x2    (1/4 m)  8:34 .5
400 10:00 cool down .5

Total miles: 5.75

If you know me personally or have read my blog longer than 2 days, I think you can guess what happened between the random first half mile and the actual speed work. I hate to ruin a surprise, but it rhymes with looping.

I walked 200s between each set, mostly because I didn’t feel like I could run them. The run felt pretty awesome except for the end part where my right heel starting killing me. The new shoes I ordered cannot come in the mail soon enough. If I don’t get them, I’ll have to run 14 miles Saturday morning in my Asics and those start to suck at mile 7.

Touché.

I like my runs at the gym because I watch shows I would never otherwise watch, like the new 90210, and learn things I never would have known, like how Kelly Lynch is still acting and hasn’t changed her hair in 20 years.

I also broke my bad movie streak with not one, but two good movies. Over the weekend, hubs and I watched Idiocracy.

It’s an older movie, 2006 I think? I mean, it’s stupid. But it’s funny.

And last night, we were up until 1am watching The Fighter.

Amy Adams was great and Christian Bale was ahh-MAZE-ing. It’s crazy how buff he can get for American Psycho and then dwindle down to nothing for The Fighter and The Machinist. Love him. Even though he’s an ass.

What actor do you love that seems like a total dbag off-screen?

Any movies you won’t watch because of a certain actor? (Anything Sean Penn does off-screen makes me want to punch him, so it’s hard for me to want to stare at his stupid face for 2 hours in a movie.)

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2.75 Miles Short of a Long Run

Tonight was my tempo run, but for some reason I went to the gym thinking that if I felt good enough, I could just do my long run. Then I wouldn’t have the thought of getting it done weighing on my mind all weekend. Since my running group doesn’t meet this weekend, it’s inevitable that I will be worrying about when I can get it done until it is actually done. I guess I’m just a worrier.

(If just one of you gets that, then I’m a happy girl.)

Once I got on the treadmill, I was feeling pretty good. It’s amazing what a Vampire Diaries rerun, air conditioning, and eating 3 cookies, and Ice Dream, and a cauldron of Haribo Raspberries can do for a run. Here’s what it looked like:

Mile Pace Incline
0.30 Walking warm up .5
1 10:00 .5
2 10:00/9:49 split .5
3 9:49 .5
Pooping Moderate 0
4 9:49 .5
5 9:41 .5
6 9:31 .5
7 9:23/9:14 split .5

Total miles: 7.25

If it wasn’t for my “break” after mile 3, I would have finished those last couple miles and known why Elena didn’t turn into a vampire after all.

But it was getting so late and I didn’t want to be at the gym until 10:30. So, I guess I’ll have to try again this weekend which I was hoping to avoid.

By the way, I’m extending my streak of terrible movies. Hubs was actually willing to finish Rango when I reminded him of all your blog comments. So we put in another movie that was borrowed from a friend.

After 45 minutes of this movie, we turned it off and wished we had finished Rango. I also wish I had 4 hands so I could give it more thumbs down.

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A Good Run

I missed my workout on Monday evening because I had to work late. I never work late. So when I do I get really irritable about it. You made ME work late one day this whole year? HOW DARE YOU workplace that has been nothing but good to me for the past 8 ½ years!  Plus, missing workouts just makes the day worse because it does not mean I make better food choices because I won’t be burning calories that day. It’s the exact opposite. I workout; I eat well. I don’t workout; I polish off the box of graham crackers with frosting and wash it down with some vodka. 

Yesterday, my jaw was killing me all day. I have to wear a night guard every night while I sleep because I grind my teeth. And I’m not talking a light grinding where it’s “recommended” that I wear a night guard. I discovered I grind my teeth when I was 17 and the grinding woke my mom up in the middle of the night. No joke. My grinding was loud enough to wake up a sleeping, old woman.

Speaking of my mom, she’s even older today. It’s her birthday. Happy Birthday Mama Bird!

Since I was 17, I’ve chewed through 5 night guards. I can’t use the rubber ones because they last about 6 months until they are so destroyed I can’t wear them anymore. So I have to get special porcelain ones made at the dentist. They require impressions and being sent away to labs and fittings once they come back in. So, they cost $500 each. They are not covered by insurance, and I need them if I want to not have chalky white nubs in my mouth.

(source)

Dentists have told me that I need stress management. Well, since then I have changed shitty, stressful jobs, changed living situations, changed shitty, stressful boyfriends, and started working out and I still grind my teeth. I’ve even tried acupuncture. No dice. It’s what I do and it sucks.

Every now and then the grinding at night makes my jaw sore during the day and the soreness gives me a headache. The reason I’m telling you this is because it almost made me not go to the gym last night. Running either makes it worse or makes it better and I never know which one it will be until I get on the treadmill.

Well, I did make it to the gym. I did my speed run that wasn’t that speedy because I was afraid to piss off my legs even more after those 20 miles on Saturday.

Here’s what it looked like:

     8 x 800 (1/2 mile) at a 9:13 pace.  (.5 incline)
    Total mileage: 6.10

The run felt pretty good AND it cured my headache! Ahhh…finally a day I can not bitch about running. Thank you running for reminding me you do something other than make my ass sore and give me blisters.

