Colfax Marathon Training Week 14

Thanks everyone who listened to my complaining last week and gave me encouraging words as I was heading into a race week. I spent a lot of my training unsure if maybe something was wrong with my legs or if I was on the verge of an injury. I am still having the extreme soreness, but I think it’s getting better. I’ve been making a gentle yoga practice a real priority while also trying to cut back on my mileage a bit to give my legs a rest. I am under four weeks out from my first marathon and this next week is my peak mileage week.

This was my week:

M: Total Rest Day – did a lot of whining though

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

W: 8 miles – 5 at goal MP tempo + strength training

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

F: yoga

S: 13.1 trail race + biking

S: 10 miles hiking

Total Running: 33 miles + 10 hiking

Last week started with a lot of nervousness and hesitation. I was having a nerve-like pain going down the outside of both of my legs causing weakness that felt almost like my legs were going to buckle out. It was very strange and not anything I’d ever felt before. I was supposed to hit some pretty high mileage last week, but since I had a race, and this weird pain, I decided to cool it and air on the side of caution.

As usual, my easy days were a struggle and my tempo run was fantastic (why is easy so hard?!). Even though I was having the weird feeling in my legs, I still held the pace fine and without too much effort on my lungs. This gave me a lot of confidence that a 9:00/mi pace will be okay at Colfax. I started to wonder if this feeling in my legs is just mental (I’m still not entirely sure that it’s not).

On Thursday I went for my sports massage. I gotta say, that was an incredible experience. The massage therapist tortured my legs for a while, but at the end asked me if I knew that I tend to kick my right foot out to the side while I run (he could tell by the “imbalances” in my muscles on that leg). Of course, I did know all about this. I’ve seen it in pictures and video of my running. Basically, he made a total believer in me of sports massage and of his knowledge of anatomy. It definitely helped the weakness and pain in my legs a lot, but it didn’t take it completely away. While practicing yoga, I came out of a handstand a little funny and felt it again, so it’s not gone, but it certainly got better.

I took a day off heading into my race on Saturday and was feeling reasonably refreshed. The race was AWESOME and those of you who follow me on twitter already know what happened. I’ll save the story for my race recap. But I will leave you with this photo:

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So… that happened. 😉

Frank and I went biking after the race for a few hours and then camped at a state park close to the race. The next day I woke up pretty sore, so instead of running, we just hiked about 10 miles through some of the hilly grassland prairie.

This week is the peak of my training. I’ll see how many miles I get in, it really depends on how I am feeling and holding up. I’m getting very excited about the taper, but the last 20-miler is definitely sitting heavy on my mind. My goal is to make it through with healthy legs so I can taper and be ready for Colfax in less than 4 weeks (really?!?).

Congrats to everyone that ran Boston yesterday! I hope you had a great time!

How do you mentally prepare for really high mileage weeks? Do you look forward to the taper?

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Colfax Training Week 13: Not the best week

Well… not all weeks are great and that’s ok! And this week was super NOT great. I was tired, I struggled to hit my paces and mileages, and I was just feeling a little over trained. So, I did what you do when your body is saying “I’ve had enough”. I backed off. I cut my mileage and intensity back and tried to give my body a much needed rest. I am learning that in order to make it to the starting line of a marathon HEALTHY, sometimes you need to back off and not hit your weekly goals. Unfortunately, I am still feeling a little over trained. I don’t know how to explain it, but I am sore… even on rest days and even after rest days. I just feel… off and my legs hurt like all the time. So, I’ve decided to do what the elites do… I am getting a sports massage. I made the appointment for Thursday and after talking to a few local runners, it sounds like it is going to help me a lot. Right now I am just in maintenance mode and hoping to not loose any fitness heading into the marathon. Despite the fact that I am in the highest mileage weeks I’ve ever run, I am going to take it easy, sleep more, eat better and hope to make it to the starting line in one piece.

Last Week

Monday: Went out for 9 – did 3 – easy pace

Tuesday: Went out for 8 – did 6 – easy pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 8 miles Goal MP Tempo (actually went fast)

Friday: 7 miles easy pace on trail

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Went out for 16 – did 11 – LSD

Total: 35 miles …Ugh!

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Friday was just a beautiful day for a trail run.

