Sunday, May 20, 2018

Jubilation? (WW # 146)


Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.

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I decided to run the 40th anniversary Combat Cancer Jubilee 8k Saturday morning with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.  My Mom was a two time cancer survivor; dying later in life of other complications.  Sadly, my brother did not survive his cancer diagnosis in his mid 50's.  

This was week one of marathon taper.  I did my usual pre-hab routine twice, cycled 65 minutes indoors for cross training, and ran 8 miles at marathon pace leading up to the 8k race.  I planned to save my longer 12 mile run for Sunday.  Or...maybe even Monday.

No...didn't feel like Wonder Woman!
I knew it would the hottest Jubilee 8k race I'd run and had zero goals of running a PR or anything close to one.  Although hilly, it would provide good incentive to attempt one last "speedier" training run before the marathon.  Because, let's be honest ladies, I need all the motivation I can find.  I'm tired of training in this heat and more than ready for the big day to arrive.
 

What was I thinking?  Although very appreciative of my health and the ability to run in honor of others in my family, the thick humidity and 150 foot climb in the first mile wore me out.  I took several walk breaks.  I did win my age group, but I'm pretty certain there weren't many ladies in it (if any).  I was delighted PoPo surprised me at the finish so we could eat breakfast at First Watch.  I love their lemon ricotta pancakes and that was my true reward for finishing.




With a busy week ahead, I set an early wake-up for Sunday morning.  Even with a 5:30 start time, I felt nauseous by mile 8 and stopped at 11.4 miles.   That was my last double digit run before the marathon. I am definitely jubilant about that.  It could not have come soon enough.  But, it will be hard not to stress over the tough training conditions I've had in the last few weeks and how that might affect my race. 

And that's a wrap!

Tell me some good diversions for the next two weeks!

Do you acclimate to heat and humidity?  I don't ever seem to.




Friday, May 18, 2018

Will Less Be More?

As my next marathon draws near and the taper is making me a little nuts...OK a lot nuts...I've been nervously obsessing over my training cycle.  I went with a different thought process this time.  Will it pay off?



The Runs

I only ran 3 times a week.  This was tough, especially toward the end.  My last marathon cycle?  I ran 5 times most weeks.  But as I've struggled with injuries in the last few years, and since I'm an {ahem} older runner, I thought the extra rest days would be beneficial.   I'm nervous about this, but keep reminding myself all runs were of distance and effort; peaking at 38 weekly miles. 


The Cycling

To make up for a 4th run, it was important I get the same type of cardio workout I would get if I'd run 5-7 miles on another day.   These were hard sweat sessions cycled inside on the mag trainer to maintain that desired heart rate.  I jammed to 70's funk, watched Survivor, and some other really bad TV for distraction.  I peaked at 70 minutes and 23 miles.


The Pre-Hab

No, I didn't go the gym {pigs would fly, right?} but I continued with my usual pre-hab to keep my hips, hammies, glutes, piriformis, hip flexors and knees happy.  I do a variety of  300-350 reps on each side using exercises I learned in physical therapy.  I threw in pushups until my left elbow was no longer down with that plan [had a steroid shot this week - miracle drug!].  Wall sits were added to aid in handling the downhill grade of my race.   Yoga happened most weeks too.


Just a stupid pic goof-balling with the mailbox
with either a bug or food on my face...

The Specificity 

There were no recovery miles or so-called junk miles.  In addition to the all-important long run, one weekly medium distance run (starting at 6; peaking at 11) was dedicated to steady marathon race pace.  I also ran 4 half marathons faster than MRP during this cycle.  One weekly shorter distance was dedicated to fast pacing or speed work with down hill grades when possible. Speaking of downhill, my training was put to the test at the  Tear Drop Half.  7 miles of continual, steep, down hill grade, averaging 300 feet lost per mile, left me running, limping walking away with a new PR. 


The Hiccups

No training cycle is complete without a few hiccups.  After 2 days of strenuous Smoky Mountain hiking in March, too much slipping on ice and mud had my left hip screaming loudly.  After a week or two, it didn't hurt much while running but turning over in bed, walking up stairs, and getting out of my car were difficult.  Today with my continued pre-hab and stretching, it is much better.  I also went through quite the dental saga with months of unrelenting pain early in this cycle. I'm beyond thrilled to have that behind me. 
 

There it is.  Will less be more?  So many factors will come into play on race day; namely 10,000 feet of altitude, warm weather, downhill running, and air travel.  Will everything come together for a strong finish?  Only time will tell.

How many days of running are typically in your training plan?



I'm joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.






Sunday, May 13, 2018

Peak Week (WW # 145)


Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
Are you following the UPDATED RULES ?



I had this week scheduled as my peak for marathon training. Unfortunately, it came during a time we were experiencing record early heat.  It was well over 90 degrees every day.  After running 18 miles in the heat last weekend, I just couldn't wrap my head around doing it again.   I fretted.  I whined.  I was cranky.  Very Cranky.

Tuesday evening, I cycled indoors in the much appreciated air conditioning.  70 minutes was also a peak for cardio cross training.  Since I was cycling one day earlier than usual, I couldn't enjoy my usual Survivor diversion and chose a couple episodes of Roseanne instead.  It's hard to believe that show was brought back after 30 years.

Because pics on the mag trainer get boring...

Wednesday I ran my peak mid-week marathon race pace run of 11 miles.  It was very warm so this run felt harder than all of my other MRP runs.  I checked and re-checked my weather apps still worrying about my weekend long run.

Finally, I made the decision to get up crazy early on the coolest overnight I could see we were going to have any time soon; 66 degrees with 85% humidity and no wind -- before daylight.  I set my alarm for 3:55.  After a quick breakfast of watermelon yogurt and a few vanilla wafers, I hit the pavement Friday morning at 4:15.  Just in case you are interested, I consumed 40 ounces of Tailwind, 16 ounces of water, 1/2 of a banana, 2 GU and 1 salt capsule during my run.


