Another week of training for the Lehigh Marathon on September 11th is in the books! Here’s how it went down:
Lehigh Marathon Training – Week Ending July 16, 2016
Sunday – 2 hour run (13 miles total)
So I was extremely nervous about this run. The day before I volunteered to set up a MDA event my firm was sponsoring and ended up spending about 8 hours there. After some less than stellar “long” runs in this cycle – I have not been going into these runs confidently. But I woke up – got ready and headed out – with the knowledge that Mark was making me some protein pancakes and an epic fruit salad upon my return. And you know what – the run was hot and sweaty and long but I got it done and it was not as bad as prior weeks. Could it have been my play list (I changed from EDM to mellow music), the fact that I fueled better the night before – maybe – but what ever it was I am going to keep doing it until SEptember 11th! (PS – the breakfast was totally worth it. So, Mark I guess you are going to be my post run sous chef until Lehigh :))
Monday – Rest Day
Yeah! I got to sleep in while Mark went to the gym – I love that! After workI headed to physical therapy. I explained that my foot has been more sore and that I have had to revert back to sneakers – which is not a cute look! So I got dry needled! I have had it before with great results BUT today – jury is out. I left more sore then I have ever been. Hopefully tomorrow my leg will loosen up.
Tuesday – Easy
This was truly a lovely run – my left calf was still a bit sore and stiff but after about a 1/2 mile it loosened up. This was one of those runs that felt like I was running in October and not the middle of July. I will take it as it looks like the weather is going to get nasty (meaning hot and humid) for the next couple of days.
The roofers working on the Wethersfield High School roof had the same idea as me this morning – get out and get it done before the sun rises. The temperature was completely different this morning. Cool and comfortable temperature were replaced with humidity. I usually do mileage math in my head to see how many miles I am “supposed” to be doing before I hit the track but I must have miscalculated as I “thought” I was only running 7miles when it turned out to be 9! Such is marathon training. My New Balance races are feeling better – especially when I stopped focusing on my shoes and got my head into the workout. My splits for the 1000s and 300s were solid in my book. I had to take Mark to work – so I did not cool down like I should have. Oof – I felt that for the rest of the day.
Thursday (Double Run) 54 minutes in the am and 36 minutes in the pm
Last night was one of the few times I did not check the weather obsessively before I went to bed, so I was super surprised when it started to downpour just before I left the house. Now I don’t mind running in the rain – I just don’t like starting a run during a downpour. So, I waited until it let up a bit. Holy soupy running weather! In fact, the only saving grace was that during my run it started to downpour and actually cooled me off – other than that it was slog and sweat fest BUT I felt comfortable during the run so that was a win.
The weather in the afternoon was just as nasty BUT I avoided the rain this time. As someone whom has abhorred after work runs – I am starting to embrace them. Its a great way to get more miles in without having to get up before 5AM
Friday – 63 minutes
I think my body is getting used to the short Thursday to Friday turnaround time. The weather remained the same but my legs were ready to go – I even got a text from my coach that I need to slow it down and give my legs time to recover. Duly noted!
Saturday (Quality Session) – 25 min warm up; 6×1 mile (marathon pace)- 90 sec recovery; 25 min cooldown
As I have written in previous posts I feel more “comfortable” running my quality miles on the track. BUT since the Lehigh Marathon will not take place on the track, I have made it a mission to get out on the roads more my quality workouts. I headed to Old Wethersfield early to get my miles in before the sun started to beat down. After a very slow warm up (a 10 minute mile) – I was off!
My mantra for this workout was “One more mile” and “Be in the workout” – to make sure I did not get inside my own head. After the first mile where I had to shake some nerves out of me, I hit and exceeded my paces (8:20; 8:14; 8:15; 7:52; 7:50; 7:57)! Fist pumps occurred after the last rep and I rewarded myself with iced tea Comstock Faire Marketplace.
I can’t believe that I am about 63 (EEK!) days from the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon that I will be racing on September 11th. I have been in “marathon training mode” for the Lehigh Marathon for weeks, but as we are getting closer, I wanted to start documenting my weekly training progress – both the good and the bad runs.
