Staying the Course

I am officially halfway through with my marathon training program.  And I’m loving this training plan.  I’m running more overall.  More mileage.  More runs per week.  More varied workouts.  And being a touch OCD about my training I’m following the plan without much deviation.  The plan says run 40-50 minutes I do 50.  6-8 hill repeats I do 8.  Add a 2 mile warm up before my half marathon, well ok.

Here’s the recap.

The Plan

All good in the hood.  We had hill repeats.  Again.  Longer intervals, but a less steep hill so I had to find a new location.  I have found a trend with hill repeats; the first 3 are the biggest challenge, then I settle down, buckle in and just run.  I felt strong at the end and that made me happy.  I also had a trail half marathon on Sunday that had been on the books for a few months.

My plan had me doing 14-18 miles so I was a little concerned about my race only being 13.125.  I know, I could justify the shorter distance because of the difficulty of the course.  But, well.  No.  So I email the folks at McMillan Running and thought they’d suggest I add some miles to another day or just do the half and regroup for the next long run.  Nope.  Add a 2 mile warm up or cool down run, they said.  Crap, I said.  Now that I had their recommendation I couldn’t just ignore it.

So at 6am on Sunday morning I climbed into my running clothes, banged out a quick 2 miler then came home, changed, had breakfast and got ready for the trail half marathon.  Hindsight being 20/20 silly rabbit, I should have skipped the 2 mile run.

The beauty about training for a marathon is that you are slowly building up mileage to prepare you for the race so I was confident about the distance.  But it’s street miles. Which is like when you go from Arizona to Missouri in August.  The temps may be the same but the heat is way different.

Sure, I’d been adding the miles each week and increasing my speed even on my easy runs.  But, (and this is a big ole but) I had not been on trails in a while.  Probably 4 to 6 weeks.  And that kind of matters.

Plus I’d been so training focused I hadn’t done much (any) research to see what the course really looked like.  I knew the first loop and assumed (wrongly) that when they said “2 loops” it was the same loop.  Wrong.

The 700 foot climb from mile 8 to 10 were a very very loooong 2 miles. Not particularly steep at any given point but it was just a grind up and my pace stalled along the way.  Some of it because I took a few walking breaks and some of it because that’s the nature of a trail race.  A guy bit the dust about 15 feet behind me so I stopped to see if he was ok.  Another person was having some issues so I stopped to make sure he was ok.  I stopped for bikes to pass in front and behind of me so again, not like a road race.   More like an adventure.

I was very happy to finish and even happier that I’d tackled a pretty tough course.  I look forward to getting out there and doing it again.  Just not until after the marathon.  And maybe in the winter.  It was a very warm day.

The race capped off a good week, here’s what it looked like.

week-8-1

 

 

 

 

The Food

I’m a creature of habit and can eat the same breakfast or lunch for a month and be totally content.  I don’t do well with too many choices so this is a helpful trait.  I have expanded my repertoire by trying some recipes from PaleOMG, Skinnytaste and recently the new Run Fast. Eat Slow cookbook.  Luckily I love to cook and these resources provide great tasting recipes made with whole foods.   I am also a big fan of my crock pot.

If meal planning and prep are areas you need help with please let me know and I’ll share some tips and strategies that work for me and my family.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Oh LAX ball, how I love you so.  More importantly, how my medial glutes love you so.  The Gluteus Medius is one of the three main ‘glute’ muscles found in the buttocks. It abducts and rotates the hip. 

gluteals-and-piriformis

And if you have tight hips and do a lot of running without any body work such as stretching or yoga you may feel tenderness or something similar to a butt-cramp.  So with my hip openers and stretching I roll the LAX ball around the area and settle on any sticky spots.  Hurts.  So.  Good. 

This coming week I have Yasso 800’s (Repeat 800 meters in the minutes and seconds that match your goal hours and minutes of the marathon.)

My marathon goal is 4:15 so I have to do 800 meters in 4 minutes, 15 seconds.  In truth I have no idea what this speed will feel like so it’s going to be a trial and error for the first 2 Yasso’s.  Plus I have a 16-20 mile long run scheduled.   I guess I better get to sleep!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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