What a poopy week. I felt great for my tempo runs (tempo runs are always my favorite), but everything else just felt off. I took things slow and tried so hard to hit my mileages. I just couldn’t. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be due to anemia, but I can’t make it to the doctor this week, so I’ll have to wait to get a confirmation. In the mean time, I’ve been eating lots of spinach, iron and vitamin C supplements, and (gross) tomatoes to up my iron and vitamin C with non-animal sources. Unfortunately, iron deficiency isn’t going to just go away in a day, so I’ll have to keep at it to make it to the starting line feeling fresh.

That’s basically it… I’m desperately trying to make myself feel normal again, not weak, achy and tired. If you have any suggestions, feel free to shout them out. I am 5 weeks out from Colfax and just two more weeks until the taper begins. I am so close that I can feel it. I just need to keep my body healthy and ready to run on May 15th.

This Saturday I do have a trail half marathon. It will be the furthest I’ve ever run on trail and should be a ton of fun. I’m going to take it easy and chill. My goal for this race is to have a personal worst in the half marathon. Weird goal, right? Well, all of my halves have been on road, which is always MUCH easier than trail. If I push myself to get below a 2 hour half, I think I will pay for it heading into my peak week. So the goal is to have fun and run the slowest half I’ve ever run! I think it’s a great goal!

Here’s a pic of Elly sleeping:

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She is the most beautiful creature on this planet.

Have you ever dealt with Anemia? How do you keep your iron levels normal? Have you ever dabbled in vegetarianism?

Thinking Out Loud: 20 thoughts I had running 20 miles

Last week I conquered the 20-mile distance for the first time. It was hard and ridiculous, but I finished it. I still have one more 20-miler left before the taper, but at least I know what to expect now. Since it was such an interesting experience, this week for Thinking Out Loud, I am going to list 20 thoughts that went through my mind while I ran. I was having a lot of trouble shutting my brain off and it was going a little wild. I imagine I will have even more fun thoughts while I run Colfax, but for now, here are 20 thoughts I had running my first 20-miler.

  1. Holy crap! 20 miles is so far… I wouldn’t drive that far if I could help it.
  2. I really hope the Hansons are wrong and this 20-miler isn’t going to kill me.
  3. Why did that person just pass me? Clearly they must NOT be running 20 miles.
  4. Oh, I am totally going to own this marathon.
  5. 20 miles isn’t that far.
  6. It’s so nice and wonderful out. I love running.
  7. Why do I do this to myself? I hate running.
  8. Sing it P!nk!! (while listening to So What)
  9. Almost half way!! Not too bad.
  10. Oh no… I’m only half way.
  11. Elly knows where it’s at! I should be sleeping next to her.
  12. Make it to 13.1 and you can eat some really gross Gu.
  13. YEAH!!! EAT THE REALLY GROSS GU!!!
  14. So, this would be the second half of the marathon. I can totally do this!
  15. Why did I route myself to a hill on the 15th mile?
  16. I am circumnavigating Manhattan… I am like Magellan. I bet he couldn’t run 20 miles.
  17. Oh F*ck… Why do I do this to myself? There is no way I can run a marathon.
  18. Tell me I can do this… I can do this. Tell me I can do this… I can do this.
  19. I am the hungriest person in the world.
  20. I just ran 20 miles!!!! Marathon training is the best!!!!

At least I know I can run 20 miles! I think at the end of it, I could have run 6.2 more… if I had to. Seriously, though, I wouldn’t want to.

This is what Elly was doing while I ran:

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That’s one passed out kitty!

Thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting the linkup!

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What thoughts go through your head while you run long?

Colfax Training Week 12: Tired

Another week done… Each day it is getting more and more real, and I can feel it. I know that I am almost ready to run the Colfax Marathon, but I’m tired and training is hard. This week really upped it a lot. I had a race pace tempo run, mile repeats, and a 20-mile long run. The rest was easy mileage, but I’m starting to feel like running is anything BUT easy. The training is pushing me to my edge, and so close to past it, I sometimes get super worried about injury. I am still hitting my paces, but I am tired, sore, and feeling ready to just go run this thing. I guess that’s just how marathon training feels, though. I’m almost (3 weeks) to the taper. This is it… this is where it counts.

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A selfie taken during my mile repeats.

