Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 17

Well anyone that has been reading along knows that I am in my first week of taper!
And while it still might seem not exactly a taper, it is...At first I was like what?  Still a mid-week of 7 and 13 on Saturday?
Oh well, at least its not 20  :O)
Got up to run a short 3 miler before work, but it was raining.
I took it as a sign, along with my sore legs (definitely DOMS from Saturdays 20 miler), that I needed to just chill.
So I did.  It was fantasic.
Up before 5am, out the door by 5:25
And no wind!!!!!!!  Note: we are getting dangerously close to that time where the winds are relentless no matter what time of day or night.  Its going to be brutal, but I learned from my first Winter here for sure.  I hope hope hope that what I've learned, that it will keep me on the roads running through even the coldest temps.  We'll see.
This morning obviously still a shorts morning (yay!!), although a long sleeve and an ear band.
To me when I can wear shorts and a long sleeve, its my perfect everything.
5 miles
 Some mornings, I just can't.
I'm exhausted.
Or something still hurts and the thought of running (even though I know its temporary until I get going) just makes me ... well ... not very willing.
This morning was one of those mornings.  Mentally Tuesday night I was ready, willing and able.
Then 4:45am came and I was like 'ugh'.
I even tried to tell myself instead of 7, do 5.
Didn't care.
It was even in the 30' and fun to run!
Didn't care.

So after work, still didn't care.
But since it was a bit warm out, and I didnt want to wait, and I didnt want to sweat :O), I went to the gym and did an hour on the treadmill.

We'll just call this a win with a big fat W because I was {this close} to crapping out the entire day!
 Switched Fridays rest day for today
3 miles before work
37 deg
18mph North winds
At least the winds were on the downhill and assisted me back home on the uphill :O)
11 miles
36 deg with winds from the west (thank goodness!)
I was supposed to do 13 miles, but I had a couple of things bothering me: left knee and right (outside) calf
Better safe than sorry
Was just a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run.
With the much cooler temps now, and shorter mileage, I didn't get out the door until close to 6:15.
So lovely!
Had 3 miles on my schedule, but my calf was worse than Saturday; especially going up or down the stairs at home, so I called it a no-go, sported compression socks all day pretty much and stayed off the leg as much as possible.
By the evening it was feeling MUCH better


Monday, September 23, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 16 aka I Did It My Way :O)

I have reached the end of (this) marathon training cycle!!!
And when I say (this) I mean the LAST ONE!
For at least as long as I live in a VERY VERY VERY small town.
Hardest thing I have ever had to do I swear.
(Doesn't mean no to half marathons though!!)

Taper time baby!

And I take my resting during taper very, very seriously!
But before that here is how the last week went down:
5 miles
Overcast, 62deg
After work since when I got out of bed, got dressed AND THEN looked outside I saw it was kinda raining and I was OVER running and soaking wet from the rain after Sundays deluge!
5 miles before work
No rain, 58deg
Not gonna lie, I am at the point where I am just effing tired all the time.  And not just that, but my legs are, every single day, in some stage of pain and hurt.  Even after a rest day!  This happens though in marathon training, I had just forgotten about it...few more days...few more days...
During my run yesterday, I had some 'pain' in my left shin.  I kept going and it was fine, but it worried me all day.  Was it shin splint, was it my healed fracture from a couple years back, fracturing again?  Anyway, I decided to NOT run this morning, but instead walk/ran on my treadmill after work.  I figured the softer surface couldnt' hurt.  Afterwards I felt the 'pain' again.  When I push on it, its more like a shin splint and also when I hop on that leg, no pain so thats a good sign.
I just hope it holds up through Saturdays last long run!
Rest.  Rest. And rest some more.
20 miles
Clear skies, albeit DARK of course (started right at 5am)
No wind
Perfection indeed.
I got two almost 3 mile loops in of my normal middle of the street, main road route (adding on to my usual so that it would go faster and with the cooler temps I didn't need water as often)
Then once the skies started lighting up a bit before sunrise, I headed out for 2 loops of Deadwood Trail.  Even though its hilly a few times, I needed the extra distance betweeen water breaks to make it not be just the same constant looping through town.  I did 2 loops of Deadwood Trail, before starting back to loops through town.
I gotta tell you, I still cannot get use to the fact of being DRY at the end of 20 miles.  Obviously I had a layer of salt on me, which is never more apparent than when you shower and can taste it if the water happens to get into your eyes or mouth!  LOL.
I came home and got in the cold water of the tub along with 15lbs of ice and made myself stay in there longer than I usually do.  I wasn't able to compression up and be horizontal like I did the 20 miler before because I had things going on that prevented that from happening.  Oh well.
And then to top it off, worse sin ever, around 2pm I realized that I hadn't eaten a single thing!!!
Just busy, which included loading up a heavy chair and unloading it, moving my living room around and then carrying that thing in (along with the help of a friend thankfully!)
And BTW, NO pain in the shin/leg!!
Nothing.  Except I did get both lawns done; knew more rain was coming (as it is it is STILL POURING here as I type this on Monday morning), so at least I got some physical activity in.
I wasn't too sore, but knew had I been able to compression afterwards I would have been in even better shape.
21 days until GO! time!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 15

