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Posts Tagged ‘Long Run’

My running has been scattered, I’ve been going from 50 to 30 miles before Chicago.  55 miles after Chicago and back to 40 miles last week!  Right after Chicago I dove straight into running, 11 days none stop for 95 miles.  I won’t go into the detail of most runs since all my emotions have been poured into my Daily Mile updates instead but here’s a summary of the runs by day.

A few things to note:

– I think the 13 and some of the 11 milers were done in two parts between lunch and post work. With time management I am finding it physically and mentally easier to run twice in one day then once in a long time.

– That being said, I think I’m okay with doing double duty for mileage as long as I do one real “long run” a week

– The 15 miles on Saturday was my first long run in a while.  I flirted with some 13 milers in the beginning of the month but haven’t really done long runs in one standing

– The 15 miler was rough.  I averaged out at a 9:05 pace which includes a fast stretch and potty stop at mile 11.  I wish I could say 15 felt easy but I don’t think mentally I’m in long run shape.  I know physically I can do it, but my mind is not into it

– I struggled through the 15 miler by listening to gardening pod-casts.  I don’t actually think I absorbed anything or had any clue what they were talking about but it made me feel like I was multitasking and not just doing something I wasn’t in the mood for (like running).

– I’m been doing fartleks (not to be confusing with farting haha) on my treadmill runs.  I don’t think it’s the best kind of training for me since I should work on keeping a pace but those help make things less boring.

– I skipped a long run this weekend because I was visiting my family in NY.  Between 9 hours on a bus and just how fast a day and half fly by, I decided taking a 3 hour run was not the best use of my time.  And no waking up early is not an option.  I love my sleep dearly.

– I was stubborn.  So stubborn that I decided I couldn’t go to bed until I did a long run on Monday.  The 22 miles is composed of 6 miles during lunch and 16 after work.  The 16 miles were hard physically.  I thought two days of rest would make me amped up for speed, instead I wanted to sit on the couch and watch Olympics as I ran vicariously through the professionals on TV.   I took an 8 minute break around mile 14 where I had to beg myself into going back outside for 2 more miles.  In the end the average pace with break was 9:41.  I know that I ran around 8:30 for the first 8 miles before I just lost energy.

– I did take Gu Chumps, but Gu Chumps can’t replace a real meal that my body was craving at 7:30 PM.  I tried to tell it that if it waited til 9 a burger and beer was waiting for it, but it wouldn’t believe me.  I listened to about 3 running podcasts to keep me motivated.

Run Run Live podcast is awesome so I highly recommend it for some mojo on your run.

Why am I so insistent on long runs again after calling it quits for the summer? Well I must confess, flipflopped back on running the RnR Montreal marathon if I don’t have to work that weekend.  I had a slight freak-out when all the promo hotels with group discounts were sold out.  But! I found shelter for $36 a night next to the starting line.  AirBnB rocks!

I will also be using AirBnB for renting a room for the Providence RnR half marathon!  While I haven’t personally stayed in a room through the site yet, friends that have said it turned out cheaper and better than a hotel room so we shall see.

And because I can’t have a post without some pictures

Whenever I visit Brooklyn, sushi takeout is a must

Since Tony wasn’t there with me, I got this all to myself!

My parents took me to Ikea because I am in search of cheap curtains

Alas, no curtains were purchased at Ikea but somehow I walked out with a full belly instead.  I must say, next time I’m going to try to trade some of the balls for more mashed potatoes.  It was great!

This is a Tuesday shot but GeorgeTown cupcakes on Newbury celebrating Crocs

Can I just say that the free secret cupcakes they have everyday is the best worst idea ever.

Hope everyone had a great July!

Can’t believe it’s August in a night’s sleep.  Where did my summer go!

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Today’s run 26.2 for 3 hrs 48 minutes (8:43  Average Pace) + 1 mile barefoot cool off on my treadmill at 5.6MPH pace for a total of 27.2 in 4 hours.

