Paris Marathon Training – Week 4

If the work week is an endurance event, then the holidays really zapped me of my work-stamina. Wednesday felt like it should have been Friday, and that’s my week in a nutshell.

Week 4: 1/4-1/10

Monday: 

  • Plan: 30-60 min cross-training + rehab exercises + optional strength training
  • Actual: chiro + 40 min strength training

Last week, when I posted about how not planning enough time got in the way of my doing all the “little things” to keep myself injury-free, this was the day I was thinking about. I didn’t plan my day well and didn’t get the work done that I needed to do. The strength workout was a lot of shoulders/chest/triceps/back/core.

For the third chiro visit in a row, I got a resounding vote of confidence from Dr. Eng to keep up the good work and run all the miles. I’m starting to really notice how much better my hips, glutes, and quads feel with the work he’s been doing and my rehab exercises. He introduced the idea of getting on more of a “maintenance” schedule where I come in once a month. I think I could get on board with that idea next month, but right now I see the biweekly appointments as a security blanket – I know he’ll take care of whatever’s bugging me at least every two weeks.

Tuesday:

  • Plan: 4 miles easy + 4 strides + core
  • Actual: 4 miles easy @ 10:06/mile + strides + core

Just a nice easy, sunny, chilly run at lunchtime. I love winter lunchtime runs. I felt the slightest tinge of ITB pain after my run, so I spent some extra time foam rolling and in pigeon pose.

Wednesday:

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo + rehab exercises + yoga or strength
  • Actual: Rest day

My core was pretty sore from the last two days’ workouts, and when some unexpected appointments took up a part of my day I hadn’t planned for, I decided to switch my Wednesday and Thursday workouts.

I noticed that when I take the train to run errands (like grocery shopping), I get quite a few extra steps in my day. My Fitbit registered over 13k steps – which, with my desk job, is pretty good for a rest day.

Thursday:

  • Plan: Rest day
  • Actual: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo (9:12/8:50/8:23) + rehab exercises + PT

Another chilly lunchtime run, gray and a little foggy but really nice weather, and the workout went off without a hitch. I remembered to stay relaxed during the workout – sometimes I get anxious about workouts (I realize that is crazy, but it’s true).

Piedmont Park oval atlanta

As usual, I went to the PT with a lot of tightness through my right hip and outer quad, this week so much that my right leg pulled to the side when I fully relaxed it. He needled my right quad, piriformis, TFL, glute med (where I’d been feeling some soreness), and both my right and left psoas – those little boogers have been knotted up for over a year. I REALLY felt it in my right glute med for the rest of the day.

Friday:

I didn’t want to move my long run to Sunday, so I added in a rest day to help myself recover from Thursday’s workout. And I do love Friday rest days.

The end of the week finally came, and we celebrated by staying in with homemade veggie pizza and a movie.

Saturday:

  • Plan: 12 miles + core
  • Actual: 12 miles @ 10:45/mile + core

WOOF. This run was awful. It started out feeling funny and just never got better. I’m of the superstitious belief that if all your training runs are magical, your race will probably suck…at least that’s what I tell myself after days like this. I’m glad I got it done and I was extremely glad when it was over.

silver comet mableton ga

I bought two Powerball tickets with the spare change in my car, and managed 8 minutes of core work before throwing in the towel. Later, we had a busy night celebrating one of my favorite people’s 30th birthdays (happy birthday Sarah!!) and seeing off one of Jeff’s grad school classmates, who got a job with a construction software company in Silicon Valley. It was a much later night than I am accustomed to.

Sunday:

  • Plan: optional cross-training + yoga
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 10:09/mile + 15 min yoga

I slept in and was lazy most of the day after the exhausting Saturday. I made further strides toward perfecting the breakfast pizza – one egg on the crust and another broken over the toppings. I barely made it out the door before dark for the run, but I managed to get it done just before the sun went down.

breakfast pizza

Breakfast Pizza v2.0: mozzarella, egg, thinly sliced potato, caramelized onion, mushrooms, fresh tomato slices, sautéed spinach, Italian sausage, and more egg/mozz.

