Archive for the ‘running’ Category

Marathon Training Weeks 9, 9 1/2 and 11

First, shout to new followers; there are quite a few of you, and it really means a lot to me.

So for those of you who are just tuning in, this girl is training for her first ever marathon. I finally officially registered for it– to be honest, I was filled with a lot of self-doubt and worried about dropping $165 before I knew I could actually do this. But I now know I can.

via Pinterest

So I am following a training schedule that you can find here, but I haven’t exactly been following it to a “T.” You’ve maybe guessed that from the title of this post. You see, training plans like this one are great in theory, and putting it up on my fridge keeps me motivated to stick to it the best that I can, but what you have to know is that life gets in the way of 20 week plans like this. Sometimes you twist your ankle or get a bad bladder/kidney infection (both of which have happened to me during this), or you have weekend plans, or you just can’t work up the motivation to run on a certain day. It happens. You have to just move on.

Case in point: week 9 was one of my best running weeks. I was scheduled to run 12 miles, but since it was a few days before my birthday, I decided what the heck and went for 13.1, or a half marathon, just to round out my year. Ya know, just for kicks (don’t worry, I am rolling my eyes too).

Then Monday rolled around and I took off to run an easy 4 miles, only to feel incredibly fatigued with a throbbing soreness in my lower back, and had to cut it short by a mile. By the next night, it was clear that the lower back pain was coming from my kidneys screaming at me. I had a bladder infection that had spread to my kidneys, and I spent the rest of the week feeling weak and woozy, and definitely not in running condition. I used that time as an opportunity to get a Keratin treatment in my hair (look for an upcoming post about this) which meant that I couldn’t get my hair wet for 3 more days.

So there went week 10.

I spent most of week 11 on a road trip vacation, but did manage to squeeze in a good 8.5 mile hike, which I decided was a fine substitute for shorter week day runs.

That brings us to the week 11 long run– 14 miles.

I told myself that I could just do 10 since I had taken a hiatus, but the stubbornness in me decided to go for it, 7 miles up the coast and 7 back.

Along the way I got really hot (it was around noon, and I normally run at sunset). I also got really hungry and kinda tired. It was then that I decided that it was time to stop beating myself up about time and speed, and to just let myself walk. Either way, I covered the 14 miles on foot, and according to RunKeeper, I burned 1500 calories in doing so. It doesn’t mean that I have to put an asterisk next to the run (which I actually did the time I had to walk the last mile of a 10 mile run), or that next week I need to do it over again, or that for the next few weeks I am also going to walk off half of my run.

via Pinterest

It means that I just had an off day. It means that I just have to move on.

When it comes to any type of training plan or schedule, remember that they are only suggestions. A skipped workout, an extra treat, a slow time, or a bad day are proof that you aren’t perfect, but you are human. I’ve had to learn from all of this that punishing yourself is a waste of time. With training, as with life, really, you have to just move on. 

via Pinterest 



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Marathon Training Recap weeks 7-8

I like saying that I am training for a marathon. It makes me sound like a big shot, and lets me justify the occasional food binge. But during the past couple of weeks I have gone from

 “I am going to run a marathon!”
to
“I am going to….run….a…marathon??”


If you’re just tuning in, my marathon training plan consists of short runs throughout the week and one long run on the weekend, with that long run increasing in distance every weekend or other weekend.

So last week, during week 7, my Saturday run was 10 miles.
I was really nervous about it as I began, seeing as I had only run 8 miles the weekend before, and it left me pretty sore. But as I ran, I felt great. I cruised on up the coast to mile 5 and turned around, just as the sun was setting.

Then as I got to mile 8, everything started hurting. My hamstrings, my neck, my stomach, you name it. I let myself walk a few yards to slow it down, then pushed on to mile 9. But as I hit mile 9, that fatigue and stomach pain started to really get to me, and so I slowed down to a walk again, except this time I felt nauseated, and next thing I knew, blech. I threw up right there on the trail, on a small bridge. By that time it was dark and no one was around to see it. I tried to brush it off and continue walking, when I realized that it wasn’t just dark, it was dark. I reached a stretch of the beach without streetlights on the strand. The path had sunk down below PCH, so the lights from the traffic in my direction weren’t doing much to illuminate the path, and the lights from cars heading towards me would blind me every few seconds. Walking there alone didn’t seem all that safe, but when I tried to fix my eyes on objects in the dark while bouncing along (is that a trash can or a homeless person about to stab me??) I became more nauseated, so I had to walk the last 3/4 of a mile.

