With the Little Rock Marathon behind me, I will now turn my full attention to training for the San Francisco Marathon, which is a little less than five months away. The weather is going to turn hot here pretty quickly, so this is going to be very different from training for Dallas Marathon in the fall. My long runs are not going to be done in 50-degree weather – try 30 to 40 degrees more than that, or worse!
Even so, I’m going to try and do the same basic plan as I did this past fall. Running 20 miles in Louisiana in June and July is not something I’ve ever done before, so that should be VERY interesting. I do have a CamelBak and imagine it will be wise to use that on my long runs this summer. I will also probably have to get up a lot earlier than I’d normally want to, in order to get some runs done before the heat gets to be too much.
Anyways, below is my training plan, including two errant weeks before the 18-week cycle starts. Each week will include a speed run, tempo run, easy run and long run. “Easy” days will include hill work – climbing stairs, doing certain workouts that are meant to help with climbing hills, etc., because we don’t have very many hills here, and San Francisco will likely be very difficult in that regard. Having just come off of Little Rock, and seeing what those hills did to my IT band over the course of the race, I know I will need to specifically train for hills, get my body used to that, and also pay special attention to my IT band throughout the training cycle.
I will mostly be resting this week, with the plan to run on Saturday and Sunday. I don’t have any other races planned right now, though that is very likely to change!
This week felt like a year, but it’s finally Friday and tomorrow we head to Little Rock! I took it pretty easy this week, running twice. I’m hopeful my foot will hold up during the race on Sunday.
Earlier this week there was rain in the forecast for LR on Sunday, but now the weather looks perfect – forecast to be about 42 degrees at the start. Rain is still projected for the afternoon, so hopefully that holds up and the bad weather doesn’t start until after we’re all done running!
Here were my two runs this week:
Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/9:30 pace
I’m pretty relieved the weather has been warmer lately. I know once summer-like temperatures get here, I am going to be HATING it, but for now, I will enjoy the mild warmth.
Thursday, Ran 2 miles/9:09 pace
I have discovered the joy of discounted, pre-worn Lululemon items up for bid on Ebay. I can never bring myself to spend full price on these items, but I definitely don’t mind paying about half normal price for some gently-used clothes! This bright green Run Swiftly shirt is one such item, which I got off of Ebay for $25 (regular price $68). And it’s pretty much like new.
I did this run quickly after work, because that night we went to the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium to see Leon Bridges! I fell in love with his voice after hearing his song “River” on Big Little Lies. He was wonderful.
A funny thing happened on Thursday – I went to Academy for the first time in a while, and all of a sudden, there were two of them!
Academy is on the far other side of town, so I normally go to Dick’s which is much closer when I have some immediate running apparel needs. I had to go to this side of town for work yesterday, and I was flabbergasted to see two Academys side by side. I went into the old one, and was told that it will be closing in April and the new one will be opening at that time. I will definitely have to go check it out then. I wonder what they’ll do with the old building??
Anyways this is what I got from Academy, all on clearance:
Another week full of rain! I am still having right foot problems, ugh. I don’t know if it’s my shoes, or something else, but I am going to try and give it some extra TLC with the marathon a week away.
Tuesday, Ran 2 miles/8:26 pace
Speed run: I’ve found it difficult to get up early enough for a run of any substantial length during the week before I have to stop and get ready for work. I also am finding it hard to regain my speed that I was seeing in my runs this past fall. This was a run I did before work, and I basically just went out and tried to run hard and fast without really looking at my watch.
Thursday, Ran 3.1 miles/9:04 pace
Tempo: We got a ton of rain all day Wednesday and a little on Thursday, but I took advantage of a break from the precipitation on Thursday evening and got a 5K tempo run done. The weather has been consistently warmer recently, which I’m sure also contributes to how well my lungs work and how good or bad I feel during runs.
Friday, Ran 2 miles (hill work)/9:31 pace
Easy/hill run: I used this run to climb lots of stairs and run a few of our little hills by the running path after work on Friday. Whenever I run after work, I don’t typically have much daylight left, so I ended this workout as the sun started to go down.
Sunday, Ran 10 miles/9:36 pace
Long run: Third Sunday long run in a row where the weather was so dreary! The rain was supposed to hold off until noon, so I thought I would be okay to run to the river path from home (about 1.5 miles) rather than drive there like I normally do.
