Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 17 Recap: Long Run Completed!

Weekly Miles: 21
Miles Run: 18

I ran 4 miles Tuesday on the treadmill @ work - not fun at all.  I will have to try to get to the lake to run since the weather is perfect for it.  I almost got hit by a car crossing Lake Shore Drive the last time I ran outside at work so I've been avoiding it.  Plus, the bikers along the path scare the shit out of me.  I will have to make peace with this since I like to run at work so I can get it done and relax when I get home.

I ran 6 miles Thursday night outside around my neighborhood.  I decided that I despise running on sidewalk since it hurts my IT bands like no other.  I was OK up until about 4 miles and then my right ITB started hurting.  The pain traveled down to my shin and I had to slow down on the way back.  Also, I have no discipline whatsoever to maintain a slower pace and I averaged in the low 9s for 6 miles.  This is probably why my IT hurt as well, but eh, I wanted to just get it done since the new Grey's was coming on at 8!  Wow, what a crazy start to the season, but I digress... ;-)

On Friday, I used the elliptical at work just to get the legs moving and to DO SOMETHING.  I used it for 30 minutes and watched some crazy shit on Maury.  I cannot believe that people are stupid enough to go on that show.  It was not a "Who's my baby's Daddy episode?" but instead this:  "I Want To Marry You, But You Have To Take a Lie Detector Test First" episode.

Oh, the drama!!  This one woman's fiancĂ© cheated on her with multiple women when she was pregnant with his child!  Another man lied to his baby's momma about his real age AND his real name!  The horrors!  Oh, and this other stupid lady accused her cement truck driver fiance of cheating on her while on the road.  Spoiler alert: he passed all the test with flying colors!  In your face stupid lady!!

But, again, I DIGRESS....

Weekend long run: 8 easy miles.  A girl from high school who ran cross-country and track with me was there so we ran together and chatted along the way, which was super nice.  My legs felt pretty good though just tired at the end.  My IT didn't act up as much as it did on Thursday's run either, which was a big relief.

I talked to a bunch of other runners about my situation and how I felt super screwed for the marathon since I failed to do the 20 miler, a 12 mile run the weekend after and just haven't been on top of the training runs as much as I could have been.  A lot of people said that I'd finish, but I don't know if that was just to be nice to me.  Another runner asked me how many 20 milers I completed and I said 0.  He gave me an awful look and said that it'd be difficult for me to finish. And, he's right about that.

But, at this point last year, I had come off a bad 10K in Buffalo Grove, a bad (almost didn't break 2 hours) half marathon in Chicago and an OK, but not as good as I wanted 10K in Highland Park.

I took some time off from the running and ran a 5K in October (and almost PR'd - though someone said the course was short) and went to Big Sur, ran the half and almost got a PR.  So, maybe all this added rest is good for me.  Maybe I'll be energized and ready to run the marathon next Sunday.

I thought about it some more and I really would be super upset with myself if I didn't at least show up and give myself a chance to finish the run.  I think a lot of my worries are in my head.  A lot of running and racing is mental.  And, right now, my mental attitude is in the trashcan.  I've got to get it out of there and start thinking positive thoughts.  Otherwise, I'll never finish.

I've been working hard this summer - despite not finishing all the runs.  I would hate to let all that work go to waste simply because I have a bad attitude about the race.  If I don't finish, I don't finish, but at least I can say that I tried my best.  Simply not showing up would be running away from it and I don't want to do that.  I have to do this.  Completing a marathon has been a goal of mine since I started running competitively again in 2010.

Hopefully I can do this!

If anyone has any last minute tips, tricks, advice or words of encouragement, feel free to shoot them my way!

Week 16 Recap

I failed to get Week 16's long run done for this:

And, guess what - I don't regret it one bit. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Week 15 Recap: So I Want to Bail on the Marathon...

The marathon is only a few weeks away and I'm debating on bailing out and not running the race.

My training hasn't gone as well as I would like it to.  And, I missed the crucial 20 mile run, which was on September 16th.  And, to be honest, I missed it for no good reason at all.  I just didn't feel like running it so I didn't.  I didn't even attempt to make up for it and run 20 miles at home by myself.  Nope, I skipped that completely.

And, do I feel bad about it?  Yes, in the sense that I'm screwed for the marathon.  My longest runs have been 18.5 miles and 18 miles.  I ran the 18 back in the beginning of the month.

However, I don't feel bad about it because the things I put ahead of my running were more important to me.  Those things I put ahead of running needed to be done.  And I feel better that I did them.

