Tuesday, June 17, 2014
And NO by Rocky I do not mean like Sylvester Stone, Rocky Balboa start, I mean that getting back to training for my next marathon is not leaving me with the warm and fuzzies. However, happy to report that I am pushing through. I have had quad pain since the end of my training with my last marathon. I have been stretching and icing but for the first and second week of retraining, things were not going so swell. It was quite iritating to say the least. However, I did figure out this week by using my good ol' calf sleeve and most likely my left calf was probably what was aggravating my quad. For the record I think I am getting old. These aches and pains are annoying me!
The weather conditions are beginning to get hotter and hotter which is making outdoor running a bit on the unpleassant side - NO actually A LOT on the unpleasant side. But this may be a benefit to me during my training during the summer months because once the weather start to cool down with Fall temps, running will be a glorious experience - well a girl can dream anyway! In the mean time I just have to swallow the fact that my run times are going to be slower and lots of fluids will be needed to get through it and OH I must get up at the butt crack of dawn to avoid the sun like the plague.
My nutrition has fallen back in line after my marathon. The week after the marathon was hard but afterward I snapped right back in line especially since next week I leave for my tropical vacation - WOOHOO! Gotta look right in my bathing suit!
I have been pretty much an absentee on Spark for the last couple of weeks, not sure why but I do not like it when I get through this phase, when I start to not come around these parts, my nutrition falls off, accountability is gone and my workouts become lax. Also - I feel as though sometimes that other Sparkers have goals of losing more weight than I do and so their goals are different than my own. Hard to find similar Sparkers with like goals that actually participate in the website and not just for a few days/weeks. I used to make a goal of reaching out to new Sparkers and making new Sparkfriends or at least commenting on different pages, but lately I have not really spent that time doing it, that must change.
Anyhow, here are the stats...
WK1 Marathon 3 Training
Monday - 3M treadmill, 7mph
Tuesday - 5M outside, 43:17 not too bad
Wednesday - 5M pace run, treadmill, 6.6mph
Thursday - 3M outside, 26:24
Friday - gym day, all strength training, sore the next day
Saturday - slept too late, sun was beating down, 1:12:36
Sunday - OFF
WK2 Marathon 3 Training
Monday - 3M treadmill, 7mph
Tuesday - 5M outside, 44:06
Wednesday - 5M treadmill, 7mph
Thursday - 3M outside, 26:24
Friday - Off, unintentionally but oh so tired!
Saturday - 9M outside, 1:19:25 much better!
Sunday - Off
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
SO, my last blog was all about my BEAST of a goal in completing MARATHON #2. Still super happy that I did it but the cards did not entirely go the way that I hoped.
OH - and for accountability purposes because I LOVE being able to go back and look through my old blogs and see the numbers...I completely forgot to track my last week of training for it...
MARATHON WK20 - STATS
Monday - cross train
Tuesday - 3M, treadmill 7mph
Wednesday - 4M outside, 34:03
Friday - rest
Saturday - 16:42, 2M outside
Sunday - marathon #2, HOORAY!
So, now what to do?
Well I had options, the first most pressing matter after the actual marathon was resting my legs. I took 3 days off from exercising and then resumed on a small scale basis. Light running and walking, all treadmill time. I went back to eating clean which overall makes me feel 100% better! I took carb loading too far for too long, a whole week of eating poorly was just not necessary.
SO, I now have a vacation coming up and I am thoroughly excited! I did NOT get to go away last year because of the house purchase but this year it is on! I am going to the Dominican Republic at the end of June for a week. I NEED a vacation, seriously! Of course tropical vaca's are ALWAYS added incentive to look your BEST! And because I do well when I have a challenge, looking svelte in my bathing suit is the goal now.
BUT, I made another decision too. Per my last blog which was right after my marathon finish, I decided that I would try ANOTHER marathon this year, this time a fall one in October. Fall temperatures are more my thing and this particular race is one in which I know the course since I did the HM before. Therefore, TODAY, I signed up for that Bay State Marathon!!!!
