Marathon Training, Week Two

The plan:

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Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:55 pace

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This is me laying on the ground. This run was slower than last week’s speed run, but this week was hotter so that is my excuse.

Wednesday, Ran 5 miles/9:27 pace

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This run wouldn’t have happened if I had let circumstances and feelings dictate my actions. I didn’t get to leave work as early as planned, and I was really stressed and anxious and didn’t feel like doing it, and it was my wedding anniversary and we were supposed to go out to dinner.

But I knew if I skipped the run I would feel worse off, not better, so I texted my husband that we needed to push dinner back until later that night, then set out on the run. It was hot and I was tired, but I pushed through, I let my worries drift through my head and then pushed them out, and I felt so much better when it was over. Hit my goal pace, too!

Afterward, I came home to roses from my husband, and we went out to eat a nice dinner for our anniversary.

Thursday, Rest

Friday, Rode Bike/Two miles

I was supposed to cross-train on Thursday and rest on Friday, but things got in the way, and I switched the days. I don’t enjoy bicycling as much as I wish I enjoyed it.

Saturday, Ran 10K/9:51 pace

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All week I was thinking my long run was 9 miles and that I’d have to run 3 extra miles after my 10k race on Saturday. On Friday night, I finally re-checked my training plan and was thrilled to see that my “long” run this week was only 6 miles, so I didn’t have to do anything other than the race.

On Saturday morning, I got up at 7 and headed out to First Baptist Church in Shreveport, which was the starting point for the Mission: Possible 10K.

Since I was doing the race as my long run, I didn’t really have any goals as far as finish time. I just wanted to run comfortably as I would for any other long run, and not push too hard.

The course was an out-and-back 5K, and 10Kers had to do it twice. It was mostly residential streets, and I mostly just zoned out and ran how I felt. My second half was about 2 minutes faster than my first half, and I finished 3rd place in my age group of 30-39 (out of 12).

After the race, I went through Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through and got an iced coffee and bacon/egg/cheese bagel, ran home and changed clothes, then went to the animal shelter to help clean after a bunch of cats for 6 hours. Volunteering at a cat rescue is so therapeutic and relaxing for me, even though it can be hard work sometimes. I wouldn’t give it up!

Saturday night we went to my brother-in-law’s house to celebrate his birthday, and I was falling asleep in bed by 10:30. Exhausting day!

Sunday, Ran 3 miles in two halves/9:57 pace

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I could have gotten up and ran before church, but I was tired and didn’t think it was supposed to rain at all (granted, I didn’t check the forecast), so I decided to put  it off for the afternoon. Well, as we were waiting in line for lunch around 1 (at the best taco place I’ve ever been to in my life), my husband got a text from one of our friends asking if we wanted to go do an Escape Room game with them at 4 PM. We wanted to, so I decided to get my 3-mile easy run done beforehand. I waited an hour for my food to digest, then set out around 2:15 PM for what I thought would be a quick and easy run, leaving me with plenty of time to shower before we went to the Escape Room.

Well, shortly after I started running, I noticed the sky was very dark. Then I saw lightning, and then it thundered. Great. So I ran back to my house and put my phone away, thinking this would help me not get hit by lightning. I started running again even though it was raining slightly, and even though the lightning was not stopping, nor was it getting any further away. Finally, I decided to head back home. A woman in a car even stopped, rolled down her window, and asked if I needed a ride to escape the weather. Thankfully, I was close to my house. I stopped at 1.5 miles. I sat and waited inside for a few minutes, but it kept thundering, so I gave up. I showered, changed, and we did the Escape Room (and won), then had dinner.

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Escape Room fun! We won with 12 minutes to spare.

After I was home for a little while, it was still light outside and of course had stopped raining and thundering. I decided to go do my 2nd half! It bugged me to cut a run short just in my 2nd week of training. So I went out almost 5 hours later and did the other 1.5 to my run.

This coming week should be… interesting. I have to work at least one night when I have a run scheduled, and we’re going out of town over the weekend. I will adjust my plan as needed.

Marathon Training, Week One

The plan:

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Had a pretty great forecast for my first week of marathon training :/

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Thankfully, the rain didn’t really interfere with my plans during the week. I got a little rained on a couple of times, but nothing so serious that I had to stop what I was doing. Despite a complete upheaval of my weekend plans, I completed my training plan perfectly in Week One 🙂

Monday, Rest 

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Every Monday is a rest day, so every Monday will be a successful training day 🙂 I was really glad this first day of my plan was an inactive day, because it was raining pretty much all day and all evening. I took the above photo from my work window on Monday morning. Blech.

