Thursday, February 26, 2009
I don't mind speedwork -- I really don't. I haven't always felt this way, though. For a long time I never really understood intervals, never paid attention to pacing, had never run on a track.
Then I had a friend generously work out a marathon training plan for me, and it included speedwork. I was scared. Nervous. I even had to ask how it all works.
But I did it, and started to understand. Yes, there were times when I cursed my friend, times when I thought I might puke, and times when I just didn't think my legs would move that fast. But I did it, and I got better at it. I'm using many of those workouts in this training round.
I don't mind speedwork. But almost every time it's on my schedule, I think, can I do this? It's gonna hurt. My legs won't move that fast today. I don't know if I can...
And then I hit the road, run to the track, and do the speedwork. Of course I can do it, I remind myself. You've done it before. Of course you can do this.
By the time I'm mid-way through, I'm either thinking, ugh, this is rough, how much more 'till the recovery lap/mileage? OR, this isn't so bad.
Either way, I don't quit. Even when I want to.
I don't quit, because I know I can do it. I've done it before. I don't quit, because I know I feel accomplished and strong when I'm done.
I don't mind speedwork. But sometimes my mind makes me think I do.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I hated them during those couple weeks recently when I was feeling uncertain about my running.
I loved them when they let me carry my 3 year old nephew on my shoulders all around Target.
I hate them when my knees feel wonky.
I love them when I get the kick right in the pool.
I hate them when they feel like lead at the end of a long day of work when I still have to run.
I love them when they get me through that run anyway.
I hate them when I'm trying to buy boots or pants and my calves don't let them fit.
I love them when they look good in a skirt.
And, with a huge exhale, I really loved them this weekend, when they successfully carried me through an 8 mile and an 18 mile run. After a few weeks of feeling uncertain about my running, my legs got back under me this week with some strong speedwork and a solid long run.
Today, I'm happy to have strong legs. My legs.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I try to wear flats or lower-heeled shoes at times, but I'm short (5'3") and I like the look of the outfits in heels better.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I took Friday off from working out. A sh*tty week of runs and a call for Happy Hour made the decision for me.
Planned on 14 miles with my sister on Saturday morning. Sometime after 2 beers Friday night, I plotted a new course (sort of) for us to run.
I proceeded to curse myself for the entire 14 miles. Apparently, in my quest to run a route that was a bit different and to get us past a water fountain mid-run, I neglected to pay attention to the elevation of the route. Almost all an incline. Cripes.
Would've been a great workout if my running was working these days. We did fine, really, but I certainly gave our legs a workout. Sheesh.
Got out for 5 easy recovery miles today. All was good...
Saturday night was a friend's birthday dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in the city. I'd never been there (or to any Moroccan place, I think, except maybe once in San Fran). It was dark (which meant we couldn't really see what we were eating), we ate with our hands (which wasn't too bad, except we couldn't figure out how to scoop some stuff up tactfully), we went through about 8 bottles of wine (there was 11, then 9 of us), we were entertained about every 15 minutes by two belly dancers -- one male (who knew!?) and one female, and the whole dinner took about 4 hours. Fun, interesting, a little weird at times. I've showered twice since then and my hands still smell like the food a little...
Finally, this afternoon, I went to one of my friend's (from the running store) houses for a Daytona (almost)500 party. Couple drinks, lots of fun... a good end to the weekend. :)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
From the moment I started, my feet hurt, I felt like I was doing a Biggest Loser workout where I'm dragging one of the trainers behind me, my body felt like it was encased in cement, my legs were heavy.
The weather was great -- 69*, cloudy and windy, but warm. I wore shorts and a light long sleeve shirt (and that was just because I knew I'd be running 'till the sun set and it would get cooler). The air was fresh; it was so nice to run outside today. Except it was hard. A sucky run.
I did attack the hills as I'd planned. Run easy through the miles, but attack the hills. I did that. And, at some point in the middle miles my pace got better, and the run felt easier. But overall it wasn't one to feel good about.
During my run, I was thinking about my friends. I have friends, in real-life and in computerland, who run waaay more than me. Some are triathletes -- Ironman competitors -- and some are ultra marathoners. I read/hear about all the miles run and the swimming done and the biking, the yoga, the spin classes, the weight training.
I know today's run was a fluke. But I can't help thinking my 8 miles shouldn't have been this hard.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Today I woke up early and got 30 minutes done on the bike trainer. Kinda boring, but it felt good to get that in before work.
Met my sister for a 5 miler after work. We did a progression-type run, though we didn't have any prescribed times in mind. Started slow, and each mile got a bit faster. Ended the run at a good clip up a challenging little hill, then got a cool-down done once it flattened out.
Then, I hit the pool. Or, rather, I should say the pool hit me. Apparently the heater broke early this morning. That water was COLD! Agh! I got used to the water pretty quickly -- it even felt a bit refreshing -- but I only got about half the workout done that I wanted because I had my old goggles (duh!) that leak and fog and I couldn't take it anymore.
No matter. I still felt like it was a good workout day.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
What will it take for me to feel like I'm prepared?
What will it take to get me working out and stretching and resting and eating the way I should?
What will it take for me to be ok with the fact that I don't have a runner's body, so I must accept what I can do?
What will it take for me to feel accomplished at this running thing?
The only answer I have tonight is to just keep running.
But I know that's not enough.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I’m stuck. Can’t figure out what I’m training for these days. I’ve been running 35-40 miles per weeks for the past 2 months or so (since a week or two of lower mileage after the HM in November). I’ve been doing one LR a week (longest was 15 miles last week), one mid-week longer run (usually 8 miles, easy pace), and 3 other runs that generally are about 5-6 miles run at an easy pace – although once a week I might run one of those tempo-style…
So here are the races I’m considering, with the pros and cons of each. I need a focus. It's part of me now, the training for a big race, and it's something that is good for me in my life. This is gonna be a long post, but I need to think these through…
(A) Glass City marathon. April 26, 2009. 12 weeks to race date.