This weekend, our long run is 10 miles. I never thought it would be a relief to run 10 miles. But it is. Because running 20 miles sucks. Unless you’re crazy. Since it’s a holiday weekend, it’s considered an “on your own” weekend with my running group. My group still gets together, but I’m sleeping in every day this weekend and doing my long run on the treadmill. Marathon training is really taking its toll on me and I need a break from the early mornings.

In random news, my in-laws bought Rango and loved it.

 

They hate all animated movies. In fact, neither one of them can stay awake longer than 30 minutes if one is playing. Not even Pixar can melt their cold, lifeless souls.

Well, Hubs and I borrowed the movie because we keep hearing great things about it and because we couldn’t believe they would like an animated movie. Has anyone else seen this? Because we couldn’t really get into it. It’s not particularly funny or cute. The first 20 minutes were pretty bad, then it got a little better after that but we only made it 45 minutes in. Is it worth finishing? Or is the first half just like the second?

RanGowatchsomethingelse?  (You think that joke is lame now but you’ll use it one day and thank me.)

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Sitting Down is Awesome

So, I ran 20 miles this morning. I can say that nonchalantly now because it’s over and I no longer feel like death is at my door.

Running 20 miles is hard. I cannot say that I enjoyed it. But before I get to that, I know I haven’t mentioned my workouts this week because of all the Bahamas talk, but I have been doing them.

Monday and Wednesday were personal trainer workouts but Tuesday I was in such a piss poor mood all day that I couldn’t even bring myself to run…or do anything for that matter.

So, I skipped the run and don’t plan on making it up.

Ok, now back to that 20 miler. I woke up at 2:45 (!) to meet my group by 3:50. I did all the usual things.

But this run was way harder than my 18 a few weeks ago. And not because it was 2 miles longer. The first 8 miles felt pretty great, but I was feeling extremely fatigued by mile 11.

Along with my pretzels and salt tabs, I brought a peanut butter and (sugar free) jelly sandwich and I put half Powerade Zero/half water in my Camelbak. My Camelbak was empty by Mile 11, my breathing was harder than usual like during this run, and my Garmin’s battery died at Mile 17. (It was fully charged this morning.)

You know you’ve been running a long time when your Garmin dies.

I would not have finished the run if it wasn’t for my running buddies, Brad and Lauren. Seriously, Lauren is super motivational and was doing everything she could to get me and Brad’s mind off the run. During the last 4 miles, I knew I was holding Lauren up so Brad and I told her to go on without us. After making sure we knew the route back like a true running mom, Lauren took off so fast it was like a bright flash of light with a fast wind through my hair. And then we couldn’t see her in front of us anymore.

I was really thankful that Brad stayed back with me. We took more walk breaks just to get through the last 3 miles. It was rough but we made tiny goals along the way, like we could take a walk break once we got to the traffic light in the distance. That seemed to work because we made it! Brad’s Garmin said we ran the 20 in 4 hours and 28 minutes. Now if I can only run 6.2 miles in 17 minutes, I will make my race goal time! That’s possible, right?

When I got home, I took an ice bath.

It was so cold that I wimped out and only used 2 bags of ice.

Hubs saw I was too lazy to open the bag of ice, so he broke it up for me so it wasn’t just one big iceberg floating in the tub.

Oh, and can you tell by my feet that the Band-Aid Cushions didn’t help the rash I get on the top of my feet? Next run I’ll try Body Glide and see how that works.

Right now I’m wearing my compression leg sleeves. Don’t mind my disgusting feet. They are not pretty after I run.

I wish these things went up to my ass because my hamstrings are seriously sore. I have been firmly planted on the couch since I got home and even finished the last 2 episodes of Game of Thrones. Productivity is at an all time low.

I’m proud I finished the 20 but I think the run sucked and I hope it’s not an indication of how Savannah will go. It is however an indication of what I will be doing tonight…

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The Super Fantastic Wonderful Awesome Run

I’m either getting faster or I just felt really good Tuesday night, because my run was super fantastic wonderful awesome. Quite honestly, it made me want to frolic in a field with a horse.

I wanted to run longer, but I needed to get home to do some pre-cruise stuff. Like give Royal Caribbean all my money and rock back and forth while crying in a cold shower. 

This was my run:

Total miles: 4.55 (running), approx .50 miles walking

Mile Pace Incline
400   Walking warm up .5
800  (1/2 mile) 9:13 .5
600 8:57 .5
400  (1/4 mile) 8:57 .5
Repeat x3    

I took a walking break after the second set for some water.

I’m wondering if I’m getting faster or if I just happened to feel better than usual. I guess I’ll find out next week because I’m going to increase my pace a bit and see how it goes. Also, I’m not even sure that faster treadmill paces translate to outside running, but I guess I’ll find out.

This morning I was supposed to get up and do a tempo run. That didn’t happen after I stayed up till midnight watching more episodes of Game of Thrones. (You all are right, it’s getting better!) It bothers me a little bit that my girl Lena Headley is blonde AND a bitch. Say it ain’t so, Lena.