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:46 pace

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I got horrible stomach cramps in the middle of this run, so bad I had to stop for a couple of minutes and try to stretch it out. I have been drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages (mostly coffee and Diet Coke) during the workday and not enough water, so I’m sure this was a huge contributor of these terrible cramps. I really need to work on that. Rain held off all afternoon so it was thankfully a dry run, and it began to softly drizzle just as I was finishing up. I have been getting faster on these shorter runs.

Wednesday, Ran 5 miles/9:29 pace

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So for tempo runs, I guess I am aiming to do them at a 9:30 pace or so because that’s 30 seconds faster than my hopeful marathon pace of 10 minutes a mile. This is a lofty goal right now considering how little and slow I’ve run over the past two years, but I figure if I don’t start working toward that goal at the very beginning of my training plan, the odds of me attaining it are slim. So for this first tempo run, I was pleased to make my goal even though it was really tough.

Thursday, Biked 2 miles/17 minutes

I have found that bicycling is weirdly harder on my lungs than running. Maybe it’s because my bike is kind of heavy, or because I don’t have as much experience cycling, or my legs are weak and puny, but whatever the case, cycling has been pretty tough for me. I had to work Thursday night, so I set out to do my cross-training before work. There was a misty rain the whole time, which made it feel rather nice. I still struggled to maintain any kind of decent speed and was drenched in sweat after 17 minutes and 2 miles. So hopefully I will see my cycling conditioning get better over the course of this training plan, too.

Friday, Rest

Saturday, Ran 8 miles/10:48 pace

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This run felt like a setback, but I guess the circumstances weren’t ideal and it could have been worse. I was supposed to be in South Louisiana at my parents’ house, doing this run Saturday morning, but because of our flat tire Friday night, which stranded us in Natchitoches until Saturday morning, I didn’t end up doing this run until Saturday afternoon around 4 PM after we got home. The forecast showed thunderstorms likely for 6, so I knew I needed to go ahead and get this run done before then. While the sky was mostly overcast, the temperature was still around 93 when I started and the humidity was thick. After the first four miles my stomach felt unsettled, and I also found myself having a little trouble breathing as steadily. So unlike my previous longer runs of 6-7 miles, where I felt strong near the end, I felt progressively worse as this run went on.

Fuel note: I drank Lemon-flavored Tailwind during this run, and didn’t like it as much as the orange flavor.

Sunday, Ran 3 miles/10:22 pace

I guess my easy runs are really just aimed at upping my mileage each week, since they will never be particularly long and I won’t have a pace goal. My only goal for these is to run what feels easy, so I will just be interested to see how my pace varies each week. Hopefully my easy pace will get faster as time goes on.

Change of Plans

We were supposed to go to South Louisiana to visit my family this weekend, but our car had other plans. About 90 minutes into our journey on I-49 South, we heard a disturbing clattering sound coming from the front driver’s side of the car, so we pulled off the interstate into some nothing little town and parked at an empty post office.

I still don’t know what happened, but our tire was shredded and losing air quickly.

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While we had a spare donut tire, we were too far away to drive on it all the way back home, and it was after 7 PM so all the places that would be able to change a tire were closed.

Thankfully, we were only about 30 miles from Natchitoches, so we drove there slowly on a smaller highway and got a hotel for the night. Though I was very upset that our weekend plans were torpedoed, we made the most of it and walked around the cute Natchitoches downtown, got an appetizer and listened to some live music.

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Then on Saturday, we got up and had breakfast at one of Natchitoches’ famous meat pie restaurants, got a new tire in about 10 minutes, then went to Melrose Plantation where the famous artist Clementine Hunter lived and worked. We got to see the house where she lived and several of her original pieces.

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We will go to South Louisiana in two weeks instead. All in all, everything worked out the best that it possibly could have considering the circumstances! There are definitely worse places to get stuck for a night! The guy at the tire place said we were very fortunate our tire didn’t blow out on the interstate.

Weekly Recap: Rough

This was my last week of plan-free running before marathon training gets under way. I definitely took advantage of that.

It was a rough week, with illness on Monday and recovery on Tuesday,  then some other stressful situations going on. I ended up running three times, but it only amounted to 10 miles for the week.

Wednesday, Ran 1 mile/9:10 pace

After two days of nothing, I wanted to do *something* but didn’t have the energy to go out for longer than a mile.

Saturday, Ran 3 miles/9:24 pace

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I did this one around 5 after getting done at the animal shelter for the day. I was surprised that I kept up the pace after such a long day.

Sunday, Ran 6 miles/10:17 pace

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Ran before church for the third week in a row. I’m always really happy to get this done first thing, rather than have it hanging over my head in the afternoon.

I fueled with some StrideBox samples. While I enjoyed the Glukos drink mix, the watermelon flavor of the Sports Beans wasn’t my favorite.

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Taking Inventory

As I prepare to start marathon training and running longer, I decided to go through my huge duffel bag full of running stuff to see what kind of fuel I already have on hand. Though I usually stuck to the same products in the past (PowerBar gel and Powerade or Gatorade drinks), I have so much stuff and I don’t think it will hurt to try out new products during training that might be even better than what I’m used to.

