Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Fifteen

This was another great week, and unfortunately my last hard week of training before taper. I knew I had to make these workouts count, and I felt like I did just that. I didn’t go to Body Fusion for a number of reasons. We have so much going on this month, I’d have to miss a bunch of classes. I also want to make sure my leg muscles are completely recovered by race day, which meant cutting back on lifting until after the marathon.

Tuesday had a big workout. I had 9×800 repeats and hoped I’d have enough energy to make it through. My first one was “slow” compared to the rest, but I managed to pace myself fairly well until the end. Surprisingly I felt really great the entire time, and I’m actually looking forward to my final track workout.

Wednesday I took off, but Thursday I took advantage of the cooler weather. I ran up to the North end and had some amazing negative splits. My legs felt like they were flying and I was finally able to get rid of the heavy feeling they’ve been carrying around.

Friday was a rest day, but Saturday was my big workout. I met up with a few MCRR members and we took to the inlet at Buckeye Woods. I was definitely a little nervous, knowing this was my last long run and would determine my attitude and confidence going into the marathon.

I felt pretty good going in, and made sure to stick to my plan of taking in water at every mile. We covered the inlet, dropped a few people off, and then made our way out on the roads for short loop.

photo 1-3

The weather was just about perfect, complete cloud cover and just on the edge of sprinkling. I couldn’t help but think that the perfect weather had something to do with how great I felt, but honestly I wasn’t struggling, or sweating my entire body weight.

We made our way back and took the long way around the marsh, soaking in all of the views. At this point, there was just a few of us, and we started out on our last big loop.

photo 2-3

My beautiful, peaceful Buckeye Woods marsh 

We headed to the inlet, passed by Chippewa lake, and picked up the rail trail, hoping to dodge a huge storm that was heading our way. Luckily it passed us, and we didn’t have to worry about spending our last 8 miles drenched from the rain. Jeanne and I were the last two left at this point and we made our way back to the park with about three miles to go. By this point, I had caught a second wind, and my legs were begging to let go. I tried to hold back and pace myself, but by 18.5, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I opened my stride and let my legs lead the way, finishing up my last mile in 9:14.

Beautiful day on the rail trail

Beautiful day on the rail trail

I felt really great at the end of this 20 miler. I ran it 2 minutes slower than my last one, but I was able to drop my pace at the end and finish with a strong kick. This run certainly set the tone for the race and I finally feel like I’m ready for the race.

First time wasn't a fluke!

My new favorite training distance

As for fueling, I stuck with sport beans at every 4 miles, but this time, I wanted to try a few new things. I took my salt tab later on between mile 8-9 and tried eating peanuts at mile 14. The peanuts worked out great, and I plan to use them during the marathon.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 9×800(4:16, 4:07, 4:06, 4:05, 4:07, 3:59, 3:59, 4:01, 3:55) .5 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3.25 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 29 Miles

And that’s it, my mornings of long runs are coming to an end. My final long run is complete, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I’m finally at the point where I’m enjoying my long runs rather than dreading them. I’m feeling really strong, but looking forward to taper, and hopefully keeping my legs healthy for three more weeks.

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River Run Half Marathon Recap

Sunday I ran the River Run Half Marathon for the third time. I ran it in 2011 and 2012, my second and eighth half marathon. This year would be my third time running it, and ever so slightly monumental, my 20th half marathon. I couldn’t help but be excited, considering I knew the course by heart and I was hoping for a little redemption from the Wooster Half.

I woke up at 5am Sunday morning, got ready and was out the door by 6:45. I decided to park at the start because it was closer by about 15-20 minutes. The views on the drive up were absolutely beautiful and I wish I could have taken some more pictures. Just imagine, back roads, old farms, sun rising and major spots of fog.

Beautiful start to race day!

Beautiful start to race day!

Anyway, I got to the start and was able to find a close parking spot. I got in line for the rest room and ran into a few MCRR members. We chatted for a bit, went off on our own ways and pretty soon we were ready to start.

Matchy-matchy, ready to go!

Matchy-matchy, ready to go!

Going in, I knew I wanted to finish better than Wooster, which meant aiming for a 9:30 or under pace and no bathroom stops. I started off at a good pace, weaving in and out of the crowds to find a comfortable pace. I settled into a 9:20 pace and made sure I’d have enough energy to last me the entire race. My legs felt fresh and I was in my comfort zone, running the parks I spent miles upon miles on my feet.