Why I should run it:
- Weather – last year the winds were strong and it actually snowed/rained a bit (I think I read that). This could happen again (not so alluring) OR it might not. Either way, I think I run better in the cooler weather, and I’m hoping the temps in Ohio would be better than the previous spring marathons I’ve run (those were cool-ish, but humid. Ugh.).
- Course -- sounds like it’s a pretty flat/fast course. Mixed reviews on marathonguide.com about the scenic value, the road conditions, etc. I’m not sure that the course is a selling point, but the flat/fast part is appealing.
- Timing – the timing of this race allows me to get some good training in, run the race, and then switch my focus to some more solid triathlon training for the late spring/summer tri season
- Fun – many of my running friends have this on their calendar. It is shaping up to be a fun race weekend. A few are running the full, some may be doing the half, a bunch are doing the relay. I’ve enjoyed the Philly race meet-ups, the Madison weekend last year, and I think this one would be fun, too (although running a full on a weekend like this takes away from the fun a bit…)
- A different challenge -- a new city, a solo effort -- maybe that's just what I need to run a strong race...
Why I shouldn’t run it:
- Weather – if it ends up like last year, it could be a mess
- Course – the issues of tight roads, potholes, etc, that have been brought up make it not so enticing. I don’t know anything about the area, so I can’t tell if it would be a scenic/interesting course or not. However, it would all be new to me, which would make it at least somewhat interesting…
- Support – this would be a marathon run without my biggest supporters – my parents especially my dad, who has been a huge factor in my running) – in the crowds. Even if I know I’ll only have one chance to see them throughout the race, it has always been a boost. They likely wouldn’t be in Ohio. Nor would my sister. And my friends would all be running their own races. This would be a solo effort, as far as I can tell. I’m not sure that sounds too appealing in a 26.2 mile run, and it's something I've never done before.
- Distractions – the fun aspect mentioned above. I get very quiet the day/evening/night before a marathon. I need the distraction – it helps calm my nerves – but I’m generally not very good company.
- Speedwork – I don’t mind running outside in the cold. At all. But, running speedwork at the track will be tough this time of year. I don’t want to do speedwork on the TM, but it’s likely I may have to at point in the next 12 weeks. Interval speedwork on the TM is not appealing to me… I think this is the major reason I’m not pumped about putting in the training I would need to in order to run a 26.2 where I’m going after a PR…
(B) Glass City Half Marathon. April 26, 2009. 12 weeks to race date.
Why I should:
- For the same reasons as the full, but also… it’s only a half. Maybe I should take a season off of running a marathon. Maybe I should just train for a HM and do more tri training through the winter this year.
Why I shouldn’t:
- I’m not sure I would be satisfied focusing on a HM. I just got a 6+ minute PR on my half time in November… do I have to motivation to better that?
(C) Delaware Marathon. May 17, 2009. 15 weeks to race date.
Why I should run it:
- Location – running DE would be close to home. My supporters would be there, and there’s no major travel to consider/factor in
- Course – apparently, they’ve changed it from what it was last year. This year it’s two HM loops (or something like that – I’ll have to look at the site again). This, apparently, is a good move on their part, according to reviews I’ve read.
- Timing – more time to train, AND I’d still have some time to switch to more tri-focused stuff for the summer/fall triathlon season
- It’s a different race than the NJ marathon, which I’ve run the past two years. I was ready to kick butt at both, but had bad luck or something both times and did not feel well through the races – had to walk, even ended up in the med tent after my first one…
- My sister is considering it. We ran well in the Philly HM together. Maybe running the full here with her would be a good thing.
Why I shouldn’t run it:
- Location/Course – there still isn’t an elevation map (last I checked) or info on just how hilly this course might be. I ran a 10 mile race in DE last January, and there were significant climbs. Really. I’m not sure I’d want a 26.2 mile course with the climbs the 10 miler had…
- Timing – if I do this one, I probably couldn’t go to Glass City. It’s 3 weeks after GC, so training plans would say that GC would be a 20-miler weekend…. I’d have to run the 20 out there (bandit the course but don’t cover all the miles? I’d have to figure that out – and I’d carry my own water).
- My sister is considering it. Generally speaking, running races that my sister is running as well hasn’t worked out for me. Of the 4 distance races we’ve both run on the same day (with the agreement that we’d run our own races), only one has worked out ok for me – the HM. That ay we decided we’d run together and just see how the day goes – we weren’t worried about timing, although we knew we would like to better or match our PR. I’m not sure if I could do the full with her (she has a different running/pacing style than I do), and I’m not sure I could run another race where I’d be thinking the whole time whether she’s feeling stronger/doing better than me… I haven’t had the greatest luck on 26.2 race days…
The only other thing that’s been in my head is doing the NJ marathon again. I shouldn’t – I really shouldn’t. The past two years I’ve been ready to go, trained really well, and something happened on race day where my body rebelled. I ended up in the med tent after the first one (my first marathon) and ended up having terrible cramping in my legs and a bad earache in the second one. I feel like I should kick that course’s ass -- I know the course, it's a good one, fast and flat -- but I’m not sure I should go back there…
I should mention one other factor that's part of this: I'm not feeling confident about going after a PR. However, that might just be my own mental hurdle, a thought without basis, a by-product of the dreary, cold winter blahs...
So there are my considerations. I need to make a decision. Asap.
What say you? Any other suggestions? I'm open to other options, too!