Sunday, August 3, 2014

Marathon Training Week 4 Recap

     This week was a little off for me.  The heat and the humidity on a couple of the runs, 17 miles on the long run and almost skipping a day has really tested me this week.  I wouldn't say I couldn't handle it, I could, it just ended up being a little rough and tested my resolve.  One day I almost skipped all together and a couple of times I kept saying I can cut a mile or two off this run and it won't make a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  Every time I had that thought, I told myself to just keep on pushing, just one more mile and your done.  I am happy to say I managed to get in all the miles I scheduled myself this week and didn't let a single excuse get in the way.

     Phew it was a hot one.  It was a sticky one with the humidity.  Thunderstorms were foretasted for today and the sky sure looked like it, but no rain ever came during my run.  In fact not only did it not rain but the clouds broke and the sun came out, which made it a lot worse.  There wasn't a breeze, mix that with the humidity and boy did this run suck.  I was extremely tired so I slept in and didn't hit the road till a little after 11.  My fault for waiting so long to head out so I can't really complain about it.  My training plan said I should do today as an easy run but I really wanted to do a race pace run this morning.  I wasn't sure which way I was going to go, but once I finished that first mile I was feeling to good to back down.  I sped up, hit my race pace window and kept on moving.  I remembered to take water with me this time and I am glad I did because I used every drop on this one.  I was also suppose to slow back down to an easy pace for the last mile, but screw it, I wanted to finish strong.  Now I'll take tomorrow off and then Tuesday is an easy run so I am gonna give the new shoes another go.

    Day off!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

     It was quite a cool this morning.  Once I got running and got my body temp up I felt pretty good, but my hands were a little cold and I could have used at least some thin gloves to wear.  Today's run was at my easy pace and I was doing quite well with my pace until I hit mile three.  I ended up having to slow down a little because I got a side stitch.  Just as my stitch seemed to go away I got a little GI pain during mile 4.  It kinda felt like some gas pressure built up and I wasn't able to release it.  Eventually it went away and I was able to get back to my normal pace and finish the last mile strong.  I wore my new shoes again and they worked great.  So far I have no complaints with them and my feet have been quite happy with them.

     Sore is the only word that comes to mind when I think about how I feel right now.  Today I had my longest run yet, and as great as I feel I am so glad next week is a set back week to allow my body to rest a little.  Seventeen miles sure is a long way and to think that I just got done running that truly amazes me.
     Last night I mapped out my route using the course function at  Its a great little tool that allows you to draw your route on a map and gives you the mileage and elevation changes.  I don't want to finish to far from home and I don't want to get back home only to have to head back out because I didn't get enough miles so by using the course creator I know exactly where to go so I finish right back at my house.  I also checked the weather as thunderstorms were forecast for today.  I new I would be out for almost 3 hours so I got up a little earlier so I could finish by noon and stay ahead of any potential weather, which didn't show up till almost 6:00. 
      I got all packed up and ready to go and noticed it was mostly overcast and the temp was still quite cool.  Last week when I took off, even though I held a steady pace it felt tough to get any pace much below the 10 minute per mile mark, today it felt so much easier and was actually hard to keep my pace slow.  My body just kept wanting to go faster and I had to fight it most of the run.

     My run got a little slow around mile 6; I seemed to have taken a funny step because my ankle began to hurt.  I tried pushing through it and slowed my pace down.  The pain wasn't more than a 4 on a scale of ten so I pushed on and eventually the pain vanished.  Mile 10 was the other time things got a little slow for me.  I think my legs were just trying to get me to say hey its ok to quit or take a little break, but I pushed through and ignored them.  I was also proud of myself for maintaining a nice steady pace in the middle of my run while I was listening to a podcast.  If you remember last time I did this my pace fell off quite a bit and had to shut off the podcast and put my music back on to recover my pace.  I listened to the entire 45 minute podcast and only slowed a couple of seconds per mile.  

     I am happy to report that the Clif Shot Bloks are working quite well for me.  So far I have not had any GI issues and I have been able to get down every one I attempt to eat.  As of now I have been eating one blok every 2 miles and taking a drink immediately after swallowing it.  The one thing I notice this time is at around 2 and a half hours my stomach was grumbling a little telling me I was starting to get really hungry.  I may need to rethink my strategy a little bit and consider adding a more tradition food to my fueling strategy.  

     Once I hit mile 15 I was again breaking new ground as I went 2 miles further than I ever had before.   To top it off, those were my two fastest miles out of the whole run.  I decided to take the governor off and not worry how fast or slow I was going and just go with what felt good.  It was nice to see I could go faster on tired legs!

     Nothing major to report, legs obviously still felt tired following yesterday's long run.  Mandy's work had a company picnic at a Toledo Mud Hens game.  It was nice to just kick back and enjoy ourselves.  They were serving chicken, hotdogs, burgers, chips, cookies, the worst most tasteless mac n cheese I have ever had and an open bar.  I kept to the chicken and had one ball park dog, a few chips and tried the mac n cheese.  While we were enjoying the game a rouge rain cloud came over and poured on us, luckily Mandy and my seats were under the second level overhang.  As the rain quit a double rainbow appeared behind the scoreboard.
     I will tell you this right now, the next time I get up to go run on a cool morning and my body says no way, wait till the evening to run I am gonna kick my own ass.  I woke up this morning and my body just kept saying no please no.  I wasn't sore or anything I was just tired and couldn't bring myself to go do my speed work.  All day I told myself I was just going to skip, that is till I got home and I just said screw it, go get it done.  I tell you speed work is the worst when you are doing it but you feel so good after you are done.  Now the reason for the opening line is because despite what the image of the weather conditions below says it was super humid and I was sweating my ass off compared to the nice cool morning I could have ran in.  The run went pretty well considering I was on my feet all day at work.  The first two miles were going well and then all my energy seemed to disappear and miles three and four were a total struggle.  I managed to push through on the last mile and turn out a decent time.  

          I wore my new shoes for this run and no issues with them.  I will be trying them out on my race pace run tomorrow, if they work well then I am going to make them my main shoe and use my high mileage shoes for the easy runs.  This mornings run was pretty uneventful.  My legs were still pretty tired from last nights tempo run and I couldn't seem to get my pace to settle down.  I felt like cutting the last mile off of my run, but of course I didn't.  I told myself to go just a half mile further and I can turn around. 

Week 5 begins now

* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the Running In The Fat Lane header

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