Within the first couple miles, I could feel my pace picking up. I made sure to keep it somewhat conservative, but I couldn’t help but be excited for how great I felt. During the second mile we passed the leaders as we made a loop in the nearby development. It was definitely a confidence booster to see so many people I knew.

Mile 1-9:10
Mile 2-8:56

Over the next couple of miles I could feel the downhill, which meant my pace was picking up. I kept bouncing between 8:35-8:50, but knew I couldn’t keep up the quicker pace. So I kept telling myself to dial it back, because I wasn’t sure how long I could keep this up. I I stuck with my normal fueling plan of taking water every mile, and a sport bean every 4 miles. So far, so good, and no stomach issues.

Mile 3-8:45
Mile 4-8:54

It was probably around mile 5 that I started to really focus on what my plan would be. I was well above my goal of 9:30, but I was also a little nervous that at any moment the adrenaline would wear off and I’d be on the struggle bus. I was still feeling strong, my legs were feeling good, and I was cruising down the course.

Mile 5-8:46
Mile 6-8:50

I could tell between mile 5 and 6, my pace was slowing just a bit, but by this point the crowd had spread out, and I was with the same group just making our way through the race. Typically I would take salt tab at mile 6, but this time I waited, curious to see if it was behind some stomach issues. I still kept an eye on my pace and at 6.3 miles, I was coming in at 53:xx, far better than I expected.

Mile 7-8:57
Mile 8-9:04

Just as I had expected, my legs started to slow down between mile 7 and 8. I took my second sport bean at mile 8 and could feel a small twinge in my hips with the little rollers on the course. I knew the hill was coming up around mile 9.5, so my goal was to give a little more until I hit the hill.

Mile 9-9:02
Mile 10-9:45

I made it about half way up the hill and my legs started to crumble. I took this as an opportunity to take my salt tab, which means I had a few moments to walk. Once I was settled I picked up my pace and focused on the fact that I had a 5k left. But just as I suspected, but stomach started to bother me, but luckily not enough that I would need to stop along the way. I made a mental note to revisit the salt tab on my last long run.

I could feel that I was starting to wear down and that I couldn’t get enough water, clearly an issue of taking my salt tab too late in the race. I took advantage of the water stop at mile 10 to fill up my hand help and continued on at a slower pace.

Some look of determination

Some look of determination

Mile 11-9:45
Mile 12-9:20

By this point in the race, I didn’t have the momentum I had earlier in the day. These last few miles were always the hardest on me, and mentally this was something that wasn’t going away. I counted down every half mile, just wanting to be done with the race.

I finally came up to the last water stop at mile 12 and made sure I stopped for water. I felt like I had just finished a 5k, I was so exhausted and run down. I mustered up what I had left and continued my way into the last mile. What felt like a half hour, I kept my eye close on my watch. At around 12.6, I was at 1:55 and knew there was a possibility I could hit sub 2 if I picked up the pace. I tried, but instead I felt a heavy pressure on the top of my stomach that just wouldn’t go away.

And so, following tradition, right before the 13 mile marker, I had to go to the side and clear my stomach. I stood there, hands on my knees for what felt like a long time. I knew I had to continue, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready. I finally was able to get going and got myself to the finish. I crossed the line of my 20th half marathon, with a time of 2:01:45.

Mile 13-10:50
Last .17-9:58 pace

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t break 2:00, but really it wasn’t my initial goal. The night before, I told Darren I wanted 2:02, and I got just that. If I hadn’t of thrown up, or stopped to walk while filling my water at stops I probably could have gotten it. But really, I’m excited about my time. My first River Run was completed in 2:21, my second in 2:08, and now 2:01.

All smiles

All smiles

Probably the best part of the race was the medal. As part of the Hermes Distance Journey, I received my medal for River Run, and the third for completing the 10 Miler earlier in the spring. It was an awesome concept, and I hope this is something that continues in the future.

Distance Challenge Bling

Distance Challenge Bling

And considering this is my third time running this race, I definitely have a soft spot for it. This has by far become one of my favorite races and no doubt my favorite fall half. I’d certainly recommend the race if you’re looking for a PR.

Half number 20!

Half number 20! 

Results

Official Time: 2:01:45

Age Group (25-29): 39/112

Female: 272/830

Overall: 684/1485

 

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Fourteen

Another week is in the books and this was a great one! With only a few good hard runs left, I wanted to make sure that this week my runs exceeded my expectations. The rec was closed on Monday because of the holiday so no Body Fusion, but I also took it as a day to recover from the long trail run.

