Adjusted Reality

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

Tag: Marathon Training

Crispy-fied: Marathon Week #3

I literally said to a coworker today, and I quote, “My brain is so fucking fried from this last month I’m surprised i can put my pants on today.”

This is where I”m at this week mentally.

Physically, I’m fine.  Minus a little pulled neck muscle getting out of bed on Monday (right? 14 mile run? No problem.  Getting out of bed?  Too much for Ol’ Bod), I seem to be holding up well.

Mentally, while the LAST thing I want to be doing after getting off work anytime from 8pm to 11pm is waking up early to get running, swimming, or biking, but it’s such a great way to enjoy waking time outside of work.  I’m a-ok and have no desire to skip training once I get up and going.  Sometimes paces have been a challenge, but I know I have plenty of time when I’m mentally stronger to really crush it.

I’m definitely in a better place than I was last year, begging the universe to just GET MY LAST RACE OF THE YEAR OVER WITH so I could rest.  I’ve got 4 in the next few weeks and I’m stoked for each one of them.  One I’m even frontloading with a 16 mile run and limping through in the afternoon with friends.  Bring it on!

Here’s training…

Last week:

Monday: Ladder Sprints 400m, 600m, 800m, 1200m, 800m, 600m, 400m (@ 8:15-8:30 min mile pace), 400m recovery
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga
Wednesday: 5 mile M tempo (9:30 pace attempt, more like 9:55…)
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights (10 mins weights, but I’ll take it)
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 14 mile long run (done!!! a painfully slow 2:45, but done and was even able to limp into work right after)
Sunday: off

This week’s plan:

Monday: 30 mins bike hills + crunchtime
Tuesday: 6x800s @ 8:30 min/mile with 90 seconds rest interval (12 min/mi)
Wednesday: 25 min swim, yoga
Thursday: hills (6×400 with 400m flat intervals)
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 15 mile long run
Sunday: off

So, more of the same, working in some hills, and running the longest I ever have.  I am just conceding the 2nd weights session this week, something’s gotta give with the long hours.

Weight is about 175.  I’m getting tired of this mid-170’s bullshit, but I am taking solace in that my winter clothes seem to look and fit about the same as they did last year, when I was about 10 lbs lighter, so it may not all be doom and gloom.  Sometimes I think my frustration with my shape stems from adding mass to my upper body, but that mass keeps me gliding through the water like a fish when I swim, so function may have to triumph over form here.

Once I get through this crazypants period at work, I am going to figure out how to conquer this.  I am now eating the right things, but I think I’m overestimating how much of the right things I am eating.  I’m thinking about maybe breaking out the measuring cups.  Maybe trying a week of calorie tracking with the ratios I’m supposed to eat.  Maybe just really trying to tune into my hunger and deciding whether I am HUNGRY or just want something in my mouth (that’s what she said?).  Maybe keeping more interesting veggie snax around.  I need to do some thinking.  Right now, I’m just getting by so I’ll just keep doing that…

Other interesting tidbits:

-I have jury duty for the first time ever in Texas on 11/9.  Hopefully I don’t get selected (although it might almost be a nice break from work, it would NOT be nice for the folks stuck here without my help :P).  I’m going to bust out my Princess Leia costume (props to anyone who gets the reference).

-I’ve got 5 more work weeks left of the year (and one of them is the short Thanksgiving week).  I’m so freaking excited for 3 weeks off!  The idea of being able to do my long runs whenever during the week during the phase when I’m building mileage sounds AWESOME.  The only bummer is 2 of those weeks are without my Zliten since he does have to work.  Trying to think of fun by-myself adventures.  I know I’ll be reading a lot, hitting up thrift stores for some new wardrob-age, and cooking a lot.

-Our company party is actually on the last Friday of my work year (Dec 9th).  Hopefully I don’t get so crazy I get fired it’s a lot of fun!

-We went super lazy-tastic for Halloween this year.  I dug out my corpse bride set that I used for the wraith costume, and Zliten went as an obscure character from a book he’s reading that pretty much wears a robe and sweat pants (he’s a modern day wizard – his robe is his bathrobe, the hockey stick is his wand, and the skull is essentially his familiar)!  It was still a fun time, we still got very drunk (damn you hop skip punch and skittles vodka), and I actually got a bunch of compliments on my costume.  Next year, I’ll do something spectacular!!! I always say that though…

I think that’s about it.  Just looking forward to the weekend with a laser focus.  What is your one most important healthy eating tip?  What were you for Halloween?  What would you do with yourself if you have 2 weeks off at home by yourself?

