Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Marathon Training Week #5 – Don’t Want No Short, Short Course

Workouts, then blahblahblah…

Last Week:
Monday: Reverse Ladders (1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m (@ 8-8:30) with 200m recovery in between @ 12) + crunchtime
Tuesday: 30 mins bike hills, yoga
Wednesday: 7 mile L tempo (9:45 min/mi)
Thursday: off (yoga/stretching)
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: Azle Half Marathon!!! (…err 11.25 miles?)
Sunday: off

This Week:
Monday: Hill repeats (6x 1/3 mile 3% incline @ 10 min/miles, flat at same pace/same distance) + crunchtime
Tuesday: 30 mins bike hills, yoga
Wednesday: 5 mile M tempo
Thursday: 30 min swim + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 16 mile run morning, Warrior Dash afternoon
Sunday: off

Weight: still 175.  Bleh.  However, it’s the week where I expect not to lose so it’s fine.  I’ll get angry if I’m not getting lower next week.  I did also eat a few not-so-good things this weekend so I will just focus on being a good girl this week and seeing if I can get the scale to budge.

Let’s talk about the race.

I was mentally not feeling it the day before.  Notatall.  Each and every day last week was crazy at work.  I actually did 9-3 at jury duty and then rolled into work and stayed until 11:30pm.  Thank the dear fluffy lord I had the sense to stop at home first and take half an hour to throw a pile of  stuff on my yoga mat that was to be packed.  When I got home I just had to trust that 4pm Quix had done her due dilligence and just threw everything into a bag that night, and got up the next morning at 7am and threw that bag into the car.  I’m getting pretty good at packing for overnight races.  The only things I forgot was an extra plug for my garmin charger (which I didn’t need anyway) and my slippers (but had comfy sandals so it was fine).

We left Austin around 4:30pm and hit a little traffic on the way up, so it was a 4 hour drive, not 3.  We rolled down the street to the hotel and it looked SKETCH-TASTIC at first, but then magically transformed into suburbia, so it was fine.  We checked into the room and the only thing they had left was smoking. BLEH.  I can’t believe our apartment used to smell like that… ugh.  Since it was already 8:30, we decided dinner was first priority and tried to get into Applebees but it was PACKED.  Like so packed we didn’t even want to order takeout.  Instead, we went across the street and hit up Ginger Browns, and ended up with some amazing food.  Salad, monterrey chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls – perfect pre-endurance-race food.  Plus, they gave us two of the most awesome cinnamon rolls for free.  I was so stuffed I had to save it for the next day (but still so so so so so good).

I was still totally un-excited, my legs were sore, my brain was worn out and foggy, but I did the normal pre-race routine of laying stuff out, trying to poop, biofreeze, trying to poop, relaxing and watching tv, actually finally pooping, and then drifting off to bed just before midnight.  The awesome thing about the race was it was at 9am, and only 10 mins away, so waking up at 7am was just fine, thanks.  I got up, showered, got dressed, got my breakfast and caffeine on, and started to get a little in the mood.  The weather was beautiful, just a little cold and a little windy, but it was def. workable.

This was the same weekend I did Rock N Roll San Antonio last year.  It was a trip how different these races were – RNRSA I was lucky to get a hotel over a mile away from the start so I didn’t have to deal with parking and shuttles.  Azle, we parked in the Junior High School parking lot, which was also the start.  I love the energy and support of big races, but sometimes, little local races are a blast too.

I couldn’t decide whether to run with the jacket or not and made the call 5 mins before to take it off before the race, and I’m so glad I did.  I hate running with sleeves unless it’s way cold, and to take off my jacket, I would have had to take off my camelback and zune.  I probably need some of those compression sleeves I see spiffy runners wearing all the time (hint hint Santa).

Anyhoo, here’s the breakdown…

Race Pros:
-Saturday race.  Sunday races suck.  ‘Nuff said.
-Easy parking, packet pickup, etc.
-I think small starts are fun, starting 15 minutes back feels anticlimactic
-9am start meant sleeping in until 7am and having a leisurely morning, not a crazy 5am wakeup time
-Everyone was friendly and even the police support seemed geniunely happy to be supporting and/or racing the course
-Nice neighborhood and scenery
-3 loop course – for some that’s a con, but I often run loops and like knowing and being able to plan for what’s coming
-Nice weather… it was supposed to be windy (like 15-20 mph), but being on neighborhood streets that were pretty shielded, I didn’t feel it.

