Monday, August 25, 2014

Marathon Week 10

Last week was a cut back week and for that I am so grateful! I have been feeling really fatigued lately and just sort of "off." I'm not sure that anything is actually wrong, but even though I am getting plenty of sleep at night (8 hours almost every night), I still feel like I need a nap after work everyday. Hopefully this week feels better.

Week 10
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 5.12
Wednesday: 6.3
Thursday: 5.02
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6.3
Sunday: 11.58

Total miles: 34.32

In spite of my fatigue, most of my runs seemed to go very well. I don't recall having any IT Band problems. I even made an effort to log a few sub-8 miles this week. I realized I haven't done much fast running since my injury. Sure, I have done fast finishes and a few strides, but that is fast in relation to my predicted marathon pace, not my half marathon or 5k race paces. With three weeks until my next 5k and four weeks until my half marathon, I might want to start thinking about running at those paces.

The one run that did not go as planned was my long run on Sunday, but that is a whole different post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Tale of Laziness

I spent most of last night trying to come up with a solid excuse for skipping my run. I was in a bit of a mood and really just wanted to have some snacks, watch some tv and sleep forever. So from the minute I got home from work, I started looking for excuses.

This is a cutback week, so I thought maybe I could just cut an entire run. Except the last time I skipped some runs, I felt pretty guilty about it. I didn't want to feel guilty. I needed an excuse that wasn't just "I'm too lazy." 

So I started working on my next excuse: the weather. The current temperature was 87. I could have run in that heat, but it was hot enough that I could use it as an excuse to delay my run by a few hours. Plus the radar showed a huge storm front moving in. Perfect! Delay starting my run due to the heat and then cancel my run due to the thunderstorms.

A few minutes later I was curling up in bed for a nice long nap. I was able to sleep for about an hour and it was glorious. I really was feeling a bit worn down and some extra sleep was definitely called for. After my nap, Mr. Shoe ran to the grocery store and I watched a little bit of tv. While he was gone the sky opened up: pouring rain, wind, thunder, and lightning. My plan was working! 

Unfortunately the storm didn't last all that long and as soon as it cleared up Mr. Shoe suggested we go for our runs. Before my brain could try to come up with an excuse, I hauled myself off the couch and out the door. It only took about half a mile before I realized how glad I was to be out running. I love running! It always snaps me out of a bad mood.

This little kitty will also improve a bad mood. Just focus on the cute kitty and not on my messy, sweaty, post-run self.
I made it through four miles before my legs remembered they were still tired from Sunday's run. My training plan called for five miles so I forced myself to carry on. The last mile felt pretty slow, but I am so glad that I was able to stick to my training plan!

Even though I got an hour nap yesterday and about 7.5 hours last night, I am still pretty tired today. I think they increased mileage is really starting to catch up with me. Hopefully I'll be able to grab another nap this afternoon before heading to run club tonight.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Marathon Weeks 8 and 9

I'm halfway done with my marathon training! Which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I haven't quite figured out if I am feeling well prepared and on track or completely under trained. I guess I'll find out in another 9 weeks.

Week 8
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 4.32
Wednesday: 8.01
Thursday: 3.52
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5.12
Sunday: 15.08

Total miles: 36.05

Even with four days in a row off (Chicago trip!), my left IT band was a bit problematic this week. On the plus side, it seemed to hurt less with each run. So while I think last week's attempt to run all the miles in the fewest days possible aggravated it, I don't think running in general is making it worse. I've been foam rolling and stretching every day to try to stay on top of it. Even during my long run it only bothered me for about half a mile.

My week went almost exactly as planned, such a relief after the week 7 mess. Only major issue was that Saturday's run was meant to be 6 miles. For some reason I was positive it was 5 miles. I didn't check my training plan until after my run, whoops! I ran this run at my predicted marathon pace to throw a tiny bit of speed work into my plan.

Sunday was my longest run ever! And it went really, really well! I choose a fairly flat out-and-back course and aimed to hold a steady pace of 9:30 for the run. The first seven miles were at the right pace, but I think I lost a bit of time during the next few miles. Fortunately I felt great during the last 3 miles and made up the lost time.

Week 9
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 4.32
Wednesday: 8.01
Thursday: 4.32
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6.2
Sunday: 17.1

Total miles: 39.95

Another week where everything went as planned and I had another "longest run ever" on Sunday. My IT Band only bothered me on one or two runs. I only wish I would have run an additional 0.05 miles to bring my weekly total to 40.  I might have tried to sneak it in tonight, but my legs are completely shot from the 17 miler.

I once again used Saturday's run to sneak in a bit of speed work. This time I ran at an easy pace and added four strides to the end of my run. Sunday's run also had a bit of speed work at the end, except not really. I tried to run the first 15 miles at a steady pace and then do a fast finish for the last two miles. I was much too tired to push as hard as I had hoped, but I did manage to do them marginally faster.

I also spent the last five miles fantasizing about a Mountain Dew slushie. It was the most delicious reward for making it through all 17 miles.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Marathon Week 7

This post is coming a bit late. I didn't have an awesome week (in terms of running) and I have been trying not to focus on how bad it was.

Monday: 3.84
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 7.95
Thursday: 12.63
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest
Sunday: rest

Total miles: 24.42

Four rest days and almost 7 miles fewer than the previous week. So what happened?

At Cloud Gate (the bean)
A weekend in Chicago happened! To maximize the vacation vibe of the trip Mr. Shoe and I decided to try to get all of our running in before we left Saturday morning. My original plan was to run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday morning before we left. This plan was a bit ambitious considering I had run Friday-Sunday the previous week.

So I set out to run 5 miles on Monday. About 3 miles in, I knew I wouldn't make it to 5. I was just too tired from Sunday's 13 miler. The dead leg feeling persisted on Tuesday so I decided to make that a rest day. The almost-eight on Wednesday felt so good, that I decided to push my long run up to Thursday (just 4 days after my previous long run). Looking back, that was definitely a mistake. My pace was awful (full minute slower than my usual training pace) and I didn't finish my 14 mile run. With my slower pace, this actually ended up being my longest run, time-wise (but not distance-wise). By the end my IT band was screaming at me to stop running.

That left me wondering what I should do on Friday and Saturday. With my IT band messing with my knee, Friday had to be a rest day. I was so convinced that I should try to squeeze in a quick 3-5 miles before our trip that I set my alarm extra early for Saturday. Instead I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to just shut of the alarm and give my body a break.

This week was definitely a mistake. Looking back, I can see much better ways to rearrange my runs and still get the weekend off. But it is over and done, so I am trying not to dwell on the negative. The positive is that I gave myself a 4 day break (this Monday was a rest day too) and my legs feel ready to tackle the next week of training!