Dallas Marathon Training: Week Ten

The plan:

week 10

Monday, Rest

I really didn’t like having Mondays as a rest day at the beginning of this training cycle. I felt like I should be doing something to start the work week actively. But now, as I get into longer runs during the middle of the week and on Sundays, I am really grateful for and am relishing having Mondays off.

Tuesday, Ran 4 miles/8:15 pace

4 milers

Speed run: I was surprised to have such a good pace considering I did this run after work, when I usually have less energy. I wanted to give my foot a little extra rest time after it hurt so much during my Sunday run, and it really gave me no problems.

Wednesday, Ran 8 miles/9:10 pace

8 miler

Tempo run: The first half of this run was a struggle, and I was averaging around 9:30 miles. Once again I ran after work instead of before, and I was tired. I fueled with Tailwind and drank from my handheld water bottle throughout. I found an extra burst of energy in the second half to up my speed and end up with a much better result than expected. This was my first tempo run of 8 miles, and it is the longest I will go for a tempo run during this training plan.

These runs that provide more of  a challenge, for various reasons, just serve to remind me that this isn’t going to come easy. I really have to work to meet my pace goals sometimes, and I think that’s a good thing – it means my goals aren’t too simple.

Thursday, Rest

I have Thursdays scheduled as cross-training days, but I’ve found lately that I’d rather rest after two days of hard runs. I had a fun day at work, exploring the new aquarium in town.

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Friday, Ran 4 miles/9:34 pace

easy

Easy run: I don’t even remember anything about this run except that I did it before work, and I don’t think I enjoyed it.

Saturday, Bicep curls with weights, and sit-ups

I also worked at the cat rescue cleaning for 7 hours, if that counts as cross-training.

Sunday, Ran 17 miles/10:31 pace

17 miles

Long run: Holy humidity. It was already warm and humid when I got out to the river path just before the sun came up, around 6:45 AM.

morning

It looks very dark, but there were already several people out there, and the sun started coming up about 5 minutes into my run.  I’ve found lately that I really, really hate my life for the first couple of miles of longer runs, but then it gets so much easier as I go along. I think that is better than it feeling easy at first and getting harder later.

I fueled with two PowerBar gels, Gatorade, and Tailwind. I listened to two episodes of Generation Why and then some other random podcast about celebrity gossip – lately, I’ve found I prefer podcasts over music for these longer runs. I think they are better at keeping my mind distracted from the task at hand. I was drenched with sweat at the end, thanks to the awful humidity.

I finished at 10 AM and only had time to take a quick shower before we had to get to church. Thankfully I wasn’t too achy. After church, we picked up some ice, and I took a 20-minute ice bath, my first of this training cycle.

ice bath

So this was a pretty ho-hum week. No races, nothing really exciting to report; I was pleased with my speed and tempo run paces. I am glad that I have been gaining energy and strength in the second half of my long runs, even when the beginning feels so miserable. I hope I feel strong in the second half of the actual race as well.

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Dallas Marathon Training: Week Nine

Got my new shoes in this week! For some reason this weird combo of fuchsia and orange really appeals to me. I used to be such a Brooks Ravenna loyalist, but this is the 2nd pair in a row where I’ve gotten Mizunos instead. I’ve just been able to find better sales or deals on Mizunos, whereas it feels like I never see Brooks shoes on sale that are in my size.

new shoes

ANYWAYS, here is this week’s recap.

The plan:

week 9

Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 4 miles/8:38 pace

speed run
Worst picture ever

Speed run: I was still sore all day on Monday, so when I set out for this run on Tuesday morning before work, I could tell I wasn’t completely recovered from my hard 5K on Saturday.

My legs felt fine for the most part, but I just had trouble getting that extra push that I usually manage to find during my speed runs. Hopefully next week will be better.