Training for the Lehigh Marathon is interesting for several reasons – 1) I am running a marathon in September (my prior 3 were in November); 2) My workouts have been challenging even though my overall mileage has not increased “that” much; and 3) My easy runs are based more on time than mileage.
Don’t get me wrong – marathon training is no joke – but as it stands now I have really “enjoyed” how my training has been programed. So without further ado –
Lehigh Marathon Training – Week Ending July 9, 2016
Monday – Off Day
I really, really love off days that coincide with days off from work. I got to sleep in (meaning past 8am!) and spend a relaxing day with Mark.
Tuesday – 55 minutes, easy
Per my schedule my plan was to run for 50 minutes but I ran a loop that totaled 6 miles so – the time increased to. Not to hard to get up but once I got out there is was humid, muggy and dizzily. Yuck! Time on feet felt good, even if I was a sweaty mess at the end. Ended with a bit of strength and of course some Nuun!
Wednesday – Track Day (2 miles easy; 5×3 minutes @7:12); rest 3 minutes; 5×1 minute@6:49; 1 mile easy)
The sun was just rising as I hit the track and it was steamy. Warm up in trainers and then I switched to my “new” marathon New Balances. After this past Saturday’s run – I was not sure if these would be the shoes for me BUT after getting into a groove I felt more comfortable in them. Good workout – happy with paces and I finished not feeling overly spent but challenged.
Thursday – AM (50 minutes)and PM (36 minutes) run
I am not an afternoon runner BUT I have appreciated these runs on the schedule because it helps break up the mileage. I remember while training for the New York City Marathon, I was running 10 miles a day (before work!) for most of my week. It got old fast! These afternoon runs have helped me decompress, I just wish the weather would cooperate. It was still hot and muggy after work but the saving grace was that a cold front moved through at the end of my run – a cooling relief!
Friday – 60 minutes
The running Czar had enough and we finally turned on the AC last night – what a difference a good night’s sleep makes BUT it also means I was in full REM when my alarm went off AND I really don’t know what the temperature “feels like” until I get out the door. Holy soup Batman – 90% humidity at 5:30AM. YUCK! I sweated through my shirt and then some. I also came to the realization that cotton headbands DO NOT soak up sweat. I ended my day with my weekly trip to physical therapy. My left foot has been getting a bit sorer (I think due to wearing flip flops) – so this really helped. I also realized that my flip flops are going to have to go to the back of the closet again 🙁
Saturday – Quality Miles (2 miles easy; 5x20sec striders (20 sec recovery); 25 minutes x 7:49; 5x200m; 2m cool down
Wow – a cold front must have moved through last night because the temperature was completely different this morning. Used the racers again for the quality portion of the workout – shoes felt “ok” but my right foot felt “off”. It’s hard to explain but I felt that my foot was rolling outward. Not sure if it is the shoes or a muscle imbalance or both. However my pace ended up being 7:40 – so pleased with that. Surprisingly the track was busy this morning BUT I was done before the masses showed up. I do love being the only one on the track, especially because I can “yell” at myself to focus and not get any strange looks (except from maybe the birds but I am ok with that!)
So that’s it for this week – Sunday starts the week with a 2 hour run – let’s hope the rain hold out.
I love a good theme song – especially when training for a goal race. It’s a great way to pump me up when I think I can’t finish that last mile, lap, or interval. Even if I hear “theme” song from several years ago starts playing on my IPod or radio – I am transported back to that time, place and how I was running at the time.
Last summer, while training for the NYC Marathon my theme song was “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers. Specifically the chorus.
I didn’t know I was lonely ’til I saw your face I wanna get better, better, better, better, I wanna get better I didn’t know I was broken ’til I wanted to change I wanna get better, better, better, better, I wanna get better
I love, love (and still)love this song and when it came on the other day (and also while I was trying to think of what to write about in this month’s “State of Running” post) I though – “Yes, I wanna get better”
I mean isn’t that what a training cycle is about – doing a specific activity on a certain day so that come race day you can put forth an Olympic Effort.
Yes BUT what many non-runners don’t realize is that to perform and succeed there are other things outside of “just running” to make sure you get to the start line ready to put your best foot forward.
Therefore – this month I am going to document a couple of ways that I am trying to work smarter so that come June 5 I can put my best foot forward.
