I forgot how much time you have to think during solo training runs. Now that I’m back to almost exclusively running to train for the NYC marathon, I can’t seem to
shut myself up stop talking to myself.
When I’m on the bike, I’m constantly anticipating what gear I need to be in, the upcoming hill or curve, and always trying to not be killed by a distracted driver, random piece of farm equipment or arrogant motorcyclist. In the water, I’m equally engaged with either counting laps, looking out for boats or just trying not to drown. But, on the run, your mind is free to wander and that can be both very good, and horribly bad.
Here’s everything that was running though my head this past week. Brace yourselves.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 14, 2015
For some runs this week, the only sound I heard was my breathing. I had three hard sessions, two easy paced runs and strength training. This is what the week looked like:
Monday: Track session with 800 @5K pace, 200 easy / 1 mile @10K pace, 400 easy / 2 miles @HMP, 400 easy / 5K @MP, cool down with 5 minutes easy walk or jog. Total of 9.51 miles averaging 7:25.
I love being on the track but the wind was pretty nasty by the end of this 10 mile session. I forgot my headphones because they are permanently plugged into my iPad so I can watch OITNB at a moment’s notice. Usually I don’t do track sessions with music but, by that last 3 miles, I was wishing I had something other then the wind whipping through my head!
Tuesday: 7 miles easy @ 8:15 pace
Wednesday: 1 mile warm-up, 4 miles @almost tempo (7:00/mile) 1 mile cool down. Total of 6.28 miles averaging 7:23.
Is there nothing harder then trying to hold onto a tempo pace through hill after hill? I was pretty tired after this one but I held my pace for the duration of those 4 miles.
Thursday: 7 miles easy @8:35 pace
Friday: 15 mile long run with 2 mile warm-up / 4 miles @MP / 4 miles @HMP / 4 miles @almost tempo (7:00/miles) / 1 mile cool down. Actual run was 13 miles averaging 8:00
So, this run was going to be very challenging. My coach was “experimenting” and it was kind of a disaster. I started the run barely keeping an 8:00/mile pace. At mile 6 I picked it up to 7:30-40/mile and it was comfortably hard. I knew I should not have tried to push it because my legs were tired but, I’m not that smart. At mile 10, I pushed through the next two miles at 7:15 and, by the end, felt like I was going to collapse. I decided to just do a one-mile cool down and get it over with.
The old me would have considered this run a complete fail. But, I did a few handstands, changed my perspective and realized it was a pretty kick ass 13 miles with six of them around 7:20 pace, on tired legs, which are the same legs I know will show up around mile 23 of the marathon, so I’ll take it.
Saturday: REST…and by “rest” I mean as much rest as one can get with two six year-olds, soccer and a birthday party.
Sunday: 4 easy miles/strength training
Total mileage: 44
…and we will start all over again this week!
Why is this so difficult to figure out? I’m having trouble with everything from pre-long run eating, to eating during the run and then, you guessed it, post-run. There are so many staples my stomach rejects prior to running – eggs and peanut butter are at the top of the list – so I’m experimenting once again. I’ve also had my limit of chomps during my long runs so I picked up some new GU flavors at the running shop this week.
Since deer could mistake me for a salt lick post run, I thought these would work great. I was wrong. I used the watermelon ones on my disastrous 13 miler so maybe that’s unfair, but I remembered all the reasons I hate GU gels. They get hot, I had trouble opening the second one because I was delirious and they are big and bulky. #TheseAreMyProblems
What I really need is someone to run, bike or drive next to me so I can try a variety of things without my shorts falling down from stuffing it all in my pants. What? Too much?
Post long run this week I had orange juice, a grande vanilla soy latte on ice and a spinach and feta egg wrap. The orange juice tasted like heaven.
You know I finally found my dream running shoes, right? Well just like every fairy tale, my price charming turned out to have a few issues. There are no deal breakers yet but I have a nasty cut on my ankle from where the tongue of the shoe was rubbing and, after that New Haven 20K race, I have the second black toenail of my running career.
Since I didn’t have time to go shoe shopping once again, I decided to just wear some tall socks so at least my ankle and shoe wouldn’t be covered in blood post run. Don’t worry, there’s no photo this time. Well, guess what? I found out that compression socks aren’t just for stopping the bleeding on my ankle but they actually feel pretty great on the run.
Let’s pretend it’s 2012 and this is actually a big discovery.
THINGS I LOVE
Zuckerberg and company have finally come to their senses and realized we don’t want to “like” a post about a friend’s relative who died, or that time the whole family had the stomach bug or the incessant Donald Trump posts or over-the-top motivational memes. DISLIKE! That’s right – the dislike button is coming. Maybe next we’ll have a STFU (shut the f*** up) button or PMIT (please make it stop) or, my favorite, NOC (no one cares) so that all my running posts will finally get over 1,000 hits. All publicity is good.
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
Having to restrain myself from registering for the Boston Marathon. Registration opened on Monday and, after running the New Jersey Marathon in 3:28 I had a qualifying time almost 20 minutes in the clear for my age group.
I have only run Boston one other time (in 2007 when the weather was horrendous!) and, since I went to Boston University, part of my heart is in that city. Not to mention some of my friends who will be running down Boylston Street this April and the fact that my cousin now lives in Hopkinton where the start line is.
So many reasons to register! But one great one not to – I cannot handle training for another spring marathon. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it and instead will focus on the triathlon national championships.
But it sucks.
The Good, Bad and Ugly of Food and Fitness Blogging: This appeared in U.S. News & World Report and was shared by Melissa Burton. It’s such an interesting article and must read for everyone – not just bloggers. Be careful giving and getting advice my friends!
Older Athletes Have Strikingly Young Fitness Age: The NY Times gets everything so right. From now on I’m using my “fitness age” on Tinder.
I am loving the fact that so many great podcasts are coming out just when I have upwards of 18 mile runs! While I wait for the return of Serial, I am soaking up my friend’s great interviews to make the miles fly by:
Runner’s Connect Tina Muir interviews Hungry Runner Girl (mega blogger!) about consistency and why community is so valuable. And I’m not just promoting it because Tina gave me a shout out. Janae is great to listen to and offers so much practical, real advice like “Running will always be there for you when you’re ready.” Just because you take a break or re-focus, doesn’t mean you will never run again. #Preach
45 minute listening time
If you somehow have still not listened to Amanda’s UpDoc podcast with ultra runner Keith Levasseur, don’t wait! I was literally running with my mouth open when he nonchalantly spoke about the suffering he endured though out some of his epic 100 milers and the amount and extent of injuries he’s had that he just ran though. Total insanity and makes you re-think bitching about your tempo run. #suckitup
30 minute listening time
QUOTE TEXT OF THE WEEK
This gem is brought to you by my SIL who I used to aggressively make fun of for incessantly posting to FB:
How was your week?
What do you daydream about most these days?
Any recommendations on my nutrition/fueling, etc.?