As per usual, nowadays, I was playing Pokemon while running - an extra motivator and caught a special shiny version of Delibird. :-)
Week 1 of my marathon training is complete. I ran the distance run yesterday (5 miles) and it went really well. I feel like I could have run longer, which is a good thing. And surprising considering ym lack of running over the last year. I've pretty much run once every other week. I guess that was enough to not make me completely hopeless. It's pretty much 90% mental anyway. I ended the week having run a total of 13.2 miles. That is using intervals of 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking as prescribed by my model for training, Marathoning for Mortals.
As per usual, nowadays, I was playing Pokemon while running - an extra motivator and caught a special shiny version of Delibird. :-)
So...after my last race (see this post), for which I did little training, but still somehow pulled out a PR, I've decided that it's time to get back into shape - marathon shape, that is. I have a 5K on August 23rd, so in preparation for that (and for marathon training, which officially starts August 25th), I have been running 3 miles at least three times a week since July 22nd. Yesterday marked my 5th day of doing this, and I feel good. Not quite ready to run a marathon, but good nonetheless. I've mapped out my training as well, and my scheduled 10 miler and two half marathons fall on days where I should (according to the book) run 9 miles, 14 miles and 8 miles, respectively. All in all...things are looking up. Now, if it would only get cooler.
Not likely - August and September are the hottest months here in Tampa. :-/
My next race is the Jamestown Half Marathon in Rhode Island on July 12th. I'm running 3-4 times a week currently, but nothing over 4 miles since the marathon in April. I'm a little nervous that I won't be in prime condition, but I know I'll still be able to finish. I'd like to get a new PR - better than 2:22:32 - but we will see how the training goes for the next month. I'd like to be able to train more, but the weather is not cooperating (78 degrees at 5am, yay!) and I have a lot on my plate personally too. I put it all there, so I can't complain too much. It's all good stuff.
Just a few short jaunts this week - and the London Marathon on Sunday!!!
I'm still working this week and it's getting pretty warm, so treadmill it is. They say to train for the conditions of your race, but I'd have to go quite a few states north to get to 50 degree weather. Am I supposed to put ice packs in my shorts?
30 minutes on the treadmill on Monday - ran 3.24 miles (9:15 per mile).
30 minutes on the treadmill on Wednesday - ran 3.32 miles (9:02 per mile).
I was supposed to run 30 minutes on Thursday, but I worked until 2:15 and had to get to Orlando for my flight by 5pm and I still had some packing to do. Oh well.
Now, I'm in London and sightseeing. I think that's enough of a warm-up. I may still jog a bit tomorrow, but I also don't want to get run over. they drive on the other side here and crossing a street takes mental effort now. ;-)
My workouts continue to taper before the race. I tried to push myself on Monday, but as always, the first mile is a warm up for my legs and they never seem to want to go all out in the beginning. I picked up the pace at the end and finished with a sub-10 pace, which isn't terrible. I'm aiming for a 10:00 pace for the first half...I know I can't keep that up for 26 miles. I'm shooting for 11:00 pace for the whole thing. We will see.
I continued my Tuesday ritual - gym circuit - and am happy with my results. I'm doing more of every exercise in each 30 second bout than the previous week. I'm up to 13 pushups in 30 seconds. I had a tempo run on Wednesday on the treadmill. I ran two 10 minute runs at 8 mph or 7:30 pace. Lots of sweat, but definitely gives me some ideas for summer workouts.
I had to dive again this week, so I considered 3+ hours of cleaning windows and the bottom of the hippo pool as enough to cover the prescribed workout. And to round out the week, a nice, relaxing 6 mile jaunt past a pond with a six(?) foot alligator in it.
I'm happy he didn't come out of the water...and amazed that I noticed him only on my second lap. :)
I'm feeling excited and anxious for the race. I've prepared well, but it's been a long 4+ months of training and a lot has happened in my life. I can't wait for London!
