Monday, September 07, 2009

End of Week 6

Wow - an entire week has passed and I haven't had the time to write. Let's see if I can address everything in an organized manner....

Training Recap

Monday - off day to recover from Sunday's 15. I did a great job today by doing nothing! I was starting to get stressed about not going into my pre-wedding freakout "I need to get buff arms/shoulders/back" phase yet. To address this I asked anyone if I could borrow some type of DVD that would get me motivated. The Gazelle came through! She brought over her Shred DVD for me to borrow for the next few weeks. We took a tour of the house and talked shop for a while. She also surprised me with a sweet housewarming gift - a garden reference book that is totally awesome. Thanks GOC!

Tuesday - 6 miles with strides. I didn't take along my Garmin, just as I love to do on my recovery runs. Ran this with my HTB and it was great!

Wednesday - This was my big 12 mile tempo run with 7 miles @ tempo. I did two miles warm up then went into the tempo. I started off too fast again (1st mile was 7:23) but then settled back into three consecutive 7:51 miles (what is that?). But my HR was really increasing and this was a LOT harder than my 12 miles at this pace on Sunday. After the 4th tempo mile I was seeing stars and decided to slow down. Next mile was 8:10 and then I was just done going fast. In total I did 9.63 miles instead of the 12. I finished up the last 2.63 miles at a really easy pace. I don't know what happened - it sucks that one day it is easy and then a few days later it is much much harder. At this point I was just hoping that my 20 miles on Sunday would go well. I think I've conceded that it is just fine if these mid-week runs aren't totally perfect. As long as my long runs go well, then that's what's really important. Of course, I'd love to hit every workout on the head but I'm not going to beat myself up about this.

Thursday - another off day. NAILED IT.

Friday - 12 miles. I took this at an easy pace around the hood. We had guests coming over for dinner so I ended up cutting this short a bit. I ended with 10.8 miles @ a 9:08 pace.

Saturday - this was supposed to be an easy 5 miles, but I figured I'd only do it if I really had time. The past few weeks I've missed this easy 5 mile run and it has worked out fine. Yes, probably not the best idea to blow off the recovery runs but it is also okay to want to keep my legs fresh. Who knows though, right? In any case I didn't run at all today. I ate well and did not drink (ok, one beer while watching football, but that does NOT count!) and got to bed early. PS - Go Blue!

Sunday - the big 20 miler. I was a little scared about this one and briefly toyed with pushing this to Monday. The weather here was really sketchy: rainy and windy and cold. At around 10:30 I ate my standard bread meal of an english muffin w/jam. I had some coffee, which fired me up. I decided at noon I would get the run done today and was out the door by 1:30. (Sidenote: I love the long run days where I can take my time preparing for the run - mentally and physcially. Lounge around the house, nibble, drink coffee, slowly wake up, etc. Is this going to bite me in the ass on race days where the gun actually goes off at 8 a.m. or earlier? I hope not. But honestly even if I wanted to change my habits I can't and I won't! I love it too much!)

Before I go on, I need to apologize for the deep dive I'm going to take in recanting this run. But it was a big one and I want to remember it all...

When I headed out it started raining again less than a quarter mile from home. No big deal. I saw a clock with the temp posted - 67* and rainy, perfect running weather, right? I think so. I'd decided to do Marine Drive, the site of my previously successful 17 mile run a few weeks before (8:15 avg pace). I like this route because it takes me across the I-5 bridge over to the Oregon side, then along a nice path by the Columbia River, before it heads across the treacherous I-205 bridge back into Washington. You exit the 205 bridge at about the half marathon mark and based off of where I finished the 17 miler the last time (about 3 miles from home) I figured I could make it a loop and end up at home with 20 miles done. The stretch after the bridge back to home isn't very exciting (residential), but it is familiar and I like that.

Back to the run.

I didn't have any strategy except to get started and see how I felt and adjust from there. Obviously I want to be successful on these long training runs, but if my body is only feeling 9:00 miles, then so be it. But yesterday my body was feeling more like 7:40ish miles and it felt great. I knew that this pace was probably too fast and would come back to haunt me toward the end of my run, but I didn't care. I decided to just lock in (like last wknd) and see where it took me. Honestly, I wanted to see how long I could sustain this until my body broke down. I know, not the typical strategy for a training run, but it felt good to me. And honestly, this pace felt EASY...I was not busting my guts to get this done. So I decided this would be a test run and might hurt toward the end but I was totally okay with that. Fun!

Miles 1-10 were superb....I really do love Marine Drive and going right by the airport and water. It was quite windy at times and rained off and on. I actually really loved running in the rainy parts. My pace for these miles was 7:48, :59, :46, :36, :50, :41, :47, :45, :43, :40.

After this is the turn onto the 205 bridge where for three miles you are on a sidewalk in the middle of 12 lanes of really fast traffic. It is kind of bananas. There is also an elevation gain that for me feels quite significant. The last mile is tough! Seriously, the last mile on this bridge feels never-ending and just when you think you've crested the bitch, it keeps going. I've done this twice now and just try to put my head down and grind it out.

It was at about this point where I could feel the faster miles taking their toll. Miles 11-13 were 7:52, 7:54 and 8:27. I glanced down at the half mary mark and the time was exactly 1:42:40, two seconds above my half marathon PR time. Whoa.