Perhaps...but I thrive on having a goal and the run mileage for training was not super terrible besides on Saturday mornings when I have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn. But even that typically just makes me behave like a school girl on Friday nights to get it done and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
But now the dilemna. After last week's scaling back, I need to have a run plan, but right now it is too early to train for an October 19th marathon. SO, what to do??
What I have decided and need to write out which is why I am here blogging today is that I am going to go BACK to the beginning training plan, just to keep my base mileage up with long runs to about the half marathon point. So on Monday I started back with the Hal Higdon Marathon Intermediate I schedule which is lesser mileage and my long run this week is 8M, no sweat! Then on vacation at the end of the month I will do minimal while out of the country. FYI - I always partake in the hotel gym when I go away because it is actually FUN for me BUT I do NOT want to commit to actual "training" per se...
Then upon my return and after the 4th of July, so on 7/7/14 I will begin official marathon training. I will use the Hal Hidgon Intermediate 2 program which is what I used last time. This will give me 15 weeks of training under my belt. I will use the last 15 weeks of the program. BUT I think that that will be okay even though most plans are for 18 weeks because I have already run a marathon this year and I will keep up my base.
SO, that is where I am at. I was thinking of taking pics of my food choices until vacation day namely because I see lots of food bloggers on the internet and this appears to be somewhat motivating. Other thing is that I have so many celebrations before vacation and these celebrations = BAD FOOD! I do not want to be deterred by cake and ice cream so perhaps if I make it somewhat "fun" to eat healthy things and at least if they look "pretty" I will not feel so bad about abstaining. Right now I have a sheet ice cream cake on deck for a party tomorrow in my freezer calling my name but I must so NO!
WHEW...that is about it, I think!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
SPOILER ALERT: I had every intention of making my second marathon the spectacular one in which I got a sub 4 hour finish. Did NOT happen, tried my hardest but came up short with a 4:08:35 finish, close...but not quite there! HOWEVER, the silver lining in this is that even though I did not meet my goal, I had an AMAZING experience, would NOT have traded it for the world, feel STRONG about accomplishing my goal of FINISHING another marathon AND I know now that I will try AGAIN and this was just one step closer to making it happen!
Anyhow, here is the full story, added some pics for good measure but apologize for such a LONG blog but guess what people running 26.2 miles is LONG too so I feel entitled in being so long winded here!
This race venue was in Vermont hence the name of the race. This was actually my very first time to Vermont and I learned why when I drove for 4.5 hours on Saturday morning, the day before race day! Vermont = too far! Accompanying me was my faithful sidekick, my MOM aka the Evil Coach Villainess! She was especially down for this adventure as this was like a vacation for her as SHE did not have to run. She made 10 homemade signs and shirts too (pics below of the shirts) so she was uber prepared. Me - I was eating my body weight in crappy food as I had done all week as well. I had paranoia about being depleted of umph during race day so I kept on eating and eating and eating and it only made me feel fat, fat, fat! Hindsight, I probably overdid it.
We stayed at a lovely hotel about a mile near the race start in Vermont and they even had a sign welcoming the runners! After eating - yet again for me, we headed to the race expo. Very well put on expo, lots of stuff to buy of course but they also had seminars about different aspects of the race. We went to a runners panel with Joan Benoit Samuelson as the key speaker - pretty cool lady with lots of opinions (a bit of 'tude but in a good way). Then we went to another seminar with an overview of the race course. The Evil Coach Mom insisted on bugging the speaker to find out about the best spectator positions. Each time that the speaker told her to remain in the Church Street area which would have lots of spectator and runner traffic, she insisted that she could cross train tracks to meet me at various spots along the course which were not as populated...pretty much obscure random locations that she pointed to on a map. The guy would circle a little spot on the map for her to stay and she kept pointing to various outskirts miles away. She was NOT hearing it!