Time of run 10AM-2PM

Pre-run fuel – Two pieces of toast (from frozen bread) with butter and salt and two cups of black tea.  I didn’t do food shopping since I’ve been eating at work so no Pitas =( .

Run entertainment – Twilight on Audio Book, no music just audio book

I find my training runs a curious thing.  I’ve been trying to get more technical with my runs to improve me speed but my training run pace and my actual ability don’t make logical sense to me.  On races, I seem to be able to keep a 7:45 pace with still plenty of energy left after the finish line.  Don’t get me wrong, it hurts and sometimes my sinuses try to choke me but I’m manageable.  However, on training runs if i pick up my pace beyond 8:20 my legs feel like dead weight.  I think I have a mental wall against running fast on my long runs unless I’m racing.  I tried to trick myself that I’m only running 5 miles so speed up, then 5 more but my subconcious is too smart for my games.  Instead I just focus on getting in the miles.

My splits are all over the place. I think that has partly to with the fact that I train on a rolling hill trail with some busy streets for the first few and last few miles or maybe it’s because every few miles is a new mental battle.

As my training is coming to an end; my battles are becoming more mental than physical.  Whereas before I had to hold my knee to keep myself from falling over in pain; I now have to hold my head in place to keep myself from getting lazy.

At mile 2.6  I rejoiced that I am 10% complete and I only have 10 sets of 2.6 miles left.

At mile 6 I rejoiced that I am 25% done not counting the 2 miles downward route that returns me home.  Straight downward 2 miles is a reward for the rolling little hills I run.

At mile 8 I rejoiced that I’m 1/3rd done (notice how my mine breaks everything up into fractions and percentages to make it manageable)  Since I’ve been running for 4 miles on a running trail instead of streets with cars I am starting to actually enjoy myself.

At mile 13.1 I rejoiced that I am half way done, I am 1 hr and 45 minutes into my run and I feel great!

At mile 15, I’m bored again and decide I have 5 more before I get my Powerade break.  I decide to go for a mile or 2 off my regular concrete road and hill up an actual trail.  I have no regrets.  My love for today’s run is reborn again.

My pace hit 12 minutes because I took a few to enjoy the serenity.

At mile 17 I remind myself that I only have 3 miles, less than 30 minutes before my “break” as I pop out of the woods and back on the concrete trail.  Goodbye woods!  I text Tony a photo to convince him we should take up trail running after my marathon.

Mile 20.2 I get my break.  I also realized that I can see salt in my sweat on my running skirt.  Charming.  I realize I’m more than a little dehydrated and salivate at the thought of a lemon lime Powerade (only sports drink I truly enjoy, no Gatorade for me not even on races unless I’m really desperate for electrolytes.)  I run 4.5 miles loops around a lake that has an indoor skating ring with vending machines!! Score.

At mile 21, I remind myself that I only have 5 more miles left as I set out on a 4th but partial loop of my 4.5 mile trail not counting the 2 street miles to my house.

At mile 25 I realize I’m a half mile to short from reaching my 26.2 goal.  I feel tired and a big part of me wants to get over it and just go home.  However, my OCD part is slightly more stubborn as I loop around a few blocks around my house and end at an even 26.2.

At mile 26.2 after taking care of bathroom functions I cooled off with a barefoot very slow run/jog on my treadmill.  My cat learned a lesson today.  No matter how tempting my bare-feet look, its never a good idea to try to bite them as I’m running on the treadmill, even if its at what he thought was a slow pace.

While running I also get emails like this from Tony:

He seems to always have trouble with the cat when I’m out on a run (ie Jack dropping a vase of water and flowers on his computer).  I think its because he does things like this with him.

Jack in a box.

I hope everyone had a great training run this weekend!

Do you use any mental tricks for your long runs to get through the speed and distance?