Tuesday was slightly delayed when our normal track was hosting a soccer game. Luckily the second track we checked was empty so we weren’t too far behind on our schedule. After getting rained out last week, I was determined to hit all 8 800’s on pace. With the cooler weather, it wasn’t a problem, and I hit all of them below the projected pace I wanted. With a goal of under 4:15, I ended up with all of them under 4:05, including the last three negative splitting under 4:00. I wasn’t the biggest fan of them in high school, but I may have a new love for 800’s. On top of perfect 800’s, we were able to witness a beautiful sunset, another reason I just can’t quick evening runs.

Chasing daylight on the track

Chasing daylight on the track

Wednesday I met up with Mallory again and we headed for a run at Blue Heron. The abandoned golf course is in the process of being cleaned up to become a park, but really it looks just the same, overgrown and unrecognizable as a golf course. Going in I knew it was going to be hilly, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my legs. What felt like an 8:30 pace was actually 10:30. No matter how hard we pushed it, we’d somehow get back to a slower pace. Looking back, this probably wasn’t the best “recovery” run the day after a track workout.

No easy recovery run

No easy recovery run

The elevation may have been rough on the legs, but the views were pretty good. I left my phone behind so I missed out on some gems, but I was able to capture this one after I got back to my car.

Beauty in the abandoned.

Beauty in the abandoned.

I took Thursday and Friday off because I wanted my legs to recovery and be fresh for Sunday’s half marathon. Saturday I went out for a short shake out run in my neighborhood. The weather was cool and I was able to enjoy a bit of rain. My legs felt great and hopefully they were ready for Sunday.

River Run Half Marathon was on Sunday, and I went into this race wanting redemption from Wooster. I’ll have my recap up later this week. I originally planned to run more after the race, but after I got back to my car my whole body felt beat up. I don’t feel horrible about not getting more miles in, because I know I pushed it hard in the race and I put in a lot of time on my feet the previous week.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 8×800(4:02, 4:03, 4:01, 3:59, 4:02, 3:55, 3:52, 3:45), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 6 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 Miles

Sunday: River Run Half Marathon

Total Miles: 27 Miles

Overall this was a really great week. I felt strong in all of my runs, and was finally convinced that I’ve been making progress. Not every run or week of training is going to go well, but when you finally have a good week, it really helps to bring confidence back into running.

This next week is my final long run! It’s definitely bittersweet, but I have to say that I’m excited this training cycle is almost complete. I’m excited to run Wineglass and I know I’ve grown as a runner, but it’s been a long and tiring summer to get here. And after this weekend, I’m ready to focus my training towards my true love, the half.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Thirteen

Another week complete, and another week closer to race day. The goal of this week was to get out of my funk. It was definitely an interesting week, but ended up better than they have been.

Monday I passed on Body Fusion, I was beyond exhausted from Sunday’s early wake up call, so I used the time to catch up on sleep.

Tuesday I headed to the track. Mallory had already started her workout so we were on different sets, but it was still nice to have someone out there. I knew my time could be limited because of storms rolling in, but halfway through my workout, dark clouds and lightning came rolling in. The skies turned nasty quickly so there was no chance of finishing the workout. My legs and splits felt great, so I was definitely bummed I had to cut it short.

Storm clouds are coming!

Storm clouds are coming!

Wednesday I switched up my recovery run and tried out the trails of Huffman. I met up with Dan and Marsha who led me through uncharted territory. I felt really great on the single track and learned how to better run the trails. That is, until I clipped a bridge in the last quarter mile and landed straight on my face. I slammed down pretty hard on my right knee and left hand, but everyone has to fall at least once, right?

The perfect Wednesday night

The perfect Wednesday night

Thursday I took off because my knee was swollen and sore. I’m sure it was still the shock of falling on it, and probably nothing major, but I’d rather take an extra day to recover, rather than run on it and cause unnecessary pain. Friday was a scheduled rest day, so I took it, and enjoyed a much need night out.

Saturday I caught up on sleep and although I only slept in until 6:30, I felt better than I had in a long time. I took a short run around my neighborhood to test the knee and shake out my legs before Sunday’s long run.

Sunday was my long run. I’ve been trying to push them to Sundays if possible to prepare myself for race day. I decided to take new approach to my long run and focus on time on my feet rather than miles. I’ve been putting so much pressure on hitting a certain number or splits, that I stress myself out more than I need to.