Did you know there is a conspiracy theory about the Titanic? I don’t really read much into conspiracy theories, and I don’t really believe this one, but it is very interesting! I listened to a podcast about it during my entire run.
Because of the amount of rainfall we’ve gotten recently, the river is in a minor flood stage. When this happens, it ends up obstructing the running path I use because the path is inside the levee. I had to turn around when I got to the water 😦
Then, with about 2 miles left, it started raining! My phone was in my Spi Belt, so I tucked that INSIDE my waistband and ran the miles home as fast as I could. This made my average pace much quicker than it would have been.
I got a later start than planned, so when I finished my run I had to take a 1-minute shower and then go to church with my hair in a wet bun! Jesus loves me anyway.
This week, I will focus on eating healthy, drinking water, getting lots of vitamins, drinking fruit smoothies, foam rolling, stretching, and icing my foot and IT Band. Hoping that I can enjoy the Little Rock Marathon as much as possible and then get a funny photo op with that humongous medal.
Meh…. I ran four times this week, but I still didn’t feel up to doing the amount of miles that I normally would do at this point in a training cycle. It also rained off and on all week, which messed with some of my plans.
Wednesday, Ran 2 miles/8:49 pace
I did this before work, and I got a later start than planned because it was raining heavily when my alarm went off at 6:30. I woke up again at 7:10 and the rain had stopped, so I went out just to get SOMETHING done. It started raining again shortly after I did the 2 miles.
For Valentine’s Day, we went to a really nice restaurant, Ernest’s Orleans. There were free pictures being taken in front of a green screen, so we posed for some! It was funny. It felt like we were at a high school dance taking pictures 🙂
Thursday, Ran 3 miles/8:50 pace
I went out after work to get this done, and it was a struggle. I had a moderately speedy first mile, a faster second mile, and then I was so out of breath that I took the third mile slower, rather than just quit. I’ve found it hard to breathe during faster runs this week. It was annoying.
Saturday, Ran 2.8 miles with “hill work”/10:37 pace
Saturday was a rainy day, but around 5 p.m., after several hours of volunteering at the cat shelter, I was able to go out and run to the local arena where I could do some “hill work” via climbing these stairs five times. My heart was pounding when I was done!
Sunday, Ran 13 miles/10:27 pace
We had to be at church at 10:30, so I headed out at 7 to ensure I would have enough time to do a double-digit run, then shower and dress before church. It was “misting” a little, but otherwise no rain, just wet, cold, dreary – just like last week! But about 20 degrees warmer. Heather McDonald’s podcast and her interviews with Camille Grammer and Spencer Pratt got me through this one.
My foot started hurting again, just like last week… 😦 I wrapped it with an ace bandage and am going to try and spend some time icing it this week.
Little Rock Marathon in two weeks! It’s probably going to be rough. From what I’ve read, the second half is harder than the first, with a 2-mile long hill starting around mile 14, and then a long out-and-back that is mentally tasking, then another hill in the final miles. Yuck. Combine that with my lackluster training and a foot that keeps hurting, and well… we’ll see how it goes!
In other news… I am getting a new pair of Brooks running shoes! They were on sale at Zulily, so I ordered a pretty pair of Brooks Ravenna 8s.
It is always an exciting day when I find a new pair of running shoes! I’ve been running in two different pairs of the Mizuno Catalysts for the past year, but with this Zulily deal, I decided to return to the old faithful Ravennas.
Well, with an unexpected trip to Little Rock on the horizon, I desperately needed to get back to a regular running schedule this past week.
I was worried that I might injure myself if, after three weeks of basically not running, I just jumped back in and attempted to run a week’s worth of miles as if I had never stopped. So instead of doing what I would usually do at this point in a training plan, 3-4 weeks before a marathon, I decided to do 4 training runs, all a little shorter than what I normally would plan to do.
Monday, Ran 3 miles, 8:26 pace
Speed run: Oof. This was the best I could do, I guess, and I definitely saw the loss of speed considering my inconsistent training over the past 2 months. At my peak of training for the Dallas Marathon, I ran a 5-mile speed run at a sub-8 pace. So to be 30 seconds slower for a 3-miler is a little upsetting. But I earned that. I have to now try and regain what I lost.