I felt defeated. I couldn’t run 10 miles without puking, and I was completely useless the rest of that evening from exhaustion. The rest of the week, I kept procrastinating running, even putting it off for a few days.

If I couldn’t even run 10 miles, how was I going to be able to run 26 in June?!

I didn’t run on Saturday of week 8, and having a hangover was my excuse. That is a completely legit excuse to not run 10 miles, BTW.
At least I tell myself that.
So Sunday I tried at it again. My training plan only had me running 8 miles this weekend, but I needed redemption, and so I set out to run 10.

I was pretty nervous about it, but I made it through. In fact, half way through I felt so good that I decided that I should run 11 miles, but I changed my mind when I hit mile 10 and realized how hungry I was.

So the thing is, marathon training is hard, yo. I know that sounds like I am stating the obvious, but I mean that it can also be hard on your psyche. Each weekend is a struggle to get out there and to go the distance. And sometimes I fail at it. And then when I compare my time to what other runners are blogging about, I feel like I am the slowest runner there is.

And that’s part of why I chronicle this process here. I know that other people are training or thinking about training for a long distance race, and I want to encourage it. I want to encourage it by showing how hard it can be, and showing that if you feel discouraged, you’re not alone. I’m not one of those sexy chicks that glistens as she bounds across the finish line. I’m that girl drenched in sweat and trying not to throw up on herself. But if I can do it, you can do it. There’s no shame in being slow or having weeks where you totally suck and feel discouraged.

I’d love to hear from fellow runners– what’s gotten you past those sucky weeks?

Marathon Training Recap weeks 5-6

For anyone just tuning in (hi new followers!), I am training for my first ever marathon–this June in San Francisco.

Weeks 5 and 6 were supposed to be pretty standard, distance lengthening weeks, with the longer Saturday run being 6 and 8 miles, respectively.

But it has not been an easy few weeks.

During weeks 3 and 4, I had been having some obnoxious stomach pain, and not just while running. I kept thinking it would go away, or that it was from eating something too spicy (I eat a lot of spicy food) but it kept worsening until it made it too difficult to run. I found myself having to stop in the middle of runs and refrain from doubling over, as it felt like my stomach was a bubbling cauldron of poison. The more I ran, the more it felt like I was going to vomit bile. I was popping Tums all day, but to no avail. Not fun!

Fortunately, my doctor it also my loving boyfriend, and he put me on Omeprazole, which is the same thing as Prilosec. Thanks to horrible marketing, I associated Prilosec with big fat rednecks who want to eat more chili dogs without heart burn– that’s not at all what my problem is!

This is not me.

But Omeprazole is also what doctors use to treat stomach ulcers and gastritis, which are more likely the cause of my pain.

So without the stomach pain, running felt enjoyable again, and I was like, let’s do this! On my weekday shorter runs (4 miles) I was feeling great, but then, on a Saturday in Chinatown, I sprained my ankle.

Nooo! It was only a minor sprain, fortunately, but it did sideline me from running for 10 days.

Sigh.
So this week, on what is actually my 7th week of training, I jumped back into week 6. I ran a little slower and more gingerly on my ankle at first. Yesterday, on Saturday, I went out for the 8 mile run.
I was nervous at first– after all, it had been a couple of weeks since I had run 6 miles, and that was a lousy 6 miles thanks to the stomach issues. My ankle still needed bracing, and I was tired and sore from a strength training work the day before.

But I did it. I ran 4 miles up the coast to Sunset Beach and back, only stopping at the half way point to adjust that ankle brace. I still ran slower than I’d like, but I did it. I completed the full 8 miles without stopping or slowing down.

I took this picture minutes after I finished, around 5:30 p.m. at Huntington Beach.

Now that’s what I call a congratulatory sunset! Thanks sky, I am proud of me too.
Last night I was pretty sore, and I can still feel it a little bit today. I have a 3 mile easy run later today, which will hopefully help shake off some of the soreness. And while it hurts to go up and down the stairs, it is totally worth it. I have to remind myself that that pain is just weakness leaving the body. And every week as I get a little bit stronger, and run a little harder, I realize that I can do this.

Gettin’ My Run On: Week 3

This week marked the third week of my 20 week marathon training plan, and it was not my best week.

This week one of the mid-week shorter runs lengthened to 4 miles. I’ve actually lengthened a couple of 3 mile runs to 4 miles in the past couple of weeks, but this Wednesday when the training plan actually demanded this, that run sucked. It was hot (70 degrees or so and really sunny) and I had heartburn from the coffee I had an hour before. I was slow and miserable.