Week 4: 25 miles

I have mixed feelings about this week of workouts – it was just an okay week. I also had mixed results with respect to my 2016 resolutions:

  • Rehab/core work – C: I was 1 for 2 on rehab exercises, and 1.5 for 2 on core work (I cut Saturday’s short). But I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t gone through the exercise of breaking it all down and coming up with these resolutions, there’s no way I would have done any core work on Saturday.
  • Sleep – B: I made my average of 8 hours/night, but that included one 10+ hour night and a couple of nights when I came up more than 30 minutes short. I’d like to be more consistent.
  • Nutrition – C-minus: I only got my servings of veggies 3/7 days, and fruits just one day. I’m really glad I started tracking this, because it’s an area that I can definitely improve. (Is it just me, or is it harder in the winter?) I did eat just 5 meals out during the week, which was better than I hoped to do.
  • “Body maintenance” – A-minus: I could have done more yoga, but overall I was consistent with seeing the chiro/PT, foam rolling, and doing what I can to stay loose and limber.

How was your week of training/workouts? If you set any resolutions or goals, how are they coming along?

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Paris Marathon Training – Week 3

Whew! After last week’s Christmas Adventures Across Tennessee, I was happy to spend a laid-back week at home. I watched a lot of football and got to play with my new Christmas toys, especially my pizza stone! As of today (Sunday), I have made 5 pizzas in the past week. Maybe I will get sick of it someday.

Week 3: 12/28-1/3

Monday: 

  • Plan: 30-60 min cross-training + rehab exercises
  • Actual: Travel to ATL + 30 min spinning + rehab exercises

Not the greatest cross-training session ever: I couldn’t get my wireless headphones to connect to my phone, and about 15 minutes of the 30 were spent halfheartedly spinning while fiddling with the headphones.

Tuesday:

  • Plan: 3 miles easy + 4 strides + core
  • Actual: 3 miles easy @ 10:05/mile + strides + core

I went back to the Beltline for a nice run with the weather still in the 60s! As is my game day superstition, I planned my run outfit in Baylor’s school colors. For a while, I had been guiltily eyeing these overpriced fancy black and gold-reflective shorts from Lululemon, so I was happy to snap them up once they were marked down to well over 50% off. The game was a huge success for the Bears, and I’m pretty sure my spirit was a contributing factor.

Wednesday:

  • Plan: 5 miles w/ last 2 @ steady pace + rehab exercises + yoga or strength
  • Actual: 5 miles: warmup @ 10:31/mile, last 2 8:57/8:53 + rehab exercises

Jeff is in grad school at Georgia Tech, so he let me join him as a guest to Tech’s huge and really nice gym. This was my first “workout” in several weeks, so I’m out of practice being uncomfortable. This run wasn’t too terribly hard, but I’m glad my plan is easing me into more challenging workouts.

georgia tech rec center

The gym was closing as I was finishing up my rehab exercises. I did maybe 10 min of yoga  poses focusing on hip flexibility before heading out.

Thursday:

  • Plan: Rest day
  • Actual: Rest day + New Year’s Eve

I cleaned house all day – no fun but much needed – then we joined our friends Randy and Sarah to ring in the new year with football and pizza. I got to use my new pizza stone, which was a gift from Jeff – it was perfect because I have been contemplating buying one for over a year but never pulled the trigger. (It is also a perfect gift for him because he gets pizza out of it.) I’m not great at working with the dough, so my pizzas are oddly shaped.

 

Friday:

  • Plan: 3 miles + 4 strides +  Myrtl routine
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 10:18/mile + 4 strides + Myrtl + New Year’s Day

I went back to the soft, flat half-mile loop I’d been running during week 1. One of the downsides of this spot is that it doesn’t drain well when there’s been a lot of rain, so this was the first day I thought it might not be a giant mud puddle. There were a few puddles left, and geese were loving the puddles.

piedmont park geese atlanta

I did not eat any black eyed peas this New Year’s Day, so I suppose there goes my prosperity for the year.

Saturday:

  • Plan: 10 miles + core
  • Actual: 10 miles @ 10:01/mile + core

My IT band pain had been bothering me on and off since Wednesday’s run, so I was pretty nervous for this run. I almost put it off until Sunday. I drove out to an asphalt rail-trail that is long enough to do a full out and back. If you’ve ever taken much time off from running, you probably know the feeling of your stride being awkward and the motion of running feeling labored (or is that just me?). This run was the closest I’ve felt in the last three weeks to running feeling natural, a sensation that felt like my body would run whether or not my brain told it to. I was encouraged by how the day went and hope that runs like this one become more frequent!

running trail cobb county

Sunday:

  • Plan: optional cross-training + yoga
  • Actual: 15 min bodyweight strength work + 75 min gentle yoga

I spent Sunday enjoying the last of my days off for the holidays. I don’t think my Fitbit even registered 5000 steps! I did a quick 15 minute set of bodyweight strength exercises focused on hips, glutes, and hamstrings, then caught a gentle yoga class.

