Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another successful week...what changed.

“This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything.”
Scott Reed 

Things I'm doing differently this time : 

Less run days, less strength and core workouts, less cross-training. I have a feeling I was overdoing it when I first started marathon training. Which, as most of you know, led to half-marathons due to injury for the first two attempts. 

I also changed my training program to one that is slightly less intensive, but modified it to include a few longer runs. 

I've also started using a 5/1 ratio, instead of a 10/1 ratio. This has not affected my pace and has really helped.

Also, last but not least is the fact that I've now been running for over two years and, following injury, I worked with a PT, which has led to a better running form and comfort with the 180 steps/min cadence. 
Feeling good on today's shorter long run.

My Super SIL and I taking a gel during a walk break. We didn't plan to dress alike, great minds you know :) 
I love it when my brother and SSIL come along...Uber H was along too, he was taking the picture.

It's hard to believe that next weekend is my last very long run. After that, there are two more weeks of moderate training and one week of taper before the big day. I'm already starting to wonder if I've done enough. Many people I know who are training for the same race as I am, also for their first time, have used a much more intensive training program and done many more very long runs. It worries me a little bit, but at the same time, I remind myself that this is what has worked for me and allowed me to get to this point. I don't want to be under-prepared...I'd just like to finish with a smile and well, not too much over 5 hours (if I'm completely honest). I've read these same worries on other blogs from soon-to-be first time marathoners...I gather this is normal. Having said all that, I feel great and strong and confident...hopefully, after next week's long run I'll feel the same :)

Have a wonderful week everybody!

Monday, August 22, 2011

30K (or 18.6 miles) - Check!

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.”
Aldous Huxley 

As I got up to get ready for my longest run to date Sunday morning, I saw lightning and heard the rumble of thunder. To be honest my thought was, "Oh well, I guess I'll go back to bed and if it stops I'll go later." Yes, a little lazy at that time, but I did want to get out there. I lay back down and after about 20 minutes, I realized that although it was raining, I hadn't heard anymore thunder. So up I got, took my time getting ready as I hoped the rain would die down. When I finally stepped out the door at 8:30, it was raining very lightly and the temperature actually felt really nice. 

My plan was to run for 15K then stop at home, just in case...and maybe Uber H could join me for the second 15K. I actually felt really great...I took "your" advice and rolled my foot on a frozen water bottle, it really did the job and I rubbed on a thick layer of body glide to avoid bra chafing. 

It rained easy and hard on and off throughout my run, so when I stopped at home after 16K I changed socks, shirt, and cap, added a light nylon jacket...refilled my water bottles and was off again very quickly. Uber H was waiting for me and he had everything ready...he then joined me on the second half of my run. 

Last week, I mentioned that I needed to get a new pair of slightly bigger running shoes. Unfortunately, they didn't have my Mizuno wave ronin 3 in the size I wanted...I was a little worried about having a different shoe for my long runs, but the salesboy (he looked about 15)  gave me the Asics Tarther to try on and said that it was the closest to my Mizuno's. 
My new Asics - size 9

Asics and Mizunos - very similar racers

He was right...I'm very pleased with my new shoes, there was no bumping against my toes over the whole 30K. Although I once again got some blisters between my big toe and the one next to it. I must use more body glide there and perhaps even some second skin for a while. I wore my injinji's during the second half and it helped.

When I reached about 27K, I started feeling tightness and pain in my right knee...I was using a 5/1 ratio, so it wasn't too bad. However, the last K I did non stop and I went faster and the pain went away. As my PT once mentioned, it's when I slow down too much that my knee bends inside and the pain starts...I guess it's true. 

No lingering pain today, just some normal tightness...I'm super happy and starting to believe that I will actually do this marathon after all!!!!

30K DONE!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

My highest mileage so far!

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
Robert Frost 

This week has been an amazing running week for me. I ran a total of 58K (36 miles) and on Sunday I ran 27K (16.8 miles) my longest distance to date. I felt in control and I'm extremely pleased with my average pace (7:05/km or 11:35/mile). Here's how it went...

The first 8K were done on the bike trail near my home and on the way back, we saw what looked to be close to 100 hot air balloons in the sky over the field to our left. It was magical! Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera, but when we got back to our place, there was one of them landing nearby and Uber H went and got a picture.
One of many!

What a great way to start my longest run to date...UberH left me at this point and off I went, back around the neighborhood and then down by the river, which is a slight downhill and such fun (although of course you realise that means when I'm on the home stretch, I'm going uphill, which makes me feel strong)...then it's the long way towards the Fort before heading for a neighboring town and back. Now a few points from this long run:
  • It's great that there are lots of water spots in the summer.
  • I wore my ice necklace - it was very humid.
  • There were thunderstorm warnings, but the weather stayed beautiful.
  • I took three gels and three ediscs (lemon flavored salt tablets)
  • I started off nice and slow, but then my pace increased and stabilized, it felt comfortable.
  • I ran using a 5/1 ratio and it felt perfect for me.
  • I got some blisters on both feet.
  • I think I need a second pair of shoes a 1/2 size bigger for long runs. My Mizuno's are actually already a 1/2 size bigger than I normally get, but I have a feeling they're made small. 
  • Lots of chafing under my breasts and under the shoulder strap (sorry if that's TMI men), this has been happening on all my long runs with my Juno bra. I love it, but I'm not sure it's working for me on these long runs.
  • I felt occasional tightness under my right arch, nothing major. Today prevention with a tennis ball and ice.
Overall, I'm really pleased and hope that the next long one goes just as well, without the blisters and chafing :)

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wonderful vacation and some good runs!

"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." 
Author Unknown

Despite some of this weather...
Storm clouds coming in...
It's almost here...
This is the third storm of the week and we were losing the battle...
But, these storms were so intense that they rarely lasted and we were able to enjoy lots of great weather.

There were some great runs :)

I'm all done :)

An awesome 40K bike ride...

Which included a stop at a bakery for a tasty and extra fresh cinnamon bun!

Some beautiful sunsets...

Of course, we ate blueberries...but, my photo didn't turn out...they were sweet and delicious.

I did tons of reading and relaxing too...

As well as great meals with our friends...

Overall, a wonderful week!

To finish off a great week, today I ran another half-marathon at race pace with Uber H, my brother and my Super SIL. It was crazy humid, so my lungs weren't thrilled, but I felt really good and I'm super proud of myself (2h21m). Here we are after our run having brunch :)

Then, this evening, I ran with my little sister who is doing great with the Couch to 5K program. 

Go Iz!!

That's it for week should be my highest mileage week to date...looking forward to it!