Here is my week:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 8 miles at Goal MP (8:55/mi)

Wednesday: 6 miles easy pace

Thursday: 6.2 miles easy pace on trail

Friday: 20 miles Long (9:26/mi)

Saturday: Hiking

Sunday: 8 miles – 4 x 1 mile at 8:00/mi

Total: 48.2

Wow… Over 48 miles was an unfathomable distance before I started this training. I just can’t believe that I am hitting numbers like that. This week was so tough. I started off tired from Questival and had trouble even getting out the door. Once I was running, things would quickly feel better. My goal MP tempo run seemed impossible before I started, but once I got into a grove, it was fine.

The run at Konza Prairie was refreshing… it was nice to be out in nature. But the wind was blowing and making every step a little tougher and with no tree cover, wind can be rough on the prairie.

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This is only 10 minutes out of town, but it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.

I spent the whole week dreading my 20-miler. It was my first time conquering that distance, and it was tough. Going further than 18 seemed like a stretch, and I definitely had a few moments of struggle. I think I took it a little too fast, and boy was I sore the next day. It took a lot out of me, but I got it done. But seriously, I am considering the Hanson’s method for Chicago after that torture-fest.

I ended the week with mile repeats just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful out, and it was really one of those “I’m happy that I’m a runner” moments. Say what you want about Kansas, but sunsets are the best here (and I’m from Florida).

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Beautiful sunset on the Linear Trail while I ran.
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The trail takes me right by the river. So pretty!

There are only two more tough weeks ahead of me. This coming week should top out at the big-50. I have a 16-mile long run in there and a bit of tempo and speed work. The following week is a cutback with a trail half marathon in Lawrence, KS (super excited). The week after the half is my peak week. I’ll have 55 miles of running, a 20-miler, and some tempo running. If I survive that, I think I made it. It’ll be all taper, all the way to the starting line.

So, I’m almost there. I just have to keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time.

How do you feel towards the end of marathon training? How was your week?

Colfax Marathon Training Week 11: Cutback and Questival

Happy Monday Everyone!!

This week was a bit of a nutty one, although it was a cutback week on my mileage. I gotta say, I wasn’t too sad about not running once I saw a bunch of snow in our forecast. I absolutely hate running in snow. Even though I cut back in mileage this week, I still had a “race” of sorts to do on Friday night/Saturday. I kept the mileage this week low because Frank and I participated in a 24-hour adventure race in Dallas with two of our friends, which included a lot of running. Even though we were out-of-towners (we live in Manhattan, KS which is about 7 hours from Dallas), we still rocked the race. Recap will be coming soon… but trust me, it was pretty weird.

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The Batllama Questival Team – only like 3 hours in and Ben is already asleep.

Monday: 5.5 Miles at Recovery Pace + Yoga

After a long day of work, I did an evening run with a few friends that are training for their first half marathon. We kept it slow and steady, especially since I was recovering from a pretty tough tempo session the day before. My legs felt a little heavy and overused, so I knew that this cutback week was going to serve me well.

Tuesday: 5.1 Miles at Goal Half Marathon Pace + Yoga

I felt good starting on this run, but I started to notice some pretty nasty stomach pain that I was having. I didn’t think too much of it and just kept chugging along. Eventually, it just got too bad and I dipped into the local running store to use their bathroom. Unfortunately, I had my period… Weird for me to be a few days early, but whatevs (sorry for the TMI, but we’re all runners here… and mostly women). I was happy to see that the stomach issues were not actually stomach related. I tried to up the pace and get back to my car ASAP. I did a little yoga in the evening and that made me feel a lot better.

Wednesday: Rest Day

 Thursday: 12 mile Long Run

I guess when you get to the point where you are doing 18 and 20 mile runs, 12 miles just doesn’t seem that far. This run didn’t even feel like a long run. I kept the pace slow, but was surprised by how short 12 miles felt. Like seriously, 12 miles used to be ridiculously long!! Now, it’s just a normal no big deal run. The pace was a little faster than I would have liked. Around mile 6, the KSU men’s cross country team came up from behind me and took off into the distance. My competitive spirit kicked in a little and I upped the pace to keep up (like yeah right)… after about a half mile I tried to slow it way down. It took me another mile or so to get my pacing right and I kept it slow for the rest of the way home.

