Wow it’s been a busy two weeks. I never quite got around to writing last week’s post so here’s a double feature.
Let’s back track..
Monday 9/14 – Planned: 4 miles originally, revised to Rest day
Actual: After the Divas Half I knew I needed to take a few days off. So I took off Sunday and Monday to rest at my coach’s encouragement.
Tuesday 9/15 – Planned: 4-5 miles easy
Actual: 5 miles. Since I had taken off Sunday and Monday I felt good about 5 miles. I felt really really strong. I ran way faster than my coach wanted me to but it was just one of those mornings. I think I needed to prove to my legs (and myself!) that I had speed in there somewhere. I ended up at an 11:07 pace. I had to get up earlier than normal to get to an event at work. 2 months till Richmond!
Wednesday 9/16 – Planned: Active Recovery
Actual: 30 minutes of elliptical.
Thursday 9/17 – Planned: 6 miles easy
Actual: 6 easy miles and focusing on what’s important to my training. After talking to my coach this week I knew I needed to focus on my goals and really train my brain to be positive in the run. This run was all about that. Focusing on strength.
I had to get to the store to get groceries and back home to finish cleaning the house for Noelle to visit!
Friday – Rest Day! I picked Noelle up from the airport and we saw a few races at the drag strip before heading to dinner. Yum!
Saturday – Planned: 16 miles at easy pace
Actual: 16 incredible miles. So lovely and fun. Since Noelle was visiting, I woke up around 4:15am and had my 2 eggs and bagel. I actually ate the bagel in bed – such a rebel. I woke up around 5am to start getting ready and headed out the door around 6:15am for my warm-up. I did my regular few laps around the parking garages and my dynamic stretches. I had packed my new fancy marathon training support pack and headed down the road to where I had planned to start my run and drop my bag.
I had planned to do 2 out and backs of 4 miles out and 4 miles back to total up with 16 miles. Double out and backs works much better for me mentally than running around in circles to make up mileage.
So what’s in my marathon training support pack? Well, for starters I made a sign to attached to the bag that was all fancy and laminated. I packed the bag with an extra bottle of cold water, my extra handheld with half frozen water and then filled with cold water, two mini bottles of frozen red Gatorade, and a bunch of tissues in a baggie. I had frozen both handhelds the night before – half filled with water and laying on their side. It worked really well and I’ll do that for my other long runs. Cold water makes a big difference for me. There’s also magic in the bag. It’s the kind of magic that exists when you know you have a support pack waiting for you at your turn around. Hey – it works for me. The Gatorade bottles were still pretty frozen when I tried to drink them after the first 8 mile set – so I’ll need to figure that out better. They were nice and cold when I got back after the 16 though. Since I was doing two out and backs, my support pack worked brilliantly and I didn’t have to drop off the bag before my run. Plus, it was a great way to use my pink Divas bag.
What else made the run great? The weather and my nutrition. The whole no-fiber the day before the run is working brilliantly. I didn’t have to make a bathroom stop on this run and that hasn’t happened in a long time. I ate bbq with Noelle for dinner and that worked – pulled pork sandwich and mashed potatoes.
The rest of Saturday was spent pedicuring, eating, shopping, and at the movies. We saw Everest in IMAX. So good and now I can cross climbing Everest off my list of things to do.
Sunday – Planned: 3 recovery miles
Actual: Okay – maybe it’s just me but I really hate these recovery miles. I feel like I’m dying or maybe being murdered. It’s the most horrible feeling of plodding along miserably. I get the whole theory about running on tired legs but my legs don’t care about the theory. My legs hate running on Sundays after a long run on Saturday. So there. We went to Deep Stretch yoga afterwards and that was a huge huge help. My hips needed it so badly. I think the yoga was the only reason I felt good the following few days.
After yoga we went out to lunch, solved the room at Exit Strategy, and then had a great dinner at Cantina with Brooke.
Monday – Planned: 4 easy miles
Actual: Okay this time I really felt like I was being murdered. Where’s my rest day? I want to sleep in! These 4 miles were less than fun. But I went and ran and all that jazz. Afterwards we went and got relaxation massages. My masseuse did a little bit of myofascial release which probably helped my calves a little bit. Frankly, it was just nice and relaxing.
After the massage we went to lunch and then another movie – but this time at a place with recliners. It was glorious. And we were to only people in the theatre so we got to chat the whole time. Good thing cause the movie was so stressful – No Escape – but good!
I dropped Noelle at the airport and then did an Epsom salt bath that night. We had such a fun weekend – I’m so glad she came to visit!
