Saturday, July 30, 2011

Half Way Heaven

Congratulations! My marathon training is 8 weeks down, 8 weeks to go. I have run 203 miles so far since starting on June 6. This is the half way mark, baby.

Last night's 17 mile run was good mental practice. I hurdled several "walls" in my quest to finish all 6 'out'n'back' treks around the Headlands. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as many of my other long runs have been.
  • I had a general plan for my run, which included the out'n'backs, as well as a pit stop for water/food at my mom's house. I planned on keeping track of mileage on the GPS and just running till it added up.
  • I fueled and hydrated well during the day - I ate granola w/ soy milk, a veggie frittata, several of the delicious protein cookies and oat bars I made on Thur., and a huge bowl of oatmeal with banana, blueberries, soy milk and walnuts about two hours prior.
  • I started my period yesterday morning but wasn't feeling 100% shitty like I normally do. I determined to not let it get me down and to just wun/ralk until I finished. I ended up only walking two or three times, and taking a 4 minute walking break at the half way point to fuel and grab my waterbottle.
  • This was my first long run following a step back week since I started my marathon training. I think it might have helped, and that step back weeks really serve a purpose during the last half of my training.
  • I completed 6 total out'n'backs, but really didn't want to do that last one. I think I hit a wall when I looked up and saw that all my friends were at the high school track playing disc golf and soccer. I had wanted those last two miles on the track for peace of mind but didn't want to see them all after 15 miles. So I grudgingly headed back out to the headlands, which turned out to be fine. So I conquered a wall.
  • I didn't ICE BATH! Gasp. I know, I should have. I have fallen off the ice bath wagon and need to get back on. My outdoor tub is so far away from our hot shower I'm not sure I could make it walking between the two with frozen legs!
That's all for now - I will post more than once this week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome back, chocolate gel

Razz ClifShot gel is sick. I almost puked over it, AND it's CLEAR! Even sicker.

I love the mocha gel. I feel like I'm licking chocolate icing out of the container while I'm running and am so guilty. It's like eating chocolate butter. I can't get enough. Hopefully it will go well with the lemonade flavored clif shot electrolyte powder stuff I just bought a pound of, because it doesn't go well with my camelback tabs.

Do I need shotbloks as well as electrolyte replacement, or is that overkill?

My 15 miler was (get this!) my longest run ever. Man, did I feel great. I had a plan, which really helped my mental game, and took a ton of stress of me. I started at the parking lot of the Haul Road and was going to run 7.5 miles up. E was to ride down the mtn. bike trail from our house to mile 2.5 and ride up the road until he met me.

This was an awesome plan because it allowed me to run the first half alone, and then have something/one to look forward to. My nerves were calmed knowing he was coming - sometimes I get really tweaked out about mountain lions, freaky perverts, and unexpected marijuana farms.

A fork in the trail at 6.5 meant I made the turn early and had to add an extra mini out-&-back later on. No problem. At the start of mile 13 I knew it was time for the SLOG. I really did feel great up to that point, but the last three miles were "get 'er done" miles. I made a pact with myself to not walk. I could jog as slow as I needed, but no walking. It was fine, and I did it.

I did not take an ice bath, and didn't notice much of a difference in recovery. I know I had a hard time sleeping that night but I felt fine on Saturday. I'm so glad this is a step back week, and I vow really truly to do strength training.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How I Got My Mojo Back

Last week was rough. I had a 7 mile weekday run that I described as "hardest run of my life". Then my Friday 14 miler was possibly even worse. I chose a hectic and nonsensical route around the Headlands and then down and out on the Haul Road, where my garmin absolutely does not work. I was stressed about the mileage adding up, stressed about my exhaustion and pain, and stressed about the disgusting Razz flavored Gel I brought with me. Yuck.

This week, I decided to switch my approach. Firstly, I wrote down a paragraph of power. A mantra statement, if-you-will. Behold:
I am a runner - I run because I love it - I can run farther every day every week every month every year - My legs are powerful, my endurance is limitless - I run outside, I run in nature - I feel strong beautiful and fulfilled after every run - I am a runner - I run because I love it
Second, I did my first run of the week based on time, not miles; 40 minutes. I added a small, short hill half way through. Third, I decided it was high time I picked up my sorry-ass-pace and got back to my 9:30(-) roots. This revelation came to me within the first mile of my 7 miler as a strange guy in full track suit regalia passed me. And he seriously passed me. I felt so slow. As my GPS beeped 1 mile (10:07) I thought, pick up your damn legs and RUN. It worked. I clocked 9:24 on mile 2 and decided to keep things around 9:30 for the rest of the run.

