Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 11: How MP Got Her Groove Back

Back in the swing of it and feeling GREAT! The River Run certainly resuscitated my ailing heart. :-)

Racing during marathon training is essential for many reasons. Not only does it put your fitness level to the test, but it helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t work before, during, and after a race. This is with regards to nutrition, dealing with race morning chaos, sleep (or lack thereof, usually),  Port-A-Potty use (eventually you stop thinking of how disgustingly unsanitary those things are, LOL), proper warm-up, pre and post- run clothing, and so much more that would never cross your mind as essential until you race.  But the main benefit of racing is the “high” that comes along with it. It’s so much fun being surrounded by so many people of different abilities all trying to achieve their goals. The energy at a race is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and always has me wanting to come back for more.  Plus, the adrenaline rush that comes with pushing yourself to your limits and coming out with a P.R. is indescribable. Simply put, it’s amazing!  My 1:30 at the River Run last weekend was the electrifying jolt my running heart needed to start beating again. I got my groove back! :-)

Monday night before Open House at AHS, I got in a solid hour of cross-training. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the bike. I have gotten quite good at the YMCA showers before night events at school, haaaaa. Tuesday, I was totally exhausted but my spirits were high! I rocked a 45 minute tempo, increasing my 6:40-6:50 time to 25 minutes instead of 20, with a 10 minute warm-up and 10 minute cool down. I covered 5.89 miles and felt GREAT afterwards! Wednesday I ran a 4 mile pace at an average 7:08min/mi pace. I was clearly running this too fast, but I still had residual race adrenaline that I couldn’t suppress. So, I just went with it! Thursday I covered 10 miles easy through CLE. It was a cool, beautiful night, and I just wanted to keep this at a relaxing pace. I decided to be rebellious and ran with headphones for this one.  It was just what I needed to tune out the world for a bit, and I averaged an 8:02min/mi pace.  

After a busy rest day Friday, I was very excited to embark on my first 20 mile journey of my training on Saturday. Yes, that’s right…EXCITED!!! It’s been a while since I’ve genuinely looked forward to running for 2+hours like I used to! :-) I had a late night Friday, so didn’t end up on the Tow Path until 9:40am. OOPS! My goal for this long run was to keep focused on completing the mileage, and less focused on my pace. I wanted to be around an 8:00 min pace, but wasn’t too concerned about being right on. I also decided to be rebellious for this run and ran with headphones, but again I felt that I could use the distraction. I know my analytical side is a part of my charm (INSERT SARCASTIC SMERK), but I need to ease up on it in my running. I love running, and need to run like I love it…not like I “have” to do it. As  a consequence, I really didn’t focus on my pace at all throughout the run. It’s hard for me to even give a detailed report on it because I was in “la la running land” for most of it. And, it was wonderful!! I ended with my usual strong last mile (7:00ish pace), and overall ran in 2:38:47, an average 7:56min/mi pace. That’s fantastic considering I wasn’t even paying attention!  But, I won’t be running my next 20 miler in this same lackadaisical fashion. There will be no headphones, and I will be focused!!! :-)  But, it sure felt good to step outside the box and relax for a little bit. 

Overall, awesome week in training!! I covered 44.89 miles this week, and 389.83 miles over the past 11 weeks. I’m feeling good despite some major back pain from too much heavy lifting over the past week.  I seriously have no upper body strength. Once NYC is over, I think it may be time to start some weight lifting…? EEEEEEK doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s unbelievable how weak I am. The more I run, the wimpier I get. My big bro said to me as we were trying to carry a coffee table down the fire escape, “You’re like an offensive lineman (I think that’s what he said) playing in the NBA right now.” I, obviously, asked for a translation in my language and he replied: “For as good of an athlete you are, you are unbelievably weak.” LOL! :-)

My Week 12 NYC Marathon Training agenda (based off of Hal Higdon’s Advanced-2 Marathon Training Program:
Monday: 7X800
Tuesday: 40 minute cross-train
Wednesday: 45 min tempo
Thursday: 6 mile pace
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5K ??? possibly…going to see how I feel towards the end of the week
Sunday: 12 miles 

I registered for Boston this week and am still waiting to hear back!!! Fingers crossed I get in again!!

Starting to REALLY feel ready to kick some butt in Cbus and NYC in just a few weeks!! MP’s Got Her Groove back! :-)