Sunday, September 20, 2015

Marathon training week 9: It's Goin' Down

Shockingly, I was not very sore the next day after my hilly half marathon. Which was a good thing, because I had an 8 miler for that morning on the plan. At marathon pace. Becky don't play. She wants me to run on tired legs. I did that. And shut down fear and doubt.

I got up before the sun was up to do this run. I had to be at work by 8 am to man the sick clinic. When I got to the retention pond, this view greeted me:

Wow. I was so enthralled by the sky that on the way home, I took a wrong turn and oops! ran an extra half mile. Yep, my morning is THAT tightly scheduled. I ended up leaving late for work, and when I called work to tell them I would be late, I found out that my work partner's husband had passed away over the weekend. Meanwhile, I was pulled over by an arrogant cop for...talking on the phone. Fighting tears, I explained my situation, and he let me go, but not without a lecture. Seriously, dude. Don't you have some crime to fight? 8.5 miles/1:15 minutes/8:50 min/mile.

Tuesday: I headed over to see Becky for a little CrossFit. Those kettlebells look innocuous, don't they? Oh sure. I'm not sure what you call this workout, but 3 days later, I was still in pain. 50 kettlebell swings/50 sumo deadlifts/250m row. Followed by the sequence of 40/40/250, 30/30/250, 20/20/250, and 10/10/250. Ouch.

Wednesday: The theme for today's yoga class was self-awareness. My instructor took the day off, and her husband led the class. He's a pretty amazing instructor but can lead a pretty tough class. He told us that he was following Kathy's explicit instructions. The peak pose was vasisthasana, or side plank. We did a lot of warmups and variations before the final pose. My hips and hamstrings were so happy! Meanwhile, I wanted to fulfill my commitment to Beth at Running with the Sunrise, who has been sending me daily poses for her Yoga for Runners Challenge. Wednesday's pose was Hero, which was easy after all that hip work.

Thursday: Again I had 3 mile repeats x2 on the plan. I didn't do the 5ks like I did last week. I just wasn't in the mood to play. Still sore after Tuesday's CrossFit, I pushed myself down the path. Thankfully, the weather was still fairly comfortable, with temperatures around 70 and moderate humidity. While my splits weren't as fast as last week, I was still happy with them. At mile 6, my tummy rebelled against the previous night's dinner at Olive Garden. It tasted oh so good, but you know there's a price you pay for that salty, greasy deliciousness....

Friday: rest day

Saturday: I had a nice easy 4 miles on the plan. No problem, right? Except there was nothing easy about this 4. It was still very humid from the rain we had the night before and the wind was gusty. So I slogged through the neighborhood. 4.11 miles/36:32, 8:53 min/mile pace.

I headed into work for a very busy and very interesting morning. No sooner did I get started with my first patient, that my husband called. My son took a cleat to the head on his first carry at rugby. He sent me the pictures of the injury and I told him to come to the clinic so we could close the wound. It took 3 staples to close it, and he was upset that I wouldn't let him go back to the game. This kid is tough. Makes me proud.

Sunday: Cue the music! It's time for the long run. I'm lucky that my long run is only 18 miles because in spite of great weather conditions, I really struggled after mile 14. I was running too fast and I had to work really hard to reel in my legs. All that speed work makes me want to fly! I felt pretty nauseous when I finished. My feet were killing me in those last 4 miles too--I saw Running with Skissors described it as knives stabbing her feet, and that's pretty much how it felt. Time for new shoes. I knew that, but wanted to get this long run done in the shoes I've been training in all summer. I will retire them now.
A picture perfect fall day.
I reflected on this run while I treated my feet to a post-long run pedicure, and you know what? There were a lot of good things in this run. The best thing that happened? NO POTTY STOPS!!! Around mile 4, my GI tract did the rumble. I started to think it was programmed for that since there is a portapotty there. I breezed right on past, and the sleeping giant went back to sleep. Winning!

Fueling was perfect. Since I ate breakfast about 45 minutes prior to the run, I started fueling with Tailwind Nutrition at mile 5. I may have waited too long because I did get a side stitch at mile 8. Luckily, I was able to chase it away after about a mile. I refilled my Tailwind bottle at mile 10 and mile 14, simply because that is where the drinking fountains were located on the path.
Why did the turtle cross the road? To make me feel fast....this was at mile 9
Pacing was good, albeit a little fast--ON THE BACK HALF! I was able to control my pace for the first part of the run, but after the second half, my legs just kept ignoring me. So the second half of this run had negative splits. That is a real confidence booster, and if my feet behave, this could bode well for the marathon.

And finally, miles 16-18 really were hard. Like, I want to quit hard. Of course, I didn't quit. What would be the point of that? But I was seriously questioning my sanity, doing another marathon this year. I'm not sure I'm going to get my sub-4, but I'm sure going to try. Mental toughness? Winning!

Now I get to taper, although I do have an 8 miler on Tuesday! No real rest yet. But as Marcia and Sara like to say, the hay is in the barn. Now it's all up to the marathon gods to deliver perfect weather and pain-free feet!
Glad to be done with that!

Finally, what song got me home? This one by The X Ecutioners. It's Goin' Down, indeed...

How was your week? Anyone else heading into Taper Town?  Any songs you want to throw my way?

I'm linking this post up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap! Check it out!


  1. You've mentioned Tailwind a few times. What exactly is it?

    Great job on that 18 miler!!

    1. Tailwind is an ultra training fuel--it's a liquid fuel, which is all I can tolerate on the long run. I drink one 24 ounce bottle/hour.