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I woke up today, slightly excited for my long run…  Then I stubbed my iddy biddy little toe on my bicycle.  There was screaming “Tony, why haven’t these been moved to the other room yet!” there was cursing at myself and how clumsy I was, there was crying from the pain.  It throbbed, I cringed, I drank some tea, popped two Advils to stop the throbbing of my little toe, ate another pita bread half and by 10:20 I was ready to go!  The end result:

Maybe a sub-4 first marathon is in my future after all.  However, no long run ever goes without a lesson.  I’ll share this week’s oh-oh situation at the end of the post.  On a non related note, my new worry is now that it’ll be too hot in DC.  I guess I truly “speed” in 35 degree whether with 22MPH winds.  Maybe the wind propelled me.

The hat and gloves came out today.  It was 35 degrees with 22MPH winds.  And this one part where I run around a pond, I thought I was going to get blown away, or lose my hat.  In fact, one of my legs got blown into the other more than a hand full of times.  I’m impressed that with my clumsy skills that I didn’t fall flat on my face.  Yes I look sad, my toe was hurting =(

I also had a new record from when my side knee starts to bother me.  Mile 20 this time!  Woohoo! Although I didn’t feel too sore by the end of the run; just tired, a little icing never hurt anyone.  Plus this is what all the cool kids do post long run.

I did violate a major refuel rule.  We were meeting up friends for lunch and I ended up not eating until 90 minutes later;  if round down that’s like an hour.  A friend had a living social deal for  Blue Ribbon BBQ and treated us to it.

I got myself a salad and brisket since all the yelp reviews said that’s not to be missed.  And I ended up pleasantly surprised how yummy it was.  The corn bread; however, was a huge disappointment.  Dry and stale and the croutons they used for my salad were made out of an even more staler corn bread (luckily they put it on the side in a separate container).  I guess you can’t be a master of all.

Look at all the leftovers!  Actually I must confess, I might have “borrowed” some extra sauce to use later.

Lesson of this Week’s Long Run

Let’s now talk about my huge mistake.  Chaffing…  I think guys worry about this more with their nipples and shirts.  Sports bras offer us ladies some protection.  However, I recently had a small battle with my sports bras that I’ve been losing and looking like a battered woman.  Seeing as how a. I do not want to buy new sports bras and b. they don’t make them in a smaller size than the ones i already have; I needed a better solution.

Aquaphor!

  • Aquaphor ointment if medicated can be used to treat or prevent rash in babies, protect from minor cuts, scrapes and burns, protect the skin from the effects of weather and wind, relieve chapped skin and lips as well as acting as a barrier to seal in the skin’s moisture.
  • It’s available at any CVS or other drugstore; no specialty running/sports store required
  • It’s cheaper than BodyGlide
  • Aquaphor is more miscible with aqueous solutions than Vaseline

I heard people use vaseline and bodyglide, but I had aquaphor in the house already so I went with what was around.  Plus I found all these reasons why it better than both that I noted above.

Regardless, while I lost a battle with my sports bra, I have won the war.

But when one war comes to an end, a new one is just over the border, or in this case under.  Yup crotch chaffing…. After 24 miles, it felt like I did unspeakable things with a carpet.  I don’t even know why?  Maybe it’s the new distance, maybe it was the cold windy weather.  I never this issue with these tights or just crotch chaffing in general.  Anyways, end of long run lesson: always make sure your tights are actually tight or use Aquaphor! 

 

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How to recover from a 20 miler

First ice, ice your knee because you know those hills did some damage

Second steal a nice warm slice of pizza from your wonderful boyfriend’s plate

Go cool of and run 2 more miles on your ghetto old treadmill where the belt might snap at any moment

Forth beg your boyfriend to leave you another slice of his steak pizza(he cut up his leftover steak and onions and added it to some frozen tomato pizza we got)

ImageShower – eat that slice — drink drink drink (water of course) — get dressed and snack some more.  Eat lots of chocolate covered acai berries.