I read a bunch of stuff on the running forums of people who also missed their 20 mile runs and it seems like running 20 is a mental thing - achieving the distance - knowing that you ran that far and that long. If you run 20, you can run 26.2.  However, there are people than only ran 18 (or even less) and managed to run 26.2.  Whether or not they ran it with issue is one thing, but nevertheless, they were able to finish the run.

In all honestly, I don't care about my time anymore.  There's no way I'm going to achieve my time goal with my inability to get my rear in gear and train properly.  Plus, I'm not even sure if I can say that I will finish since my ITBs are a mess.

I didn't run or do my exercises for 5 days and they were super tight.  My PT massaged them and rolled them out on Tuesday and they hurt so bad after.  Ugh.

This week, I've run 9.05 miles Tuesday night and another 5.02 Thursday night.  I'm going to attempt to get up early and run before the Bears game.  But then again, sleeping in and making sure I'm rested for the game probably is a better idea than waking up at the ass crack of dawn to get some mileage in.

My Sunday morning run, at this point, is a game time decision.  We'll see how tonight goes.

And, as for the marathon, eh, I paid for it so I'm still planning on showing up.  I mean, I would really be super upset with myself if I didn't give it a try.  If my ITBs start acting up and throwing off my gait, then I will consider bagging it and dropping out of the race.  But, hopefully I'll be able to make it.

The weather looks like it'll be good so hopefully I'll be able to finish.  But honestly, I don't really know if I want to anymore.

Anyone who knows me has heard me talk about running a marathon and how it's something that I REALLY want to do.  However, I don't know if I feel the same way about it anymore.  Right now, I want it to be October 8th so the marathon will be all over.

I hope to run it and finish, but honestly, with my lack of training and poor attitude, I'm not sure if I can do this.

What do you all think?  Any suggestions on what I should do or can do?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week 14 Updates: Cut Back Week!

"I don't know what I've been told
marathon training puts my life on hold
No more drinking at the bar
Because I have to run very far."

Creative, huh?  One woman in my group told us that we should create a chant for our pace group.  That was my suggestion.

Program Mileage: 33
Miles Run: 26

I felt good about this week despite not running all the miles.  First of all, it's a cut back week and I ran 18 miles for the long run last week.  That's my second time at 18, which is my longest distance ever run.  And, I only did 12/14 today, but I hauled it on the last 1.5 miles with a few other runners so I felt like I worked hard enough.

I ran 5 miles Tuesday night after work and that went well.  I ran around my old neighborhood, which was good.  It was nice to see my old stomping ground.  I took it a little too fast and averaged 9:13 per mile.  Oops.

I ran 9 miles Wednesday night after work and that was more challenging.  My average was 10:10 per mile, but that was all over the place.  I started out too quickly, got into a rhythm in the middle of the run and petered out at the end and struggled to get home.  By struggle I mean 11+ minute miles for 1.92 miles.  It was getting hot and dark.  And, I was tired.

The weather was PERFECT for this morning's run.  It was in the upper 50s when we started and it isn't even 70 out there right now.  This is my favorite type of weather for running.  I've always preferred to run when it's cooler since it's easier for me to breathe that way.  I'd take cold and even rain over the heat any day.  Hopefully this will be the weather for marathon day, but I doubt it.  It's been hot the past few years so I'm thinking that it could be the same.

But, I've already established my goal as just to finish so hopefully I'll ease up on myself a bit.  I'd love to break 4:30 in my debut marathon, but there are so many factors that I can't control that go along with race day.  So, it may or may not be my day.  Plus, if I don't break it, I'll have even more incentive to keep up my training so that I'm able to do so.  And, if I break it, I can work on improving my time for the next one.

Next week is going to be CRAZY!  We have our 20 mile run on Sunday.  It's an organized run in Chicago and we run along the Lakefront Path.  I'm looking forward to it, but I'm nervous for it as well. For our midweek runs, we have 5 Tuesday, 10 Wednesday (this will be difficult) and 5 Thursday.  I have an appointment Wednesday evening, but I may try to move it back so I can get my run it.  Otherwise, a couple runners were thinking about meeting at Old School on Thursday evening to get the run done.  We shall see how this week goes.

PT and ITB wise, things are OK.  My ITB/right knee really hurt after the 9 mile run so I took off on Thursday and didn't run.  I felt somewhat guilty, but I didn't want to risk it.

Overall, good week of running and can't wait to see what next week brings.  20 will be my longest run ever!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Running Without a Watch

So, we're into Week 14 of marathon training and I have a confession to make.  I haven't gotten a running watch yet.  Nor do I carry my cellphone or track our weekly long runs with a running app of any kind.