Wednesday, Ran 4 miles, 8:39 pace
Tempo run: I actually went out and did this run at 9 PM. I had to work a little late that evening, so I had decided to push the run until Thursday morning before work. But the more I thought about having to wake up extra early, the less I wanted to do that. Since I felt good enough, and our neighborhood is safe, I decided to go out and quickly do this tempo run late that night. I wore my reflective, blinking light clips and a white shirt to make sure I was visible to any cars, though I didn’t see too many.
Friday, Ran 2.4 miles, 9:33 pace
Hill work: Little Rock apparently has some difficult hills, so I’ve decided that what I used to call my “easy runs” will be dedicated to focusing on running some “hills” … Since we don’t have too many of those, this is mostly going to be the outside steps of a local arena, which go up pretty high. So whenever I do these “easy” runs, I will run at a comfortable pace and incorporate climbing those stairs several times. I didn’t get to do this for too long on Friday because I went after work, and it started getting dark soon after.
Sunday, Ran 17 miles, 10:24 pace
Long run: Well, this would normally be the week where I run 20 miles for a second time during a training cycle, and I did think I might get up to that, but I also was really determined to listen to my body. Running 20 miles when I hadn’t run double digits (or even longer than 35 minutes) since Jan. 14 didn’t seem very wise. But I was going to maybe try.
I got a late start Sunday morning, getting out to the running path around 10 AM. It was gray and cold and windy. It had rained off and on all day Saturday; while it wasn’t raining on Sunday, the air still just felt kind of wet. Needless to say, it was not the most pleasant running environment at 33 degrees. I ended up wearing my Nike hoodie jacket over my running shirt, unplanned, because it was colder than I expected, made worse by the wind. I felt pretty strong throughout the run, though I didn’t do very well with my fueling and that definitely was felt in the later miles.
I listened to podcasts by Ali on the Run and Reality Steve for most of the run, and they really helped the miles go by. By mile 14, the top of my left foot was really starting to hurt, and I kept thinking, “What if I get a stress fracture?” I’ve never had one, but I know they often are in the top of the foot, and they are usually caused by over-training or doing too much too fast. I was still a couple of miles away from my car, but I decided that I would probably call it quits whenever I got there because I really didn’t want to risk actually hurting myself. I did feel that, without the foot pain, I could have gone 3 more miles. Finishing 20 miles was not a question. So I got to my car at 17 miles and though the pain in my foot had subsided a little, I still ended my run.
I haven’t noticed my foot hurting since then, but I am going to be careful. Better to run the race under-trained than to not be able to run it at all.
I thought I was done with marathons for awhile, but then I saw that the Little Rock Marathon still had open spots for its marathon one month from now, and that I’m only 3.5 hours away, and, well… I registered.
March 4. Marathon #11. I will earn the most ridiculously-sized marathon medal of them all.
This will be the fourth different state where I’ve run a marathon, first marathon in Arkansas.
I have run a total of five miles combined over the past 3 weeks since Louisiana Marathon, so I have to get in gear TOMORROW. I will be working up a four-week training plan tonight and trying to retrieve my discipline. It’s been kind of nice loafing around, but I am itching to have a goal again. I’m excited!
I even had to work from home a couple days in order to spare my coworkers from my germs and my annoying coughing.
But finally, by Friday, the worst of it seemed to finally be passing. I played it safe all weekend, refraining from running to make sure I continued to get healthy and didn’t do anything to regress.
And then today, Monday, for the first time in two weeks, I ran.
I’m still coughing a little, but it’s nothing compared to even a week ago. I hope to run a few more times this week, though nothing very long or strenuous. It won’t be my best marathon on Sunday, but I will finish.
Last week was hijacked by an illness that I am still fighting. I don’t think I ever had the flu, which has been going around, but I have had a nasty cough and chest congestion since Christmas night that is still nagging me 8 days later.