Friday: Questival Begins

I have no idea how much running I was doing, but we were running from challenge to challenge. We also slept for maybe two hours. I am going to write a full recap of this soon, but this is a short list of some of the more crazy things that happened:

  1. This picture:
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When dragonflies attack?

2. A cop coming to kick us out of a state park after dark – while we were having a peanut butter explosion in the car

3. I sang Bohemian Rhapsody in the middle of down town Dallas with my headphones in as loud as I could and embarrassed my entire team (this was a liberating experience)

4. I ran 1 mile on a trail in one of my nicest dresses

5. We cheered on a random baseball team with signs and everything at a city park

I’ll give you that much for now… more to come in the recap, but we did like over 50 things.

Saturday: Questival Ends (7 pm), 3.5 mile run at easy pace + 1 mile trail run (in a dress)

After running in a dress, I understand why running clothing companies make their clothes the way they do. After only one mile, I felt sticky and incredibly gross. Frank and I also ran 3.5 miles on the KATY trail through downtown Dallas. This is a beautiful trail and if you are ever in Dallas, you should check it out.

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Team Batllama getting up close and personal with a statue of Mark Twain

Sunday: Hiked and Drove Home

After a long day, we camped in a state park in Oklahoma and went hiking the next morning. Pretty uneventful.

Total Miles: 27 + running around for Questival

Overall, it was a nice and easy week of running. I think I got my sleep schedule back on track, so this week will be back up to high mileage. I have my first 20-miler on Friday. I am a little nervous because this week and the next one are pretty intense on the mileage. If I make it through this… I am basically there. I’ll only have one recovery and one last tough week before starting the taper. Seriously… this whole Marathon thing is getting very real!!

How was your week? Did you race this weekend? How do you usually feel at peak marathon training?

Colfax Marathon Training Week 10: Things are going great!

Woohoo! Another week in the books for marathon training and it was another great one. Surprisingly, higher mileage is feeling really good on my legs. I’m rarely sore (only after speed workouts or hard tempo runs). I’m starting to get better at varying my pace AND I am getting faster. Like a lot faster. It’s amazing what more running does for your speed.

Although I still feel like running a marathon is like a ridiculous joke, it’s starting to feel more possible. My goal has been to go for a sub-4:00 time, but to be totally cool with abandoning that goal on race day if I am just not feeling it. I think that if things keep going the way they have been… a sub-4:00 is well within my reach. Of course, I will reassess as we get closer, but lately I am feeling strong and fast, which are two good things.

This is what Elly was up to this week:

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I woke her up… she was not amused.

Monday: 6 miles easy pace + yoga

I took it easy and just went out for a little loop around town. It was a nice day out, I got to wear shorts AND I was breaking in my new shoes. I love the first few runs in a new pair of running shoes. Everything always feels so wonderful and bouncy.

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Working on some inversions.

Tuesday: 7 miles – Tempo Run at “goal MP”

I’ve been trying to get a better feel for my paces so I really wanted to practice without look at my watch this week. This was the first run that I really commited to it. I wanted to stick to a pace where I felt I could hold it for a super long time, but was still faster than my long run pace (usually between 9:30-9:40/mi). I looked down at my watch only when I finished a mile and I was shocked! The miles were ticking by in the mid-8:00’s and faster. I just kept moving, not pushing hard. My last mile was a sub-8 (7:31)… which has never been an easy pace for me. I figured this was a fluke and figured that the higher mileage is making me more comfortable with my tempo runs.

Wednesday: 5 mile Recovery Run + Yoga

Very chill recovery. I hovered around a 10:00/mi pace. I felt good, but certainly tired, so it was nice to have a slow day.

Thursday: Yoga, no running

 Friday: 18 miles LSD

18 miles is a hard distance for me. I feel like it’s unfathomably far and honestly, farther than I generally like to drive, no less run. I tried to compartmentalize it in my head as a 10 mile run and a separate 8 mile run. I did a long loop around town and made it to my house at mile 13 for a fast drink of water before setting out for the last 5 miles. Normally, I would just drink at the water fountains around town, but they are still off (I decided to harass Manhattan Parks and Rec on twitter to get the fountains turned back on. It worked!!). I kept the last 4 miles at race pace without too much effort, which gave me a ton of confidence!

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Harassing my city on twitter.

Saturday: No Running, just yoga!

Sunday: 9 miles – Tempo Run

No idea what happened here… I went out at a very chill warm up pace and then just kicked it up a few notches at a nice comfortable pace. I figured I was hitting close to goal MP pace (so… 9/mi), but the miles kept getting faster. By mile 5 I was hitting sub-8:00/mi and felt like I could hold this pace forever. I briefly considered running a half marathon to PR, but decided to stick to my original plan and save the PR for a race. Including the warm up, this was at 8:12/mi. I guess it’s runs like these that give you the confidence and mental strength to finish a marathon.