And guess what - I kinda like it!

I feel very free and liberated without the watch and the constant reminder of my time and distance.  I'm that type of person that will stare at the distance and the time.  Then, I get these ideas in my head about a certain time I should be running the distance in and in turn, I put some pressure on myself to run faster, which at times, does more harm to my body than good.

Take for example, this week - I ran 5 miles on Tuesday (9:13 pace per mile) and 9 miles on Wednesday (10:10 per mile).  Today, my right knee was very sore and stiff so I decided to rest instead of run.  I don't feel bad since I did run 14 and our long run Saturday is 14.  So, that's not too bad.

But, anyway, my reasoning for not wearing a watch is this:

This is my first marathon.  So, my goal truly should be to finish.  I learned my lesson after my first half marathon.  I set a goal for myself of sub-2 hours and was disappointed when I finished in 2:05:10.  I felt terrible at the end of the run.  I would have felt a lot better and proud of my accomplishment had my goal simply been to finish.

If I have the watch on, I'll be staring at it and I will be focused on the time and the distance as opposed to simply enjoying my first marathon experience.

This way, I'm literally taking the pressure off myself by not putting a watch on.  We'll see how this works out.

My marathon plan is to try my best to hang with my pace leaders to finish around 4:25 and there will be clocks along the way so that will help.  And, I'll have my phone so if I really want to track it then I can.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 12 Update: Long Run Success!

Weekly Mileage: 36
Total Miles Run: 33

I woke up at 3:24 Tuesday morning and panicked.  I was stressed out about the upcoming weekly runs since I had failed to get them done the previous week.  Plus, I crapped out on a 12 mile run and definitely wasn't too thrilled about Saturday's 18 mile run.  Anyway, I laid in bed for a while then got up at 4:00 and was out of the house by 4:30 to complete my run.

Running in the early morning hours sure does have its advantages.  No one is around so the streets are all yours.  I ran on the street just because it'd be flatter and hopefully no acorns or other items would be on the ground for me to roll my ankle on.  Plus, the weather is much cooler!  I really hate this heat!  It's almost September and temperatures are still in the 90s!  I'm really worried that the marathon will be hot, but that's another story for another day.  Anyway, at 4:30 the temperature was in the high 50s to low 60s, which is PERFECT for running.  I was proud of myself for being disciplined enough to get it done.

On Wednesday, I put my big girl panties on and ran at lunch.  I decided to run 5 miles since I definitely could not get in 9 during my lunch hour (I'm not that fast at all).  I ran along the lake and was deceived by the somewhat cool air and breeze that was around where I work.  By the time I got to the lake, it was super hot and the path has almost no shade whatsoever.  The last mile was a struggle.  And, my running app crapped out and I ended up running 5.14 miles instead of 5.0 like I had wanted.  Stupid me forgot a hat, water and my SpiBelt to carry my ID.  Oops.  Again, I would have done this run indoors, but our gym is being renovated so that was out of the question.  Plus, I took the time to bring my clothes and shoes to work so I took advantage of that.  Again, I was proud of myself for getting the run done despite the sweltering heat.

On Thursday, I ran 6 miles on the treadmill at the gym since it was still hot when I got home from work.  I ran 3, had to bathroom, went to the bathroom and ran another 3.  I could have run more, but it was already past 8pm so I figured 6 would be good enough.  6 is better than 0.

The long run this morning was AWESOME!  I ran a little over 18 miles and felt good about the run.  We had about 18 people in our group this morning.  The majority of the group ran 20 miles, but I decided to just run 18.  I think there were 5 of us that ran 18.  I felt good enough to push the pace a little for the last 1.5 miles of the run.  It also helped that we definitely did not run 10 minute mile pace for a few of those miles.  I was honestly OK with that as well since I just wanted to get the distance in and most importantly, feel good after the run.

My dad also completed his longest run ever - I think he may have gotten lost on the way back since he fell off the pace of his group.  He might have run a little closer to 19, but he had to do a run/walk for the last 3 miles.  I'm proud of him for doing all these long runs and I know that he will definitely do a marathon some day - probably next year!

Post run, I felt OK - the legs were a little stiff and still are still - I ate, took a nap and took a shower.  Now, I can enjoy the long weekend knowing that my run went well.  And, we have a cut back week next week and it will be a 14 mile run for me.  Hopefully I can stay on the boat with the weekly runs as well.

Lesson learned: I need to go through my morning routine in the morning in order to have a good run.  I need to eat, drink some water and make sure I go to the bathroom.  It also helped that the weather today was far cooler than last week.

More to come soon!