Stare at your fridge and look at the three tins of leftovers you got and decide you want none of that.  Munch on some more pretzels (all the cool kids eat a pound a week) and decide you really just want salsa and cheese…. Find an excuse to eat that by making a salad (plus you’re out of Tostitos, and actual cheese) .

ImageI know, I should be a chef.  Half a cucumber, remaining portion of spring mix that may or may not be going bad, one celery stalk, half a yellow pepper, half a jar of hot salsa, 1/4 of of a plastic bottle of parmesan cheese with an older shelf life than your grams.

As for the actually run,… wait this took some serious MSPaint skills to put together from run keeper.  Outside world doesn’t offer a convinent summary like the treadmill does.  here are the results!

Image

First, I am very proud of my cut and paste skills.  As for the run recap, the first 13 miles although at a slow pace, flew by because I had my wonderful Tony with me.  This crazy boy messages me at work on Friday saying “I want to do your 20 miler with you.”  I drop my jaw in happyness and shock.  Then I realize maybe I should prevent my boyfriend from breaking his legs.  I tell him how about 13?   He’s not a regular runner, but he’s a natural runner. This crazy! boy completes 1 hour and 50 minute half marathon with only a handful of once a week runs and eating pizza. Crazy!!!!

So the first 13 miles or so were relatively slower than what I go at when I run alone, and we got lost a bit in a town over as we lost the path with a sidewalk and almost ran onto some busy roads and a highway, some that had too many traffic lights and some that had too steep of hills.  However, this allowed me to sustain my strength instead of burning out like I usually do. I finished my last 7 miles outside with some repetitive mile loops around the house.  A bit boring, but I don’t know why that seemed easier then going further out and back in.  I think I’m getting sick of my regular running path and being near home just seemed safer in case my knee started to bother me as it started acting up on mile 17.  After I came home, I stretched and decided to jog of 2 more miles to try to increase my endurance for the 26.2 and just in case run keeper GPS was off.

Lessons and Realizations

I learned a few things this run.  When you’re out running for 3 plus hours, you have some time to think.

  • Pacing yourself really works.  I kept an average of 9:12 minute miles by going slow in the first half and finishing slow.  In my past training runs I would run 8 minute miles at the start, burn out and finish my last 10 miles in 12 minute miles while being in pain.
  • I actually enjoy running without my headphones.  I love the sound of outdoors, my gasping breath and not having to hold my annoying phone.  I felt more aware than ever before of my form, my energy levels and abilities.  (Tony lost his headphones so we both ran headphones free, I ended up grabbing mine at mile 17 since I was alone and was getting bored of myself)
  • I might need to change my DC marathon goal.  My initial goal was the infamous sub – 4.  This was before I was given the amazing opportunity to run the Boston Marathon.  I’m learning from my training runs that running a full is very different than running a half and my base is just not that strong.  While I think maybe I can manage a sub-4, I’m not sure I can do it without injuring myself and needing more than a week of recovery based on my training runs.  On a normal race that would have been fine, but Boston is less an month away after that and I can’t afford more than a week of recovery.
  • New goal sub 4:30 Marathon for DC and save the sub 4 goal for a month later in Boston

That’s all, next post will be more food photos that are more exciting than my lazy bums salads  Being valentine’s week and a three day weekend, we’ve been eating out a lot by ourselves and with friends.  I’ll have some restaurant reviews and some deets on my Valentine’s day meal as prepared by Tony.  Lots of steak and seafood be warned.

I also introduced the cat today to our ghetto treadmill that’s been gathering dust.  I stopped running on it when I started marathon training since if you run more than 2 miles on it, you severely risk loosing your life or breaking your face.  The cat understood all this and while fearful for his life, he kept sniffing and jumping back.  That was some hard work for him.  Now the boys are taking a nap.  Cat from treadmill approaching, Tony from his half marathon.   Image

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