Akron Half Marathon Training: Week Two

Week two is done and I am pain free! Sometimes the best thing is to listen to your body rather than your training plan. This week was a little off, I had to move a few things around, but I was still able to get most of my mileage in despite having to do some tweaking.

Monday: 5.5 Miles + Core

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 4 Miles + Core

Thursday: 3 Miles + Core + Lifting

Friday: 0

Saturday: 8 Miles

Sunday: 3.1 Miles

Total Miles: 23.6 Miles

Monday I headed to Blue Heron with Mallory. It’s been months since we’ve ran there and even though it’s all hills, I still love it. We started on the golf course, made our way to the development, and then back through the course. It was pretty buggy and humid, but my legs felt pretty good and I had no pain! It was also the first run in my new Asics GT-2000’s. They felt magical, maybe that’s why I felt so good. We finished up our run and with less than a quarter mile to go, it started to pour. It felt refreshing, and I definitely had an “I love running!” moment. Finally!

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Hello 2000’s, let’s run!

I planned on doing my track workout on Wednesday since I had a dress fitting on Tuesday. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. First my iPad was almost dead, so any chance of watching Netflix wouldn’t last long. Then the circuit popped on one side of the basement, so the treadmill lost power. It was getting too late to get to a track to run by myself, so I set out around the neighborhood. I traveled through a few developments and felt less frustrated as my run went on. I was a bit tight from the hills on Monday, but I didn’t have pain, which was a good sign. I still managed 4 easy miles and some core for the night.

Thursday was Second Sole night, but the weather had different plans. Just as I made it to town, the sky let loose. About 10 minutes later, it stopped, so I thought we could get some miles done outside. Naturally the next round of storms showed up just as we were about to start. So we opted for the indoor track at the rec. We did three easy miles, some core and some lifting. I’m glad we had the option to run inside, but I don’t miss the indoor track one bit!

Saturday morning I met up with a small group to do my long run. We started at the square, and decided to run part of the Medina Half course to get our miles. It was also my first run in my new Asics Kayano 21’s and I was excited to break them in. Our first mile was the slowest, but we kept the pace between 9:04-9:15, also known as my race pace. We kept this up until about mile 6, where Mallory and I veered off so we could finish 8, while the rest of the group did 10. I took a Honey Stinger Chew for fuel and within the next mile brought my pace down to 8:05. Maybe it was the rain, or maybe the new fuel, but I felt great and didn’t feel burnt out by the end. Even though I pushed myself quicker than I should have for my long run, I also know I won’t get faster, unless I push myself.

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Kayano 21….In love!

Sunday’s recovery run hurt the most out of any run all week. I waited until 7pm to run where motivation was at its lowest. I tried to focus on one mile at a time, but couldn’t help to feel sluggish. I ran around the development, got chased by a dog and couldn’t keep my pace straight. Around 2.5 miles in, I started to get a side stitch that got worse with every step. It wasn’t until then that I realized I hadn’t had any water all day. I settled for three miles and a popsicle, and decided a new hydration plan was needed.

Week Two Thoughts:

It was clear that taking an extra rest day last week and getting new shoes made all the difference this week. I know not to let my shoes go over 350/375, but because I was rotating them, I completely lost track of miles. Going forward the 2000’s will be for shorter runs and track workouts and the Kayanos will be for longer runs. This worked out fairly well last time, so why change it.

Another thing I noticed is that I’m really dehydrated. I’ve been trying to drink water and Nuun throughout the day and after workouts, but I feel like it’s never enough. Part of this is because my body is getting used to summer heat, and part is from a new medication that causes dry mouth. I’m hoping to find a balance and work on hydrating myself before it gets super hot!

Akron Marathon Training: Week Five

I think I go along with everyone when I say that the rain was putting a damper on my running. After 16 straight days of rain, I was so glad to finally see the sun. This week, well, I think I’d enjoy a few rain showers. I took off Monday to recover from my long run. I was feeling good, but on Tuesday my legs were a little tight. I tried to sneak my run in between the storms, but got caught in the rain not even a half mile in. It helped cut the humidity and felt good to cool off while running.

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Post rainy run

Wednesday was a completely different story. After a huge line of storms came in and about 50 text alerts, flooding became my biggest issue. We were hit hard and many streets, yard and houses were flooded. My little township of Montville was even featured on the news with how bad the flooding was, including some of the streets I ran last weekend, which had two feet of standing water on them. Luckily our home was bone dry, but unfortunately many of our neighbors weren’t so lucky. I knew I wanted to do some hills, but finding some dry land was a challenge. I lucked out and found a smallish hill and decided on 10 repeats. They went quick and I was feeling good. The hill was just big enough that I could feel myself slowing down by number 8. I felt really good working on some hills, but not so much on my warm up and cool down, something I need to work on.