The last 7 miles I went significantly slower and was pretty okay with it. I had to remind myself a few times that this wasn't the actual race, race day I'd have more training and a full taper under my belt and would be feeling a lot better and putting it out there even more. This was a training run and I shouldn't kill myself. I went with what was comfortable, which turned out to be 8:04, 8:25, 8:12, 8:33, 8:21, 8:06 and 7:57.

Total run = 20 miles, 7:58 avg pace, 170 avg bpm

I finished about .75 from home and walked the rest of the way. I also want to note my nutrition on this run: right before the run I took a Chocolate Gu and a bunch of water. I didn't dive into my belt bottles until about mile 5 and ended up finishing just about all 6 bottles at the end. At mile 10 I ate an entire package of Gu Chomps blueberry/pom flavored with 180 calories. They taste good but were a bitch to chew and swallow all. I think in the future I'll wait until the half marathon mark to eat all of this.

I'm really pleased with the strategy I took on this run and the way it worked out. I definitely learned something about my body and how I run. I have another 20 miler next weekend which is perfect for me to execute more strategy! Now I know that if I'm having an on day on race day I can definitely achieve my goals, and that is a huge confidence boost.

I took a 10 minute ice bath after the run followed by a hot shower, stretching and trigger point. I basically laid on the couch the rest of the day catching up on my DVRed shows. It was awesome.

Another thing to note is that I didn't pull out my ipod until the last 5 miles. I've been really good about not using it on most of my runs but I'm glad I brought it with me yesterday because it did help pull me through.

Injury Report

Nothing major to speak of, but some expected areas of interest to note. My feet - of course my feet are well callused, but there have also been some fun blisters that have cropped up recently. I was really surprised to see a blood blister on the inside of my left big toe when I took off my shoes yesterday. What's that? I also have blisters on the heads of my 2nd and 3rd toes on both feet. Then my 2nd and 3rd toes on my right foot are blistered under the nail, which means they're black and probably going to fall off. One of these actually hurts more today, which is odd cause I thought they'd run their course.

I have gone to the sports masseuse twice now and plan to go a few more times before the race. It is really awesome, because this guy understands athletes and really grinds on me the way I like it. (Stop.) At the first appt he could tell that I have issues on my left leg - in my hip/butt, down the IT band to my knee. It is nothing major, just something he recommended I focus on with stretching. Showed me some good stuff that I swear I will start doing more often. These spots get more sore toward the end of my long or hard runs, but I don't even really recall this being too much of an issue on my 20 miler yesterday. Hmm, maybe it is working?

Another negative thing is my stomach issues. I didn't experience anything until after yesterday's run, but when it hits, it really sucks. Bad. I honestly don't think I have any massive issue that can be treated, so I don't see the point in going to the doctor about it. (Plus, I'm scared they'll do bad things to me. Stay outta there!) But honestly, I think this is something I'm going to have to tough out and hope it gets better.

Marathon Readiness

I'm feeling pretty good about the race and comfortable with my training right now. Like I mentioned some of my mid-week runs haven't been 100% but they're still pretty good and I feel like I'm getting out of it what I need. I really don't have time or energy right now to fuss about training or the race. I'm too busy freaking out about our house, upcoming family guests, and our wedding...

House Updates

The fucking painters aren't done. They've been actively working here for about a month now, I think. They were supposed to finish on Thursday but didn't. Then they were supposed to come back Friday to finish it off but didn't. They said they'd come back Saturday but I said no - I want my f'ing holiday weekend to myself and I'm sick of these jokers being around. So I think this week they'll be coming back and finally putting a nail in the coffin.

That said, the colors we chose look awesome. I'm really pleased and can't wait to finish everything off with blinds, drapes, rugs, furniture, etc. We have a long way to go, but have at least seen some options that we like and will be ordering away in no time.

Wedding Updates

I'm getting married in 2.5 weeks. Wow. I feel like we still have a lot of stuff to make decisions and take action on, but it is really fine. 2.5 weeks is a long time! My parents and sister come out the week before the wedding which will be nice, but we also want the place to look nice for them. I'm trying to take advantage of the holiday today by doing some crafty things for the big day. I am so excited and nervous for it all!

Ok, I think that will have to be it for now. Happy Labor Day!


onelittletrigirl said...

I am following the same plan for my super long runs: just going out and getting started! Sounds like you did great!

jen said...

Wowza!!! Very speedy 20 miler, great job. I can't believe everything is coming up so soon, the wedding, the race. Wee! You seem organized and positive and I'm so excited for you. :)

the gazelle said...

great 20 miler! you are so awesome!

I'm so glad I got to come hang out & see the place on Monday. I hope you're feeling super shredded.

Susan said...

So much going on! Congrats on the 20 miler! I love when speedy runs feel effortless...they make the slow-pokey runs worth it!

Sounds like you've got everything under control...lots of BIG stuff coming your way!

Zach said...

Nice 20 miler!

I'm throwing out a mid 3:20's marathon prediction based on that training pace.

Alisa said...

That's a super fast 20 miler. As far as nurtition goes I can't take things that I have to chew while running---ugh! They take too long =).

Can't wait for your wedding---yay!