Monday, June 26, 2017

Recovery Week

This week : 
M : 45 minute TRX class
run 3.1 / 
T : 45 minute TRX class
run 4.5 / 
(4 x 800)
horseback ride 90 minutes
W : bike 8.3 / 16.8 mph / 607 ft
R : bike 16.4 / 16.6 mph / 1214 ft
F : 45 minute TRX class
run 5 / 7:40 / 397 ft
horseback ride 90 minutes
Sa : run 5.3 / 7:32 / 144 ft
Su : rest
total run miles : 17.9
total bike miles : 24.8

I don't feel like I'm recovering from a back-to-back marathon/half marathon.  I have to keep reminding myself that my body needs recovery time even though I don't feel like it does.  My reduced mileage just feels lazy to me right helps that I have been traveling, so at least I have been busy enough to almost not notice how little I am running.... I am now in RI for about 2 weeks though, and hope to get my running schedule back to somewhat normal while here, as well as throwing in some bike rides.  Primary focus is now to work towards a half marathon PR.  It's time to break 1:28, and I'm hoping to break it by more than just a few seconds!  

Here I am enjoying a run through Lewisburg, PA after a 6 hour drive.  It was a gorgeous run, but way too flat for my tastes!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Post-Marathon week

By Wednesday, my legs didn't feel sore anymore.  Seems like all my training really paid off for that marathon, my body was ready to handle it and recover quickly!  Now, I know my body is probably still recovering, even though it feels fine.  It certainly wasn't ready to run a stellar half marathon on Saturday, but I still was able to run a strong race, if not a super-fast one.  I want to jump straight into training for the half marathon PR I hope to get in the fall, but hopefully I will be able to convince myself to take it easy for at least another week.

This week : 
M : walk 3.2 
T : group 4.1 / 8:25 / 167 ft
W : 30 minute ab workout 
R : group 4.2 / 7:44 / 240 ft
F : off
Sa : race 13.2 / 7:24 / 449 ft
Su : jog w/Lex 4.3 / 10:36 / 397 ft
total miles : 25.8

I was itching to run on Monday, but felt like it was probably a better idea to wait another day.  I did need to go to the post office though, I decided to walk instead of drive.  It was pretty hot out for a walk, but it still felt good to move my legs.  The walk also helped to loosen up my hips, which were pretty tight post-marathon.  On Tuesday I went to run club, but kept the pace nice and easy.  Thursday I was pushing the pace, because my legs were sick of slow paces, and I wanted to let them stretch out before Saturday's race!  The race was really humid, and I wasn't able to run quite as fast as I had hoped, but I still put in a solid run for 1 week post-marathon.  Today I drove to Lewisburg, and had a nice recovery jog with a friend.  

This coming week, I hope to enjoy some runs around town as well as a bike ride or two.  I'll also go to at least one TRX class at the gym while I'm here.  And of course spend some quality time with my horse!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hatfield McCoy Marathon 6/10/17

Friday evening : my "flat runner" is ready, I've picked up my bib, eaten a small but free pasta dinner, and am on my way to find a second dinner because I'm still hungry. 

Saturday morning : waiting around for the race to start.  Got our picture taken with McCoy(left) and Hatfield (right).  

I took 1st place around mile 10 or 11 and held it til the end.  I never had any idea how far behind me 2nd place was, and never let myself turn around to look.  Not knowing helped me keep pushing myself whenever I started to slow down.  I crossed the line with a watch time of 3:25:36 and chip time of 3:25:30, and in addition to my finisher's medal I received the Kentucky State marathon championship medal.  (This race just happened to be the Kentucky State championship this year)

Race Recap/Review 
Packet Pickup and the Race Expo were held at the Belfry, KY high school.  It was easy to find, and the packet pickup went very smoothly.  The expo had a selection of running clothes, shoes, and books about the Hatfield-McCoy feud.  I didn't pay too much attention to all the stuff because I didn't want to spend any money, but it looked like it had some good deals.  The expo let out into the cafeteria, where there was a free pasta dinner for the racers.  I appreciated the free meal, but I needed about 3 times that amount of pasta, and ended up having to stop at a Subway on the way back to the hotel to get a sandwich and chips because I was so hungry it felt like I hadn't had dinner at all. 

The hotel/motel situation around Williamson is not great. There were only a few choices right in Williamson, and none of them were affordable for me.  The fire departments do offer cots for anyone who wants to stay there, and next time I would probably try that instead.  As it was, we stayed in the Daniel Boone Motor Inn 30 minutes away.  Wasn't the nicest motel I've stayed in, but it was cheap and the beds weren't bad.  (also, they still use metal keys instead of plastic key cards!)

On Saturday morning, we got to Williamson around 5:15 and didn't have any trouble finding parking, although I didn't think the parking map was particularly clear, and think it would have been really nice if they had put up signs in the designated parking areas so that it would be more clear where we were allowed to park.  We ended up just parking in a lot and hoping it was ok.  After we parked, we wandered for a bit until a bus drove by and picked us up.  We weren't super clear on where exactly the bus stops were, but were thankful that the bus driver picked us up where we were standing when she drove by.  The bus took us to the starting line a few miles away at the Food City.  We still had about an hour to kill until the race start, and thankfully the Food City was open and we got to sit in the nice warm food court until it was closer to go time. 

