Sunday, July 31, 2011

Marathon Training Recap: Week 7

This was a taper week and it could not have come at a better time.

Monday - 44 minute run, 5/1 interval
Tuesday - 40 minute run, hill training
Wednesday - 30 minute bike ride
Thursday - 40 minute run; 800 m swim
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6.16 mile run, 5/1 interval
Sunday - rest

I have not felt well all week. I don't know if it's the heat and humidity sapping all of my strength, or the stress I'm under in the non-running parts of my life, or if it has anything to do with the news I got confirmed at the doctor on Tuesday (I'm somewhere in the midst of menopause at the age of 39 @@). Whatever it is, I slept 8 hours on Thursday night, and turned around and slept another 10 hours on Friday night, and still felt exhausted during the days.

I have to admit to questioning my ability to do this. If I am already sore and tired and worn out and we're barely 1/3 of the way through training, how am I going to make it the rest of the way? And then I signed up for Goofy? I hope I haven't made a huge mistake. :(

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Marathon Training Recap: Week 6

This has seemed like the week that will not end!! Not that it was bad, because it wasn't. But there was so much going on (running and otherwise)! Here is what training looked like:

Monday - 45 minute run, 5/1 interval
Tuesday - 700 meter swim; 40 minute run, hill training
Wednesday - 30 minute bike ride
Thursday - 45 minute run, form drills
Friday - rest
Saturday - 9 mile run, 7/1 interval

I clocked 22 (and almost a half) running miles this week, which is more miles than I have ever run in a single week before! That's so exciting to me!

The biggest running problem I experienced this week was a stray dog. It started bothering me the week before, and last weekend my husband and I went around the neighborhood and knocked on the doors near where it hangs out to inquire. Finally a lady said that it is a stray dog and she has called about it before. I told her I would also be calling on Monday.

Well, on Monday morning bright and early, there was the dog and it took after me, barking and growling. I yelled at it like I usually do and it went away, but then came after me the next time I ran by. I avoided it the next time around, but noticed that it was standing out in the middle of the road watching those of us walking/running in the neighborhood. The older lady who walks while I run was so scared that she went back home.

I called the number on the animal control website and got the police. They took the information and said they would give it to animal control. On Tuesday morning I was planning to do some hill training outside my neighborhood, but I drove by where the dog usually stays looking for it. Didn't see it. Wednesday was a bike ride day, and I drove by again and it was there where it usually is. I called animal control directly this time and was told that I have to call through the police to report the dog. She also said that they are understaffed and underfunded and our county is really big. We live less than 1/2 mile from the animal shelter. @@ I reminded her that school starts in 2 weeks, and it would be awful for a child to get chased by this dog and possibly bitten. Then I called the police line again to report the dog. And then I ordered some pepper spray.

Thursday I ran outside the neighborhood again. But I don't want to keep doing this, and I shouldn't have to! For one thing, it adds 45 minutes to my routine because the closest parks are 15-20 minutes EACH WAY. Not to mention the gas I'm having to use. The pepper spray came yesterday and my husband showed me how to use it. I am really nervous though. I don't want the dog to just get mad and come after me again. I just want it to leave me alone so I can run in peace.

Other than that excitement, training went very well. I was glad to get in another swim workout, but it was hard to do the hill training immediately afterward. I'm not sure why it was such a problem, though, as this is the same place I did the swim/run every single week during the tri training. Maybe it's the extra weekly mileage? Or the heat/humidity?

Today's long run was pretty good. We did the 7/1 interval and I think it might be the magical interval for us, at least for now! We do reserve the right to change to 5/1 or something as the mileage continues to increase! :)

This coming week will be the last week before we start our new school year. And then that will be fun combining lessons and marathon training! LOL

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Marathon Training Recap: Week 5

I am 1/4 of the way done with marathon training!! It's amazing! This week's training went much better. I'm not sure if it's mental (dropping Zumba and sticking to the training program more closely) or if it truly was better, but I'll take it regardless!