I subscribed to StrideBox for almost two years, through which I got tons of samples, gels, drink mixes, etc., every month. I also have stuff I bought and then never used, so I took everything out and organized it all by type.

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I am going to do my best to use fuel I already have before buying anything else. Some of this is expired, so I might run out sooner than I’d like to. But this is a pretty nice stash! Gels, nut butter, jelly beans, chews, even performance gum (?), which I have never tried. I also have salt capsules and ginger chews left over from previous training cycles.

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Though as previously stated I usually like to drink only Powerade or Gatorade during training runs, I plan to use up all of the Tailwind for sure. I will try some of the other powder samples as well – none of the flavors sound disgusting, so that’s a plus!

I organized everything into Ziploc bags, and my duffel is also overflowing with samples of anti-chafing gel, Biofreeze and other similar products, KT tape, and more. I think I’m ready to go!

Dallas Marathon Training Plan

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I’m going to attempt to run another marathon! It’s been almost two years since I last took on 26.2, when I ran the New York City Marathon in November 2015. It’s taken awhile, but I decided recently that I am in the right frame of mind to once again embark on a long training cycle and tackle a big goal. The Dallas Marathon on December 10 will be my 9th marathon.

This will be my training plan, beginning Monday:

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Weekends are going to be hectic. I volunteer at a local animal shelter on Saturdays, usually all day, so most of my long runs will take place on Sundays. The exceptions are weeks that I am doing a race as part of my long run, when the race falls on a Saturday. I predict a lot of early bedtimes on Friday and Saturday nights during these few months.

There are about 4-5 local races I am planning to do during this training cycle, a couple of 10Ks, a 15K, a half marathon, and a Thanksgiving run. I’m excited for the fall!

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Weekly Recap: Heat Wave

Sometimes I really hate summer. This past week was one of those times. It seemed like we were under a heat advisory almost every day. It would be 7 p.m. and the temperature would still be 90+ degrees with a heat index of over 100. Blah! I made a goal before this week to run 20 miles total, and because of the heat it took more runs than originally planned, but I did it.

Monday, Ran 4 miles, 9:50 pace

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Wednesday, Ran 4 miles, 10:23 pace

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I wanted to run 5 miles, but this was one of the worst heat advisory days and it was brutal, even though I started around 6 p.m. I decided to cut it a little short and try again the next day. This was my first run with my new Garmin Forerunner 230. I love it!

Thursday, Ran 3 miles, 10:03 pace

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Again I set out with the intention to run 5 miles, and not only was it still horribly hot, but I felt extremely fatigued and my legs were heavy. It was a struggle just to get to 3 miles 😦

Saturday, Ran 2 miles, 8:58 pace

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On Saturday I spent all day volunteering at the animal shelter, but I wanted to get 2 miles in quickly so that I would hit my 20-mile goal after my longer run on Sunday.  So after I got home around 5, I quickly changed and went out to do 2 “fast” miles (for me right now) around the neighborhood. Worked up a good sweat, then spent the rest of the evening resting.

Sunday, Ran 7 miles, 10:12 pace

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To check the weather this morning and see 73 degrees at 8 a.m. was like heaven. The heat index was only a little over 80, and there was a slight breeze.

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For this run, I decided to try Tailwind in my water. The mandarin orange flavor tasted great, it dissolved well in my water, and as I drank it throughout my run, I felt myself gaining energy.

My first mile was very sluggish at 10:50 pace, and I was surprised at how slow I was running at first, because it didn’t *feel* that slow. But the longer I ran, and I guess the more the Tailwind kicked in, I got up the confidence to push harder and my last mile was 9:17!

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A recap of this week’s workouts

I have been pretty consistent with running and bicycling the past two weeks. (I know, I deserve a round of applause, right?) I wanted to recap what I’ve done because I think and hope as I continue forward, I will be able to see a documentation of how I started running longer and faster.

Monday, Ran 5 miles/10:14 pace

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This was a post-work run done around 6:30 PM or so, and I was surprised that I could even maintain the 10:14 pace considering I haven’t run 5 miles in months and months. It was hot, but not as bad as other days this week. I took a water break in the middle and tried out a drink mix sample I got in a previous StrideBox – Bumbleroot, Lemongrass flavor. It was pretty good!

bumbleroot i liked it

 

Wednesday, Ran 3.5 miles/10:10 pace

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This run felt so much harder than Monday’s! The heat index was like 108 degrees or something terrible like that, and I think the humidity was worse too. I just had trouble breathing and felt super sluggish. Maybe it being the middle of the week contributed too, IDK. I was bathed in sweat after this one, as pictured.

