Medina Half Marathon: Week Eight

We’ve made it to the half way point! Eight weeks are done, and just eight weeks separate me from hopefully a sub 2:00 half marathon. This is where the number crunching begins! I’m getting really excited, and this week was the perfect way to track my progress.

This week was a pretty good week despite for one little issue. Ever since the hill repeats I’ve had some knee discomfort. Nothing extreme, and not all the time, but enough to notice. I’m almost 100% sure the discomfort is from throwing my form out the window when I was going downhill during hill repeats. It’s nothing to be too worried about, but I’m being cautious.

I noticed the pain the most during Body Fusion this week. We did a lot of leg work and lunges, which irritated it slightly. So to be sure I wasn’t hurting it worse, I tried to stretch as much as I could through the week, kept my leg elevated, took lots of ibuprofen and tried not to cross my legs when sitting. ( My poor habit, and biggest pain point)

Tuesday’s run was fueled mostly by the weather. Harsh winds tore down some siding and our gate, so I let my frustrations out on my run. It definitely helped! I ran a negative split 5k, and ended up with my best time in over a year. I ran 26:34 on my own, which fuels the motivation I can run quicker in a race!

Wednesday I ran the Cleveland Metro Parks with Elayna, and it was the perfect recovery from the quick  miles the day before. The weather was a little chilly, but it was great to be back in the park. I forgot how much I love the Metro Parks, and plan on running there a couple times a month after work if I can.

Beautiful no matter what the weather

Beautiful no matter what the weather

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 3.1 Miles

Wednesday: 3.3 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 11 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 16.4 Miles

Saturday’s run was a very humbling experience. Instead of running the Towpath Half, I decided to run the Medina Half course event, and I’m so glad I did. Not only did I save myself some money, but I realized how far I am and how far I still need to go to reach sub 2:00. I only had 11 miles on the schedule, but wanted to run the entire course to refresh my memory. Knowing I couldn’t run a 9:07 pace for the entire time, I wanted to stay around a 9:30 pace.

We started out and everyone was bunched up for the first mile. As I made my way to my 9:30 pace, I was feeling pretty good, and more importantly, I had no pain in my knee. Over the next three miles I kept my 9:30 pace, but the group was getting more and more spread out.  I was somewhere in between groups, but close enough I could still see where they were turning along the course. By the time we reached Lake Medina (Mile 3.5ish) I was wishing I had my music, because I had no one else going my pace.

We got up to the lake and the wind kicked up a lot. I always forget how strong the wind can be coming off the lake, so I’ll need to remember this on race day. My pace definitely slowed down for a bit, and as we left the lake, we were greeted with the giant hill on Rt. 18. I did what I could, but I could tell my pace would be a lot slower. We continued through our old development and on our way out to Smith Rd. It was such an odd feeling being this far into a run at this point in town, considering most of my runs started in the area. It did help to get my mind off the miles, and we were already at 6.5 by no time.

My pace had slowed down to around 10:00 minutes, and I was feeling a bit worn. Right around mile 7 I started to get an odd pulling feeling in the back of my knee. Luckily I was coming to an intersection that was about 1.5 miles from the square, so I decided to turn off on a path and head back. The next mile and a half I felt drained, then energized, then aching and then pain free, over and over again. I felt silly for turning off, but also glad I didn’t head out for the last 6 miles if I’d be in major pain.

I got back to my car, stretched and felt great, so I decided I would attempt my required 11 miles, but keep them close in case I was in any major pain. I did what felt like one hundred tiny loops around the square and finally reached 11 miles. Knowing I could have probably pushed myself for another two, I was glad I played it safe and focused on what my knee could do, rather than what I wanted it to do.

Rough but rewarding

Rough but rewarding

Afterward I did what I do best, laid on the couch, ate the best post run meal and wore my compression socks for probably too long of time. But I woke up Sunday feeling great, with no pain at all. I analyzed the run over and over again, because I wasn’t sure what to feel. Pace wise, I was on track to be 2:10-2:15 for 13.1, but that’s not where I want to be on race day. I still have a long way to go, but the every long run is practice for the big day.

Since we’re half way through training, I’m stepping back from Type 1 Diabetes facts and checking up on my goals, and what I need to work on during the second half of training.

Mileage: 58 in 4 weeks, 115 total. Lower than it should be still, but I’m scared of running too much and getting injured. All long runs are now in double digits, so hopefully that should help me get the mileage I need to. Plus with the nice weather, I’ll be more motivated to run a few more days a week.

Diet: It’s getting there. I’m still drinking a ton of water, but I should probably drink more on weekends. And I still have a soft spot for pasta and cheese that probably isn’t going away any time soon.

Workouts: There are two workouts I definitely need to work on. Long runs and tempo runs. I finished my run this weekend, but it wasn’t anything like I had planned. Because I was so focused on staying on pace and not losing sight of the next runner, I completely abandoned my fueling strategy. I was drained and worn down by the second half, when I know exactly how I should have fueled. Let this be a lesson to run my own run, and not focus on others.

Since I didn’t really excel at last time’s goals, I’ll be focusing on them again. I should hopefully accomplish all of them this time around.

Last 4 week goals/next four week goals:

  • Run an additional 75 miles
  • Run 4 days a week, each week
  • 1 hour of yoga, either at home or at class, each week
  • Get back to cycling
  • Hit 8:00 mile repeats
  • Raise $250 for Team JDRF

What are your biggest lesson from training? What’s your biggest challenge?


Columbus Marathon Training: Week 2

Now that week one is over, the fear of how hard this training will be has slightly calmed down. My biggest goal for last week was to make it through my long run. If I could do that, I could handle training. I’m quickly learning that doing the same 5 mile course will get old, so I’m trying out new routes and I’ve even added in a track day! I didn’t originally plan for a track workout, but some time during the work day, I started craving 800’s. (Apparently marathon training will make you do crazy things, I actually despise 800’s). I ended up doing 4 800’s and negative split on all of them! Surprisingly it felt great, the track was soft, comforting and instantly brought back memories of high school. I know track workouts will help me in the long run, so the goal is to do one at least every two weeks, maybe even one a week.

Monday: 5 Miles

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 3.45 Miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 12 Miles, Winking Lizard Relay

Sunday: Rest Day

Total Miles: 24.45 Miles

Thursday and Saturday’s runs were tough. I was still a bit sore from the track workout earlier in the week. Saturday’s long run was 12 miles. I had the Winking Lizard relay in the evening, so I figured I’d do at least 8 in the morning, and finish up the rest that night. The weather was definitely cooler than last week, but I was a little dehydrated when I started. I knew it would be a tough run, and it was. I was cramping by mile 7 and at this point, Sport Beans and water wouldn’t make it stop. I was on an out and back so the only way home was running. I ended up with 10, but my body was beat.

Saturday night was Winking Lizard Relay. This was meant to be a fun run with my non runner friends. Not sure how I tricked them into this one. It was a great event and my legs felt wonderful. Race recap will follow this week!

How do you balance a long run and a race in one day?