I met up with a bunch of MCRR and we took to the trails of Hinckley. I’m still not as familiar with the trails as I’d like, so I bounced around within the group looking for a comfortable pace, but also spent time catching up with everyone.

MCRR takes over Hinckely!

MCRR takes over Hinckely!

We covered the bridal trails, lake loops, single track and the ledges. I focused on running with comfortable effort and actually felt great for most of the run. My legs, which have felt tired for weeks felt fantastic, and didn’t start to feel fatigued until three hours in.

Love for the ledges

Love for the ledges

The weather was humid, but it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. Luckily we found some fountains along the run, so we were able to fill up throughout the day. I went through three fill ups and I probably could have used one more. I also stayed on my normal fueling plan of sport beans every four miles. I probably could have switched it to every forty minutes instead, but I’ll learn for next time I’m on the trails.

Hinckley Lake

Hinckley Lake

I ended up with a little over 16 miles in the time of 3.5 hours. A slower pace than road miles, but again, my focus was time on my feet, and 3.5 hours is a long time. Despite a lot of ups and downs and uneven ground my legs felt good most of the run. It was very reassuring that my legs could handle the time on my feet and not get too worn out. But the best part was that I had zero stomach issues, which is something that keeps holding me back lately. I’ll be back to road miles for my long runs again, but I needed this run to pull me out of my funk and remind me that I am capable of long runs, I just need to trust my legs and not stress so much!

Long run love is back!

Long run love is back!

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 4×800(4:11, 4:08, 4:08, 4:10)

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 Miles

Sunday: 16.3 Miles

Total Miles: 25 Miles

I started this week with a few let downs, but I finished it feeling great and full of confidence. Training has been tough and really a mental struggle at times. Sometimes you just need a great run to remind you that it’s possible, you just have to take it each run at a time.

This next week I want to make sure I nail every single run, including the River Run Half Marathon on Sunday. I’ve got just a little over a month left and things won’t be slowing down any time soon!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Twelve

What a week. If there is one word to describe my training lately, it’s a roller coaster. After last week’s let down, I was hoping to come back strong and nail every run. I’d say I was about 50/50 for runs this week.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and was a little disappointed with class. We used exercise bands and I felt more awkward than anything. Hopefully next week we’ll be back to normal weights and I can feel the burn rather than feel that I look ridiculous.

Tuesday we were at the track. Working my way up on 800 repeats I was able to keep all of them under 4:10 pace, and almost consistent. Motivation was lacking for all of us, and I never felt fantastic, but I got them done.

Closing down Tuesday night

Closing down Tuesday night

Wednesday I took off, but Thursday I was able to meet up with Second Sole. We had a group of 4 that stayed together and it was finally a good run. It was also the first run in over a week and a half I didn’t have stomach issues.

Friday was a rest day and my last chance to rest up before the weekend of back to back hard runs. Saturday was a local 5k for Type 1 Diabetes, the recap will come later this week.

Sunday was my long run, and I originally planned to do 20. Active Runner had a group run from Strongsville to Medina, and had both a 20 mile and 10 mile option. With a wake up call of 3:45, I managed to get myself up and ready and to Strongsville by 5:45 for a 6am start. Despite being extremely tired, I was ready….until I noticed my Garmin had a frozen screen and nothing I did fixed it. Luckily I could just count the miles with everyone else, but I knew my fueling would be a bit off.

I started with the 11:00 minute pace group because I knew it would be a hilly route. Within the first mile I was already sweating from humidity and knew it would be a rough day. Over the course of the next 6 miles, I tried to count when everyone’s Garmin beeped so I could fuel with water at every mile and Sport Beans every four. I made the mistake of waiting until mile six to take my salt tab, but it starting working a few minutes after taking it.

By this point I could feel that I wasn’t having a great day. The route was hilly and I felt so thirsty. I could also feel my knees starting to hurt and a slight pain in my arch showed up by mile 7-8. At mile 10 I knew I’d have a chance to end my run if I wanted, and well, I took it. I knew with how my body was feeling I wouldn’t have a full 20 in me. I figured I would attempt a few more miles at home.

So I got home, was extrememly tempted to go back to bed, but instead ran out on the trail. Even though I didn’t have my Garmin, I knew the trail well enough that I knew where I needed to go for 2-3 miles. Unfortunately I was only able to get 2 more miles in. I was struggling with the heat/humidity and my arch was starting to flare up again. I called it for the day, disappointed in myself.