Wednesday, Ran 7 miles/8:54 pace

tempo run

Tempo run: This run started out a little rough, and I thought for a little while there that it was going to be slower than my tempo run last week, and that my speed was going to be terrible all week. But somewhere between miles 3-5, either my PowerBar gel kicked in or I woke up, because I started going faster and feeling strong. I finished with my fastest 7-miler so far from this training cycle.

Thursday, Rest

Friday, Bicep curls and sit-ups

Another LAME “cross-training” day. I need to find a workout I might enjoy and set my mind on doing that every cross-training day.

Saturday, Ran 13 miles/9:58 pace

13 miles

Long run: I ran the Red River Revel Road Race 15K in downtown Shreveport as part of my 13-mile training run, which was perfect because the race utilized both the Clyde Fant Parkway and the running trail adjacent to the parkway. It was very easy to hop on the trail before and after the race to get in my extra miles.

The race started at 7:30, so I got out to the starting area by 6:45, picked up my timing chip, and ran about 2.7 miles on my own at a pretty easy pace. Then, I ran the 9.3 mile race in 1:31:10, which was a 9:47 pace. I definitely have trouble keeping my pace slower when I’m doing a race as part of a training run, because I get antsy and competitive. I ran most of the race at about 10-10:20 miles, but for the last two miles, I upped it to sub-9 miles and tried to pass as many people as I could. I went into more detail about the race in my recap here.

After I reached the finish line, I had one mile left to run, so I just went back to the running trail and ran a slow mile. I was parked about a half-mile away, and it starting raining really hard as I was heading back to my car, so I ended up jogging some more just to get out of the rain quicker!

After the race, I went straight to the cat rescue and was there until 3:30 or so. (I changed clothes in the bathroom when I got there!) Then I came home and took an epsom salt bath with Dr. Teal’s Pre and Post Workout. This had an icy-hot effect, and it was very… strange. I think I might stick to plain Dr. Teal’s in the future.

Saturday night, we went for a quick bite at Chick-Fil-A, where I indulged in fries and a frosted coffee. Then we went to the Film Prize film festival to finish out the movies we hadn’t seen yet so we could vote for our favorites! I was exhausted and achy at the end of the night.

Sunday, Ran 5 miles/9:50 pace

easy tun

Easy run: Despite the smile, I hated this run. I was achy, sore, and tired. It was really hot outside. I ran in my new Mizunos, and I probably need to re-lace the shoelaces because the top of my right foot hurt throughout the run, and my left foot kept going numb. I just hated it and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

The end of week 9 means I am HALFWAY THERE!

Red River Revel Road Race 15K Recap

rrrr bib

This was the second week in a row where I signed up for a local race at the last minute. I had actually been planning for a long time to do the Red River Revel Road Race 15K as part of this week’s long training run, but then something came up and I thought I was going to have to work that day instead. On Friday, it got worked out to where I wouldn’t have to work on Saturday, so I went and signed up for the race in person because online registration was closed.

The race started near Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport, utilizing both the parkway and the running trail that runs alongside the parkway. It made it very easy to hop on the trail before and after the race to get my extra miles in for a total of 13 miles.

My alarm went off at 5:50 AM, and I actually woke up pretty easily because I’d gotten a decent night’s sleep, hallelujah. I got everything together and left the house by 6:30 AM. I parked about a half-mile from the race start, and ran almost 3 miles pretty slowly prior to the start.

For the actual race, I was planning to just run my marathon pace of 10:18 or so. It’s hard because I get competitive, but I knew that I wasn’t going to win anyway, so I just wanted to pace myself and enjoy it.

The weather was overcast and very thick with humidity. The course was out-and-back. We started on the parkway and ran about 2 miles on the actual road, then we were directed to get off the road and get on the asphalt running trail for an additional 2.5 miles before turning around to come back the way we came. There were water stops every few miles or so, and I made sure to get fluids at each one. I also fueled by taking a gel right before the race started.

I kept a pretty even pace for most of the race, but when we got off the trail and back on the road to head to the finish line, for some reason I just couldn’t help myself and I started booking it. My next two miles were an 8:41 pace and an 8:09 pace. As I sprinted to the finish, I was doing 7:05. It’s hard to just jog in to a finish line!