Monday - 45 minute run (5/1 interval)
Tuesday - 40 minute run; 700 meter swim
Wednesday - 28 minute bike ride
Thursday - 45 minute run, plus form drills
Friday - rest
Saturday - 8 mile run (10/1 interval)
Sunday - rest

So the only thing I changed this week was to add a little swim on Tuesday since we were at the pool anyway. I did cut my cross-training (bike ride) short on Wednesday to balance it out. It felt really, really good to be in the pool again. I never would have expected to feel that way. Missing the feel of a good swim was definitely not something I would have anticipated back when I was so scared of putting my face in the water and I felt like I was drowning after 2 laps!

Doing the intervals the way I did worked out really well. I did intervals on Monday knowing I would be running the next day. My BFF and I are working on finding a good interval for our long runs. 5/1 felt a little too short but 10/1 seemed a bit long at times. Next time we're going to try 7/1 and see how that works. We are still running long distances that we've done before, so it's a good time to try playing around with the intervals. Hopefully we'll find a good balance between rest and insanity before we start venturing into the really long distances.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Marathon Training Recap: Week 4

Being the numbers person that I am, it makes me a little excited to think that I am 20% done with marathon training. Of course, that means that there is 80% left to go, but let's just ignore that part, shall we??

This is what training looked like this week:

Monday - Peachtree Road Race (40 minute run)
Tuesday - 1200 meter swim (35 minute run)
Wednesday - 30 minute bike ride
Thursday - 40 minute run, plus form drills
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6.48 mile run (6 mile run)
Sunday - rest

I did a much better job sticking to the training plan this week, the race thing aside. I tried to keep to the overall weekly mileage that was called for, but just divided it up a little differently.

This coming week is a another step up for the short daily runs, but after this week, those basically stay the same for 7 weeks, while the long runs get LONG. Then there is one last step up for the short runs, but that doesn't come along until September. I'm hoping I will settle nicely into the training, and the long runs won't hurt too badly! ;)

I think my Monday runs are going to be intervals, and my Tuesdays will be some hills (at least for as long as I can get over to the park). I am not sure about Thursdays, if they will need to be intervals or not, I will play that by ear. Of course, the long runs from here on out will be intervals. I think we're going to try some 10/1 and 7/1 intervals to compare with the 5/1 and see which works the best.

Happy Running, everyone!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Am I Goofy or what??

While at the expo for the Peachtree Road Race last Saturday, I took a step that might best be described as purely insane: I registered for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. "Race and a Half??" you might be asking. Well, this is where you run a "half" marathon on Saturday, and then you run a "full" marathon on Sunday. At Disney World. Now maybe you can understand why I look a little uncertain in this picture? LOL
So how did this all come to pass? Well, it was like this... you all know how I agonized over whether or not to choose MCM or Disney as my first full marathon, and I chose MCM for a number of reasons. And I was fine with that, and I still am. And then MCM turned into "MCM and then 6 days later let's do Savannah, too, so we can become Marathon Maniacs". And then I started thinking, "Well, if I'm already marathon trained, it wouldn't be too much harder to maintain for two months instead of starting over again next year, would it?" You see how my brain works, right?

And then my friend Jan needed a room mate for WDW Marathon weekend since she's going to do the Marathon relay. And I couldn't let her drive to Disney all alone, could I? And this is the anniversary year for the Donald half marathon... and since I'd already be marathon trained, and it's on my bucket list anyway, I might as well do Goofy while I'm there!! See?? It's really easy!

There was one small hurdle and that was my husband, and the whole money thing. He is a very kind and loving husband, though. I explained my thinking, and told him how I could get it out of the way, since I would run the WDW marathon and that would be done and I wouldn't need to do it again!! I'm really not sure why he smiled and shook his head when I said that, though. ::shrug::
He gave his blessing, but reminded me that our budget cannot maintain this race frenzy indefinitely! I assured him that next year I would do races close to home (except for Princess, of course - and maybe Expedition Everest Challenge).

So there you go... despite the fact that I've never run ONE marathon, I am now registered for THREE. And one that has a half marathon the day before! ;) I guess I really AM Goofy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sink or swim?