Week 3: 21 miles

This week went as well as I could have hoped. I got in all my workouts – not too much of a challenge given that I didn’t have a full work week – but they went as well as I could have expected.

How did you spend your New Year? Do you eat black eyed peas every year, or pass?

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 2 Weeks to Go

Last week of training before Turkey Taper 2k14!

Total miles: 47 (!)
Total recommitments to good habits: 2
Status of said recommitments: improving and needing further improvement

Monday: unplanned rest day

I felt run down from all the traveling I’d been doing, plus Saturday’s rough long run left a bad taste in my mouth. Decided to begin my last real training week on a little extra rest.

Tuesday: 6 miles easy @ 11:06/mile; strides; hips

The plan was to do 7, but I had to squeeze in this run during my lunch break and get back for a conference call. Recommitting to “easy days easy” went really well on this run. And I did hip strengthening work! Pats self on back.

Piedmont park

Wednesday: 10 miles // 4-5 @ tempo pace; 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 recovery; core

Another long treadmill run fueled by a long string of Fresh Air downloads. I felt really strong during this run, so I did the tempo portion at an 8:41/mile pace and the 10k portions at an 8:29/mile pace. It was a little bit faster than normal, but just by one treadmill increment. Also, Jeff showed up on the treadmill next to me. We seldom run or work out together, so it was fun having him there.

My right leg/hip was still bothering me, but has improved a good bit. On this run, I noticed that the discomfort went away as I ran faster. I’m not going to read too much into this for now, but it might be meaningful if it persists.

Thursday: 7 miles // 4-7 @ goal marathon pace

The plan called for steady-state pace, but I was pretty fatigued from the 10 mile Wednesday workout, and I skipped the normal rest day between the long workout and the steady-state run to get back on schedule.

It was another treadmill run, and I knew it was going to be rough when my normal super-slow-starting-pace, 5.5 mph on the treadmill, felt kind of hard. I felt really out of shape working so hard to run 9:41 marathon-pace-miles, but I’m sure the last 4 miles of the race will be even harder.

Friday: 4 miles easy @ 11:36/mile; strides; hips

EASY DAYS EASY!!!! I got this, y’all. I really needed a super easy run to recover from the week, and this did the trick.

Leaves

Saturday: 20 mile long run @ 10:09/mile

I finally made it to the hallowed 20 mile training run, and it was better than I expected it to be. After a slow start, I started feeling super strong, and that feeling never went away.  Even though my pace was quicker than normal, I felt like I was running quite conservatively until the last 3 or 4 miles. Other than the feeling of “I’ve been running for nearly 3.5 hours and walking is awkward,” I felt amazing after the run. I had gas left in the tank, and I had the time to reflect on how far I’ve come with my training (I even got a little emotional about it).

20 miler splits

After the run, Jeff made us beef and cabbage soup, and I ate three bowls 🙂 Then I woke up hungry in the middle of the night and ate a Larabar.

Is this normal? Do you guys get outlandishly hungry after a 20 miler?

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 5 Weeks to Go

Here’s the first in a three-part series of training and travels I have not yet blogged about. I’m starting with three weeks ago, which was Marathon Minus Five Weeks.

Total miles: 45

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 7 miles easy @ 11:06/mile; strides
Wednesday: 10 miles // 1-3 easy; 4-8 tempo; 9-10 cool down

There is a slightly-longer-than-half-mile gravel track in a nearby park that I’ve been using for tempo runs. I did a boring record 10 laps around this oval during this run. It’s actually quite a pretty spot for a run, but I was decidedly unaware of the scenery while pounding out tempo-pace-miles.

piedmont park

Piedmont Park Active Oval // photo courtesy of Delta Sky Magazine

Once I got to the tempo-pace miles, the first one felt amazingly easy, like I could run a half marathon at that pace (spoiler: I did). The second mile was unremarkable, but the third felt like holy hell. Thankfully I’ve read enough articles in Runner’s World that I’ve heard of this nifty trick called visualization, and I imagined myself giving it my all in the last three miles of my upcoming half marathon. I’ve never been into visualization (it strikes me as something this weird guy from my grad school class would have liked) but in that moment it was very effective. I may be a visualization-convert.

