Monday, July 2, 2012

Marathon Training Update

So it's been a while since I've posted about training.

That's because I've really been slacking on my training since we got back from Grand Rapids.

Before that, I was doing really well with it, and hitting just about all of my runs.

I even ran 10.5 miles the day before Jennifer's big race, which is kind of a big deal since I usually talk myself out of running while out of town.

And if you count doing the 13.1 miles with Jennifer during her race (which I totally do), it was a pretty good weekend for me training-wise.

But that's when I really started slacking off.

After we got back, it was difficult getting back into a routine. It took Jen a few days to fully recover and process what had happened during the race, and it was weird going from her training so much to not having to train at all.

Which should have made it easier for me since I had more time, but it really didn't.

I can't really say why I haven't been getting my training runs in. I guess there isn't a specific reason for it.

After Grand Rapids, I didn't run again until the following Saturday, June 16th. I had a 16 mile run scheduled, but I only managed to get in 14.5 miles before I had to call it quits. It was really hot out, and even though I stopped back by the house a couple times, I was overheated and dehydrated (to the point where I felt like I was going to puke or pass out while showering, and Jen came home to find me curled up in the fetal position on the couch shivering). Chicken noodle soup literally brought me back from the dead that day.

The following week was a rest week, but I only managed to get in one of my three scheduled runs -- an easy 5.25 miles on Thursday the 21st. I made sure to do this one early to avoid the heat and sun which worked out really well.

Last week was a little better, but not much. For my birthday, Jennifer got me some new running shoes and a handheld water bottle, so I got to test them out during a tempo run Wednesday night.

It was a tough run, and I didn't quite hit my tempo speeds, but my shoes felt great and my new water bottle is awesome!

On Saturday I was scheduled for an 18 mile run, and since it's been insanely hot here lately (temps over 100), I decided to play it safe and head to the gym. Since the treadmills only go for an hour before forcing you to cool down (talk about rude!), I was planning on breaking the run into three 6-mile segments.

And since I've been really bad about fueling, I made sure I took lots of options with me.

The first segment went really well; I started off strong, and felt great until the end. I decided to eat 1 sport bean every 15 minutes, starting at 30 minutes. And I was alternating between drinking water and a Fizz drink (for electrolytes and such).

During the first break I forced 1/4 of a PB&J, which was hard. Looking back I definitely think I was trying to fuel too much.

The next segment wasn't horrible, but it wasn't as easy as the first. My motivation was waning, and I can tell I've lost some of my endurance over the past few weeks. Since I took a few walk breaks here and there, I only managed to hit 5.5 miles before I needed to restart the machine. I pretty much abandoned my bean strategy, too.

Even though I really didn't want to, I pressed on. The last segment was really tough, both mentally and physically. I would start to run, but I couldn't maintain it, so I was walking quite a bit. Jennifer met me up at the gym to help motivate me, and it really was nice having her there next to me. She definitely encouraged me to run more than I would have otherwise, but it was still about all I could do to run 3/4 of a mile with 1/4 mile walk breaks in-between.

By around mile 9 I knew I wouldn't be able to hit 18. Or rather that I shouldn't. But I didn't want to go easy on myself, either, so my new goal was to do 16.

And it was hard, but Jen helped push me through it. I finished my longest run to date for 16.25 miles!

Here are my splits:
  1. 57:00 (6 miles)
  2. 58:40 (5.5 miles)
  3. 58:58 (4.75 miles, including a 1/4 mile cool-down)
Total: 16.25 miles in 2:54:38.

The weirdest part about it all was that my legs felt pretty good. My right I.T. band, which normally acts up after long runs, wasn't very sore. It was as if my breathing is what was preventing me from running longer.

Jen convinced me to do an ice bath for 15 minutes after we got back home, and I foam rolled, too, just to be on the safe side. I think that definitely helped.

Over the last couple days my ankles have been where I'm most sore, but that's probably just from how I was running on the treadmill (it's been a while since I've had to run on one).

I've decided to adjust my schedule a little to hopefully help me regain some of the endurance I've lost. I just need to make sure I get in as many runs as I can over the next 11 weeks -- it'll get here before I know it.

With that, I'm going for a run!


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