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Posts Tagged ‘long run’

I have been training since December 31, 2011 to get back up to speed (following a 3 month hiatus) and to complete a half marathon this spring.  After 4 months of training, I finally feel like I am really training for racing.  Before I may have just been training for plain, old running. 

After yesterday’s long run, I am 4 weeks out from the race and suddenly very concerned about what I am doing when I am not just preparing to run.  I have been eating healthy and hydrating and carbing up for the long runs, but not very well.  I now feel a need to overhaul everything, because for Sunday’s run, I felt the impact of anything I had done in the last day.  In a good way.

I was really focused on grains, veggies and water on Saturday.  As soon as I woke up Sunday, I started to drink while changing instead of waiting until I got to the kitchen.  I prepared little balls of raisins in plastic and thought out when I might need them.

I found that I did not return with my forehead bruised from repeatedly hitting the wall and I cut another 3:40 from the previous week’s long run.  It doesn’t sound like much, but I did work myself considerably harder than usual on Saturday and I still felt pretty good after the long run. 

I also felt like I gained in technique.  I will start the refueling at 40 minutes next time and repeat every 20 with slightly smaller balls.  The Gatorade-to-water ratio was too high for my stomach.  And Saturday’s pasta & meat sauce was a much better last meal than the previous week’s chicken & broccoli with alfredo linguine (too much fat vs carbs). 

I am also looking up side dishes I can make in small quantities to boost protein and carbs during the week.  It’s very hard to feed myself for training and prepare meals for 3 other less-concerned citizens.  On the upside, my 6 yo is determined to come to my side.  We followed up both of my runs this weekend with a mile of jogging together in decent form.  That makes me proud.

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I have been held captive by Blah for over a week now.  I am planning my escape.

The first part of my plan is to resume communications with the outside world.  I have answered emails and texts, but not actually tried to contact anyone.  After this, I will call that Mom I never got back to and try to make plans for the kids tomorrow.

The next step will be to create an interesting menu for the coming week.  I have been cooking, though meals have been simple and lacking surprise.  I think we are going to try sloppy joe pockets on Wednesday.  I’ll use a pizza dough recipe to hold the joe.

A step out of my hands is find some sun.  It has been cloudy here for the last week.  And wet, kind of drizzly.  It’s hard to find your “Go” when the weather is consistently gloomy.  The Weather Channel is telling me there might be some tomorrow and Monday before it rains for 3 days.  Again.

A step I have already taken is to wake up on my morning runs.  Maintaining a 9 minute pace did not seem as challenging in February as it has lately.  On Wednesday, my husband woke up shortly after me to get ready for work.  Well I was getting up to do 7 miles and he forgot to tell me he wanted to go in early.  Sorry dear, I’m going to win this one.  So I ran 7 miles as fast as I felt I could without causing myself bodily harm.  And hello, I ran at 8:50 average pace.  So why am I running 3 miles regularly at 9:20?  Clearly I have been sleeping on my runs.

So yesterday I pushed my 3 miles to 26:05.  Not bad me, a new PR by 5 seconds.  This morning I pushed and felt that as long as I finished under 27 minutes, I would be happy.  I finished at 25:45, a new PR.  Sweet!  The best part is that I don’t feel overly spent, so I should keep this up.  Afterall, if I am not working on speed during my 3 milers, what am I doing?  I got the distance down.  Tomorrow, I tackle 10.3 miles for the second time.  Let’s see if I can beat the 1:37 I did last Sunday.

After my run, I grabbed the 6 yo who was dressed and ready to go.  We walked & jogged a mile in 17:40.  I didn’t officially clock the first time we went, so now we have a starting point.  Even better, we did not have to argue about his form this time.  He did great.

Time to eat lunch!  I like carb loading.

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I am not sure what to say after you hurdle something, but “hurdled” sounds good!

Saturday night, I checked to see the forecast was rain by 2 AM and solid into Sunday.  This was at 10 PM, so I took rain as a sure thing. 

At 6:50 I woke up, or my bladder woke me up.  From across the room, it didn’t look like it was raining out.  Maybe, it wasn’t!  I used stealth-ninja mode to escape the bed without waking the husband or cats and stole to the bathroom.  The windows from the bathroom overlook the backyard, where it was definitely not raining!  I rechecked the weather on my phone to find that the rain was now planned for 10 AM.  Did I say I was upset the weather was not predictable?  I’m glad the forecast failed!  I can actually, finally do my 8 miles.  A distance that has plagued me for a month, through wrong turns and sickness.