We were in bed very early that day although my mom continued "mapping out" her route in the hotel room. I tossed and turned all night but still felt confident about race day!
Race morning I woke up before the alarm and took the first shuttle bus at 6:30AM at the nearby hotel. My mom stayed sleeping as she felt as though I was being a bit ridiculous when the race began at 8AM. There were other crazies on the first bus too though and I was at the race location mighty early.
The weather was beautiful race morning but unfortunately when it comes to marathons, that is the last thing you want - sun was shining and it was already 60 degrees. I knew that that meant it was going to be hot. It was fairly uneventful before the race started until I found the 4 hour pace coaches. I was SO excited to meet them both Tom and Brian. I introduced myself and explained that I was going to roll with them the whole time. The 4 hour pace group was the largest which I knew meant that it was a popular goal but this all seems pretty easy and straightforward to me, I would just follow along with Tom and Brian and then like magic I would get to the finish in 4 hours (or secretly as I imagined...LESS!)
Here's how this all played out, mile by mile...
MILES: 0-6.2, I followed Tom and Brian, mainly Brian - because he was faster! I was rocking a very comfortable pace but felt that it was a bit slow, ran the whole time, no walking whatsoever, I felt as though I was holding myself back to keep on pace with the group.
MILES: 6.2 to 14, good pace now mainly following Tom, weather was getting really hot, had not used my I-POD because there was so much crowd support, felt good but again slowing down to keep pace with the group. Running strong!
MILES: 14-15, sucked! Huge hill, knew about it, tried to make it, in hindsight probably a waste of precious energy. Brutal uphill with no end in sight, walked one split second but felt defeated when I did it, better for me to keep on running! This became the pivotal part for me when I started to doubt myself a bit.
MILES: 16-18, this is where I lost the pace group. Once I walked one time during mile 15 I then started doing that at water stops. Each time I did it the pace group got away from me, but it was so hot, I was so dehydrated that I really did not even care. Put on the I-POD and it was low battery, so not cool, it died after not even a mile.
MILES: 18-20, all about running through spectator's sprinklers and grabbing water. However, there was this little boy handing out mardi gras beads in front of his house while playing the rocky theme song, you know I had to grab those beads! That put a bit of pep in my step but my quads were on fire. Every step was painful, and the hills just continued because: Hello, this is Vermont! I saw Brian running back the opposite way, he had to quit the race and the pacing for stomach issues, I felt bad about that.
MILES: 20-26.2, total hack job, I felt like absolute death, not pleasant, not fun, total sh!t show that made me question why I had EVEN bothered. I knew that at this point that I was not getting a sub 4 because I did not see the pace group anywhere. I didn't even really care. The course came upon a bike course and a bit of downhill which you would assume would feel great, nope, the pounding on my legs was pretty much unbearable. I ran as much as I possibly could but it was slow. The sun was too hot, close to 80 degrees and I was not feeling it. For the record everyone on the course felt like @ss at this point, there was actually a chick running on the side of my crying hysterically, everyone asked if she was hurt, she wasn't but she was sobbing! I wanted to cry too!
THE FINISH: I ran it in and 3 paramedics promptly asked me if I was okay, I knew that I looked like death because I felt that way. I did not need medical attention, I just wanted to die! I could barely walk never mind sit, I felt like a freaking zombie but I was happy with my medal and pleased to be done!
As for my mom the super spectator, I saw her with her signs at mile 10, 15 and mile 24. Mile 24 was a horrible position for her to be in, I wanted to just cry and sit with her, the look of concern on her face was price less.
Afterwards the celebration continued in Vermont as they put on a great show on Memorial Day Weekend and this event is a big deal. I had Ben & Jerry's, went to the Ben & Jerry's factory and the Vermont Teddy Bear factory. Everyone in Vermont has a laid back attitude and it was quite enjoyable AFTER I stopped running that is...