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

Tuesday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(3:57, 4:03, 4:09, 4:10, 4:02, 4:09, 4:08) .5 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Type 1 Diabetes Awareness 5k

Sunday: 12 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

This week was a little rough, and it didn’t end like I had hoped. But the more I look back on my long run, the better I feel. I was extremely disappointed in myself for bailing out, but I know I did it for the right reasons. PF is the reason I had to bail on Akron last year, and after running such high mileage in the past couple months, I know it’s likely to pop up again at any moment. I’m glad I played it safe and didn’t force it. I’ve hit all my long runs so far, even if I had to move a few things around. One bad long run cut short isn’t going to break my training.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts going around with this cycle, and I’ll eventually get them all together and share them. For now, I’m just going to focus on this next week and take it run by run. My spirit isn’t damaged, but it has a few dents.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eleven

What a week. My body took a long time to recover from my 20 miler, and it took more out of my weekday runs than I expected. I took Monday off from Body Fusion to let my legs recover, they were still a little stiff from Saturday’s run.

Tuesday we were at the track and this time I focused on mile repeats. Instead of going all out like I had been, I tried to keep them as close as I could in pace. I started to loosen up the more I ran, and actually felt pretty good. I was pretty satisfied with my splits, and think that I could definitely bring my 5k time down soon.

Wednesday I headed to the trail and ran some recovery miles. I felt pretty good and thought about running even further than I originally planned, but decided to head back home after mile three after I started to feel a little sick.

Thursday I took off for a much needed girls nights and wine tasting. Stress levels have been above normal lately, so it was exactly what I needed. Sorry running shoes.

Friday was a rest day in prep for Saturday’s race. I’ll have my recap up later this week. I had originally planned on running Sunday as recovery, but after having company all weekend, spending all day Sunday in the sun, and feeling a bit sore from Saturday’s race, I decided to take it off. I felt guilty for a while, but after looking ahead to this week, I know I needed the extra rest.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3×1600(8:06, 8:07, 8:09), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Buehler’s Heart & Sole Half Marathon

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 22 Miles

My weekly mileage was low, and not where I wanted it to be, but my stomach was not on the same page as my legs this week. I’m hoping to work a few things out, and hopefully get back to some really good training runs. Not every week will be great, so I deal with it, and focus on the next.

Looking ahead to this week, I’ll have 2-3 week days runs, a local 5k on Saturday and a hilly 20 miler on Sunday. Sounds like it should be an interesting week!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Ten

This week was all about refocusing after last week’s cut back week, and honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. Without a doubt, this week was my strongest yet, and completely restored all confidence in my running.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and I was so glad to get back into class. Having the rec center shut down for a week really put me in a funk last week. This week we focused on maxing out our arms. I was able to go all the way up to 15lbs for free weights/kettle bells and I never felt stronger. My arms are still weak compared to what I know many other people can do, but I’m slowly getting there.

Tuesday was the real test. With some slight twinge still in my hip, I hoped I’d be able to complete my workout without stopping early. I met up with Mo and we planned on running our 800’s at a 4:15 pace. We ended up under pace for all but one, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

My perfect Tuesday night

My perfect Tuesday night

Wednesday was my recovery run and in the the first time in about three weeks, I actually had my iPod on me during my run. I stayed close to home, but I got lost in my thoughts and the music. I tried not to look at my watch and ran whatever pace my legs were comfortable with. I was all over the place from 9:04 to 8:12 to 8:48, but I felt great. It was exactly the run I needed to reassure me that I am still going strong with training.

Thursday was the group run with Second Sole. We started as a group, but by a half mile in we broke up into our smaller groups. I spent most of the run speaking with one of the employees about our old college conference and I became completely unaware of my pace. We headed out for five miles of rolling hills through town, with the last mile about 95% uphill. I averaged an 8:51 pace and felt really strong for my third run in a row.

Friday was my rest day and I took every precaution to get myself ready for Saturday’s long run. I knew that this 20 miler would be a big deal and pretty much set the tone for the rest of training. I knew I could keep my pace around 10 minutes for most of the run, but I wanted to slow down a bit. After my 18 miler a few weeks ago, I felt great for about 15 minutes, but shortly after I fell apart and was sick for most of the afternoon. I didn’t want that to happen again.