13 garmin

My chip time was 1:31:10. Post-race they had M&M cookies and jambalaya, water and Gatorade. I got back on the trail to run one more mile so that I could hit 13 for the day. Overall it was a good race, very convenient to include in a long run for the weekend. Also, your race bib gets you free entry into the Red River Revel for the day. I will definitely try to do it again next year.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Eight

The plan:

plannn

Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 4 miles/9:30 pace

easy 4

Easy run: I originally planned to get up early Tuesday morning and complete my speed run, but I slept in (to 7:30 or so) instead. Also, I had started thinking that if I could find a 5K on Saturday to run, I could do that as my speed run and, at the same time, try to attempt a new 5K PR. I’d been thinking about this ever since I beat my current 5K PR during a training run last week.

So I ended up signing up for the Race for the Cure 5K that was scheduled to take place on Saturday. Instead of doing my speed run Tuesday, I ran 4 easy miles after work.

Wednesday, Ran 7 miles/9:16 pace

tempo 7

Tempo run: This was tough. I set my alarm for 6 and made it out the door by 6:40 or so (after pressing snooze a couple of times), to get the run done before work. It was still dark when I left the house to go to the river path, though the sun was starting to rise and it was light enough by the time I started running. I am ready for DST, so it will be lighter earlier in the morning.

wed morn

Last week’s 7-mile tempo run was done at a 9:07 pace, and I hate that I didn’t at least match that this week. Maybe it’s because I ran so late in the evening on Tuesday, or maybe it’s because I didn’t have any caffeine or fuel beforehand, but my first few miles were very sluggish and slow. I only started speeding up for the second half of the run.

I drank Powerade Zero from my Nathan handheld throughout. I also listened to the Hollywood Crime Scene podcast episode on Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, which made me LOL several times.

Thursday, Rode bike/2 miles and bicep curls

I have been a very lame cross-trainer so far, but I recall in previous training cycles that I usually flaked out on cross-training all together, so at least I’m doing something? I might have rode for longer, but with my 5K looming on Saturday, I didn’t want to overwork my legs too much. I also recently got my 8-pound weights out of storage, so I did 3×15 sets of bicep curls. Hardcore, I know.

Friday, Rest

Saturday, Ran a 5K/7:45 pace + 1 mile/9:00 pace

speed

Speed run: I recapped the Race for the Cure 5K here, which was the majority of my speed run. I was understandably tired afterward, so to finish up my training run, I did 1 more mile a bit slower while waiting for the awards ceremony to start.

Sunday, Ran 15 miles/10:41 pace

15

Long run: Wow, I woke up quite sore this morning, clearly from going out so hard in the 5K on Saturday. I felt really tired and even contemplated moving my run back to the afternoon so that I could go back to bed, but instead I set my mind to getting the run behind me. Started right around 7 AM, and the soreness and tiredness actually helped me stick to my long run pace goals. I’d complained about my inability to slow down enough during long runs, but that was definitely not a problem this week!

15 laps

For the first time this training plan, I fueled with some PowerBar energy gels – one before the run and one in the middle. I basically aimed to go 11-minute miles for the first 8 miles, which was my easy pace, then 10:18 miles for the last 7 miles, my marathon goal pace. I also drank Tailwind during the run, but I was thinking today that I probably won’t carry Tailwind with me during the marathon, so is it a bad idea to train with fuel I won’t be using on race day? I know I can handle Gatorade/Powerade, so if that’s what the race is offering, I should be fine? ::shrug::

My right foot was really giving me problems during the run, I don’t know how to explain it… the top of my foot hurts, sometimes it feels unstable, and the bottom started aching too. I wrapped it with sports tape before church.

foot

Beautiful.

September Recap

sept

Another great month!

Miles ran: ~105 – I’m hitting all of my training runs, gaining speed, and feeling great. Suffering from some aches and pains here and there, specifically in my right foot, but nothing too serious.