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Crazy splits!!

Total: 45 Miles

 

I ended the week on a huge high point. However, I am very much looking forward to this week’s recovery. I will be hitting between 32-36 miles, which is going to feel amazing after two tough weeks. This weekend I am participating in an adventure race called Questival in Dallas, TX. I think it’s a scavenger hunt or something like that, but all I do know is that it is 24 hours and it’s supposed to be crazy fun. I’ll write a recap after.

Well, there it is. I had a great week. Here’s to hoping this momentum keeps up!!

I recently got a twitter account. Follow me @thisyogiruns or just check out the tweets on the side bar!

How was your weekend? Did anyone race?

Colfax Marathon Week 9: Halfway There

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

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I have reached the halfway point of my training plan. That means the Colfax Marathon is less than 9 weeks away and while I’m certainly not ready to go out and run it tomorrow, I do feel like running it is possible… eventually. I had a great week of training with the highest mileage I’ve ever run. I hit my paces, kept things feeling strong, and ate like everything ever in my house. Seriously, marathon training is bad for my food bill.

In all honesty, I feel like the time has passed way too fast. When I started training, the race felt forever away, but now it’s coming up. My first 20-miler is in about two weeks and things are getting real. In reality, I only have 4 more runs left that are over 14 miles before the taper. It’s amazing how much my definition of “running really far” has changed during this training cycle.

Monday: 6 miles Goal MP Tempo

This was a pretty uneventful run. I kept it at the right pace and it felt easy and short. I went around town and dragged Frank out with me for 3 miles of it. I was still a little sore from the backpacking trip, but my legs warmed up really fast and the soreness went away right after the run. I did some yoga after to keep myself from feeling too tight. That was it. Easy peasy.

Tuesday: 6.2 Hills + Some intervals

I was planning on doing an easy run, but I woke up feeling great. I decided to go out and do some hills and intervals. I warmed up for about a mile, went up and down a pretty sizeable hill four times and then did some intervals on tired legs. I ran around a park near the hill that is just over a quarter of a mile and used that as the interval. I ran 4 times around at a comfortably fast pace (we’ll call it 5k pace) and in between ran around the park at a very easy pace. I managed a negative split on the intervals with my final interval being the fastest, which was impressive given how tired my legs were feeling from the hills. I ran home to cool down.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy

This was just a chill run at a chill pace. I didn’t feel sore from the day before, so this felt nice and easy. I decided after to go to my friend’s fitness class, where she subsequently kicked my butt using kettle bells. I must say, I was not meant to be a weight lifter! I did some yoga after to stretch out so I wouldn’t be sore the next day.

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Bit of a gloomy day

Thursday: Rest! Did some yoga though

 Friday: 8 miles Goal MP Tempo

I went for a 1 mile warm up and then did 6 miles at goal MP. There were some hickups here or there because I was going over a hilly area of town, but I basically kept the pace controlled and close to pace. In the middle of the run, my mom called, so I talked to her while I ran. I’m pretty sure everyone running by thought I was insane, but whatevs. It’s like having a running partner when you run while talking on the phone!

Saturday: 16 miles LSD

Always the most important and hardest to get out the door run of the week. I went out in the morning despite the gloomy weather to check out some new terrain around town. I went down a few roads I had never seen, which turned out to be kind of hilly. Overall, it was a pretty good run, however, I did have a weird pain in my foot. I decided afterwards to retire the shoes (I have no idea how many miles were on them) and switch them out for the shiny new pair in my closet. So far, everything feels great again!

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Frank came for a few miles on his bike and snapped this pic.
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Check out these shiny new shoes!!!

Sunday: Rest – Went camping Saturday night and hiking Sunday morning!

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Frank and Ben hanging by the campfire

Total Mileage: 42 miles (Holy Cow!!)

So there you have it! I had my biggest week yet and it is followed by another big week… but so far everything is going great. Luckily I do have nice cut back coming up and I am looking forward to it!

How has your St. Pats day been? Do you have plans to celebrate tonight (I will be hanging out with a few friends as their DD, since I am afraid any amount of alcohol is going to completely derail my training)?