Marathon Training, Week 2

I think I totally nailed my training last week. Well, the running and karate, at least. I didn’t do any strength training, mostly due to an overwhelming urge to sleep. The heat has been making it harder to get to sleep at night, meaning it is harder to get up in the morning. I tell myself I will definitely go to the gym later, but I don’t.
However! The running went really well. My training schedule usually stays the same for two weeks before increasing mileage, so once again I had a twenty mile week. My long run of 11 miles went really well – it felt much better than last week’s long run. I even managed to pick up my pace the last mile and sprint the last hundred yards! A strong finish is one of my race goals – I’m sick of feeling like death as I shuffle the last quarter mile to the finish line.
This week, my mileage increases to 27, with 4 runs and a 13 mile long run. Eek! Just to make it more challenging, we are planning a camping trip this weekend, which means I can’t long run on Sunday. I just don’t think I have it in me to run loops around the campground after staying up late enjoying a campfire. So I have to squeeze 4 runs, two strength and 2 karate classes into 6 days. Woo!

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Long run day

Eleven miles: done! A warm day, but I felt much stronger than last week. I even managed to speed up in the last mile. Far fewer walking breaks and water stops than last week too.
I’m glad I won’t be walking around a Ren Fest for my post-run recovery. Unfortunately, I will be standing at a cash register. Oh calves, I’m so sorry.

Marathon Training: Week 1

The countdown begins! I’ve finished the first week of my marathon training. That means there’s only 15 weeks until Chicago. Holy cow!

I’m really glad I kept up my long runs after this spring’s half marathon. I tried to do about twenty miles a week, and at least a ten mile long run. If I hadn’t, I can’t see how I would have transitioned into marathon training. Perhaps this is what other runners mean when they talk about building your “base.” This week included only three runs, but Sunday’s long run was 11 miles. No way I could have gone from casual short runs to 11 miles – my body just loses its endurance without constant practice.

Here’s how last week looked, fitness-wise:

Monday: Easy run, karate

Tuesday: Strength workout

Wednesday: karate

Thursday: Easy run with intervals. Should have been a strength workout, but was exhausted.

Friday: Rest day. Also, margaritas!

Saturday: Rest day (although standing for eight hours doesn’t exactly feel restful).

Sunday: Long run. And Ren Fest!

I got up at 5:30 on Sunday so I could be out the door by 6. 11 miles takes me about 2 hours, and I wanted to beat the heat. Also, I was going to the Rennaisance Festival and had to be ready by 9. Here’s a tip: do not run 11 miles, skip your cool down and stretching, sit in a car for two hours, and then walk around for three hours, followed by another two hours of sitting. My calves and knees are not thanking me.

I can already tell that the biggest challenges for me are not the runs and workouts. The hardest part is getting enough sleep to be able to recover from the runs and workouts. I need at least eight hours, and it’s tough to get to bed early enough when I’m getting up at the crack of dawn.

The other big challenge is my diet. I’m convinced that eating whole foods, and focusing on meats and veggies, is the key to a healthy body. “You can’t out train a bad diet,” but for some reason I often justify poor food choices with exercise. I would love to lose some weight during this training cycle – I’m currently 162 pounds at 5’6”. I know being lighter would make me a faster runner. And if I’m honest, I really want my appearance to reflect the training I do. I know I’m fit, and I want it to show.

So there we are. 15 weeks to lose weight, gain endurance, and get psyched for Chicago. Bring it on!

Wait, am I on TV? A BolderBoulder update.

As we passed mile 5.5 during this year’s BolderBoulder, I was feeling pretty out of it. The last 3/4 mile of the race is on a wide boulevard with no shade. You can see straight down the street to the last punishing uphill climb. It is my least favorite part of the course, and I’ve had to walk at list a few seconds every year.
So I was really startled when a guy wearing a flashy red, white and blue outfit sprinted up next to me and shouted “These runners need some support. Come on, everyone, make some noise!” I was sure he was talking to himself, until I saw the guy with the camera running in front of him. I did a double-take, and finally recognized him from Boulder’s Public Access channel. I couldn’t believe it – I was running with Ryan van Doozer!

I started whooping it up like crazy, and managed to run a little faster before he dashed off for more hijinks. What a wild guy!

You can see a half a second of me cheering here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubyyEspz1Cg&t=2m10s

A cautionary tale

Went trail running Saturday morning on a trail with about 25 creek crossings. It was all fun and games until…

Backpacking-mud-face-plant

It was a lot like that. Except my face hit a rock instead of mud. I swear I heard a cracking noise, and was sure I’d broken a tooth, but my teeth are intact. It must have been the rock cracking?

My lips are a bit swollen and scabbed, but I know I was lucky. Let that be a lesson to everyone: be very careful when trail running, especially when you’re wearing road shoes.

Or take my husband’s suggestion, and wear a football helmet.

Review: Spirit of the Marathon II

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw the movie “Spirit of the Marathon.” I think my husband was watching it when I came home from work, and I only saw the second half. It was excellent, and I watched the whole thing the next day.

Apparently you can watch Spirit of the Marathon online for free!

The movie is a documentary that follows a number of runners, both amateur and elite, as they prepare for the Chicago Marathon. It also interviews many personalities to tell the story of the modern marathon race. It truly illustrates running as a triumph of the human spirit. Although I found it incredibly inspiring, I said many times while watching “These people are crazy, I’m never running a marathon.”

Fast forward to now: I am one of those crazy people. I am running a marathon.

Our local movie theatre ran a preview (before Star Trek: Into Darkness, of all things) for the sequel to this inspiring film. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sequel to a documentary, but this looked good. More runner’s stories. More stirring music. More marathon (this time in Rome). It was airing for one night only, but as an aspiring marathoner I knew I had to see it. I convinced my husband it would make a good night out, and bought our tickets.

The theatre wasn’t exactly packed, but our town is full of runners so the crowd was decent. I could tell they were runners because they laughed at the same moments I did – like when one of the American women runners was whooping and cheering on an old Italian guy also running, and the subtitles showed he was shouting at her to stop talking and save her energy. If you’ve run a race, you’ve definitely thought that about someone who won’t stop talking.

My apologies if this embedded video doesn’t work. You can find the trailer at this link.

I heartily enjoyed it, and I’m feeling extra motivated to get up tomorrow morning for a run. Our heat wave seems to have broken, but I know it will return so I’m going to keep running early. Always keep running.