Tuesday – Planned: 6 miles (replacing speed work)
Actual: My coach and I decided that speed work isn’t going to happen anytime soon – maybe not again ever for this training cycle. My hamstring can’t handle it and it’s silly to push something that’s not ready. I know that getting to both the start line AND the finish line in Richmond is the goal here. And I’m not going to try to push my hamstring to do something it’s going to argue against. And speed work makes it all cranky and it starts back talking. No one likes that. So I did 6 miles and just enjoyed the run. It was misty raining and cloudy so I missed the sunrise but had a nice, strong run. I ended up at 11:55 overall pace.
No strength. I had plans in the evening…
Wednesday – I took a Rest Day. No active recovery, no yoga. I just rested and stretched and took an Epsom salt bath. I don’t regret it a bit.
Thursday – Planned: 7 miles easy
Actual: 7 miles at 11:30 pace. Man, that run felt good. The first half of the run was in the dark so I didn’t check my watch and just ran my feel – clearly I was feeling good. It was such a nice morning and I felt strong. I love runs like that. It was probably because I was nice and rested from taking the day off on Wednesday – but I’ll take it either way.
I did some stretching at home cause I forgot my gym bag.
Friday – Another Rest Day! Sleep, glorious sleep. Getting prepped for Saturday’s run. No fiber and good dinner of filet, mashed potatoes, and rolls.
Saturday – Planned: 18 miles easy
Actual: I woke up and ate my 2 hardboiled eggs and bagel around 4:30. I planned to get up at 5:30 and out of the door around 6 or 6:30 but I fell back asleep. I ended up getting up at about 6 and managed to get out the door around 7am. I did my warm up and walked start to my start point with my support pack. Did I mention it was raining? Yeah, it was raining. My weather app wasn’t aware it was raining and said that rain would start around 10 – but clearly the damn app was wrong. So I stowed my support bag and started my run. I’m pretty thankful that I wore a full hat and double baggied my phone before I left – just in case. It was pretty chilly – about 63 and lots of wind. The first part of the run sorta sucked. I felt slow and tired but I kept moving. I briefly considered maybe quitting and running tomorrow but I knew that would make me miserable. So I kept on. I got my stride around mile 3 and started feeling good. I ate my salted caramel Gu at mile 4 and kept moving. I stretched at my turnaround at mile 4.5. My phone started doing this weird Voice Control thing during all of mile 5 and I had to stop to fool with it. So frustrating. Around mile 6 I got a burst of energy – thanks to Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty”. I added that song – and a bunch of others to my mix on Friday night and was really looking forward to some new music. I carried on towards my turnaround at mile 9. At 9 I stopped and sent Jess and Carrie a halfway selfie and took some of my Gatorade. I also enjoyed my nice dry tissues and then started back with the whole running thing. I restarted my phone during my break to stop that annoying Voice Control thing and it fixed the issue.
Mile 10 sucked – mostly because I started thinking about how I would have 16 more miles to go on marathon day. That felt pretty impossible in the moment. I did manage to talk myself out of those negative thoughts with my mantra: I am fast. I am strong. I am a marathoner. Jess sent me the most amazing new Momentum Jewelry bracelet with my mantra on it and I can’t wait to wear it on race day. I cried (of course) when it arrived and I know I’ll need it in Richmond. I’ve decided not to wear it except for my 20 milers and Richmond – to keep it special.
When I finally got to my last turnaround at mile 13.5, I stretched again and was pretty much ready to be done. Just another 4.5 miles to go. I ate another salted caramel Gu at mile 12 but I was kinda hungry. I need to remember to bring some pretzels for the 20 milers and on race day.
At mile 16 I had a very strange thought – that I could probably really go another 10 miles. I can’t explain how strange that was. I’ve never had a thought like that before. But I knew in that moment that the marathon was in my grasp on race day. I’m going to run another marathon.
So that wraps up another 18 miler. These runs are going so much better than they did the first time around. The confidence of knowing that I can actually run 18 miles is so important.
Sunday: Planned: Active Recovery and Yoga
Actual: I’m heading over to Deep Stretch yoga and hoping it will help my weird left side back pain that sprung up after yesterday’s run. Then it’s off to late brunch and a movie with Danielle. Marathon training is basically running, eating, and watching movies.
Feeling Good About:
My super fancy marathon training support pack. It’s the little things…
Yoga! I’m so glad that I pushed past my nerves and started going to yoga. It’s been so helpful and I love going.
My revised plan for Richmond. I’m going to finish and I’m going to feel strong. That’s the plan. Oh, and I’m going to enjoy it (okay… some of it!)
My long run eating. The whole no fiber on Friday and then a good dinner is really working out.
Need to Work On:
Going to strength. I got lazy about this around this time last training cycle and I need to push myself to go.
Always nutrition. But that’s probably always going to be a battle for me.