tempo run

10 miles / 4-8 at tempo pace

Thursday: Rest day
Friday: 7 miles // 1-3 easy; 4-7 steady state

This run was tough because I woke up at 5 to get the run in before going to the office and taking a conference call, then I had to go to the airport and catch a noon flight. Of course it was dark and chilly, but I also felt soooo sleepy. In the first mile at steady state pace, I felt like I was dragging and was 0:20/mile off the pace I was aiming for. Once my legs woke up, the rest of the run was good; I was aided by a slight downhill in mile 6, and ended mile 7 on the 10th Street Hill of Death before jogging home.

steady state run

7 mile run // 4-7 steady state

By 1:00 in the afternoon, I was in my old homes in Texas (Dallas then Waco), reuniting with wonderful friends, eating Mexican food, and visiting our old campus haunts. Besides being Baylor homecoming weekend, this was a special weekend because it was our friend Switz’s last weekend in Texas before making the big move from Dallas to Lusaka, Zambia. Check out her story here and here and prepare to be impressed by this woman.

Baylor

Waco reunion essentials: Tex-Mex and cheesy Judge Baylor photo

We were so fortunate to be able to stay right by campus in an apartment with a couple of college girls. Jess and Anna were the hostesses with the mostest, and I wish I’d been half as cool as these cats when I was their age.

Saturday: 18 mile long run @ 10:32/mile

On Saturday, I ran in the morning before the 3:30 football game. The conditions for running couldn’t have been more perfect – low 50s, sunny, and most of all, FLAT Texas terrain.

Waco Lasalle

Mile 1 of my run; aka Asphalt Pancake

For those of you who are familiar with Waco, I ran from campus to Cameron Park (about 5 miles on the route I took), along the River Trail for about three miles, headed back downtown and wound around the downtown streets for a while before heading back to campus and doing a couple loops of the Bear Trail. It was all flat and paved except for the  River Trail, which got a bit tricky several times.

Waco is known more for cults than natural beauty, but Cameron Park has unexpectedly pretty scenery.

Cameron Park

Cameron Park River Trail

Brazos River

Brazos River from Cameron Park

Because it was game day, I went with a green and gold themed outfit, because I can’t help but be cheesy like that.

Runootd

Team spirit #runootd

When I got back to the Bear Trail, my old campus stomping ground, I knew it was prime time for a fast finish and cut the pace down to 9:50/mile by the time mile 18 rolled around.

Baylor bear trail

The Bear Trail. Homecoming.

Long run splits

Long run, Waco edition. (KD Cannon is a speedy Baylor wide receiver)

Saturday ended up being a gorgeous day for football, and our team won in a blowout. The real highlight for many of us was seeing the gorgeous new football stadium in its inaugural season.

Some young whippersnappers or people who don’t follow college football wouldn’t know this, but Baylor’s football team was miserable when we went there. I remember going to games that ended in out opponent scoring more than 70 points (although I probably didn’t stick around for the fourth quarter). The team’s play on the field was matched by an equally unimpressive stadium off campus.

Attending this game made me think, I didn’t go to school here. I’m glad for all the young kids who will look back on their college years and remember a shiny new stadium and a team that put together a damn good resume for the College Football Playoff (no matter what the committee decides or how they want to justify it). But I’m also glad to have seen the really low years, because I think it is that much sweeter to witness a complete transformation. I returned to my alma mater and didn’t recognize it because it was more amazing than when I left. I’ll take that kind of homecoming any day.

McLane Stadium

McLane Stadium

We also had an unplanned pledge class reunion. Yes, I was in a sorority. It’s silly, yes, but I bought made some great girlfriends that I might have never met otherwise.

reunion

Spent at least a quarter of the game catching up with these ladies.

I made it a personal mission to eat as much Texas BBQ as I could during the weekend. Getting to go to one of my all-time favorite spots, Vitek’s, was a huge treat.

Vitek’s is a former grocery-store-turned-BBQ-restaurant in Waco known for its signature menu item, the aptly named “Gut Pack.” This delicious combination of brisket, homemade sausage, pinto beans, cheese, BBQ sauce, corn chips, pickles, onions, and pickled jalapenos is worth the acid reflux, if you get that kind of thing. The Gut Pack is kind of a big deal: it won the Cooking Channel’s Best College Eats competition.

Vitek's Waco

The Gut Pack. Photo courtesy of the Cooking Channel.

the best

Friends & Vitek’s = the best.

Sunday: 3 miles easy @ 10:32/mile

I ran the Bear Trail again on Sunday. I loved every second of being back at Baylor and felt super strong just a day after my 18 miler. This week of training was that aha moment when I realized I really will be ready for the marathon.