Strength – I am “famous” for focusing on running and not strength, especially during my previous marathon training cycles. I just focused on getting the mileage in..and…that has lead me to several injuries that have de-railed training more than once over the 7 or so years I have been running. However – I am making an effort during this training cycle to dedicating at least one day to strength and making sure I do some core work as soon as I come back from each run. My idea is that if I can get this ingrained into my running routine now, when I start training for my fall marathon it will become part of my “normal”.
Post Run – I am notorious for (in the past) getting up early, running my prescribed mileage, coming home, and….nothing. No stretching, no icing, no rolling, nada. Just a quick drink of water and then heading off to work. That had lead to tightness and again injury. So I am making a conscious effort to change that (as well as to have the running czar gently bully me).
Quality Workouts– I have (for the most part) embraced the track but I think one of the areas that might have weakened me during my marathon last year was not performing any of these workouts on the road. A soft and consistent running surface is great – and I will continue to utilize it but unfortunately race courses are NOT flat, soft, or even. So last week I headed to Walnut Hill Park to do some intervals. In addition to it being super windy and challenging in itself, I had to contend with a slight uphill. It forced me to focused on pace but also effort, something that I need to develop over the coming months.
Finding Focus – Those whom know me know I love a good beer, burger and many times both but with more races on my calendar in the coming months AND my Spring “A” race coming up in a little over 2 months, now begins thetime of having to determine what is more important to me. Does that mean I will be giving up what I love – heck no! BUT it does mean cutting back and maybe having a beer(s) every other weekend. For all that work that I do during the week – I don’t want to back peddle when the weekend arrives.
Notice I did not necessarily say that I am trying to work harder.
Yes running is not always easy – but I have found in the past working out harder (through unfocused miles, not paying attention to aches and pains, etc.) has not always benefited me nor my running.
So that’s where we are on April 1st – I also have a race tomorrow which I am pumped (and of course nervous)to run. Hartford Track Club always puts on a great race and tomorrow’s 1/4 marathonat the West Hartford Reservoir should be great.
It’s also the longest sustained interval I have run this year, so it’s going to be a test of my endurance.
Question: Goals? Do you have them for the month of April? Let me know! 🙂
It’s been about a month and a half since I ran the New York City Marathon. I have written a recap to my running coach, on Daily Mile, and have talked a lot about it to people whom has asked, but it truly has taken me a month and a half to truly process my feelings. It did not go as I wanted or expected but (*spoiler alert*) I finished. What is written below is my recap – which I wrote several days after the marathon but upon further reflection, I have added additional thoughts.
Well after 18 weeks of training another marathon (my 3rd) is in the books. I honestly don’t know how my endurance distance runners can run more than one marathon a year. It is 2 days later and I am beyond sore. I don’t remember being as sore last year but according to Mark I was. Everything from walking down stairs to even sitting on my bed is a struggle.
The marathon is a distance that should be respected and after Sunday I have new respect for it. I did not hit my time goal – I honestly wanted to run a 3:45 and as you can see above (3:50) – I did not AND even ran more than I should have (27.06). Womp Womp. So both tangents and time were not my friends in the least.
In looking back at my splits I was good up through mile 20 and then the soreness/cramping I felt in my quads/hamstrings got the better of me. Surprisingly the PF I had been dealing with since August was not my problem – my feet held up fine. It was everything else that was screaming for me to stop as I headed up 5th Avenue toward Central Park.
I knew I was in a bit of trouble coming off the Queensboro bridge when my hamstrings/quads started to burn. I really don’t remember being in “trouble” at this point last year – I am not sure if I was more focused on the windy conditions last year or the elation of running my first New York City Marathon, but this year the “hill” of that bridge punched me in the gut.
In reality it was a bit before the bridge, probably around mile 13 when I realized my even splits were off – I was about a 1/2 mile off. Running 26.2 is a lot, and you never ever want to run more than that. BUT – in a big marathon (hello – 50,000 other runners besides myself), I guess that is understandable but I don’t remember really bobbing and weaving that much up to that point. That was a bit frustrating.