However, I have NOT given up on my sub 4 goal just yet and since I am no spring chicken I am on it! Now 3 days later t the pain is starting to subside (stairs are still a problem), I have decided that YES I AM doing another marathon, this time a FALL one, YUP, have it picked out and everything - I WILL succeed!
Lessons I Learned
#1. In theory a pace group is a lovely idea except that I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, I ALWAYS start off fast and then too slow. I feel as though I would have been better off doing my own thing knowing full well that the last 6.2 miles would be a hack job REGARDLESS because I do NOT think that that will change with subsequent marathons.
#2. Memorial Day is TOO LATE in the spring marathon season which lends itself to unpredictable weather.
#3. I am too NEW at marathons to do HILLIER courses, don't get me wrong, this race venue was awesome and I am super proud BUT there are races out there that are FLATTER and faster for newbies.
#4. I am going to get STRONGER, I think that a certain amount of strength training on my legs would have assisted with the pounding later on.
Now for the pics...
See what I am saying about CRAPPY food! This is on Saturday! I NEVER eat so much bread and BAD stuff!
Fuzzy pic but this is the hotel and the sign for the race on Saturday
Custom made shirt for my mom the coach!
My shirt - my mom made, see I was CONFIDENT!
Race gear ready!
Race # - look it says my name!
HORRIBLE picture of me, but considering the whole running a marathon thing...yeah...
Fancy dancy after race eat - these are crab cakes, delish!
After race vino - delish as well!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
OMG, I am officially going off the deep end, I slightly remember this feeling last year of losing my ever loving mind the week of my marathon...but I think that this is worse, I will attempt to list the reasons why...
#1. I am now contemplating taking ice baths just because I read in a book that elite marathoners do this for soreness and I am beginning to believe that the soreness that I claim to have may be as a result of just being crazy right now
#2. I have re-read every single Sparkblog and compared my training times from last year to this year to see if I have made improvement in running (I have...I think) and I am still questioning whether a sub 4 marathon is feasible
#3. Speaking of sub 4 I have googled every stinkin' blog and website with advice on how to do it, as if this is some sort of enigma, hello - it is mathematical!
#4. Last night I watched Spirit of the Marathon for almost 2 hours! Really inspiring though but ridiculous that on what is suppposed to be a relaxation day I am watching more like studying this documentary about marathon running!
#5. I read every blog and race report about my specific marathon, the Keybank Vermont Marathon, some of them multiple times!
#6. I have two working lists right now of things that I need for preparation on race day and every day it is something, yesterday I was googling funny race t-shirt sayings.
#7. Let's not even discuss the carb load nonsense! It is has nothing but carbs since like Tuesday and the race is Sunday!
Well, I am sure that I will be back before the marathon to share more tales of a runner losing her mind in anticipation of the big race day!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Well, hello - Sunday is my marathon, AH!! I *think* that I am ready. Last week I still had a bit of soreness in my left quad but I think that I am feeling it way more since I am tapering and my mind is going crazy. My run times though have not bee affected. I am excited but nervous for race day and hopeful that I have enough gas in the tank. This week my runs will be extremely minimal with my last 4M run scheduled for tomorrow. I am supposed to carb load but not until like Thursday which did not happen, ended up having some cookies after dinner last night and again at lunch today. UGH but I am hoping that all this "fueling" will pay off and I am avoiding the scale this week as well.
Week 19 Stats
Monday - 4M pace run treadmill 6.6 mph
Tuesday - 4M treadmill 7mph
Wednesday - 8M, 1:08:002 outside fantastic!
Thursday - 6M run outside, 53:47
Friday - 34:56, 4M run outside
Saturday and Sunday - OFF
One day was supposed to be a cross training day but that did not happen. Cannot say that I feel too bad about it, I feel better rested as a result.
I have lots of things to prepare for race day especially since I will be leaving town, lots of packing and mental preparedness too, hoping for nice weather but not too hot, we shall see...
I will report back in later this week, hoping to take some pics of my before marathon prep for future reference and of course to share my pre-race freakout!
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