I was supposed to cross train on Thursday, which I did not. Actually, I tried by starting a yoga workout in my living room after work, but after about 20 minutes I was too hungry, feeling weak and distracted. So a 50 minute yoga work out turned in to a 20 minute half-assed workout, so I couldn’t count it as a full cross train workout.

I didn’t do anything Friday, either– except going to Canters deli in Hollywood and then drinking more wine than I should. B T Dubs, Canters is ridiculously good.

So Saturday, thanks to the late night and over doing it on wine, I had zero energy. I was supposed to run 6 miles, but I honestly couldn’t get off the couch. Like really; I slept something like 14 hours and did nothing but watch movies.

I was supposed to run an easy 3 miles today, but instead I ran yesterday’s 6 miles. I was amped and excited to finally get in this run. Unfortunately, it was just as warm out as Wednesday (maybe I need to rethink these noon runs), and the ginormous breakfast burrito I had that morning was still sitting heavy in my stomach. From miles 2.5 on, I alternated between trying to keep that burrito down and walking through some stomach cramps. I pushed on as best I could, until about mile 4.5 when I formed a painful blister on the bridge of my foot (ouch!) and had to walk every other block or so.

So it was a discouraging week, to say the least.

But this is a good thing! Without set backs and disappointment, I wouldn’t have the drive to do better next week, or to appreciate a really good run. I wanted to beat myself up today over such a dismal run, but I realized, Hey. I finished the 6 miles; even if I had to walk parts, I still went the distance. I still got my heart rate up and burned calories, and I did a whole lot more than most people did on Superbowl Sunday. 


And that is what I need to keep reminding myself during training: that the failures are still small triumphs in their own way, and that if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

Also I need to remind myself to run closer to the shore when it’s hot and to not eat breakfast burritos before a long run.

My Marathon Training Schedule

Last week I began tackling one of my ultimate bucket list items: running a marathon.

The plan is to run the San Francisco marathon on June 16th. I found this training schedule somewhere online (I honestly forget which site), and so this is what my next 5 1/2 months are going to look like:

Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
1
3 mi
Rest
3 mi
CT
Rest
4 mi
3 mi EZ
2
3 miles
Rest
3 mi
Rest
CT or Rest
5 mi
3 mi EZ
3
3 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
6 mi
3 mi EZ
4
3 mi
Rest
4 mi
Rest
CT or Rest
4 mi
3 mi EZ
5
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
6 mi
3 mi EZ
6
4 mil
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
8 mi
3 mi EZ
7
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
10 mi
3 mi EZ
8
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
8 mi
3 mi EZ
9
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
12 mi
Rest
10
4 mi
4 mi EZ
4 mi
Rest
CT or Rest
10 mi
3 mi EZ
11
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
14 mi
3 mi EZ
12
5 mi
Rest
5 mi
CT
CT or Rest
10 mi
3 mi EZ
13
4 mi
Rest
5 mi
CT
CT or Rest
16 mi
3 mi EZ
14
4 mi
Rest
5 mi
CT
CT or Rest
12 mi
3 mi EZ
15
4 mi
Rest
5 mi
CT
CT or Rest
18 mi
Rest
16
5 mi
3 mi EZ
6 mi
Rest
CT or Rest
12 mi
3 mi EZ
17
4 mi
Rest
6 mi
CT
CT or Rest
20 mi
3 mi EZ
18
4 mi
Rest
4 mi
CT
CT or Rest
12 mi
3 mi EZ
19
3 mi
Rest
3 mi
20 minutes
CT or Rest
8 mi
3 mi EZ
20
2 mi
Rest
Rest Day
20 minutes
20 minutes
Race Day!
Rest Day!

Most Tuesdays and Thursdays are devoted to yoga, and Friday cross training is going to be a mixture of activities to keep me interested. So far those include: Ballet Beautiful workouts, rock wall climbing (later this spring) kayaking, and hiking.

What I love about having this schedule is that so far it is keeping me disciplined. On those days when I just don’t wanna… I look at the schedule (it’s on the fridge now) and realize that I have to, or I will fall behind and not complete this marathon.

I’m also fortunate enough to live a mile and a half from the beach, which means that many of the runs are along the strand of Huntington Beach. Running is a lot easier when there is a cool ocean breeze, and beautiful sunsets, playful doggies, and hot surfers to look at.

When it comes to the longer Saturday runs, I run along the beach, heading north. From Huntington Beach you can see the skyline of downtown Long Beach, and each week my run will take me a little closer to Long Beach. Having a fun destination, and an incredibly scenic route, makes the goal of completing these long runs even more satisfying.

So wish me luck! I will keep you updated about my training, and hopefully in doing so motivate someone else to go all the way!

XO, Rachel