Lake Medina parking lot with a few feet of water

Lake Medina parking lot with a few feet of water

 

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 Miles

Wednesday: 3.25 Miles, .75  Mile w/u, 10 hill repeats, .5 Mile c/d

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 16 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 21.25 Miles

Saturday, long run day, was quite the experience. I’m going to go ahead and let you know now that it was a great run. I originally sent out an invite to MCRR inviting anyone to join me for 16 miles. When no one showed up Saturday morning, I was a little bummed out, but now, I’m glad I had another solo long run. I mapped out a new route that included some challenging hills and some roads I’ve never been on. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I figured it was better than doing my old route over and over from last year. I started through some expensive homes that back up against Lake Medina. The views of the lake are worth the pain of a steady incline for a few miles. I then headed out to some country roads with some beautiful rolling hills. I was feeling really good, consistently hydrating, taking my salt tabs and eating my sport beans. The downside to being so far out of town, is that there are no sidewalks, so I had to hug the white line a few times after cars wouldn’t move over.

I started to head back in town around mile 8 and attempted to take a Gu. I took two bites of the peanut butter flavor and had enough. I knew it wouldn’t sit well if I kept eating it. I was also at the point that I needed to refill my water so I stopped at Dunkin Donuts. Seeing all those donuts, I immediately regretting not sticking around for a while, but I had to keep running. For the next two miles I had sidewalks, but that also meant I was stop and go at stop lights. I liked being able to stretch, but I hated that once I found a good pace, I was stopping again. Around mile 10, I had made it to the square. The farmers market was out, which was also tempting to stop for, but instead I stretched in the grass for a few minutes and planned out my last 6 miles. I had originally found a loop that would bring me to 16 at my door, but at this point, my legs were starting to ache and I wanted to be closer to home. It was also part of my dreaded long run route from last year, which would be mentally tough to run. I took the back road out of town and followed it until I came upon a cross roads. I had 4 miles left, I could either head out and loop back home or I could cut down the development and create a few out and backs to hit my mileage. I decided on the longer loop. The more I did now, the less I’d have to do once I was home. It was also at this point that I realized I only had 4 miles to go, something so easy, and short! I suddenly had  some energy and was picking up  my pace.

I found myself on some of the flooded streets from Wednesday, the sun was out, debris was scattered and they smelled so terribly bad. It took everything in me not to gag, but I kept going. I was heading back  uphill towards home and noticed I’d still be short so I did an out and back into the first development I ran. I was at 14.5 miles and my body was now hurting. I was tired, my legs were sore and I was getting pretty hot. I was out of water and knew that the only thing between me and 16 miles was a nice gradual hill. I gave it everything I had, turned the corner and followed my street. I hit my doorstep at 15.30. I knew I had to hit 16, so I chugged some cold water and slowly jogged around my neighborhood. My Garmin beeped, and I was done. Best 16 miles to date.

Hills for breakfast

Hills for breakfast

I honestly felt great for 14.5 miles of this run. I kept a decent pace, never going over 10:25 and sometimes saw myself down at 9:40. I powered up those hills like I was on the heel of a PR and never once thought of walking them. Most importantly, never once did I wish I was back in bed instead of running. Ok, well, maybe the first few minutes, but I loved that run, and I can’t remember a run were I’ve felt so solid for so long. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to train for a marathon, mentally or physically. And I’m sure some readers doubted I’d actually stick with my plan or get my long runs in. It feels good to see what I’ve done in five weeks, and even better to imagine what I can do in the next eleven.

This next week I have a 10k that I’ll combine with my 18 miles for Saturday. Does anyone know how to race a 10k, cause I sure don’t.

What I Learned:

  • Hills are so empowering. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. My elevation change for this run was 828 feet. It may not seem like a lot, but I know it’s making things that much easier come race day.
  • Even though I’m only running three days a week, I think it’s best for me. My body is feeling good and I’m staying injury free. I’ve debated adding a fourth day, but think I’ll just play it by ear.
  • I’m having less headaches than I used to, and I’m thinking it might be from all the running I’m doing. If not, it’s still nice to have a few weeks away from migraines.
  • I’m not a huge fan of warm ups and cool downs, this needs to change. Besides, it’s only a mile each time, it should be easy!
  • I miss yoga. Last week was the holiday and this week I had plans, so I haven’t been in two weeks. I’m so excited to get back to it this coming week.

Did your runs get rained out this week? Do you prefer running on sidewalks or the edge of the road?