Obviously once I started I couldn't stop. Mile 3 was 9:15, mile 4 was 9:02. Holy crap I felt great! NO PAIN - the most noticeable thing about this run once I picked up the pace. I knew there was no way I could break 9 so I decided to just feel good. 8:53. Who is this running? What did you do with the slow girl who's always in so much pain? I knew this couldn't be beat. 8:44. I finished mile 6 like I had just crossed the finish line for 26.2. I was SO excited and happy. I "cooled down" with 9:something.

After this rocking run I ordered 8 tacos and picked up a 6 pack, and E and I sat outside of the music festival tent listening to bluegrass, looking at the ocean, and stuffing our faces until someone graciously offered us their tickets at intermission. What a great night!

More about my 15 mile run later this weekend.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Another Saturday

This week was a step-up week for me, and included two 4 milers, one 7 miler, and my longest run ever, a 14 miler. It was a tough week. I'm quite tired, and the 14 miler was one of my most difficult runs ever. I also joined a 30-day yoga challenge that has been mediocre at best. So...

I'm having constant thoughts that I'm doing something wrong. 14 miles yesterday was so hard I just can't believe that training could be so difficult. Perhaps I forget how hard it is to run a "farthest run ever"? I had to walk half a dozen times. My legs never felt fresh. Some part of my body hurt the whole time.

Am I eating wrong? Should I be cross training more/better? Do I need to stretch more? Is my body physiologically not cut out for these longer distances?


I took a wonderful ice bath after those tough miles and am so thankful for the posts of other seasoned runners on things like ice baths. I really need to do more research on eating better - perhaps that will help my long runs.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June Recap

Miles Planned/Ran: 79 (highest mileage month ever! -- more of those to come)
Rest Days Planned/Taken: 10? not sure
Highest Mileage Week: 24

Long Runs Planned/Ran: 3/3
Current Book: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Nachos once a week, and using my laptop in bed, spending $150 on marathon registration
Current Obsessions: Finding lodging/camping in Half Moon Bay during the marathon
Current Drink: New Grist (gluten-free beer)
Current Song: Pipeline (a classic standby)
Current Wish-List: A day off. Scratch that -- a month off
Current Need: getting close to needing new shoes...
Current Triumph: A 12 mile long run yesterday that went super - and little soreness/tiredness today
Current Bane of my Existence: A long to-do list that never gets any smaller
Current Goal: Finish painting all three coats by the end of this month
Current Blessings: Sunny days
Current Excitement: potential day off this week, including tamales at El Molino Central in Sonoma, a SF Giants game, and picking out tile

Friday, July 1, 2011

12 down

Done and done. This was a great run. Great runs always surprise me (as do the horrible ones, like Thursday's 3 miler). And I ate my first Clif shot! Holy yumtastic. I ate mocha flavor which tasted exactly like chocolate icing. I believe I was trying to pry apart the packet so I could lick the inside before E rode by and took it away from me. Excellent stuff. No shot bloks on this run.

I've joined in committing to a 30 day yoga challenge. This is a tough one for me because often I find myself pawning off stretching as yoga. So I'm setting stricter parameters for myself. (1) Yoga must consist of time on the yoga mat (impromptu sessions, or outdoor sessions must include dedicated visualization for my mat) (2) Stay in at least three poses for 5-breath sequences. So that's it. Simple, but enough to make sure that my personal stretching sessions don't turn into yoga challenge sessions.

I took a lovely ice bath afterwards and ate my favorite post-long-run dinner -- Nachos & Beer. :-)


Holy what!

I just registered for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon. I hope it was a good idea, and I hope I can make it. Paying $150 for something like that really means I have to get myself to the starting line healthy. No refunds!

I have 12 miles on the plan for today and it seems insurmountable. I am trying to stay positive and hydrate a lot. I will try out some Cliff gel shots and shot bloks on this run.

Last night I met two local marathoners at a friend's birthday party! I've known about this couple for a while, but finally got to meet them and talk running. It was great. They've run Oakland and Chicago together, training together all the while. It seems like they're three or four years into their running career and had some interesting advise, especially him. They recommended 'Born to Run', which I have on audio book and need to listen to! I also have "Marathon Man" the movie at home for this weekend - possibly on 'recovery Saturday'! Yippie!