After I was dressed and fueled, it occurred to me that I would actually need in-run fuelling.  Looking around and seeing Easter candy, I grabbed jellybeans.  I rolled them into some plastic and tucked them into my hand. 

Watered-down Gatorade and jelly beans. Maybe not the fuel of champions, but I don't see anyone passing out medals in my kitchen.

Now for the first step to success!  I followed the right road this time and felt great!  After 4 miles I decided to break into the jelly beans.  It went well until around 6 miles when the plastic unrolled and some jelly beans were lost to the pavement.  Poor little beans.

The last mile was a little tricky, but I made it with the sort of euphoria that leaves you happy and wanting to tell everyone.  I secretly hoped that one of the few neighbors I now know might ask what I was up to as I ran by.  Of course before 9 on Sunday, most people aren’t hanging about in their yards.

A unpleasantry I am grateful to live without, sweating, does plague me on runs.  It is part of why the plastic unrolled, it got slimy.  I am a very lucky person who rarely sweats, to the point that I don’t actually wear deodorant for most of the year.  I know some of you hate me now, but my husband sweats for 3 people and I do most of the laundry.  I have found a new outlook on my sweat that makes me happy.

If only I could pick which  fat got to cry…

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It won’t be predicted as easily as I prefer!

Today was a nice day for my 3 mile speedwork.  Speed being a relative term as I feel pretty good from 2 weeks ago but not quite back up to a month ago.  Anyway, when I do the speedwork, I really push myself.  Generally I do the speed work days just before a rest day because my legs are a bit sore.  This week my runs are skewed because my husband had to go to work too early on Wednesday for me to complete my mid-week long-ish run.  So I had to push it to Thursday.  That means that Friday becomes speedwork, Saturday is a slow 3 and Sunday is my long run.  Usually Friday is a rest day.

As a side note, I have just learned that I have an itchy spot on my chest today because I am wearing my undershirt backwards.  I didn’t think I was having that kind of day.

Moving forward, the weekend forecast is iffy for Sunday.  “Periods of rain” is a very unhelpful description.  There is also rain predicted for Monday and Tuesday, so a delay won’t help me.

So the big question, do I move the run up to Saturday and run very slowly on tired legs because I need to get the distance in, or do I take my chances with Sunday.  A plus for Sunday is that I do have the entire day off, so if it clears, I could go.  But I don’t like running any time other than when I have pillow marks on my face.

I’ll let you know tomorrow what I decide.  Also, wouldn’t it be great if this really was a big challenge in life, rather than the small one selectively focused on?

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Running Fool

Usually I cringe going into April, waiting for the annoying folks who think they are funny.  Luckily this year, the day fell on a Sunday.  I would not have to interact with anyone outside of my immediate family.

I was excited to feel up to making the 8 mile run I missed last week.  It started off slow, as I was pacing myself to last the distance.  Generally, I run my long runs at a 9 minute pace and refrain from checking my time during my run.  I had drawn out this route on MapMyRun, again.  This time, I knew the roads all met as I had driven them before.  The route was pretty simple too.  I was running a loop around a lake.

When I came to a road I run frequently and knew was 3 miles from home, I checked my time.  Around 42 minutes for 5 miles!!  I had thought I was running slow, but apparently my training was making me really fast.  Feeling good, I pressed on with renewed enthusiasm, which had started to wane as I tired.  I checked my time again about a mile from home and was a little surprised to see that I had slowed my pace a bit.  I guess this residual sinus issue is really throwing off my head.  So I tried to run a little bit faster.

When I got home from running 8.36 miles in 71:10, I was pretty excited.  I had been sick and I ran faster than my usual pace.  Sweet!

I went inside to stretch and post.  I use my cell phone to post the workout to MapMyRun, then I can share it on Facebook from there.  After I shared on Facebook, I realized that my pace worked out to 8:30.  Well I know I am not capable of that on a long run. 

I went back to the app to check the route I was supposed to run.  I had mapped a left turn onto a side street shortly after starting out.  That would have extended my run to the full length.

Crap, anyone who actually looks at my past time will see that I had some crazy time.  Quick, it’s Sunday morning, I can delete the post.  Nope, not from my cell phone I can’t.  So I commented on my post that I read the distance wrong.  That sounded stupid, but at least I admitted the error without looking like a complete idiot, I think.

Further research shows that I ran 7.67 miles with a pace of 9:15.  Not bad, though I am a little sore today.

How excited I was to have great time only to find that I had fooled myself before anyone else got the chance.

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