Saturday, Bicycle ride/3 miles

My bike
Isn’t she lovely?

I was too tired after work Thursday and Friday to do anything, though I did think about running Friday night. I laid in my bed and decided, “Nah.” Saturday I volunteered at the cat rescue shelter from 9-4:30, so all I had the energy for was a short bike ride around the neighborhood. I got all my running stuff together with plans to go on a “long” run Sunday morning before church.

Sunday, Ran 6 miles/10:32 pace

This is the longest I’ve run since New Year’s Eve, so I can’t be too disappointed with my time. My left IT band was tightening up in the last 3 miles, so I need to watch that and try to stretch more and foam roll. I hope to only get faster as I run more and the temperature eventually starts to drop some.

fuel

It is my mission to keep using samples I’ve gotten from StrideBox during my runs, in hopes of saving money and maybe discovering some new products I might love. For this run, I took a Montana Huckleberry Hammer Gel before I left the house, and it was fine. I prefer thinner gels like PowerBar, but I think this might be a little thinner than Gu.

I also mixed this LiquidIV drink mix, Lemon Lime flavor, with 20 ounces of water. Even though it said to mix with just 16 ounces of water, I still found it to be very strong tasting, and I did not like it at all. I believe I have some other samples of this same brand, with different flavors, so I will give it another chance later.

TOTAL: 14.5 miles ran, 3 miles biked

This coming week, my goal is to run 20 miles.

Donut Dash 5K

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There were two 5Ks in town this weekend to choose from, and after about five seconds of internal debate, I chose the much smaller one that offered doughnuts at the end.  That was kind of easy.

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This race started and ended at a brewery in downtown Shreveport, with doughnuts at each water stop as well as at the end. For beer drinkers, a free pint of beer was also offered at the brewery for each runner post-race.

My goal for this race was to beat my Firecracker 5K time of 29:07. It was much hotter for this race than the 4th of July!

Hunter and I started off together, but he hasn’t really been running lately, so I kind of left him in my dust in the third mile 😉 There were several rolling hills on this course, which made it quite the challenge. I also regretted wearing a shirt that was 50% cotton. That was a rookie mistake!

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My chip time was 28:30, 37 seconds faster than Firecracker. I was 2nd in my age group, and the 1st place person in my age group was only 11 seconds faster than me. There were 120 participants, and I finished 41st.

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Hunter finished in 29:09, so I took a picture of him (in the red) approaching the finish line. He told me he totally could have passed me, but he would have then collapsed and died. :p

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After the race, everyone was able to go into the brewery for some A/C and refreshments. Hunter took this hilarious/gross photo of me eating a doughnut:

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After the race, I ran home and showered, had some coffee and a green smoothie, then headed to the cat rescue I volunteer at every weekend. I was there until about 4:30 and was extremely exhausted by the time the day was done. Sleep came easy last night!

I have some races in August and the fall on my radar, but all are 10Ks or longer, so I might be done with 5Ks for the foreseeable future. We’ll see.

Lessons Learned From My First 50K

I found this post in my drafts, from way back in May 2015, shortly after I ran the Brazos Bend 50K. I don’t know why I never published it, but I decided to go ahead and do so now!

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1) Put Vaseline everywhere…. OK, so I could and maybe should have learned this lesson already, but after getting drenched with rain during the 50K, I chafed in a lot of new places, specifically my back from the hem of my sports bra. Also my lower back from the waistband of my shorts, although that has happened before. I have started coating my toes in Vaseline before putting on my socks, but I now realize I need to do this in other places where my clothes are a little tighter and would be rubbing my skin more closely. Even if it doesn’t rain, sweating a lot will create the same results.

2) My Garmin doesn’t last long enough for an ultramarathon – The battery life of the Garmin Forerunner 10 is 5 hours, and mine actually lasted 5 hours and 57 minutes before dying for good. By the time this happened, it was actually OK with me, because I really didn’t care about my pace or time anymore, and since the course was a loop, I already pretty much knew about how much longer I had to go. But in the future, if I ever want to do a 50-miler or 100K – and maybe I would consider doing one next winter/spring – I might want to get a more expensive model with a much longer battery life.

3) If you can run a marathon, you can pretty much run a 50K – Yes, reaching 26 miles and still having to do 5 more is no joke and can take awhile, depending on the state of your body. But if you can make it to the finish of a marathon and not be pretty much dying, you can do five more miles and finish a 50K. Even if you have to walk the rest of the way, it is completely doable and just requires a lot of mental fortitude.

4) My stomach can handle some things out of the norm – I drank ginger ale and Coke and ate pickles during this race, which all were different things I hadn’t tried in races or during runs before. Good thing they worked out fine! I still wasn’t brave enough to try many of the other food items at the aid stations, like PB&J sandwiches or candy or chips, but I was definitely glad I was able to take in something other than gels.