Checking In: Marathon Training Week 2

So, yeah.  Stats first and then rambles after.

Last Week’s plan:

Monday: 12×400 (90 sec rest intervals) + crunchtime DONE!
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga DONE! (ish – swim was shorter)
Wednesday: 10 mile long run outside DONE!
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights HALF DONE! (no weights, my poor bod was SO SORE it didn’t seem right)
Friday: off (yoga/stretching) DONE! (easy!)
Saturday: 5k race (let’s call it a tempo.  Goal is in the 26s) DONE! (29 not 26 but hey, 1st in AG, so I can’t be too sad)
Sunday: off DONE! (hangoverz are us!)

This week’s plan:

Monday: Ladder Sprints 400m, 600m, 800m, 1200m, 800m, 600m, 400m (@ 8:15-8:30 min mile pace), 400m recovery
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga
Wednesday: 5 mile M tempo (9:30 pace)
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 14 mile long run
Sunday: off

Weight: 176 (bah)

I’m through all of it besides the long run and can say that a) skipped all but a little weights time today because my back was (minorly) acting up.  Stiff, not hurty, so I cardio’d and yoga’d through it, and seem to be a-ok. b) didn’t have my M pace in me on Wed so it was a 9:55 5 mile run instead and c) little scared for Sat’s 14 miler but I have a feeling I will survive.

Through the process it’s been interesting as Zliten has started his first two weeks of half training with me.  I’m putting him on the FIRST program I used for the second half marathon with some modifications since he has a smaller base (his comfort zone is about 5k to 4 miles where mine was about 10k at that time) with one less cross training day because he is not ready to spend 5 days a week at the gym (so ~60 mins of cross training one day instead of 2 30-45 min segments).

He said that this is the first time he has gotten a string of runs under his belt that he’s enjoyed.  He also likes speedwork and has been maintaining his tempo pace like a champ.  I feel like a good coach, hopefully my guinea pig lovely husband will get through the process relatively unscathed and with a greater appreciation for running training than he had before (if it were up to him, he’d run once a week, swim once a week, and just bikebikebike all the time).

Anyhoo, back to ME (it is my blog, after all).  I checked in with my nutritionist about dietary increases for marathon training and she said on long run days over 13 I could have ONE more grain.  She suggested oatmeal pre-workout.  Problem is 1) I just can’t do oatmeal (blech) and 2) I just can’t do full meal before the run unless it’s later in the day.  What is happy is this means a return to english muffin, cream cheese, and sausage for post-run breakfast!  Yay!  I may or may not continue to run 14 miles each weekend for forever so I can earn my second grain of the day.  Other than that, no change in intake ratios.  Curious to see how that works.  Considering I do a fairly low volume of training compared to the average bear except the epic jaunts out on Saturdays, I’m not surprised.

Still working crazy hours.  Trying to take time to get outside when I can and not just eat lunch in the office.  It may not be dietician approved, but I have definitely been enjoying sit down meals with my Zliten.  Today we went home for lunch and later took a little walk around the grounds outside.  I keep saying hopefully next week things will settle down, but I should probably just dig in and count the days until vacation.  I’m going to party like that mouse.

So, that should mean racing life is getting boring right?  No way.  I’m not giving up fall race madness for no crazy work schedule.  Here is where I will be:

Azle Half, 1ok, 5k. Nov 12, Azle, TX

This is a little half marathon (which Zliten and I both got registered for 40 bucks – total, not each).  I am going to try to race this one, and this will be Zliten’s first 10k!  This may or may not be an excuse to hit up In N Out burger, as it’s hard to justify a 3.5 hour road trip just for that…

Warrior Dash, Mud Run, Nov 19, Austin, TX

Groupon, and coworkers have compelled me.  I will be doing some ridiculous mileage that morning (18?) so I expect to hobble through the course and drown my aching legs with beer at the end and be a blob of worthless drunken runner putty by the end of the evening.

Turkey Trot, 5 miler Nov 24, Austin, TX

Tradition.  There is nothing wrong with a 5 mile run before eating too much turkey.  We’ll see what condition I’m in.  It will either be a M tempo (9:30s) or I will race it and try to beat my PR.