3 miles before work
 A little humid out as the cold front is getting nearer so it was a bit overcast this morning.
My left Achilles is feeling a bit ouchy and I almost turned back within the first 200m, but figured nope, keep going.  It'll stretch itself out, just slow down.  (I always tend to go a bit faster obvs at the beginning because its a straight downhill (albeit not steep, just a slight dh for the first 700m or so))

We had a MASSIVE storm roll through last night around 7:30 or so.  78mph winds, hail that I thought was going to break my windows in my house, torrential rain.  All of it.  When I drove through town this morning it reminded me of when Ike went through Houston.
My yard is a hot mess but thankfully no damage.  My fence is intact, my deck is intact; just a lot of branches down and random debris.

Here is a short video I took from under my deck/carport right before it hit (well I cannot get it to upload here so click the link)

Needless to say I didn't get up and run this morning with all the debris, no power through the majority of town, and some roads where I generally run still covered with water.

After work I hit up the treadmill for 5 miles then came home and started clearing the yard (hauling branches etc.)  I sure hope the City picks them up!  Otherwise I'm going to have to either just drag them into the ravine or borrow a truck to haul them away.

Up at 4:30 and 7 miles before work
Still LOTS of debris, but at least there were lights and I could pitter patter around what was still on the roads and some of the sidewalks

Didn't run.  We had another day trip for work/play so while there was no 'structure' physical activity, there was plenty of 'exercise' regardless.
Up at Grandview again, so a lot of walking/hiking/shooting/jeepin' AND some sprinting from time to time during a scavenger hunt!

I've decided that basically all I need to be happy is: couple of shotguns, a 4 wheeler, a fishin' pole, couple of doggies, a cabin and a lifetime supply of running shoes to run through the woods and country roads with.  That's it.  Happy.  Oh and wifi and cable :O)

Rest day

12 miles
Nothing great or bad, just a normal cut back week

In case you've been living under a rock you know that CO has been getting annihilated with rain and flooding.  And since I am just a bit north and east of there, we have had rain every day as well, just not to the capacity as they have.  Thank God.
After my coffee, and yes it was raining, but it had lightened up a bit, but was taking forever to do so, I figured I would just don a visor, put my iPod Shuffle in a snack baggie and head out.  So what if it was sprinkling?

Yes, that is long sleeves!  Low 50's/feels like in 40's with the winds and damp/sprinkly rain.  LOVE Fall!
However, no sooner than I was about 500m from home, the damn skies opened up and I was being beat to hell with rain.  I figured, oh it'll let up.

Nope.  But well, after a mile and realizing it was just going to keep on, I figured might as well keep going to get at least 3 (and not the 4 I planned).  Turning back would only mean 2 miles and I figured shit, I had gotten soaked and all I was gonna get at least the 3.  :)

So when I got home, I was more like this:

Nice and soaking wet
Most of the time I was running I was just thinking God, please don't let it be raining during the Chicago Marathon! 

One more week to taper!
Got another 20+ run this coming Saturday, but with actual temps in the 40's I am actually looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 14

Labor Day
Gym day: decided to give my legs a break from the pavement
45 min treadmill
LOTS of ab work
Bear Crawls
Pull ups
Jumping Jacks

1.5 hours total at the gym

Alarm went off at 4:30 and I was on the road by 5:05.
Got 5 of my 7 miles done before having to quit so I could be at work early
2 miles extra after work (treadmill)
I only had 3 miles on the schedule for today but instead of running, I opted to sweat my ass off outside doing yard work.  Mowing first, then I took not only these huge, heavy clippers to (some) of the tree branches, but then I got to sawing the thicker ones.  Oy.  Sawing is HARD WORK!  I need a chainsaw!

