Marathon Training, Week #7: February 13-20, 2017

This was another week of ups and downs . . . Nothing too exciting, just hanging in there as I approach the midpoint of my training. (Featured photo taken on my iPhone during Saturday’s long run in Umstead Park.)   Continue reading


Runner Profile: BRAD

February 13, 2017

I asked Brad to be the first runner in my new section, Runner Profiles.  I’m always interested in learning about others’ running lives, their preferences/likes/dislikes, their gear, their habits, their race histories, etc. I hope that some of my favorite runners and best running friends will agree to be part of this section in the future and open up about all their intimate details!

Brad is like a brother to me.  He once sat in my classroom, me a first year teacher and him a young, quiet twelve-year-old boy from my hometown.  I moved away from my hometown, and he grew up and married my cousin, who is like my little sister. Poof! Younger brother in the making, and it helps that we share a love of this sport.  He is more on the trail side while I am more on the road side, and his longest race is about four times the length of mine (and I run marathons!). Continue reading

Marathon Training, Week #5: January 30-February 5, 2017

Monday: Cross training at home, using dumbbells and a kettlebell that I have at home to work on upper body and core exercises.

Tuesday: 3 mile time trial at Fleet Feet.  I ran an easier first three miles, waited a few minutes at the halfway point until the rest of the groups came through,  and pushed on the way back.  Even with the pause at the halfway point, I ran it at a 10:29 pace, in 31:49.  In hindsight, I’m glad to have gotten in some fast miles, as Thursday’s tempo run didn’t go so well . . .

Wednesday: CrossFit. Four rounds of 6 Turkish Get Ups (18 lb), 12 Kettlebell Swings (36 lb/1 pood, 12 Goblet Squats (1 pood), 6 Handstand Push Ups. 19:16.  I ran two miles after (on very tired legs . . . ). I really like this workout for shoulder and core training.

Thursday: The workout was to have been a six mile tempo run at 11:05. My average pace turned out to be 11:58, so I didn’t quite hit it, although I did stop for two minutes total running time as I adjusted my shoes multiple times.  I had broken out a new pair of Saucony Guides, and they were tied too tightly.  And they just felt stiff, making my feet very sore.  It takes so long to break these shoes in, although once they are, I love them.  I have my 5K PR in a pair of these, so they are dear to me in spite of the long break in time. On a positive note, I was able to run a negative split with a faster second half.  The run itself was a little monotonous, as I chose to repeat my two mile route three times.  Doing this allowed me to have bright streetlights the entire way, and I didn’t have to wait for any crossing signs.

Friday: Hustle Fitness workout.  Gina was able to arrange for a free class for us at this studio in Cary.  There were nine of us plus the trainer.  On one side of the room, she had five or six treadmills, and on the other side, she had yoga mats set up, each with a variety of dumbbells on the floor beside them.  Half of us started on the treadmills and half on the floor.  She turned on some very loud and heavy rap music, and she shouted our directions over that through a headset and speakers. I found it difficult to understand what she was saying through the music, but I could watch her and follow from her cues.  We were on the treadmills at different inclines half the time (about 30 minutes) and on the mats (or TRX straps) the other half of the time.  So, we ran about 3 miles plus did various exercises with light weight or body weight.


Saturday: 9 mile run on White Oak Creek Greenway.  It was a really cold Saturday morning, in the low twenties, and I felt like that made it harder to run. All in all, though, it was a good run.  

Sunday: I had gone out with a friend Saturday night, but I was able to sleep in until after 7:00 a.m. Sunday. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve done that.  I did some chores and errands in the morning, and I set out for my 12 mile run at noon.

This run . . . I was already not looking forward to it, after having done the cold run the morning before.  However, it was in the upper 50s when I set out, so the cold should not have bothered me.  Also, my friend Jennifer had asked me the day before how long my Sunday run was going to be, and I answered 11.  When I looked at my training chart and saw it was actually 12, it threw me for a loop. For one thing, I was mentally prepared for 11.  Not that 12 is that much more when you are in those numbers, but it looked so much longer than 11.  Also, I feel like I am so busy running around all the time, that I’m not paying attention to details, and that I’m missing things that I usually don’t.

I set out for the 12 . . . my plan was to run the first 8 very easy and to then hold an 11:45 pace in the last 4 miles when I was the tiredest.  Mile one was very hard, and mile two didn’t get any easier.  I made a bathroom stop at the end of mile two, and after that, I just couldn’t force myself to run.  I ended up walking almost all the the rest, just pushing myself to run the last two miles.  So, for most of the middle eight miles, I walked at a 16:00 pace.  

So many thoughts went through my mind. . .  is this plan too tough for me? Do I need to shorten the Sunday runs? Do I need to go back to doing extra miles on Saturday and keeping Sunday as a rest day? Do I need to be mentally tougher? Do I need more rest (I hadn’t had a rest day in nine days, since last Friday). Do I need to eat more carbs?

Maybe it didn’t help that I listened to two really depressing podcasts, one about a woman and how she recovered from alcoholism, and one about a woman and how she overcame the adverse effects of Hashimoto’s disease.  Neither one was very uplifting.

I still don’t know the answer.  On a scale of 1 to 10 for physical tiredness, I was at a 5. For mental fatigue, I would say I was also at a 5.  Maybe putting those two together, however, was causing a lot of extra stress.

At least I did the miles. Time on my feet.

I don’t know.  I think I need to try it one more weekend and then reevaluate.

I am my own coach.  I need to make these decisions.

Mileage for week: 35 miles

Bright spots: I got in a lot of cross training, two good speed workouts during the week, and a lot of miles.

Marathon Training Week #4: January 23-29, 2017

This is the week where my mileage ramps back up and fatigue sets in. Sure enough, it hit me after Wednesday evening’s long run, and it stayed with my until Monday.  Although exhausted, my goal is to get more cross training in this season.  I went to CrossFit after school on Monday, and what happened there seemed to be the thing to break up the deep fatigue.

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