Race Cons:
-Course was short almost 2 miles for the half due to a screw up.  10k course was short about 1/2 mile.
-Only 1 water stop for the 10k, only 2 for the half.  This is why I rock my camelback, but still, water at 4.2 and about 9 miles?  Unacceptable.
-It was hillier than I thought.  It wasn’t *bad* but I certainly could have done without the long long incline from about mile 9 to 10.5.
-Streets at times were a little uneven, my tootsies definitely felt it.
-When they gave awards they just called names, not places, times, or ages. I’m still waiting for the results to come up.  I know I was at least 2/3 for 30-34, but it would be nice to know if I was 2/3 or 2/10 or whatever, and also how much I was beat by/beat 3rd place by…

Personal Pros:
-I rolled the dice on trying something new on race day – a new, bigger, gel holder that Zliten bought for me Thursday night.  At first I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, but found that clipped to my pants in the small of my back, I didn’t notice it there at all.  It worked like a charm and will be great for marathon training runs.
-Even though the course was short, the run felt REALLY short.  I guess my 2.5 to 3 hours running lately means a slightly short half marathon feels like a short run.  Score.
-I feel like I got better at hills this race.  When I could, I powered up them, shortening and changing my stride, trying to burn more of my lungs and quads and save my calves and hammies.  My cadence improved – avg 87 and hit 90 on some miles (at least 90 is the goal).  When I couldn’t, I power walked up them (@ 15 min/miles) for a bit, which stretched out my legs and let me save up a little energy to rock the flats even harder.
-I busted past at least 5 people on the way to the finish.  My max pace?  6:33 min/mile.  I definitely wanted to make sure I had the best chance possible at AG podium!
-My pace was just about right on my planned marathon pace and I really wasn’t wasted at all after.  Legs, lungs, everything felt peachy keen and WAY better than I have after a training run in a long while.
-I ended up with an AG silver medal (and I reckon there was at least 3 because they gave out a bronze right after me)!  My second placement medal in 2 races!  Woohoo!

Personal Cons:
-Not the race’s fault, but I had an mp3 player screw up which only left me with about 1 hour worth of music instead of the 4+ I had on the playlist – luckily they were all songs I didn’t mind listening to twice.
-Short course meant my nutrition was off – I did mile 5 and mile 9.25 – I kinda wasted that last gel, it was kicking in 1 mile to the finish.
-I felt the fade around mile 9, but it was definitely not as bad as normal.  Longer running distances lately and the gels helped.  I might consider really stepping up the nutrition sched for the marathon, maybe sucking down as many as 5 gels…

So overall – 1:55 for 11.25 miles, or about a 10:15-ish pace.  I would have been on track for about a 2:14 finish at 13.1 miles, which would have been fine with me.  My legs are not in PR condition right now, and while it would have been nice to pull one out of my ass, I’ll have to settle for a solid run I feel great about, and a 2nd place medal.  So yeah, it didn’t suck.  Plus, it couldn’t have been official because of the short distance, so I’ll save that PR run for another day…

Then the weekend collapsed into a bit of a spiral of crappy food.  In N Out and some boozin’ was planned, but the cinnamon roll wasn’t.  And for dinner, I only had a bowl of potato soup, so the fruit and veggies?  Non existent.  Then the next day cheesy Mexican food and some cake at a baby shower… I redeemed myself with dinner of the rest of my fajita meat and veggies on top of a salad and some mango and I’m heading into the week salviating over getting some healthy food in my cake hole.

So this week my focus is keeping track of my (good healthy properly portioned) eats, making it through my training, getting enough rest, cleaning up the house for guests next week, and resting up for my epic adventure on Saturday.  I’ll be doing a 16 miler in the morning (we’re going to try out Town Lake for the first time, Zliten and I are going to do 7 and then bring his Kindle and wait for me to finish up my +9) and then we go home, get changed, and head out for our 2:30pm wave of Warrior Dash.  I wasn’t going to do it but then we got a groupon for it for half price and a friend at work really wanted to so… the total for the day will be about 19.5 miles.  I plan on taking that last 3.5 REALLY slow.

How’s your week going?  Ever done a training run before/after a race?  What would you splurge on if your next meal had no calories?


Marathon Training Week #4 – Angry Animals, Angry Legs


/Rant On


  1. Miz

    LOOOOOVE the breakdown, Quix.

    I know (believe me :)) this is a blog and a mere snippet of your existence—but I so wanna hang out with you for a whole weekend.
    you two are so quirkyFUN just COMFY with who you are!

  2. I always appreciate a great article or piece of writing. Thanks for the contribution.
    Heart Healthy Diet

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