A lot of the trees along one side of my fenceline had a lot of low hanging branches and tons of leaves (thanks to all the snow we had all winter, they definitely grew from last Summer).  I swear I was sweating more than I do on a run sometimes!  I didn't finish up, still a bit more to go, but I'm thinking I'm going to wait and finish up AFTER this damn heatwave up here breaks!  2 more days of it before we are back to normal around here!

I don't feel the least bit stressed about missing 3 miles thats for sure, considering I have 20 to do on Saturday.  Its not like I didn't get in a massive 'real-life' workout.  AND I got some much needed yard work done; prepping for Winter!  Its going to suck SO HARD when all those damn leaves drop.  Glad it won't be until AFTER this marathon training is done! 
20 miles

I had the alarm set for 3:30am so I could be running by 4:30am.
I woke up, looked at the clock and it said 4:20!!!  ARGH!  I dont know if the alarm didnt go off, or if it did and I just turned it off and dont remember doing it!  So frustrating.  I checked it before I went to bed so I know it had to have gone off but its rare that I dont remember turning it off?
I had 1/2 cup of coffee and about 1/2 pb, loaded up the ice chest and was running just before 5.  It was going to get warm and quick, so I was a bit bummed for the later start.
Thankfully I knew I still had 3 hours before it got unbearable, and THANKFULLY there was NO humidity this morning and a slight breeze so it was more bearable than I thought it would be.  Cold front coming this week so I am SO excited for normal Nebraska September of low 50's and 40's for a change!

I had 2 Gu's and 5 Gatorade chews and a lot of Nuun.  I wasnt sweating at all visibly but I knew I was actually sweating it was just evaporating immediately so I was sure to hydrate every 2.5 miles or so.  Only once did I go without water for almost 4 miles when I decided to run out on Deadwood while the sun was still not up, but light enough out that I felt OK out there AND before it got too hot.  Glad I did that because it broke up the constant loops that I normally do.

I did 4/1's the majority of the way, but a few times I would run a song, walk a song.  Was still averaging a pace that would keep me in check for the slowest pace generally allowed in a marathon.  I wasnt worrying about that today, today was all about just doing the mileage and getting at least 4 hours on my legs.
Came home, filled up the tub with coooooold water, got in (clothed by the way in case anyone ever wondered if I was one that did it which way :), and then dumped 20lbs of ice in there with me.

After that and then a shower, it was 4 hours in the Zoot full length compression tights (I have the ones that fit over the foot, with the heel and toe cut-out).  The best ones if you ask me since you get maximum compression around the ankles as well.

2 weeks to taper!  1 more long long long run and I am SO HAPPY! 
Gym day!
The gym is open again on Sundays!  (It closes on Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor day)

Normally I wouldn't do anything the day after a long run of 20 miles, but since the ice and compression pants seemed to beautifully do their job yesterday (I feel GREAT today), I figured why not!?  I thought about getting up and just running a couple of recovery miles, but laying around, drinking coffee and enjoying the beautiful morning won out!

30 min elliptical 
Jumping Jacks (done between weight sets)
Pushups (done between weight sets)

And today is our LAST stupid hot day!  On to 40's and low 50's again in the morning and 70's and low 80's during the day!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dialing in Nutrition - Marathon Training - 6 Weeks Out

I've gone back and forth on eating, mostly in the positive, however I have had days where the hunger was just too much for me to bear (Wednesdays seem to be the worse when I run longer in the mornings before work).

A couple of months ago, I set my phone to ring an alarm at certain times which would be the ONLY time I am allowed to eat.  This works pretty well if I don't say so myself.  I do not have the alarms on Sat and Sun since I don't eat on schedule and with so many things going on, I don't find myself wanting food as much.  Maybe I SHOULD put an alarm on those days as well since I find myself sometimes not eating enough on the weekends!

A few weeks back I did something I rarely do and that was weigh myself.  I was NOT happy with the number and realized that marathon training, yet again, was making me gain weight.  At least I think it was that.  I haven't weighed again, but at that moment I dialed back the food in a big way and I feel SO much better.  I will probably weigh again this week and hope to see a more reasonable number on that darn thing!

I am not going to lie.  Most days I am starving, or what I perceive as starving, and it can be difficult to ignore.  There are days I go to bed and find it difficult to go to sleep because I am hungry.  And more often than not, I find myself just willing that darn alarm to go off so I can eat!