In my quest to stay close(er) to the training schedule set forth by the runners Bingham and Hadfield (Which movie?? Anyone??), I decided to cross train today instead of run. Yesterday's run was only supposed to be 40 minutes and I ended up with 63 minutes (plus a lot of walking) and today's run was supposed to be 35 minutes. I don't want to go way over on miles, since this is supposed to be a drop-back week, so I decided it would be a perfect day to get back into the water!!

I have done ONE swim since the triathlon and that was just a few days after the event. So nearly a month has passed since I was in the water, and I really find that I have missed it. I was afraid that I would have forgotten how to swim properly (or at all!) in this month off, and I was a little nervous. But apparently it's like riding a bike... or so we shall see tomorrow when I get back on the bike for the first time in nearly a month! LOL

I was surprised at how nice it felt to swim again, and I was glad to see that I really hadn't lost much of my stamina in the water. I was able to do the 'long swim' workout that I did during tri training, and I don't think I was that much slower than before. Of course, I'm not sure I could go much slower without actually sinking! ;)

I'm hoping to alternate swimming and biking during my cross training days for the remainder of marathon training. Maybe it will be kinder on my legs than Zumba has been! LOL

Monday, July 4, 2011

Race Report: Peachtree Road Race

This morning was my 2nd running of the largest 10K in the world: the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta! Like much of the south, we have had a heat wave here for the last month or so, and today was no exception. It was 73 degrees with 85% humidity at 5:30 when I picked up my BFF, and our start wave was scheduled to begin at 7:55! YUCK!

Here is a picture of me in the parking garage at MARTA (rapid transit). With 60K runners, plus volunteers, family, friends, and spectators, you don't want to try to drive into town! LOL I wore my new SparkleSkirt.

Here I am in the Corral waiting to start the race. There was a flyover today from 3 fighter jets. It was awesome!
The race itself started out terribly. My lower left leg, the one that has been giving me trouble off and on for the last few weeks, was irritating me on the way down to the race. It hadn't bothered me so much in the last couple of days... so why did it have to start today?? Then when we started running, I simply could NOT get my breath. I didn't think I was running TOO ghard (chose not to wear my Garmin today so I could just focus on enjoying myself) but I felt like I couldn't breathe. Then, my side started hurting. This was all within the first mile or so. By the 2nd mile, my right knee decided to join in. It hasn't bothered me in a year at least! What the heck?!?!

So I just focused on slowing down and relaxing and getting some rhythm to my breathing... and soon enough, everything started falling into place. I made sure to drink plenty of water at each water stop, and even ran through some of the sprinklers, as seen below:
I ended feeling much stronger for the next 3 miles, and it wasn't until the last mile or so that I felt like I was done. My body was tingling all over! LOL And since it seems that race directors insist on having their finish lines include some hill work, I had to give a little more at the end. But then it was done and we got the coveted "finisher's shirt". The designs are posted online and voting takes place in the months leading up to the race. The winning design is revealed at the race when you pick up your shirt. Here is mine:
Of course, it's the one design that I did NOT like. @@ Oh well, that's OK!! It was a good race, overall, and I was proud of myself for overcoming the obstacles at the beginning.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Marathon Training Recap: Week 3

Busy holiday weekend and lots of running news so I will have to keep this particular entry short! Here is what training looked like this week s:

Monday - 60 minute Zumba class (40 minute run)
Tuesday - 40 minute run, 5/1 intervals (35 minute run)
Wednesday - 35 minute run (30 minute XT)
Thursday - 40 minute run, plus form drills
Friday - rest
Saturday - 7 mile run, 5/1 intervals
Sunday - rest

I did somewhat better at keeping to the schedule, and though I will miss the Zumba class, I think it did not do nice things to my legs. The intervals truly helped this week, though!

This coming week will be another wonky one on the schedule because of the Peachtree Road Race tomorrow. The schedule has me dropping back a little bit, so I will adjust the rest of the week's mileage accordingly by adding an extra XT day on Tuesday.

Have some exciting news to share... but that will have to wait until after the holidays are over! Some of you may already know, but the rest of you will just have to wait and see! :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day. Enjoy the freedom you have to run, race, or just kick back and enjoy time with friends and family!