This was the best week/weekend I could have imagined. Our Texas reunion for Switz was so wonderful, and I managed a solid week of training around it.

Football fans: how’s your team doing this year? Love or hate the new College Football Playoff?
Is there anything better than a long run around your old stomping grounds or a delicious greasy treat from your younger days?

Belated Race Recap: 2014 Publix Georgia Half Marathon

Since my half marathon PR in Savannah a week ago, I’ve been doing a little reminiscing on my first two half marathons.  I remembered enough to go ahead and write a recap before I forget even more than I already have. Most of the recap will be from the Publix Georgia Half Marathon this past year since I remember it better. 🙂

I didn’t have a blog when I ran the race, and probably wouldn’t have wanted to recap the race at the time anyway. This race was the biggest disappointment I’ve had as a runner to date, and has therefore influenced many of the goals I have and training I’m doing now. Here’s the story.

A Little Background – My First Half Marathon

For my first half (Savannah RnR), I attempted a training plan that was both too long and too ambitious. It was a 20 week plan, for a 1:55 half. My most recent 10k time was 59:00. I was delusional. Surprise of all surprises, I fell flat in workouts, then dreaded workouts, then skipped workouts, and hated everything about running. Work got crazy a month before the race, and I ended up working 12 hour days and some weekends. Once I logged all the missed runs into my run tracker, it suggested I might reconsider running the race. I did not reconsider anything. I forgot to pack my shoes and wore a 60 year old lady’s walking shoes for the race. I ran the race in 2:02:13, and collapsed (figuratively) in the final 5k. I knew with proper training, I had a sub-2:00 half in me. When I changed jobs not long after the race (for other reasons, but having the time and energy to train properly for distance races was a nice benefit), I signed up for the Publix race.

Savannah Half Marathon

My first half marathon. #positivesplits

Training a brief summary concocted from 9 month old memories

I trained for 11 weeks, starting at 17 miles per week and peaking at 27 miles per week. I nailed most of my workouts (on the treadmill), which were typically a total of 6 miles including warmup and cool down, and consisted mainly of 4 mile tempo runs around 9:00/mile and 3x mile repeats between 5k and 10k pace with 800m recovery intervals. (Fewer of the mile repeat workouts were “nailed”; this is my least favorite workout ever.) I knew the course was more challenging than Savannah, so I ran hilly long runs through the city, spending a lot of time on the race course itself. The long runs were HARD, and I think the hilly ones averaged around 10:45/mile, although I don’t have data on it. I did really enjoy this training cycle.

My training for this race was so much better than my training for the Savannah half a few months prior, so I was excited and felt ready to crush the sub-2:00 half.

The week before the race, for my last 13 mile long run, I decided I’d done too much slogging on hills and wanted to run fast and flat, with a fast finish. I headed to my trusty flat long-run trail and ran my heart out in the last 5k. I also missed my last speed workout on the Thursday before and did it on Friday before the Sunday race. I don’t know what you’re really supposed to do for a half marathon taper, but I’m fairly certain experts don’t recommend what I did for this race.

The Expo and Pre-Race Activities

I don’t have much to say about the Expo – I was in and out as quickly as possible. It was well-organized, short lines, and I appreciated that the safety pins were already precounted in the race packet vs. having to fish them out of a box. (The little things get me.) The Expo is located at the Georgia World Congress Center, which is easily accessible by MARTA (Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center station on the Blue or Green line). It’s the same location and setup as the Peachtree Road Race expo for those who have run the Peachtree. Thankfully MARTA has increased its weekend service since then, so wait times should be no more than 10 minutes for future races.

The day before was a friend’s birthday. There was a birthday party, and I went. I had 3 or 4 beers, crushed the cheese plate, and ate a couple of generous helpings of pasta salad. We went to the roller derby and had a great time. File this one away under “good times I paid for later.”

roller derby

Totally normal pre-race activities.

 The Race

The corrals are a short hike from the Peachtree Center MARTA station, but early in the morning in March, I was happy to do some walking and keep the blood flowing. The organization of the race/corrals is pretty standard – overall what you’d expect from a well-organized race.

The weather was great: around 50 degrees at the start.

Miles 1-3

These miles are net downhill, but there are a couple of uphills that really hit you hard when your belly is still full of cheese and beer from the night before. The course starts on Marietta Street and goes past Georgia State campus, then turns north on Piedmont through downtown up to North Ave. The course then heads south on Central Park and Jackson Ave. to Old Fourth Ward.

