Week Two Marathon Training Recap

I think I read somewhere that the first two weeks of any training is the toughest and when most people quit. Well, I’m two weeks in and pumped!

Monday I was on the treadmill ready to tackle some “hills”. I’ve never done hill intervals on the treadmill and really didn’t know what I was doing but decided I’d just click on the hill interval button and go at it. I started at cool 9:40 pace and was feeling good. Then I felt the treadmill move. At first it wasn’t too bad of a change but then I started to see the incline percentage climb and I was shocked at how different it felt to be running up for what to me seemed like a long time. Since it was new to me, and I get excited about new things, I went for it and stayed at my 9:40 pace. I could feel sweat dripping from my face and my shirt start to cling to my body. I could feel the girl on the treadmill next to me staring. I could feel my heart pumping away. I. Felt. Awesome.

I love, love, love feeling like I’m getting a good workout it. At the end, I completed 3 miles in 28:46 with a 9:34/mile pace. I had climbed 371 ft.

Wednesday I met up with my run club at a local track. I was looking forward to what was on the agenda. I love the start of the workouts; everyone gathers around and shares their race stories from the previous weekend and show off their medals. Then Jim, the leader of the group, asks about any new sign ups. There were 6 who said they’d signed up for an Ironman! It’s so inspiring to be around talented people but also people who are there simply because they love running.

Jim had us doing a ladder exercise where we’d run 400m, then 800, then 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400. After each set, we’d walk for just a little bit and then get back at it. I made sure to run at a challenging but doable pace and stick to it. I wanted to maintain some sort of consistency. It turns out that I was feeling so good around an 8:25 pace! I couldn’t believe my watch when I’d check on it every now and again that it was showing me eights! I ended the workout at 3.2 miles in 28:02 with an 8:45 min/mile pace. I had run my fastest mile in 8:08!

I didn’t complete the full exercise, leaving after the second 1200m. I had to go pick up pizza  :  )

The next day, Thursday, I had four miles on my schedule. This would be a treadmill run. For some reason, I had a premonition this would not be a good run. I think I felt I had had two really good workouts that there wasn’t a chance it could be three in a row.

Sure enough, as soon as I got on the treadmill I could feel my shins flare up. The first two miles were absolutely awful. I stopped it once I reached the two mile mark and used the rest room and stretched my legs. I talked myself into going back and finishing—the schedule said four miles.

I mustered up whatever energy and motivation I had and finished. It ended up being not as bad as I thought at 38:31, around a 9:35 pace.

Today, Saturday, was long run day. My alarm went off at 5:15 and off I went to meet my run club to start our 6 a.m. run. It was raining this morning and it had been a long time that I had run in the rain. I started the first mile talking to Jim so I had my ear phones tucked away. At mile two we drifted apart and I decided that it was so beautiful out hearing the rain fall and the breeze that I wasn’t going to put my ear phones back on. (I have a lot more to say about this later) I realized I hadn’t looked at my watch the entire time I talked to Jim but I felt great and that’s what mattered. I could feel my shins but it was more soreness than sharp pain.

I kept going.

I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was almost afraid to increase my pace. When I reached mile three, the turnaround point for me, I decided that in the second half of my run I’d go a little a faster. I slowly increased my pace and finished off the run at 59:27 with a 9:54 min/mi pace. I loved that I finished in under an hour and I actually loved my splits:

1

11:09

2

10:09

3

10:05

4

9:25

5

9:29

6

9:05

That first mile talking to Jim allowed me to have enough endurance to finish strong and while it was a lot slower than what I usually do, because of that start I felt I could have kept going at the end.

Overall, this was a great week for me. I still worry about my shins but today’s run raised my spirits and I’m looking forward to next week. I’ve got a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving! : )

–Do you like running hills?

–What is your comfort pace?

–Do you run through pain?

Struggling

These past few days have been tough.

I’ve felt myself start to crumble these past few days that I haven’t run despite still working out every day. I don’t feel like my shins have gotten better; I don’t know how much better they should be at this stage of the no running clause. I’m thinking of trying a slow 1 miler tomorrow to test them out. I don’t know if I should but I want to feel them in action. Even if I feel “good” I’ll continue to rest them but then I’ll at least know that they’re on the mend.

I’ve been trying really hard to think positive thoughts. What usually helps me is to think of people that I look up to and that inspire me.

My sister is someone who does that.

I give 100% credit to her in getting me in love with running. I was a typical tag-a-long little sister. I followed her everywhere and that even included her athletic practices. She got involved in running her freshman year of high school; I was in 6th grade. I went with her to one of her practices and the coach was gung ho about letting me run with the big kids. I actually kept up.

I didn’t go to every practice of hers but that summer I ran with the team during the summer off season and each summer up to when I finally made it to high school. My freshman year, my sister was a senior and it was the best thing ever ever running with her.

Eleven years ago, my senior year in high school, my family and I were in a pretty bad car accident. My sister was hurt the worst. She broke three vertebrae in her neck and lost feeling in the left side of her body. She was told walking was unlikely.

But after months of electro shock therapy and physical therapy she tentatively took her first steps.

This past September, she ran her third half marathon in 2:26. She is testament to what hard work and determination is, never letting obstacles stop her from doing what she has always loved: running.

 

I wouldn’t be a runner if it wasn’t for her.

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Me (left) and my sister (right) at the top of Camelback Mountain

 

 

–Who inspires you?

 

No Running: Day Four

Longest four days ever. Okay, I’m exaggerating but I really am starting to feel that emotional craziness that happens when I don’t run. It’s different this time than when I was pregnant. When I was pregnant…well, I was pregnant. Right now I feel like I can run, but I know I shouldn’t. I still feel pain in my shins but not intense to where I couldn’t run through it. However, I’m practicing restraint. I have my very first marathon in four months and I really want to train well for it.

I’m starting to think that maybe I jumped the gun with this marathon. This injury really threw me a curveball and has made me feel nervous about being able to do it in what to me is a short time. My goal is to finish and finish with a feeling of accomplishment. I know that will happen because I always feel good when I finish a race but I don’t want to feel any coulda, shoulda, wouldas. I could have done better. I should have trained more/better. I would have felt better about the race had I not been injured.

I don’t want to feel any of that.

I’m not an excuses person. I hate excuses. I know that whatever happens is what happens and I’m owning it. I know these next two weeks (11 days but who’s counting?) will be tough because I’m not running but I’m also not going to be sitting on my ass all day doing nothing. Since Wednesday, I’ve been incorporating more strength training and core exercises. I’ve also been icing and stretching my shins every day.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fast runner. I’m not going to kid myself in to thinking that I’m going to all of a sudden become a speed demon these next four months. I plan on training and being consistent—basically continuing what I’m doing now except with a plan specific for that marathon. I think the biggest thing I need/want to work on is my diet. I figure there is no better time than now to start eating better. I know I can’t/won’t go cold turkey—I gotta drive thru something every now and then—but I can definitely make some small changes here and there that can really help me in the long run (ja! see what I did there?!?)

Ultimately, I hope that I start to feel like I can get back in the game. I’ve contemplated seeing my doctor but I’m not certain my injury is that severe it warrants a visit. I’m going to continue to give it these next few days and go from there.

 

In the meantime, I was so glad for Halloween. Not only is it my favorite holiday, it was the perfect distraction from my injury. Here is a pic of me and my lil superheroes :  )

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How do you cope with injuries?

What gets you out of a funk?