Why not add in some elevation?

Giving in to a I-might-as-well-make-it-even-tougher urge, I ran my hilliest route.  After all, I still need all the downhills I can find.  The dark miles were actually not too bad; having me wish I'd started earlier.  Once the sun was up, it was tough.  I've never been so happy to have a 20 mile run behind me!

IT IS DONE!    Now...off to work.

I did very little Saturday except for holding down a pool float as we celebrated Mother's Day in our back yard.  Sunday morning I enjoyed a short, hot 7.4 mile run before road-tripping to the in-laws.  I can only hope for some chilly mountain air on race day!


These yummy hand dipped strawberries were
waiting after my Mother's Day run.


Total Run Miles = 38.4
Total Cycle Miles = 23.3


My sweet Mom has been gone 10 years.  Hug your Mom if you have the chance!

Happy Mother's Day!

And that's a wrap!



Sunday, May 6, 2018

T minus 25 (WW #144)





Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
Are you following the UPDATED RULES ?



My next marathon is getting very real.  I'll catch a flight in just 25 days.  With Mother's Day, high school graduation events, a trip or two to the lake, Memorial Day... it's practically here.  Where did the time go?  I feel very good about my April training.  I stayed on track with my long run mileage and also ran two half marathons.



Most of this week was about recovery.  I suspected it would be.  It is why I opted to run back to back long distance runs of 16 and 17 miles in the two weekends prior to my steep downhill, extra recovery inducing, half marathon.  I was afraid I may not be able to run long the weekend after.  I was very shocked and pleased with my finish time on tired legs and hope it bodes well for the marathon... I digress.


The best diversion for indoor cycling!

Little happened during the work week except for a short yoga routine Tuesday and 60 minutes of cross training on the mag trainer Wednesday.  I enjoyed a few Epsom Salt baths and spent the week wearing compression sleeves under my work slacks.  A short 3 mile run on Thursday morning told me loud and clear, my legs needed more time.  Alrighty.  No mid-week marathon race pace run for me!




By the weekend the legs were feeling fresher, although I wouldn't say 100%.   I wanted to do my long run on Saturday to get it over with.  But, the humidity was extreme so I decided to stay in bed a while longer.  I eventually got out for 7 easy miles.
 


Sunday morning, we were blessed with lower humidity.  I hit the street just before 6:30 a.m.and it was pretty pleasant for the first two hours.  By the last hour, I had lost most of my shade and it was hot, but I got in my long run done.  Only one more long run remains for this training cycle.  WHOOT.

And that's a wrap!


Tell me, do you finally have Spring weather?  Or Summer, perhaps?

What is your favorite way to recover after a strenuous race?




Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday Coffee Talk (May)



Welcome to Coffee Talk!


Shamefully, it's been while since I've joined in on the Ultimate Coffee Date or the Friday Five.   But, here I am and I'm ready to chat.

A lot has been going on in the last few months; marathon training, mountain hiking, sandy beaching, and running a few half marathons were among the daily grind. 

Have a seat, pour up a large mug, settle in and let's talk. 





Over Coffee...

You'd hear that a highlight of my spring was hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It was a last minute spring break decision I let our middle son make.  It made sense as we really enjoyed hiking in Utah last year.  Hiking around the Gatlinburg area did not disappoint.  We traversed four trails over two days, collecting 17 miles with an ascent and descent of 5,500 feet (what goes up must come down).  Stream crossings, snow, waterfalls, caves, excessive mud, inches of ice -- we experienced it all.  Plus we ran a race on the third day; me a half and he a 10k.  I admit, we talked smack about hiking part of the Appalachian Trail next year.  Hmm....

{ ... I'm speechless ... }


Over Coffee...

I'd tell you I was grateful to spend a few April days in the Florida Panhandle.  Instead of my usual beach side running route, I ran twice at Conservation Park.  Not only are there beautiful paved trails with boardwalks and swampland, there are miles and miles of packed dirt trails.  I don't think I've ever run on dirt before, unless it was a short section of a race.  Although it was hot, the dirt felt much easier on my body...even after 16 miles.
 

The dirt was more like hard packed sand.

Over Coffee...

I'd admit I was weak.  Although the price for a discontinued iPod Shuffle is now astronomical, I just couldn't tolerate running with my iPhone for music any longer.  Believe me, I tried.  It turned off when too cold.  It turned off when too sweaty hot.  It changed to Japanese language for reasons unknown.   It was heavy.  Now, all is right with the world again with the little postage-sized square clipped to my top.

Can you even see the tiny Shuffle?

Over Coffee...

I'd try not to hyperventilate while telling you there's only 4 weeks until my downhill marathon. My Fly Delta app says check-in is available in 27 days.  EEK.  Now it's feeling real.  Training has been going well though.  In fact, my marathon training blessed me with a shiny new PR at the recent Tear Drop half marathon. Unfortunately, that race left me needing extra recovery time. Lots of extra recovery time...



Missing:   ELEV LOSS  2,570   (aka OUCH)

Over Coffee...

You'd be able to see I'm giddy about the water skiing season only days away.  With an extra cold Winter, I wasn't able to start early like I did last year.  I'm ready, but then again the excessive worrier in me is afraid I'll do something stupid to affect my marathon performance.  That same worry is keeping my bike in the house on its trainer.  Perhaps I should roll myself in bubble wrap, stay in bed and call it a day.


What would you tell me over coffee?



I'm linking with the lovely Coco and Deborah!
Be sure to stop in for coffee on Saturday and chat.
www.got2run4me.com

I'm also joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.