Saturday I met with a small group of MCRR and we headed out for our long run. We all had different distances, so our route was full of out and back and loops, but it worked out perfectly. We started on the inlet and headed out on the back roads before turning around. I was still warming up, and a little unsure if I could handle the full 20 miles, but I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise and forgot about the miles for a little bit.

Country roads sunrise

Spoiled by sunrises

We made our way back and dropped off a few runners. By now we were already at 6 miles, keeping steady just under a 10:00 minute pace. Next we headed out to the rail trail and I was so excited to explore a new route. The trail was heavily shaded and kept us cool as the weather started to heat up. We made a slight adjustment and took a turn near Chippewa to pick up the inlet again. We made our way back to the cars, dropped a few more runners off, and decided to make a loop around the outer roads of Buckeye Woods.

The roads had more than a few rolling hills, so our pace slowed down, but we were still right around a 10:00 pace. By now we were approaching mile 15 and I knew my legs would start to wear down a bit. I was feeling ok, but prepared for the worst. We took a few miles around the marsh and let our legs recover from the pavement. Running on crushed limestone saved my legs, but I did feel a small pain in my left knee that went away by mile 16.

As we made our way around the marsh and headed towards the woods, we lost one more runner. We were approaching mile 18, and I knew I had just 20 more minutes of running left. I couldn’t help but get excited for the final miles, knowing how great I felt and finishing up on the trails couldn’t have been more perfect. With a half mile to go, I started to pick up the pace and gave what I had until the final beep.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 20 miler, especially considering it was my first one of the training cycle. The two biggest things I wanted to focus on were pacing and fueling. I wanted to stay over a 10:00 minute pace, but spent 13/20 miles under. I ended up with a 10:03 average pace, a quicker pace than my 18 miler two weeks before.

As for fueling, I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of it, and wanted to test what would work best on race day. I was spot on, and nothing ever gave me any issues, my main concern for race day. I stuck with the following:

  • Sips of water at every mile mark, more often if needed in the later miles
  • Two-three sport beans every four miles (miles 4, 8, 12, 16)
  • Salt tabs every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)
  • Honey Stinger chews every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)

This worked out perfectly. I never felt tired, dehydrated or hungry, so I’ll be sure to keep this fueling strategy for all of my future long runs. Without a doubt fueling was key to making this the perfect 20 miler.

The perfect 20

The perfect 20

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

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(4:12, 4:17, 4:10, 4:10, 4:11, 4:12, 4:06), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 34 Miles

This week was great. I hit every workout like I wanted and felt stronger than ever. I also hit my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m just under my goal of 600  miles for the year. I have to admit, I had my doubts about training recently, but this week was the turning point. I couldn’t have done this week without the help of the amazing MCRR members. They’ve definitely pushed me more than I know this year. Now I’m excited more than ever for Wineglass!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Nine

We’re officially halfway through this training cycle and honestly, I wasn’t sure how this week would go. All last week I had a weak feeling in my right knee, which was cleared out after my massage. But then I was greeted with some major pain on my left knee that showed up the day after my 18 miler. These knees really know how to put a damper in a training cycle.

Well, luckily, things turned around. I iced, rolled and stocked up on Ibuprofen all day Sunday and Monday and woke up pain free on Tuesday. Also, the rec center was closed all week for annual cleaning, so I took Monday as a complete recovery day and it did wonders for my knees.

Tuesday I headed to the track to test the waters. After my warm up mile (my 100th mile for the month!) I felt good enough to give 800’s a shot. Previously I felt my pace was a little slow and I wasn’t working hard enough, so this time the goal pace was 4:15 for six repeats. Well, I was definitely quicker than my pace time, but not too uncomfortable that I couldn’t handle it. So it looks like I’ll be working around this quicker pace for future 800 repeats, and hopefully try for more next time.

Wednesday I did my recovery run with Elayna and Ella in the metro parks. We took it easy and I’m glad we did because I had almost forgotten what it was like to run in the heat and humidity. It was good to catch up and the perfect place to get away from my normal running routes.

Comforting views of the park

The memories of these parks

Thursday I had planned on running with Second Sole, but got stuck in traffic on 71 and in town due to the fair. Sometimes, an hour just isn’t enough time to get from work to run group. So I ended up running around town on my own, which was pretty good except for the uneven sidewalks and crazy drivers. I wanted to do between 4-5, but the uneven steps gave me a slight twinge in my hip and I decided to call it a day.