Races run: 1 – the Race for the Cure on Sept. 30. Not only did I set a new 5K PR, but I was first female!

PRs set: 1 – Goodbye 26:33… my new 5K PR, set during Race for the Cure, is 24:06!

Significant running purchases: 2 – I registered for the Louisiana Marathon, what will be marathon #10, and also went ahead and ordered my next pair of shoes – Mizuno Wave Catalysts. My current Wave Catalysts are nearing their mileage limit.

814XPYwyBIL._SX480_

Other fun memories: Going to the La Tech/Miss. State game, attending our friends’ wedding, and going to the Red River Revel, a great arts festival that happens every year in our town.

 

October-December is my most favorite time of year. Ready for it!

Race for the Cure 5K – A PR & a Win

When I set my 5K PR more than 6 and a half years ago, I never imagined that it would take so long to beat.

But it has been a PR unbeaten for that long, because I admittedly have never been extremely concerned about speed, I hate 5Ks because I hate being out of breath, and I have always focused on and more enjoyed long distances. I tried to beat my 5K PR three years ago, and I surely would have done it then if the course for that race hadn’t been too long.

So when I beat my 5K PR in a training run last week, that really bugged me. I didn’t feel like I could count it as a new PR, because it wasn’t during an officially timed race. And knowing that it had been so long since I had set a new 5K PR, the wheels in my head started turning. I suddenly really wanted to get a new PR for real.

I looked around for 5K races taking place this weekend, and there were only 2 that I could find. One was an inaugural 5K race that I’d never heard of before and wasn’t sure who the organizers were. The other was the huge Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which I figured would be really congested and might possibly be hard to PR in if I had to fight through crowds of people. Then I remembered – the 6-year-old 5K PR I was hanging onto? It was actually set during the 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Baton Rouge. In that race, I simply started way up front so that I wouldn’t get stuck behind walkers, and then I just ran as fast as I could. That resulted in a time of 26:33, an 8:33 pace. So, after thinking about it for a couple of hours, I signed up for the Race for the Cure 5K with a simple goal of beating 26:33.

5k2

The race was being held in walking distance of my house, so I left around 8 AM to walk over to the CenturyLink Center, where all the festivities were taking place. I really enjoyed being able to do this. My speed run for my marathon training plan was 4 miles, so I planned to do the race and then run home to get to 4 miles for my training run.

The race was big, but not as big as the one I did in Baton Rouge, which is to be expected, since BR is a much bigger city. When they started announcing that it was time to line up, I made sure I was near the front of the pack. I felt pretty nervous, but I had no doubt that I was capable of PRing.

5k 3

When the gun sounded,  I basically just started running as fast as I could. We turned out of the parking lot of the arena and ran down the parkway. There was also a 10K going on, so those runners kept going while 5Kers turned around at about 1.5 miles and made their way back down the parkway to the arena.

I did notice as we got started that I quickly passed the few girls who were in front of me, and soon there were no other females ahead of me. I really couldn’t believe that I might not only PR, but win first overall female, and I also refused to believe that. I made myself focus on the PR and not worry that another girl would pass me. I even tried to convince myself that it was inevitable another girl would pass me.

I glanced at my watch here and there, and I was pretty much always running under an 8:00 pace. This really surprised me! My first mile was 7:45, and my second mile was 7:47. The last mile was tough. I was definitely approaching my limit, but I focused on hanging on. I knew that I was going to PR big time, but I also didn’t want to sputter out and end weakly. And I knew deep down that I would be majorly disappointed if another female passed me at the very last second.

I turned into the finish chute and found a little extra fuel to speed up for the finish. My last mile was 7:40, and I finished with a big PR of 24:06.

5k 1

The results were scrolling on a screen nearby, and they confirmed I was also overall first female! This has only happened to me two previous times, both very small races. This wasn’t a HUGE race, but it was a lot bigger than those other wins. I was thrilled with my fastest 5K ever and somehow managing the female win!

