Monday, August 03, 2015

Eating a Frog: July Marathon Training Update

Blurry photo by one of the kiddos; shirt from Neil for my birthday

So I'm pretty sure that nobody wants to read about my running stuff all the time, but it's a huge part of my life, so we'll compromise with monthly updates (although if you want to read more regularly you can do so on my running blog. This is my report on the first four weeks of "official" marathon training for my second marathon, but my first time using Pete Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning as a guide. Before beginning marathon training, I spent six weeks building up my base mileage for the first week of Pfitz after previous buildup for a half-marathon.

I ended July with 166 miles. This is by far the most I've ever run in a month, but almost 40 miles less than I will run next month (yikes!).

I ran a hill last Saturday that I normally dread (it's a mile long and thus is quite a beating on both the uphill and the downhill). I put it at the exact midpoint of my run and I felt so good running back up! Last week I was running it with a girl from the trail running group here, who is farther along in her fall race training than I am, and when we got to the top she was dizzy and had to sit down. I was fine; I had to wait with her last week, but this week I just went right up that last murderous incline and kept right on running as it leveled out. I ran with Neil last week and he was having trouble breathing and talking; I was jabbering along like crazy. So I'm feeling good about overall fitness. This mesocycle I am committing to strength-training once a week, yoga once a week, and core training 3x/week. I was (usually) doing yoga, but the other things need to be happening too. I'm using the Pfitzinger strength-training and core circuits, and doing the yoga sessions on the Runner's World yoga center. The marathon-pace and half-marathon pace miles are hard, but doable (by which I mean I kind of want to die but I don't). Strides are BY FAR my favorite type of speedwork, but I know gutting out miles at the HMP and MP will really help in the long run.

Aches & Pains:
That darn knee that always bothers me is at it again--just kind of low-level pain that sometimes hurts for a couple of miles and then goes away. It does NOT hurt when I am not running, which is the point at which I become concerned, and I haven't had any recurrences of the really bad pain I had 4 weeks ago, so I'm just targeting it in stretching and being careful about what surfaces I run on (trails good, concrete bad). My plantar fasciitis has flared up this week but um, I took a week off from my sugar fast (8 weeks on) and I can practically guarantee that's why. Back on the no-sugar wagon today (but I'll be honest, it was nice to eat chocolate on my birthday!).

In the last 8 weeks, I've lost 9 lbs (fairly sure I gained a few of those back last week!). I've been really good about no sugar, no eating after 9 PM, and getting my RDA of fruits/veggies, but I want to veer back towards more plant-based proteins like I was doing a couple of years ago. Avoiding fried foods and sugar helps a lot with joint inflammation. Right now I'm taking iron and glucosamine chondritin to help with those joints and my tendency to be slightly anemic. Instead of gels, I am using a chia seed/honey/lime juice mixture that is fabulous and leaves me feeling great during long runs. 

Affecting My Life: In the next 8-week mesocycle I am really going to focus on getting more sleep. In the 6-week period between when I was building up my base mileage after the Labor Day half-marathon, I was running 12 miles every Saturday, and I was much more energetic on Saturdays than I am right now. I'm only running 3-4 miles more on the Saturday LRs than I was previously, but I'm running a lot more during the week and I've been pretty trashed by Saturday and taken some serious naps a few hours post-run. Compression calf sleeves after my hard runs definitely help!

If I look at an entire week of runs, it totally freaks me out about actually fitting them in--even the individual runs are scary! I just have to take it one day at a time. A month ago my running board buddies all got after me for doing my runs too fast, and it was terrifying for me to change things up so that I was doing the vast majority of my miles much slower than I normally would (like two minutes per mile slower for recovery miles!). I went back to Pftizinger's book and calculated the pace range for every single type of run (he gives them as percentages of marathon pace) and so I try to nail that pace every run. Now I'm at the point where I HAVE to run those ones slowly or I won't have the energy for the other runs. I'm sticking exactly to my plan and haven't missed a single run, so that helps me to feel like I'm doing things properly. I have already passed up my peak mileage during my previous marathon training, so that is both scary and exciting. This is definitely a much more rigorous program than the Higdon plan I used before.

This week's plan:Monday: 9 miles with 5 at half-marathon pace/core work
Tuesday: 5 recovery miles/strength-training
Wednesday: 10 general aerobic miles/core work
Thursday: scheduled rest day; yoga and maybe strength
Friday: 16 miles with 10 at marathon pace/core work
Saturday: 5 recovery miles (plus attending the temple openhouse and spending the day at the Children's Museum, which is why I'm switching my LR to Friday)
Sunday: scheduled rest day
Total miles: 45

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