I haven’t run since Christmas because I don’t want to do anything to aggravate the cold and prolong it. It has already lasted way longer than I anticipated. My hope is that I will be able to at least run double digits this coming Sunday, the last long run before the Louisiana Marathon. So with all that said, this was my one run of the week:
Monday, Christmas – Ran 3 miles
Easy run: I intended to run 5 miles, but it was hard to get motivated to go out on Christmas morning. I kind of let the day get away from me, so I decided to go out and do my easy run around 4 in the afternoon. I felt awful during the run, and I thought it was because I had eaten so much earlier in the day. But that night I started getting a cough, congestion in my chest, chills, and aches. By the end of the day, I could tell I was just sick.
With four weeks to go until the Louisiana Marathon, I simply went back to my Dallas Marathon training plan and decided to re-do the last four weeks of that schedule.
The only difference is that I am switching the 20-mile week and the 15-mile week so that I’m not running 20 miles the weekend before Christmas. This means I will be running 20 miles only two weeks before the race, but I think it will be fine as long as I take it easy.
Monday, Ran 4 miles/8:56 pace
Tempo run: Our local running store had a no-frills fun run – the Ugly Christmas Sweater Run – for a measly $5 on Monday evening. The race was simply a non-timed 1.8-mile lap around the block, and they said we could run it as many times as we wanted. I decided to turn this into my tempo run, so I ran the loop twice, plus a little extra until I got to 4 miles. It was very dark, so I bought some blinking light shoe clips at the store prior to the race starting.
The first mile was very congested because we were all trying to run on a sidewalk, so that slowed down my overall pace. Still, I felt pretty winded at the end. I figured it would be interesting to see how my speed run went later in the week.
Wednesday, Ran 3 miles/8:51 pace
Easy run: Well, my easy run ended up being faster than my tempo run. I think I ran it faster because it was shorter. Did this after work in the evening, enjoying the neighborhood Christmas lights in the process. I realized that this was the first run I had done that WASN’T a race since before the marathon.
Thursday Ran 5 miles/8:00 pace
Speed run: I hadn’t done a speed run more than 4 miles in about a month, and I was reminded how tough speed runs are, and how little I like them. But I have no doubt that doing consistent speed runs, that progressively got faster, is what helped me PR in the marathon, so it’s a love-hate thing. I was pleased with my pace for this one considering I was feeling like my conditioning had already degraded a little since the Dallas Marathon.
After this run, we went to a local theater that was screening the 1992 movie “Batman Returns” – it’s basically a Christmas movie, right?! It was very fun, they did trivia beforehand and also showed some 1992 commercials from the marketing that was associated with the movie, like Diet Coke and toys and video games. I loved it.
Friday, Rest and travel
Headed south for Christmas!
Saturday, Ran 15 miles/10:00 pace
Long run: It rained Saturday morning, so I got a late start, around 8:45. Thankfully the weather started to cool off after the rain was gone, about 68 degrees with a slight breeze. The humidity was still pretty bad though. I felt pretty strong for most of this run — my IT band has been have twinges lately, and it did give me a few problems during the marathon, so I need to give it more TLC over the next few weeks leading up to the Louisiana Marathon.
Sunday, Rest (Christmas Eve)
No cross-training today unless you count climbing the stairs at the Superdome to get to our seats for the Saints game. Merry Christmas!
Tempo run: Meh. I kind of expected to do better since it was a shorter distance, but I did it after work and was tired, and this was honestly the best I could do.
Wednesday, Ran 4 miles/8:02 pace
Speed run: Terrible. This was completed before work, and I just felt so out of breath and sluggish. I was congested, which may have contributed to the run being crappy, but I was surprised to feel so weak during this run. Especially after I had had several very strong speed runs for a few weeks prior.
Saturday, Ran 4 miles/9:14 pace
Easy run: I kept putting this run off until finally, my choices were to either do it after a long day of volunteering at the cat shelter, or skip it all together. I chose to do it, and I was very glad I did.
Sunday, Ran 10 miles/9:49 pace
Long run: Can’t believe I just did my last long run before the Dallas Marathon. I might have gotten more sentimental or introspective or whatever about the past few months of training, but I’ll be right back training again after I recover from Dallas, in order to run the Louisiana Marathon 5 weeks later.
This run felt pretty easy, and it was such a mental relief to only have 10 miles. I definitely was getting to a burned-out stage with training, so this taper time was really needed to be at my best for the race.