Saturday was an interesting run. I had a bad Friday night that led me to not be very well prepared for a long run Saturday morning. Throw in an extra early 4:15am wake up call, and some stomach issues and you’ve got the perfect recipe to the start of a long run turned recovery.

I started with some MCRR at Buckeye Woods, but quickly learned that I wouldn’t last long on the back roads. So instead I turned around and stayed close to the park for when I needed to make a pit stop. All week I had been going back and forth about using this week as a recovery week. My right leg had an off feeling all week and in the back of my mind, I know that running 20 wouldn’t have helped it. I may have been feeling pretty miserable Saturday morning, but I know it was just my body’s way of telling me to take a break. After all, I haven’t had a cut back week in almost a month and a half. And even if the run wasn’t pretty, watching the sunrise over the fog was.

Perk of a 6am morning run

Perk of a 6am morning run

Worth the early morning wake up call

Worth the early morning wake up call

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 1 mile w/u, 6×800(4:09,4:11,4:06,4:02,4:01, 3:58), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 7 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 18 Miles

So this week was an semi intentional cut back week. I still have a twinge in my right leg, but it comes and goes. Luckily it isn’t very painful, but more of the feeling that not everything is clicking the way it should. I’ve been rolling it and icing the pain points, but unfortunately, the most uncomfortable feeling comes from when I’m driving. With almost 10 hours a week just for my work commute, I can’t avoid the odd feeling in my hip/quad/knee. So I’ll do what I can in between and hope it doesn’t cause any injury down the road. I can still run pain free, and have no intention of backing off training, I just need to figure out what I’m doing to cause the weird feeling in my leg.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eight

Two months of training are done and time is just flying by! This week wasn’t how I originally planned, but I did what I could. Monday I was still a little sore from my trail race, but got a great workout in at Body Fusion. It was probably one of my hardest classes, but the yoga section was beyond rewarding.

Tuesday I had weird legs pains all day. The pain would move from my hip, to my knee, to my quad and start all over again. I was a little concerned for my workout, but decided to play it by ear. I got to the track and magically everything felt great. We ran 7×800’s around my goal marathon time, and honestly, I think they may have been too slow. I know I didn’t want to over do it with the heat, but I definitely think I could have pushed myself a little harder. Iced, stretched and rolled after and of course nothing hurt.

Wednesday I wasn’t sure how my body would feel so I planned on taking it easy. I had some small twinges, but after stretching a lot at work, I felt ok enough to run. I decided to keep it close to home in case I needed to turn around, but thankfully I didn’t need to. The first few steps on the sidewalk were stiff, but once I got to my trail I felt great and knocked out 4 beautiful miles in the almost fall like weather.

My trail.

My own slice of Heaven.

Thursday I had some minor pain in my knee and didn’t want to risk it too much, so I treated myself to an hour massage. I know my body has been beat up in the last few weeks with hills, higher mileage and some major trails, so I needed to get my legs out of this funk. Getting a massage was the best decision I made because I came out of there with absolutely no pain at all. My quads were as tight as can be and had some huge knots, so it felt great to get those all worked out.

Friday I took as a rest day as a precaution from the week’s pain, but I was definitely feeling much better, and pain free for my long run on Saturday.

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

Tuesday: 4.75 Miles, .5 mile w/u, 7×800(4:17, 4:18, 4:23, 4:20, 4:18, 4:10, 4:08), .75 mile c/d

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: 1 Hour Massage

Friday: Off

Saturday: 18 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 27 Miles

I did my long run on Saturday hoping to avoid the rain that was supposed to hit us all weekend. Jeanne met at my house and we started our 18 mile journey, with the goal pace of staying around 10:00 minute miles. The weather was beautiful, still a little humid, but Saturday morning at 6:30am could be one of the best looking times of the day!

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Perfect view to start 18 miles

I was feeling pretty strong and really tried to keep my focus on my pace. Jeanne is quicker than me, so I didn’t want to push myself too early on and struggle halfway through. Our first loop was on back roads and traffic was relatively quiet. It took my legs a few miles to warm up, but I had no pain, so I felt great.

After our loop we headed to the trail nearby and ran an out an back of just about 7 miles. It felt so great to be in the shade and feel the crushed limestone under my feet. We fueled at 5 miles, and stopped for a port-a-potty break at 7 miles before turning back on the trail. Between mile 8-9 I could feel myself become a little tired, but the thought of getting to stop at home for ice cold water at mile 10.5 kept me going.