The race started right around 7:00, and we headed up the road with our police escort, as well as several local cyclists.  I stayed with the 8:00 pacer for the first mile or so.  I believe that was the fastest pacer they had.  The course was beautiful, there was very little traffic, and any cars that did pass us gave plenty of room.  There were water/gatorade stops every mile with friendly volunteers.  This race is unique in that if you want to run a half marathon, you can choose to run either the first half of the marathon course, or the second half.  You can also choose to run a "double half" instead of the marathon if you are a 50 stater and want to get a medal for each state (WV and KY).  This means that when I crossed the finish line for the first half marathon I had the benefit of a nice crowd of cheering people telling me I was in first place for the marathon so far.  It was nice to have that little pick-me-up of a cheering crowd halfway through, and gave me a little boost of energy as I started on my second half.  Up until that point, the whole course had been on paved roads.  The second half started out on a vary narrow one lane back road that turned into gravel/dirt after awhile.  There were a few muddy spots, but not too deep thankfully.  The dirt road eventually spit us out onto a golf course, where we ran over a swinging bridge (not suggested for people who are afraid of heights...) and then back onto a road for the remainder of the run.  

The course was rolling for most of the race.  There was a long hill about halfway through the first half, and there were some mostly flat sections.  The second longest hill was in mile 24.  I was hurting by that point, but thanks to the ballcap I was wearing, I was able to use the brim to block my gaze, as I just put one foot in front of the other until I reached the top.  Coming back down the other side was probably the hardest part of the whole race for me.  My hips were hurting pretty bad by that point, and if you have ever had to run down a hill with hip know how bad it is.  I almost cried as I limped my way down the hill, but I made it to the bottom.  I struggled along for a bit longer, and then the pain dulled, I rallied, and made my final 1.5 mile strong push to the finish line.  

At the finish line, there were buckets filled with ice cold water and gatorade, as well as some snacks.  Each finisher received a mason jar in addition to their finisher medal.  

photo taken at a water stop around mile 24
I had Tailwind in my camelbak : about 5 scoops of powder in 50 ounces of water.  I started sucking air out of the pack around mile 21, so I got sips of cold water off the water tables at each mile after that, along with the little sips of tailwind I was still able to draw out of my pack.  

Marathon Week!

This week : 
M : 4 / 8:05 / 194 ft
T : track 4.4 / 7:34 / 184 ft
16 x 100m striders
W : 3.2 / 7:20 / 240 ft
R : 20 minute ab workout
20 minute yoga
walk 0.8 miles x2
F : rest
Sa : race 26.2 / 7:51 / 1873 ft
Su : walk 0.8 miles x2
total miles run : 37.8

What a week!  Tried to take it easy leading up to the race, but after the last week or two of taking it easy, restless leg pain was starting to set in.  Monday I did pretty well with keeping it easy, and for Track Tuesday I did striders on the straights and marathon pace on the curves, 1 mile in each direction.  I had planned on running M-T-R this week, but Wednesday was Global Running Day and I couldn't not run!  My legs had been unhappy with the slower paces I'd been inflicting on them, so for Global Running Day I let them pick the pace.  It felt really good to run those short miles at a nice faster pace!  On Thursday, the restless leg pain really set in and was driving me crazy. Usually compression socks help, but they weren't helping this time. I walked back and forth to a friend's house, but the walk hardly helped either.  When I got home I attacked my leg with the roller until it stopped hurting long enough for me to go to bed.  Thankfully on Friday the pain stayed away.  

I was ready when the starting gun finally went off on Saturday, and I had a great race!  Tough for sure, and it was pretty hot out, but I was really proud of my run.  Race recap coming soon! 

I could barely walk on Sunday morning because my hips were so tight and sore, but it loosened a bit after some rolling.  And then I walked back and forth to the brewery for celebratory drinks with my friends, and the walking helped some.  They are still stiff today, and some delayed cramping is setting into my calves, but I'm attacking them with the roller periodically and as long as I can grit my teeth through that extra pain, it helps!  Contemplating a recovery jog today...decisions, decisions.  

In other news, I was looking at my previous marathon stats to compare to this one...

November 2011, Charlotte, NC -- 3:16:11 / 164 ft
November 2013, Richmond, VA -- 3:21: 39 / 245 ft
June 2017, Williamson, WV -- 3:25:36 / 1873 ft

This may have been my slowest of my 3 marathons, but I was more prepared for this one, and ran a much stronger race.  I didn't even hit the "wall" in this one.  Also...check out that huge elevation difference between this one and the previous two!  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Marathon Countdown...T-6 days!

I'm playing all sorts of mental mind games as marathon day approaches.  The bad run on the 27th really messed with my head, and runs have been hit or miss since then.  I'm trying to do the taper thing, but I feel like there's a very fine line for me between tapering being beneficial, and tapering being detrimental.  I've been taking a lot of days off, and have reduced the my mileage, but my legs feel dead on about every other run.  I'm now spending a lot of time reminding myself to trust the training, but also that this race is not the end goal, it's just a step on the way, and as long as I finish it will be a good run.

This week : 
M : 
T : morning shakeout 3.2 / 8:38 / 151
hill repeats  5 / 8:02 / 466 ft
(3 x 0.5 mile uphill) 
W : workout 12 minutes
yoga 20 minutes
R : off
F : run 5.5 / 7:48 / 299 ft
Sa : 5.5 / 8:04 / 374 ft
Su : bike 17.1 / 17.6 mph / 935 ft
total run miles : 19.2
total bike miles : 17.1

Wednesday Workout x3
10 squats
10 pushups
10 lunges
10 leg raises
10 burpees
10 sec side plank, each side

I've got 3 teacher work days this week, and then I'm on summer vacation!  My brain is apparently already on vacation though, because I feel asleep on the couch around 3 this afternoon and couldn't get my eyes open until about 7.  Thankfully there was enough daylight time left for me to get in the bike ride I had planned to do today!