5k 4

5k 5

I waited around for the awards ceremony and got a very nice plaque. I’m so glad I decided to do this race at the last second! I even had to go register in person and fill out a paper form, because I had missed online registration. It was all worth it 🙂

Marathon #10

I haven’t run Marathon #9 yet, but I just signed up for what will be Marathon #10.

Louisiana Marathon

The Louisiana Marathon was my very first marathon on January 15, 2012. I think it’s only fitting that I should return to this race for my 10th marathon in January 2018. It takes place five weeks after the Dallas Marathon.

LAMarathon

My goal will be to PR in Dallas and then run Louisiana for the milestone. I’ll probably rest for a full week after Dallas, then continue my same weekly schedule with long runs of 18, 20, 15, and 10 before the next race.

I’m excited to do this race again and return to Baton Rouge, where I lived for four years and first started running. Much of the course takes place around the LSU lakes, and it will be really special to me to revisit that area and indulge in some memories of my first few years as a runner. I spent countless hours out there on those lakes, training and running new distances for the first time. I’m already getting very mushy just thinking about it.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Seven

The plan:

week 7

Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 4 miles/8:26 pace

FullSizeRender (5)

Speed run: This was my first week with a speed run longer than 3 miles, and while my pace was slower than last week, my final mile in this run was the fastest mile I have run in quite a very long time – 7:57.

According to my Garmin, I also ran a 5K in that 4 miles that was faster than my current 5K PR (26:33). :-0

fastest 5k

Wednesday, Ran 7 miles/9:07 pace

FullSizeRender (6)

Tempo run: Completed this run before work. It was slightly slower than last week’s tempo run, but was also one mile longer, so I will take it! The air was thick with humidity, it was gross 😦

Thursday, Rest

Friday, Ran 4 miles/9:21 pace

FullSizeRender (7)

Easy run: I thought about running before work, but was too tired. Instead, I set out around 7 PM after it cooled off a bit, finishing as the sun was going down. The end of this week was super hot, with highs in the 90s. Ugh! I want fall weather.

Saturday, Rode 4 miles

After a day spent volunteering at the cat shelter, I did a short little bike ride around the neighborhood. 4 miles in about 25 minutes.

Sunday, Ran 14.5 miles/10:15 pace

14 miles

Long run: Well, my alarm went off at 6:20, and I didn’t start running until 7:30. I need to be better prepared for the morning so that I am getting an earlier start. Today it would have been great to get out by 7, because it got really hot before the run was over.

I really, really, really need to be disciplined in my long runs to go slower than what I’m doing. I know it sounds silly to act like I just can’t help being “fast,” but I feel like longer runs are supposed to be getting my body used to being on my feet longer. That’s why my goal is to run the first half at an easy pace, then do the second half at marathon goal pace. But I just find myself going faster than goal no matter what, and it’s only going to wear me out.

I fueled during this run with Honey Stinger chews and Tailwind and Powerade. Quite a mixture of random things. Next week I want to focus on my nutrition. I haven’t been training with gels, but that’s what I plan to do during the marathon, so I need to start utilizing them during my long runs. Due to their thin consistency, I have only ever been able to tolerate PowerBar energy gels, so I’m going to order a bunch.

This was only supposed to be 14, but I was a half-mile from my car when I hit 14 miles, so I kept going. Whoops.

So that’s my boring recap for this week. The weeks are really flying by, and I find myself really energized by the progress I’m making with my speed and conditioning. At one time, I was really at a point where I thought I’d never be as fast as I was 6 years ago, but now I really have hope for getting a marathon PR in a couple of months. I just need to continue putting in the work and taking care of myself.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Six

The plan:

zom5HEl

This week was one where I really could have fallen back on my usual excuses to flake out on some of my training runs. To be frank, it’s that time of the month. So… I was achy.  I was grumpy. I was exhausted. Wednesday evening after my 6-mile tempo run, I told my husband that I felt like “a bag of crap run over twice and then backed over.” But with the exception of a questionable cross-training day, I didn’t miss a beat. I still hit all my goal paces. Excuses won’t get me anywhere. Some days the motivation is just not there, but somehow I still did it.

Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:12 pace

speed

Speed run: This was the only pre-work run I did this week. I was pretty surprised with how fast I ended up doing it, and I definitely wasn’t trying to run an 8:01 mile. If I had realized that’s how fast I was running, I would have most definitely aimed for 7:59! This was still tough, but it’s been cool to see myself getting faster each week in these speed runs. Next week, the run goes up to 4 miles, so we’ll see how that affects my pace.

Wednesday, Ran 6 miles/8:59 pace

tempo6

Tempo run: On Tuesday night I slept in my running clothes, had everything set out ready to go, and when my alarm went off Wednesday morning at 6, I just couldn’t do it. I felt so tired, so I pushed the run back to the end of the day. This made me paranoid that something would happen to prevent the run from happening; I felt guilty for not getting it done in the morning.

Alas, I went out as soon as I got home from work and went to the river path to run. This was my first time running with my bigger Nathan water bottle, and I don’t think I pulled the strap tight enough, because it felt awkward in my hand and my shoulder tightened up at times. I was tired during this run and it was quite the challenge, but I still pulled out my best pace so far during this training for a tempo run.

After the run, I went home and ate dinner, then took an Epsom salt bath. As soon as I got out of the bath, I suddenly felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. I had been thinking about eating some Halo Top ice cream for dessert, but my appetite was gone, thinking about eating made me feel sick. I got in bed and stayed there for the rest of the night, watching this dumb Netflix movie, #RealityHigh.

Thursday, Rest

Friday, 50 push-ups and foam-rolling

I had been running my easy run on Friday mornings the past few weeks, but I had to be somewhere for work at 8 a.m., so that wasn’t happening for me this time.

50 push-ups and foam rolling took place that night. It’s lame activity for what was supposed to be a cross-training day, but I will tell you, the push-ups were no joke. Those last 5, I could barely lower my body at all, and my armpits still hurt today (Sunday).

Saturday, Ran 4 miles/10:11 pace

slow4

Easy run: My face represents how I felt during this entire run – so tired and crappy. I had to go out and do it before going to work at the cat rescue, and I was just already exhausted thinking about the day ahead of me. I wanted to quit at 3 miles, telling myself that this run is just junk miles and doesn’t really contribute anything to my training. But in my head I said to myself, “You really don’t think you can run for 10 more minutes? Come on!” So I finished it out.

Went to the cat shelter and worked for about 4 hours, then I headed to the mall (covered in cat hair and scratches from an unruly kitten who did not want to be carried back to the kitten room) to try and quickly find a dress for a wedding we were attending that night. My tiredness all week had kept me from doing this earlier!

Luckily, I went into H&M and immediately found a cute green dress (and two tops). The wedding Saturday night was super fun, and I had a hot date.

wedding

Sunday, Ran 9 miles/10:24 pace

9miles

Long run: It kind of bothers me that my long run this week is shorter than my last two long runs, but I’m just going with the plan. I did 5 miles at an easy pace, 11 minute miles or so, and then I aimed to the do the last 4 at marathon pace, 10:18. I listened to Ali on the Run’s podcast during this entire run, and it made the miles go by quickly. I love her. It was much warmer for this run than the past few weeks. See: shirt drenched in sweat.

I ran with my Nathan water bottle again and was able to pull the hand strap tighter, so it was a much better experience than on Wednesday. I drank Tailwind tropical buzz flavor during the run.

Next week, things get much tougher. My speed and tempo runs are each a mile longer, and my long run is 14 miles. Will definitely be a challenge!

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Five

The plan:

bi3kvzp

Monday, Rest

FullSizeRender (1)

Part of me really wanted to go ahead and do my speed run on this day, because I was off work and I thought it would be easier to do the run on a day when I had no other commitments.