We stopped at my house at 10.5 miles and filled up on cold water and fueled again. I started to get nervous wondering if I could actually complete the full 18 miles, but Jeanne reassured me it was all in my head and my legs would take me the full long run.

The next part of the run was a 4 mile out and back through some nearby developments, and I focused so hard on thinking it was just 4 miles. There was a slight incline that started to wear down my legs and by mile 13 I was struggling. At this point everything hurt and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it the last 5 miles. This was also the point where my pace was closer to 10:30 than 10:00 and I could definitely feel a difference.

We refueled at mile 14 and filled up on ice water again. We also adjusted our last out and back so we could get back on the trail and take advantage of the shade. It was at this point in my run that I focused on each mile as though it was it’s own. It was no longer about making it to 18, but rather making it to the next mile. And so we went back and forth on the trail over and over until we hit that magical number.

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Finishing that 18 miler was probably more important to me than finishing 20. Last year I completely failed at 18, and this year, I needed it more than anything. What surprised me the most was my pace, I had no idea I’d actually be close to finishing in 3 hours. And although I struggled in the last four miles, I was pretty much where I hoped to be and ended up with an average of 10:10 pace.

The only downside to the run was I was completely dehydrated afterward. I tried to drink lots of water, but it wasn’t enough. I also only took a salt tab at the first hour instead of taking them each hour. Lesson learned, I need to stick with my salt tabs and drink lots of water during my run, because the rest of the weekend my body was out of it.

Sunday I had planned on an evening recovery run, but woke up with a strong pain on the inside of my left knee. Nice to see that when one knee is pain free, the other picks up something new. I’m slightly concerned because I’ve had this pain before and know that it can lead to some major issues. I just don’t know how it happened, but I’m assuming it was at some point in my 18 miles.

This next week will most likely have to change due to my knee. I’m still pretty far out from race day, but don’t want to do anything now that I’ll regret later on. I also feel that my legs need a bit of a break. They’re still beat up from the Trail Monster race, and I’m hoping I didn’t do anything too harmful to jeopardize my marathon.

 

 

 

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Seven

Week seven in complete, and it was a strong one! This week was a big game changer for me, and I feel more confident about my training than I have the previous weeks. Like always, I started the week with Body Fusion. I finally used heavier weights, but class was still a little easy for the newer classmates. I left wanting to sweat more, so hopefully things will ramp up again over the next few weeks.

Tuesday was 800 repeats day on the track. We all started together, but when Bob and Beth showed up, they broke us up and helped us work on the pace that best suited our marathon goals. Even after 6 repeats I felt comfortable with my pace, and wanted to do more. This workout was the key to figuring out how I need to refocus my track workouts. I’ve been too concerned with going as fast as I can rather than focus on a pace that will help my marathon time.

My Tuesday's

My Tuesday’s

Wednesday I headed out to Chippewa Lake and ran a new trail that I noticed on Sunday. Unfortunately the trail was only a half mile long, but it did have some beautiful views of the lake. Instead of running the same path back and forth, I packed up and went to Buckeye Woods where I finished the rest of my run on my favorite dirt trails.

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Thursday and Friday I was off, but I had big plans for Saturday. I ran the Trail Monster 5k and 15k down in Wooster. I’ve been craving some trails lately, and since I knew I had 16 miles on the schedule, I decided to run both and finish up the last of my needed mileage after the races. I’ll have a recap later this week, but wow was it tough. I finished up the last miles on the road outside the park and felt pretty good. My legs welcomed an even, solid path to run and although the time on my feet was longer than last week, I felt good after my long run.

Sunday I did a short recovery run around the neighborhood. I ran the first mile with Darren and finished up the last mile plus on my own. My legs were incredibly sore and for the rest of the day I had some weird twinge in my right leg. I’m still tight/sore, but hoping after some more foam rolling and stretching, my body will be back to normal.

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

Tuesday: 6 Miles,1 mile w/u, 6×800 repeats(4:06,4:06,3:58,4:28,4:30,4:27)with 4×400 recovery, 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3.6 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Trail Monster 5k/15k + 3.6 Miles

Sunday: 2 Miles

Total Miles: 28 Miles

This next week my weeknight schedule is finally back to normal so I don’t have to stress about moving around runs. I also want to focus on keeping my track workout at the same pace and increasing the amount of 800’s I run. And of course, I’ll have the pressure of the long run waiting over my head all week, 18 miles seems to be the most stressful for me.

 

How do you prepare for your long run? What distance training run makes you the most nervous?