So, I’ll be doing my tempo run tonight. Then I’ll be running to the store to pick up a few items, pack my bags, and get my butt in bed for a 4:30 wake-up call so I can do my long run in the morning. I shifted it to tomorrow morning since I won’t be able to run with my group on Saturday. And I’ll be all by myself. 😦

Speaking of TV, hubs sent me this today and it had me dying.

It’s back September 15! If you don’t watch it, you must. It’s hilarious.  And please tell me someone else but me is still focused on those cat booties.

What are you watching right now? (Mostly True Blood and Entourage for me until the fall shows start up again.)

P.S. I should have a post tomorrow if I have time to finish it. If not, I will be back on Monday hopefully with some fun cruise pictures. 🙂

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Ice Cream for Breakfast

Saturday morning started with a 4:20 am wake up call to meet my group for a 10 mile run. A couple things crossed my mind before this run, and I realized that you know you’re a runner (or crazy) when:

  • Getting up at 4:20 am feels like sleeping in
  • Running 10 miles sounds like an easy run

I got my feet ready this time. Two pairs of socks and Band-Aids on all blister-prone areas.

My friend Nicole (who should really update her blog more often) recommended Band-Aid Cushions for the top of my feet to prevent rashes. I’ll get some of those next time I’m at the store. Anything to make the run more comfortable. I figure at this rate, I’ll be running in diapers by October.

I decided to try grapes as fuel on this run. They didn’t fit in my iFitnes belt.

But they did look like a horrible version of Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine album cover.

I ended up putting the grapes in my sports bra. Then I didn’t even eat them because I felt so good on the run I was afraid to ruin it. Also, running with grapes in your sports bra is dumb. At least runners understand and don’t question third breasts.

During the run, I met Lauren. We were both feeling pretty good so we picked up the pace a little and ran the last 5 or so miles together until she chicked me during the last mile. I ended with 10.35 miles on my Garmin and a 10:31 pace (including the walking breaks) and felt good the whole time. Everyone elses Garmin said 10.5 miles. Is there a way to calibrate a Garmin? Mine is always off from everyone elses lately.

When I got home, I took a shower and then finished a pint of Cake Batter ice cream for breakfast. No need to put clothes on for that.

Saturday night, a group of us went to a birthday celebration for Sheila (i.e. She who torments me in Martial Arts Fitness Class). We started with dinner at Bahama Breeze.

Hubs and I shared the goat cheese appetizer which was awesome.

Then we shared some chicken dish with a side of cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes. Also delicious. I remembered to take a picture of it when I was half way through and it looked like a turd.

Why yes. I do like to cut up all my meat first and then eat it instead of  cutting it as I take bites.

After dinner, we all went to a comedy show at Bonkerz Comedy Club, which is located in the Why Not Lounge. The Why Not Lounge is a bar inside a hotel in Altamonte Springs and used to be a regular Saturday night affair for me and Lisa when I first moved to Orlando. Hubs and I were glad to see the bar has not lost any of it’s old-man-on-the-prowl slimy allure. 🙂

The show had some good and not so good comedians but overall, we had a great time. After the show, we went home and watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. I think it’s safe to say I have no idea what that show is about. Anyone else watch that one yet?

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Worn Out

This week has me beaten down. It hasn’t even been a bad week at all; I’m just super tired, particularly from all the workouts I’ve done. I’m still sore from all of them. WTF body?

Also, of course, there is the staying up till midnight because Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and So You Think You Can Dance are all more important than sleep. I think my body clock is off. On Wednesday, I woke up thinking it was Monday. And then last night, I woke up at 3:30am, thought I missed my alarm, got out of bed, and tried to get ready for work. I am a genius.

I did manage a speed run last night.

Mile Pace Incline
1 10:00 (warm up) .5
800  (1/2 mile) 8:57 .5
200 Walk .5
Repeat above x3    
800 8:49 1.0
200 Walk 1.0
Repeat above x2    
800 8:42 1.0
200 Walk 1.0
1 10:00 (cool down) 1.0

Total miles:  5 (running) 1.25 (walking)

The schedule for our speed and tempo runs says to run 3 – 6 miles. I’ve been emailing with one of the pace leaders in my running group and she told me that when she was training for her first marathon, she always ran the shortest distance during the week and always walked her 200’s during speed work and it worked out great for her. So, last night I stayed on the higher side of the mileage, but walked the 200’s. And didn’t feel guilty about it.

Last night I received an email that the Savannah Rock n Roll is about to sell out.

Let’s take a closer look at that last sentence.

Thank you, Savannah. Running with 23,000 other people SOUNDS safe and comfortable.

Oh, and about those Frosted Animal Cookies I bought. They cannot be in my house. At all. I had to bring them to work for the boys with faster metabolisms.

What’s the biggest race you’ve run? (Looks like it will be Savannah for me!)

Do you ever get up super early and think it’s later? (Once, I got up for work, took a shower, and then realized I didn’t have to be up for another 2 hours. That sucked.)

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