The problem was, I was exhausted from a busy weekend. I went to a friend’s apartment to go swimming in her complex’s pool Monday morning, but we really just kind of stood still in the water talking. I decided to just count this as the rest day it was scheduled to be anyway. I don’t want to peak too early in my training, and forcing runs on rest days, when I’m really tired, seems like a good way to burn out. Don’t need to do that in Week Five.

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:36 pace

FullSizeRender (2)

Speed run: I planned to do this run around 6:30 AM before work. After taking a tab of melatonin Monday night around 9, I got in bed and fell into sleep pretty easily. My aim was to be able to sleep through the night without waking up several times, which has become a regular issue for me. Well, this was not accomplished. I woke up multiple times after having very weird dreams, which I attributed to the melatonin.

At some point I reset my alarm from 6:15 to 7:15, deciding that I was going to push my run to the evening. After waking up, I figured I could still get the run done and be at work by 9, so I set out at 7:40 or so.

I felt terrible the whole time. I was sluggish, probably another side effect of the melatonin, and I had been dealing with congestion for a week, so I found it hard to breathe through my nose. I finished, and wasn’t happy with the result, which was slower than last week’s speed run. I proceeded to be groggy for most of the morning at work. If I ever try melatonin again, I will limit it to half a tab. Ugh.

Wednesday, Ran 6 miles

FullSizeRender (4)

Tempo run: Again with the sleep problems, I couldn’t fall asleep Tuesday night until around 11, and then I woke up at 4:30. I lay there for about 45 minutes and decided since I was awake, I might as well get my run done. I set out for six miles, and it was awesome. I had to stick around the neighborhood since the river path has no lights, and I felt safer. It was basically like running at night; I wore a blinking light bracelet thing that I have, and I also wore a white shirt and reflective headband. I also stayed on the sidewalk 95% of the time. The streetlights and the moon were plenty enough light for me until the sun started to rise. The weather was chilly, with a cold front settling in, and every mile was faster than the last. It was just a great run!

FullSizeRender (3)

Thursday, Rest

Friday, Ran 3.2 miles/9:13 pace

easy3

Easy run: I wore long sleeves for this run! It was 58 degrees when I headed out to run around 7 AM before work. This is my easy run, and the 9:13 pace felt easy, helped by the wonderful weather. This run was scheduled for Saturday, but I moved it to Friday morning. This might become a weekly thing.

Saturday, Rode bike/3.15 miles (20 minutes)

So I learned it’s much easier to ride your bike when your tires have enough air in them! Ummm… I’m clearly a genius. Put more air in the tires Friday night, and my Saturday morning bike ride was so much easier and faster than previous rides. I just got this in quickly on Saturday morning before heading to the cat rescue to help clean for a few hours. Then, around 2 PM, we headed to Ruston to tailgate before the Tech game, which was a complete debacle football-wise, but it was still fun to hang out with some friends!

Sunday, Ran 12 miles/10:21 pace

12

Long run: I was tired for much of this run, but mentally I just focused on pushing through. I went out to the river path and ran 6 miles straight, took a short break at my car for fuel, then ran the other 6 miles straight.

I kept the same strategy as last week – the first half was an easy 11-minute pace, the second half was my marathon pace, with the last half-mile at a speedy pace.

It’s tough to keep running strong in those last few miles, but I feel like it’s really preparing me for later in the marathon when I will be really tired but will need to keep pushing. I fueled for this run with a banana, peanut butter and honey beforehand, Tailwind raspberry flavor mixed with water throughout, and three Clif Shot Bloks in the middle.

water bottles
Size of new Nathan water bottle vs. size of old one.

My 3-year-old, 10-ounce Nathan handheld water bottle has been leaking during my most recent runs, and I realized the mouthpiece part has a small hole where the liquid comes out. I guess the material deteriorated or whatever at the opening. I had been thinking I wanted to get a bigger handheld anyway, so I went to the local running store and got a bigger version as a replacement.