Spicewood Vineyards Dec 3rd 10k and Half

Three reasons for this one: 1) It’s close 2) It’s hilly (yay hill training) 3) Wine tasting after (helllloooo).  I expect to finish this one with probably my worst half marathon time ever.  Definitely a training run. Zliten is doing the 10k (and I imagine will probably kill me after signing him up for 10k worth of hill work but hey, he agreed…)

The coolest thing?  Zliten is running them all with me.  No 2+ hour spectating for him!

After all that, it’s all serious business training for Zliten’s half and my full.  Well, there’s Jamaica.  And 3 weeks off work.  But totally serious business when it’s run times.

So It Begins – Marathon Training Program Week #1

So, after my little break, it’s time to get back to it.  I feel about 90% recovered from my cold, my glute seems to have calmed down, and though I have some weird foot things going on after my 8 miler last weekend, my legs feel pretty great in general.  Considering how I thought that would feel, after 3 weeks of little to no running, I’m very happy.

That means I can pretty much jump in with both feet and not worry about training anything under double digits.  Let’s run some milezes, shall we?

I’m following, as I have for the last few half marathon cycles, the FIRST program (at least my own little variation) running 3 days per week, 1 long, 1 speedwork, 1 tempo.  Every few weeks, I replace a speedwork or tempo run with hill work.  The other two days I’ll do 30-60 mins of swimming or biking.  I will attempt to maintain 2 – 30 min strength sessions per week (crunchtime and one do-it-myself session).  I will also attempt to add back some at-home yoga.

I imagine a typical week will look like this:

Monday: speedwork + crunchtime
Tuesday: swim + yoga
Wednesday: tempo run
Thursday: bike + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: long run
Sunday: off

And since my week is generally anything but typical, I imagine those will be switched around but the rules I will try to stick by are 1) no 2 run days in a row – they are ALL hard runs, and I don’t do well back to back days, 2) Sunday is an off day (unless I have to do my long run Sun instead of Sat).  If that means I have to skip a day, so be it.  I don’t do well going into the week without a rest day before, and c) listen to my body and make sure if I feel like I need more rest/stepback week, I do it.

My speedwork is varied.  I’m doing everything from 12×400 to 2k repeats.  I am a sick puppy and I actually love speedwork of just about any flavor.

My tempos are anything from 10 miles at planned marathon pace or 5-8 mile tempos below pace.  I don’t love tempo work, but these actually seem easier than what I was going for with the half training since my PMP is a lot slower than my PHMP.  I’m always aiming for 9:10 for my halfs (to finally get that damn sub-2), but I’m considering a much more sane 10:15s for my marathon, I’d like to finish in 4:30.  Really, I’ll be stoked to finish in whatever.  But considering this training requires a pace goal, I think this is pretty safe as long as the weather is good, my body feels good, and training goes as planned.

My long runs include 3 half marathon races, and include 3-4 20+ milers topping out at 23.   This is a pretty controversial decision, I know, and most people would probably tell me to cool it on the miles and do 1-2 20s max.  However, I just can’t in my head grasp the idea of adding a 10k to the end of the longest run I’ve ever done once like the beginner training program tells you to do (and even the advanced has you doing a few 20s but no more).  I’m doing a 23 specifically due to the race I’m running.  The last 3 miles of the course are downhill, I figure I can handle that – the 23 miler 5 weeks out will be the most cruicial run I believe I’m going to do (and I’m going to do it on the race course).  Again, I’ll listen to my body and make sure that the mileage isn’t killing me.  Worst case, I’ll do a 20, step back, do my 23, and then taper.

Also, I want to keep tracking my weight and nutrition: starting is 176.  Maybe I can buck the odds and lose a bunch by M day.  I’ll also definitely be consulting with my nutritionist to find out if I need to adjust my daily intakes up due to activity or if the fueling during the longer exercises is enough.  Also, I’m working on switching from beans to gels.  So far, the pineapple GU (uncaffinated) I had Saturday seemed to work a-ok, so that’s good news!

This week’s plan:

Monday: 12×400 (90 sec rest intervals) + crunchtime
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga
Wednesday: 10 mile long run outside
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 5k race (let’s call it a tempo.  Goal is in the 26s)
Sunday: off

So, yeah.  Let’s do this.  I’m a little nervous about embarking on this crazy adventure but I have to do something to keep myself amused in triathlon off season, right?

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