No words of wisdom today. I just thought I’d give an update on how my Marathon training is going. The start line is marching closer and starting to loom in the visible distance. I have all of 2 months and 1 week before I suit up and go toe to toe at the start line of the Flying Pig Marathon. That means 7 more weeks of heavy running before I hit Taper Town. YIKES!
To that end, I am starting to tick off the ‘BIG RUNS” of the program. I am following the Hal Higdon 3 program that is set up for 3 days a week of running. Its a stretch to be able to get in enough miles in only 3 days a week, but its what I have so there ya go. I generally begin the week with a modest run, end the week with a long run, and get in a shorter run ( 3-4 miles) a day after the long run. The Big Daddy runs were made up of a 17 mile run, 18 mile run, 20 mile run, 23 mile run, and a final 20 mile run before taper.
Last week I ran 6 miles, 6 miles, and then on Saturday I ran 2 miles at a race, then came home and ran 17…it was a nasty run, and I had o run intervals just to finish, but I ran a grand total of 19 miles for that day.
This week was supposed to start with a 9 mile run, but I felt good and ran 10. Friday was to be my 18 mile run. It was 34 degrees that morning and I really had to pry myself out of bed. Once I got going though, I ran really well. Apparently I am a cold weather runner trapped in a tropical climate zone…who knew??? My legs revved up from the beginning and I ran well. I felt great until I hit 14 miles. From that point on, I felt every inch of every last mile. My feet started to feel bruised, my quads and glutes and hip joints started barking. At mile 17 I got a small second wind and decided to go just a bit farther and make it a 19 mile run instead of the prescribed 18. Not only that, but I managed to slice 10 minutes from last week’s long run! Once I got home, I had time to quickly stretch, shower and limp on through my day. No rest for the weary, or the mother runner!
I cannot deny though, that I was feeling really beat from mile 14-17. It makes sense, my body has been trained to run 13.1 maximum miles. Once I run over that it tries to send up a white flag. The trick from here out, will be to let my brain override my body’s desire to quit, but not to push myself past my actual ability to run. This is a razor’s edge line once the miles pile up past 18. I am in that yellow zone of training where many runners’ bodies break down rather than continue to build up. I am trying to run my long runs at a relatively easy pace, and listen for any serious pings or engine knocks along to way. These are uncharted shark filled waters, and I have to be careful not to get injured this close to my goal.
I am still a bit sore a day after that long run. Honestly though, I am no more sore ( and perhaps less) than I was after my first half marathon race. It used to take me 3-4 days after a half marathon before I could even think of running again, now I am feeling run ready in 1-2. I am however, sore in different places. It used to be my calf muscles and shins that seized up after a long run. Now I find its my upper legs, quads, glutes, and hips. I hope this means I have conditioned my lower legs sufficiently and am now moving on to whipping my upper legs into shape. At any rate, its a familiar ache and day-after limp…just in new places.
Next week I get a nice lower mileage week. I have a 6 mile run, then a 10 K race ( which I am planning to run slowly as a training run), wrapping up the week will be a 10 mile race followed by 3 additional miles that day. I will follow that with another week of similar mileage before I tackle my very first 20 mile run (eek!).
So far I have only missed a run or two here and there, and never one of my long runs. The mileage is getting long, and it is getting tough to find enough road to run on in familiar neighborhoods…and convenient yet clean public restrooms to use. It is also a challenge to engage my brain for 3-4 hours at a time. I have however conquered 2 of the 5 big runs in the plan, so that is progress!
Anyway, enough of my ramble! Gotta run :)!