Being hungry is not fun, but its necessary for me to maintain or even lose weight.  With all my issues, I already have a very difficult losing/maintaining weight (oh youth I miss you!), so its even that much more important for me to be vigilant.

Now that I am 6 weeks out from Chicago, its time for me to dial it in even more.  I have GOT to make certain that I do not gain weight these last 6 weeks and once I hit taper its going to be even more important.

I have 2 20 milers coming up, 1 is this coming weekend.  Once those are done, my running will drastically reduce and I've got to make certain that what I am eating is exactly what I need and NOTHING more.

The plan, once taper starts, is to up the gym time.  Weights, both machine and body (CF) along with as many abs as I can muster each day will hopefully help as well.  Might even help with strength and endurance for race day.

One thing I cannot ignore is that a couple of days prior to the 20's, I've got to make sure I eat enough and put my mind at ease with that.

I've got to keep the 'not on plan' foods to the barest of minimums.  Its not common, but it happens and in these last 6 weeks, its going to be quite boring around here.  Probably already is for anyone that would be here staying with me.  I am pretty strict with my eating and food choices.  Unless you are as determined as I think I am, no one would want to eat the same old boring things I do most days.  

And its about to get worse.

Much, much worse.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 13

I feel like I've been training forever.
In reality, its been so long since I've gone through a marathon training cycle; gosh the last one was for Houston 2012 which means I wrapped up that training at the end of December 2011.
A lifetime ago.  :)
I guess I did start earlier than normal, but honestly I don't really remember.
We are 4 weeks away from taper, which means 17 weeks, so that's about right.
Isn't it?  :)
At some point I am going to write a post about race day expectations, probably once I hit the last long run (Sept 21).  This by far has been my most trying for several reasons, one being location and support, another being the never-ending cycle of pre-menopause that with each day you just never know 'which body' is going to show up.  Its exhausting, the not knowing.  But I am adjusting as best as I can and accepting the limitiations sometimes it inflicts upon me.
So on to this week!
Didn't get a lot of sleep, insomnia maybe? but more like just waking up a lot, so at 4:30am when I knew there was no sense in fighting it anymore, and I was completely wide awake, I got up, got dressed and was out the door by 5:10am.
Running the complete, lonely darkness and I gotta say, man I love running at that time of the morning.  It is totally worth it to be in that moment where its just so dark and so quiet.  Not to mention that, at least this morning, as I was finishing the sunrise was just beginning to happen.  It truly was a beautiful sight.

5 miles

 Unscheduled day off
We had a 'work thing' out of town, and due to hours and what-not,
this was my work-out.  Plus lots and lots of hiking, and 4-wheelin'.  We may work our asses, but we know how to get rid of some pent-up steam too!

Looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks when its much, much cooler!  (this week has been rough on us Nebraskans!)

Trap/Clay shooting; GAWD I love shooting shotguns!

Lots of turkeys out and about, not time to shoot them legally though #wompwomp

5 miles
Was supposed to be 7, but it wasn't


13 miles
Didn't start until almost 5:45 because I was wavering on whether to run outside or on the treadmill (at the gym when it opened at 7).  The reason was because it was quite warm this morning (63) and I was meh about that.  I know thats not hot, or even warm to some folks but I was wondering where the 50's went!??!?!  But I did end up running outside as I figured it could be worse.  MUCH worse.  Like Houston worse :)  And I'm glad I did because it wasn't that bad.  The humidity and dew points both were in the 50's so it was a-ok.  Once I got home, before even showering I washed the car and did laundry.  :)  Then I was starving which is unusual for me after a longer run; usually I cannot eat for a few hours but man the runger was bad!  Eggs, sausage, and 2 slices of Daves Killer Bread.  So yum!

Now I can relax a bit, before a few errands and a movie this evening!

(almost) 4 miles  :)
As I was enjoying my coffee and watching the morning news, I knew just how wonderful the morning felt and looked outside.  We had plans to go to Cheyenne a bit later, but I thought Oh I for sure have time to get in a few miles and thoroughly take advantage of the cooler temps and beautiful sunrise, so I got dressed and off I went.
My legs felt a bit ouchy from the day before but after about a mile things loosened up and I was able to hit some pretty decent paces, some even under 10min when I was on the run portion of the run/walk
When my shorter long runs on Saturday, I like to push it a bit more, which I did, therefore my legs felt a bit more tired, but still OK enough to even push it the day after.  Glad to get in another run on a beautiful morning in Nebraska!

Then it was off to Cheyenne for food and shopping!  AND froyo!