I was dog/house-sitting again at the end of last week. Kristin's newest addition is the little squeaker to the left, Fiona. She is precious!
After last week's big 20 miler, this week was a piece of cake. I have now entered what is known as "the taper" in the running world - or at least, the training-for-a-marathon world. Not the zoo kind of tapir (of which I have a tattoo), but taper as in less than before. The distance that I will now run each week will be less than the week before in order to give my body time to recover before the marathon.
I had a 50 minute run to start the week and I'm not sure why, but I did run slower than normal. Eh, what can you do? Not every run is the same. I biked for 30 minutes on Tuesday and sprinted on the treadmill on Wednesday - 7:30 per mile for 20 minutes. That's the fastest I've run for the longest period of time in years. It took some mental fortitude to push through it, but I did. I had to go in on my day off to help clean the hippo pool (scuba time!) and I got up early to get a 10 mile run in before the heat got too hot. ;o) All in all, a good week, but I'm ready for the race to be here already!
This week ended with the "Big One" - 20 miles. But, before that...
The week started with an "easy" 60 minute run. I ran at 9:55 pace. Honestly, the beginning of this week feels so long ago that I don't remember much of it. I think I ran the loop behind my apartment, at night? In any case, the Garmin says I did it, so I did it. :) After work on Tuesday, I did my normal gym circuit. Despite skipping it last week, I'm almost to where I was pre-surgery with the push-up number. I'm at 12 in 30 seconds for the first go round. I started dog/house-sitting for a friend on Tuesday night, so on Wednesday, I ran around the local golf course. I tried to push it because I know it helps for the longer runs. I ran at a 9:27 pace. I lifted weights on Friday and then did not prepare well enough for me 20 mile run (in my opinion and in retrospect). 11:48
I woke up at 6 am on Saturday and fed the doggies, then headed to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail for the run. Fortunately, a handyman left his headlamp at my apartment last week, so I had something for the first few miles - it was still dark out (and 64 degrees - red flag #1). I wasn't the only crazy - there was one other group of runners, and I did see the ranger on his Toro putting the water out and clearing the trail. I did have a bit of bad luck early on - at mile 3, my low battery indicator for my Garmin came on (red flag #2) - I squeaked another 6 miles out of it though and was able to find mile markers and time everything just right so I could figure out (and keep track of) the distance I was running. The first 10 miles were pleasant - I watched the sun rise at mile 6.5. And despite the sun disappearing behind clouds at mile 13 and remaining "cool," it went a little downhill from there - the run, not the terrain. I needed to re-fill my water bottles at mile 14 (they lasted me 18 miles two weeks prior) - red flag #3. I also stopped to use the bathroom at mile 15.5 (I kind of needed to go and I was advised to try it since I'm probably going to have to go during the actual marathon). Side note: I've run three half marathons and never used the bathroom once each run started. After each time I stopped, however, it was harder to get back into the running. I pushed myself mentally until mile 18 since I knew I had run that distance before and even though I tried really hard to keep going, it felt like once I hit 18 I lost all steam. I started walking at about 18.2 (I'm guessing since no Garmin) and walked until the end. Even with the walking, I calculated with the time I had on my iPod that it was an 11:48 pace.
I have several thoughts about this run.
One, I suppose it is good that I experienced all of these red flags now and not for the first time on race day, but it was still a little disheartening. Two, I realize I should have concentrated more on fluids in the days leading up to the run. I did feel I ate well the day before, the morning of, and during the run (energy gels). I just think more water would have helped...because... Three, it was 20 degrees warmer than my 18 mile run and that didn't help at all! I didn't even consider this because 18 came easier than I thought it would. Four, London will help a lot - the crowds, the sites and the fact that it's an actual race, with other people running with me, and it's for the rhinos. Considering all that, I'm happy, but I would have liked to done unbelievably well to give me more confidence. But, then again, like I said, maybe I got all of this out of the way now to help me on April 13th.