Towards the end of mile 3, there is a nasty hill on Central Park that I’d encountered on a couple of training runs. I’m pretty sure I was already out of breath at this point. Mile 3! I probably should have slowed down, regrouped, and enjoyed the race, but I couldn’t let go of my competitiveness, not even with all that junk in my belly.

Georgia Half Marathon

Dark outside = there’s still hope for sub-2:00

At my pace and corral start time (~2:00 finish), it was dark outside until mile 3 or 4.

Miles 4-9

These are my favorite miles of the course. I ran some variation on this route a lot during my training runs. The course goes through Old Fourth Ward past the Martin Luther King Historic Site. The course turns through the gorgeous tree-lined neighborhood of Inman Park, and up past the eclectic Little 5 Points. After passing Little 5, there’s a bit of a dull stretch up Moreland and Freedom Parkway, past the Carter Center (snoozefest, and a big hill on North Ave.), up Highland Ave. through the Virginia-Highland neighborhood and into Piedmont Park.

Around mile 4 or 5, I looked at my Garmin, did some math, and realized I was not on track for my goal time. I was also still feeling the cheese and beer in my stomach. I tried picking up the pace a smidge and hoped my stomach wouldn’t revolt.

The 2:00 pace group passed me running up the hill by the Carter Center, around mile 7. I tried to keep up, but this was the first point when I thought it might be a good idea to ease off the gas, considering that the race was only 7 miles in and I was running at an effort level that, frankly, was not sustainable for 6 more miles. Continue reading

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 6 Weeks to Go

And so another week of training has passed.

This past week was almost exactly what I hoped it would be – back in the flow of training. Not every run went perfectly, but that’s training on tired legs.

Total miles: 41

Monday – Rest day

Tuesday – 6 miles easy @ 11:01/mile

Unremarkable easy run. One week later, I don’t remember it at all.

Wednesday – 9 miles / workout: miles 4-7 @ tempo pace

Workouts like this one, among other things, are why I love running. It was perfect running weather, and I was so happy, I found myself smiling for no reason. Don’t get me wrong, the workout was tough, and there were some weird people sitting in the park as I ran around my flat-workout-loop. But I felt so in the zone – my first three tempo miles were within 0:01 of each other (how crazy is that?) and I felt like a total champion. I was totally ready to be done, but could have pounded out another mile if the plan called for it (spoiler: the plan calls for it this week).

10.22 splits

Technically I ran 8.88 miles, ok? I round some down, some up, and I’m sure it all evens out in the end. I binge-listened to Serial as I ran, and I think it may be one of the best running podcasts out there right now. More on this later.

Thursday – Rest day

I was going to skip the rest day to get back on a Saturday long run schedule, but work got in the way. Jeff says to respect the rest day. I should really seek his sage advice more often. Continue reading

#SuperLongRunday and an Awkward Reminder on Body Image

Today’s long run, in summary:
Plan for today’s run: 12 miles at 10:28/mile
Goal for today’s run: it’s 88% humidity y’all. First half: easy pace by feel, second half at or under plan pace, try for some race pace miles
Route: Piedmont Park to Decatur via the Eastside beltline, Freedom Park Trail, Candler Park, and Ponce // out and back // 655 ft elevation gain
Result: first 6 miles at 11:10/mile, last 6 miles at 10:21/mile, 2 miles at race pace (defined loosely as anything from 9:00-10:00/mile, or sub-Oprah pace)

I really don’t do well with negative splits, so this was a focus for today’s run. I was able to do pretty much everything I set out to do, although running 11 minute miles in the first half isn’t doing anything for my confidence. I’m thinking it would be helpful for me to start incorporating some faster long runs into my training. There’s a half marathon in Atlanta in two weeks, and I’m considering running it as a faster-paced long run.

Have any of you had success with running half marathons as up-tempo long runs during marathon training?

Lesson learned from Creepy Guy in Freedom Park
On another note, I haven’t written about body image at all, but being in Miami a couple of weeks ago triggered a self-criticism bug seemingly out of nowhere. I’ve been having to repeatedly remind myself that I’m not a gym rat or a professional distance runner with 10% body fat, 6 pack abs, and mile long legs. And that’s ok!! I’m training hard and eating healthy about 75% of the time. (I should probably bring that percentage closer to 90%. I’ll work on that.)

Recovery

Today’s long run recovery: homemade pizza, beer, cuddling with my cat

Continue reading