It was also at this time (mile 13) that I realized I was sweating, and by sweating I mean a lot. I thought I had hydrated a lot in the days leading up to the race, but in looking back I did not. So that might have contributed to my continued thirst during the later miles of the race – I could not feel hydrated and even had to stop at two of the water stations toward the later mile so that I could take an entire cup of water. Mark commented, after the race, that I had a layer of salt crystals on my face and arms. Usually the weather is not as warm as it was that day (cloudy, a bit humid and in the 50s at the start) so being even a bit dehydrated at the start means you are already behind the eight ball. .
The third part of this marathon tri-fecta was……my ipod – which I love and use Every.Single.Day. decided to go on the fritz. My playlist, which I had so lovingly created for the marathon, just stopped and started. Until that day, during my training and the bad weather runs, my ipod had worked perfectly. THIS WAS THE WORST DAY FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. For someone that uses the music as her motivation, was a bit crushing to me. I thought I could use the motivation of the crowd to help and it worked for a while but the soreness started over the Queensboro Bridge got the better of me.
Thank god I saw Mark (aka the running czar) at 2 points during the race – he really spurred me on. He said I was happy and smiling at mile 17 and 24, but inside I was crying and cursing myself. After mile 25 it was all I could to get to the finish and sweet relief when I did – I really wanted to stop when I was done but the Volunteers (who were all wonderful) were ushering 50k other runners and I was told to move it along. The cramping was extreme in my legs but the slow walk out of the park was helpful.
Sitting here today I wonder – what could have I done differently during training and during the race.
Could I have stretched more (Maybe, but I stretched more during this training cycle than in the past)
Should I have had more water and walked less leading up to the race
Should I have done some of my runs without music (Maybe but I still live and die by my ipod)
Should I have done more strength training (Yup -but family health issues made me limit what I was able to do toward the end),
Did I run my paces too fast (Yes – the initial elation of those early miles came to bite me in the ass later on)
What if what if what if…those questions have haunted me.
Honestly, a month and a half I don’t have all the answers. Within the first week or so after the marathon I was looking for another marathon to run before the end of the year and then when that was not possible I was searching for a Spring Marathon. Redemption is a saucy minx – what I never mentioned (really to anyone) is that I really wanted to qualify for Boston (with a 3:45) and feel that if I just did one thing different that dream could have become a reality.
I feel to a certain degree I disappointed and let down the people who supported me and myself. Yes – I do run for myself but after all the hard work I put in I wanted to see the pay off.
The long and the short of it was (and is) that I have to re group BUT I ran a fucking marathon!!!!
Yes – I would love to do another one soon as redemption but I don’t know if that would be smart and possible. Right now I just need to re-group and remember to run for the sake (and love) of running.
For so long this has been my life and I do have post marathon blues what I do not, and will take away is that maybe, just maybe, if I run another marathon again I will do a smaller one so that I can run the tangents better.
I will say that I have enjoyed this training cycle as much as I could. I ran more weekly miles than I ever have and for the most part had limited injury complaints. I have run my fair share of races to know that they don’t always work out the way you want and maybe because I only run one marathon a year I put more pressure on myself for this race. I guess I will just have to just keep plugging along.
A huge shout out to my husband – Mark has been through this rodeo 2 times prior – and he truely the best support this marathoner could ask for. He is prodding yet compassionate and really just “gets” me. Living and breathing training for 18 weeks is hard, not just on me but on us as a couple, but we are a team and he supports me 100%. He knows what I need to do but also knows when I might need to take a step back. He is always there saying – you just need to finish. The training is the real test, the race is just the icing (although not always sweet) on the case. For that I am thankful beyond words. He is not only my love but he is also my partner in crime, my companion, and my friend.
I’m a 44year redheaded runner- living and working in Central Connecticut with my long time loving husband (and sometimes running czar) Mark and our dog Harley.
I have always enjoyed sports but it wasn't until 11 years ago that I decided to "take up" running. Since then, running has allowed me to have some awesome adventures as well as meet some pretty cool people.
Along with running, I am also passionate about food and drink, considering myself a bit of an amateur food geek.
So I decided to start my blog to combine both of these passions by documenting my journey to balance the two - one step at a time.
So thanks for stopping by and as always - Keep Calm. Eat Well. Run Strong.