My best friend, Bri, was in town this week, so we were very busy. I picked her up at the airport on Monday and we had a late lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill at Clearwater Beach. I ran 5.49 miles that night. The next day we headed to Disney, starting at Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival and ending at the Magic Kingdom with dinner at Tony's Town Square Restaurant. I am counting 14 hours of Disney as a substitute for 40 minutes of cross training. ;) We spent the next day at Discovery Cove, swimming and relaxing. I wrongly assumed our hotel would have a gym in which I could do my "Tempo B" workout, but alas they did not. I was going to try to run on the street that night (and even Thursday morning), but I was still exhausted from Disney - I also had the thought that it's not like I sat on a couch all day and watched TV. Friday was her last day here and we were recovering from a raucous Thursday night (not having one of those until the marathon is over!) with a massage and then it was to the airport to see her off. By the time I got home through poor traffic, it was late (and I was still tired). I walked all the way to the gym and turned around - I did not feel like it was going to happen. This morning I ran 8 miles in 80 minutes and it was a little warm, but felt good.
This was a really good week - filled with a lot of running. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, I stayed under 10:00 per mile. I did the cross training as well - more of my circuit and weightlifting - I increased some of the weights on the machines and free weight exercises.
I was anxious all week for Saturday - the 18 mile run - what was (and is) the longest distance I have ever run. The weather could not have been better - at 7:30 am, when I woke up, it was 42 degrees! Very similar to the temperatures I will be experiencing in London in April. I made the short drive to Flatwoods and started the run. I felt shaky for mile 1 - this always happens, just my body getting into a rhythm. The next few miles felt great - I ran the first half of the loop and sidetracked out to the Bruce B. Downs lot, then turned around to finish the first loop. At mile 11 (the end of the first loop), I still felt good. I had been drinking water every mile and had my first energy gel at mile 9 (when they give you the same thing in all the half marathons I've done). It wasn't until mile 14 that I started to have to push myself mentally. I had another energy gel at mile 13, but it was not filling me with anything extra. I had enough in my tank to finish - it was just a mental challenge. I kept telling myself not to look at my Garmin because I would look at it in disbelief that I was not farther along...i.e. I seemed to run 0.2 miles in like 12 minutes.
Regardless of my troubles, I finished. I ran 18 miles in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds (average of 10:33 per mile pace). I also ran the half marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes - a personal record! Extrapolating from my time for 18 miles, my marathon time would be 4 hours, 35 minutes and 6 seconds. However, my pace slowed the entire run (with the exception of a "surge" of speed at mile 11 and 12). I'm aiming for under 5 hours as a tertiary goal. Primarily, I want to finish. Secondarily, have a blast.
Slightly less involved workouts next week. :)
This week was tough. I was immediately tired at the start due to the schedule shift of last week - my distance run was moved from Saturday to Sunday because it didn't fit the schedule for the Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend. So...after running a half marathon on Sunday, I didn't want to change any more of the schedule, so I stuck with a 50 minute run on Monday, which was at a much slower pace than normal. I guess this should have been expected, but I did take two dogs (Sherman and Stella) with me, so it wasn't all terrible. They helped pull me a little bit. :)
I was so tired on Tuesday after working 10 am to 6:30 pm and I was still dog-sitting, so I skipped my cross training for the day, headed to my apartment as dog-sitting had ended and went to bed early (in my bed!). I think the not-my-bed part of dog-sitting maybe hurt me this time. I usually sleep well at Kristin's, but I think with the race, I was just extra tired. Wednesday came and I really tried to do the "Tempo A" workout - 20 minute run at a fast pace - but I didn't feel on top of my game, so I opted for a "Tempo B" - two 10 minute fast runs with a 2 minute brisk walk in between. I was able to do that. I rested on Thursday as prescribed and hit the weight circuit on Friday.
I headed to Flatwoods on Saturday morning and despite it being really sunny, it was a pleasant 8 miles at just over a 10:00 per mile pace.