Akron Marathon Training: Week Two

Week two of marathon training is complete and it was a much better week. Last week was a shock to my body by adding so much mileage, this week I think I handled it much better. I started the week with an easy 4 miler. I’ve started doing out and backs with my smaller runs to keep things simple and to see how much my pace changes. This route included rolling hills, but I somehow managed to negative split each mile. Talk about improvement.

I followed up my awesome run with some speed on Wednesday. It’s been quite some time since I spent some real quality time on the track so I was curious with how my mile repeats would go. I was supposed to hit my miles around 9:09. I knew I could get at least one down to that time, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do all three. I started my on my first lap and noticed I was at 7:42. (Ummm,  hello, you can’t go that fast!) I quickly started to slow my pace and reminded myself that this wasn’t a race. Apparently I didn’t do that good of job because my first mile was 8:22. My second mile was a little slower at 8:33 and I could feel some of that good sprinting pain in my legs. I didn’t think I could go any faster for my last one, but gave it a shot and tried to go as fast as I could. Third mile, 8:18. Good to see I’ve still got it.

Thursday was my normal yoga class and Sunday was my long run. I got up at 6:45 and was out the door by 7:30. I had hoped this was early enough to avoid some heat, but unfortunately the humidity was thick. I started off feeling pretty good and kept myself around a 10:00 pace. The heat was getting worse and I could feel myself sweating more than I was taking in fluids. I had some Sport Beans at mile 4 and felt pretty good after that. I started cramping at mile 6, but focused on my breathing and got rid of them quickly. At this point my water was hot and running low so I stopped at Starbucks to fill up and take advantage of some AC. I got back on the roads, headed towards home and was straight in the line of full on sun. Without any shade I started to struggle. I slowly made my way up one hill, but walked up the steeper one. Luckily at the top there was a bike path in the woods. I ducked inside and tried to stretch out and cool down. I was at mile 8, and only had 2-4 miles left to go. My body made the decision for me when it decided I was way too dehydrated. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pass out, get sick, or worse. I almost got out my phone to call home, but remembered there was a porta potty about 400 feet up ahead at the intersection. My goal was to get there and then decided what to do. I started to run again, and eventually got myself under control, passing up on the porta potty. I slowed my pace down a lot and kept drinking water, stopping to stretch and catch my breath whenever I needed it. I somehow made it home right as  my Garmin beeped for the 10 mile mark. No way I could do another two in the heat, so I called it a day.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: Speed- 4.5 Miles ( W/U, 3×1600-8:22, 8:33, 8:18, C/D)

Thursday: Yoga

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 10 Miles

Total Miles: 18.5 Miles

I followed the rule and didn’t add too much more mileage this week. I felt good for most of my runs and I know I gave it all I had. This next week is supposed to be my 14 miler. However, I’ll be out of town for a wedding Friday-Sunday so I’m switching my long run with next week’s easy 6 miler. It’s still early in the training cycle, that switching a weekend shouldn’t be a big issue. Plus, I knew this would happen at least twice, so I’ve made sure to move things around where I can still fit everything in.


What I learned:

  • I need to hydrate better on my long runs.  I’m always so fearful for the sloshy belly, but in this heat, it’s necessary. I’ve even thought of running with my Camel Back because I feel like I’m running through the desert. I’m not? Oh, alright then..
  • Running at 7:30am isn’t early enough. Last year I was fortunate enough to do my long runs along Lake Erie, with a breeze. This year, there is no breeze and all heat. Either I run earlier or I head indoors.
  • I can definitely see an improvement with yoga. Not only am I doing better in class, but it’s helping me to calm my breathing during my runs. I may or may not be addicted to yoga now.
  • Sometimes I miss track. I never thought I would, but now I get excited for my track workouts. Favorite track workout? 200’s! Can’t wait for those!

How are you dealing with the heat? What’s the earliest you’ve gotten up to run a training run?

Columbus Marathon Training: Week 11

This was such an exciting week of training. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but it has been the best week of training yet. I was really looking forward to doing my weekend run, so I tried to keep the week short. I would be running my longest distance yet, and completely hoping I’d be able to make it. I was also finally getting back into a regular schedule without traveling or having busy weeknights. This has been a bonus to keep my stress level down and my energy up. My weekday runs were relatively easy and short, nothing too difficult. I noticed my pace is getting quicker and I’m able to handle the hills down here finally.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 16 Miles

Sunday: Rest Day

Total Miles: 22 Miles

Saturday was unbelievable. I let myself sleep in until 7, tried a new pre long run breakfast and was out the door before 8. I mapped out a route before I left and kept track of the streets I’d need to turn on with little mini post its. I wanted to use this run as a way to see Medina, this way I could find some could places to run, and have my own tour of this new place I call home. I started out pretty well and was actually going quicker than I anticipated. Around mile 4-5 I started on an incline, but thanks to my hill training I have on every single run, it wasn’t that bad. The run was going by pretty quickly and by mile 10 I was feeling really good. My goal was to do 14-16, so I figured I could handle 6 more miles. I was still a few miles out but as I got closer to home I started to feel myself wear down. I had cramps from dehydration and my knee was a bit achy. Mile 12-13 were rough. My pace was slowing down a lot at this point. Strangley, my time at 13.1 was 2:08 just like last weekend’s half. I made it home and chugged a glass a water, something I figured I’d regret once I got back out on the pavement. Miraculously, mile 15-16 felt great. It felt like I had only done a few miles and my body wanted more. I kept it at 16 to play it safe, I didn’t want to try for 18 and end up hurting myself or regretting it when I couldn’t move the next day. I finished up with a nice ice bath and a trip to my new local Second Sole. I was so glad that I pushed myself to finish 16, I certainly feel that I can truly run the marathon in just over a month. What could have been better than my longest run yet? Waking up Sunday with absolutely no pain at all. No knee pain, no hamstring pain, not even a feeling that I had run at all the day before.

Next week will be challenging. A busier schedule and an all day party over the weekend will make it hard to get some miles in, and to stay hydrated for the long run. This time I’ll be hoping for 16-18.

What I learned this week:

  • Stay hydrated at all times. I need to drink more water before and during my long runs. I didn’t want to get the “sloshy in my belly” feeling by drinking a lot of water, but I was able to go through my handheld. I’ll need to make sure that I fill it up at least once during my long runs to avoid getting the dehydration cramps.
  • Ice baths are amazing. We used to do these in college after almost every run. I love/hate them with a passion, but they are so good for you. I would still be sore if it wasn’t for the ice bath on Saturday.