Sunday, March 2, 2014

CrAZy!...but possible :-)



I finished up last week with a Sunday 12 mile treadmill long run on some pretty spent legs! My plan going in to the run was to get a minimum of 10 miles in, and to get in an extra two if I was feeling up for it to round out my weekly mileage to about 40. My schedule did not have a long run listed since I ran a 5k race the day prior, but I personally don’t feel comfortable skipping out on a long run while 26.2 training! It’s more of a mental thing if anything. I had three easy days written in to begin week 8, so I knew I’d have time to recover. As I embarked on my post-race long run, my legs were pretty stiff and uncomfortable. But, once I warmed up I was in cruise control and got in 12 miles under 1:36! This brought my Week 7 miles to 39.9 and my total mileage to this point to 263.18.

Week 8 was another crazy week! Here is how it went:

Monday- Much needed 5 easy miles! My legs were SUPER sore and I was pretty exhausted. I took this easy, easy, EASY.

Tuesday- The weekend really caught up to me by today. I was over-tired, my sinuses were aching, my legs were sore, and my motivation was low. I got in an easy 40:00 on the elliptical. It was a pretty pathetic workout, and I left the gym thinking the day may have been better spent as a rest day. 

Wednesday- I had a late night at school and contemplated just taking the day off. I am trying to take the minimalist approach with my training this time around, and after not feeling too great the day before rest seemed like a good option. I brought my running things with me to school, and by the end of the busy day I felt the need for the easy miles! So, I took it WAY easy and got 5 easy miles in on the school’s treadmill. It was comfortable and a good stress releaser! 

Thursday- After a sweet surprise from my students and an awesome colleague of mine, the exhaustion from a late night at school the night prior had no weight on my enthusiasm! I was ready to get back into some speed work, and was excited for the tempo intervals written in on my training plan! But, MAN was it tough! I ran a 15:00 warm up, 5 X 1 mile @6:40min/mi with 3:00 recovery jogs in between completed with 3 X 200m@6:27min/mi with 200m recovery in between. The first few intervals were really difficult to maintain, but I forced myself to stay focused, taking one interval at a time. I told myself that my 5th interval would be optional, so if I was totally DONE by the 4th I wouldn’t be devastated. Although I was certainly exhausted, I decided to push through the 5th interval and it felt great! I think because mentally I treated it as my “bonus round,” my adrenaline was flowing and I was able to push through. I ended up covering 10 miles in total, which is my longest mid-week workout of my training so far! 

Friday- My off/carbo-loading day. This day came with great anticipation, as it was the preparatory day for my ultimate treadmill-training day. I had 18 miles on the agenda for my long run Saturday. I have never completed a long run of that length on the treadmill. Everything about it just sounded so crazy. But, with my goals in mind it was what I had to do!

Saturday- When the alarm went off at 6:15am, I peeled myself out of bed. I threw on my running singlet and shorts, popped some bread in the toaster and coffee grinds in the coffee maker, and eventually scrambled made my way out the door. I tried not to think too much about the crazy treadmill mileage I was about to embark on, as nearly two hours and thirty minutes of consistent running is challenging enough with a changing landscape. Doing this stationary was a challenge I have yet to experience in my running career. But, being committed to making my goals happen this year and staying smart throughout my training in getting me there meant the treadmill was my best option and I had to make the most of it. So, I arrived at the gym at 8am, got my water bottles and gel arranged on the treadmill deck, did some stretching, and then off I went! Fortunately, my gym has individual TVs on each ‘mill so I can watch whatever I want as I go. I immediately put the dial up to an 8:00min/mi. My legs were a little dead but that is normal for me. I do most of my training in the early evening, so early morning long runs are always slow-going initially. Considering all of my races are in the early am, it’s REALLY important I get used to this! So to accompany my early miles, I watched Good Morning American and caught up on the news in the world. Then, I turned on Comedy Central and was SO excited that National Lampoon’s European Vacation was on! I watched the entire movie throughout the remainder of my run, which helped distract me from paying too close attention to the crazy mileage I was covering throughout the length of the movie. I took a gel around mile 12, which went down smoothly and caused no belly pain! It definitely helped to keep me going, and I was glad my stomach agreed with it. It usually takes a few long runs before my GI tract is accustomed to gels. Once I reached about mile 16, I was hot and sweaty but so close to the finish. I ended my  long run with another great comedy from the 80s, Weekend at Bernie’s! I cranked up the treadmill to get a few meters in the last mile at marathon pace, and finished in under 2 hours and 24 minutes. I averaged just under an 8:00min/mi for the length of my long run. I was a hot, sweaty, disgusting mess when I was done, but I felt GREAT! I will affirm that 18 miles on the treadmill is certainly crazy. But, my accomplishment on this day proved that despite the craziness it IS possible. I was so excited I finished my first legit long run of the season, and was even more excited I was able to do it all on the treadmill! I stopped for no potty breaks and my body felt pretty good when I finished. My legs weren’t trashed, my energy was pretty high, and I was able to make the transition from runner to "lady" after for another afternoon Baby Shower! Fortunately, this time around I had plenty of time to take a LITERAL shower first! HA!

Sunday- Today, my legs feel pretty good and I will be getting in 4 easy miles after I finish up this post! This will bring my Week 8 miles to 42 and my total Glass City Marathon training mileage to 305.18.

Another snow storm is on the way, so it is looking like I will be completing another week of treadmill training.  Also, I am starting a second Master’s degree program this week, so I will be very, very busy. But, I have no worries! Just because something is absolutely crazy, does not mean it’s impossible. At this point, I have full confidence in my ability to power through the rest of my training despite how crazy it might be! I feel the same way about my beginning my new graduate degree. I will be taking my Master’s like I take my training: one crazy day at a time.

On to week 9! Woo WeEeEeE Glass City is in less than two months!!!! 

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