So long Jacksonville

After 4 months of training the Jacksonville Bank Marathon was suppose to be “the” race. The race where I finally went under 4 hours, and maybe even get to my dream goal. It wasn’t the day. That’s the short version. There’s a long version if you want to see it. To be honest I’m done with the race. I have no regrets about what happened or the decision I made. I was dehydrated to the point of getting sick, something that had not happened since soccer conditioning in high school. I knew my day was done. The weather was bad, and a lot of people had a bad day. I’m not even upset that I couldn’t have a medal. To be honest I really didn’t want one. That’s all I have to say. It’s time to move on.

coming home to puppy snuggles

I don’t know what I want to do next, or even if I want to do a marathon in 2014. The first thing I’ve come up with is a 5k. Short, sweet, and over in about 20 minutes. I’ve had a lot of good races this year. I’ve knocked 4 minutes off of my 10k time, 6 minutes off of my 1/2 marathon time, and 5 minutes off of my marathon time in 2013. I know I have more potential to find, and new PRs to get. Right now I’m taking the week off to get over this head cold that I can’t seem to shake. Then I’ll thing about what I might want to do next year. I have a few ideas, but rest seems to be what my body wants to do the most.

A little post race retail therapy never hurts 🙂

Marathon training – week 1 review

So, after a particularly rough first run (more on that coming up) my coach gave me an idea. “Learn from every run. Figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and move on.” He might have mentioned something  about writing everything down too. At first I thought, “I’ll keep a log!!” And then it dawned on me, I have a blog. There might be other people who have similar issues, or those who are just curious. Or maybe there are others who can’t have dairy (it’s the devil, but I only think that because it either makes me want to hurl, crawl into the fetal position, or makes my throat close up.) or gluten that gives me some wicked headaches, and generally makes me hate life. So, here’s a little wrap up from week 1 of this marathon cycle (fair warning it might not be little. That just sounded nice :))

Tuesday’s run:

Plan: nice easy 1 hour 20 minute zone 2 run (heart rate 153 – 163) with surges every 20 minutes into zone 3

goal: base building

Thoughts: I had a really awesome run the Saturday before this, and figured “it’s an easy zone 2 run.” This started off really nice. The first 2 miles were nice and relaxed, and I settled in for a nice little run. And then I noticed my heart rate was hanging out around 170 a lot. From there I spiraled lower. My legs felt heavy, my arms were still sore from Monday’s strength workout, I was having trouble breathing, and could I possibly sweat more than I was. I reacted, and my brain took me spiraling down. I started walking a bit on, and off to keep my heart rate down. Average pace: 10:21 :/

Conclusions: I don’t think I hydrated enough before this run, and while my nutrition is usually pretty good I don’t think I did as well as I should have on Monday. Food is fuel! My main meals were good, but my snacks weren’t the best. Moral, don’t grocery shop while hungry, and settle for a protein bar over real food.

Thursday’s run:

Plan: easy 1 hour 20 minute run in zone 2 with surges into zone 3 every 20 minutes

Goal: base building

Thoughts: I woke up with a start realizing that I hadn’t frozen my water bottle over night like I usually do in the summer. Fortunately I was able to get some ice out of the semi-frozen ice maker without making too much noise. The humidity was down to 80% this morning, and while it was still warm I could definitely feel a difference. This was a much better run than Tuesday! I felt lighter, more efficient, and my head and throat were not as stopped up as Tuesday. Even my splits were consistent. Got one honk from some nice boys in a truck too. Average pace: 10:03

Conclusions: Fueling, and hydrating went much better Wednesday. I admit vacuuming the whole house maybe wasn’t the best idea for the legs, but my sinuses seem much happier. There was also a lot of foam rolling, and stretching after my strength workout. And I’m sure wearing my compression capris most of Wednesday probably didn’t hurt either. Took 2 endurolyte tablets before the run, 2 more after breakfast, and 2 more in the afternoon.

Saturday’s Run:

Plan: 14 mile run in zone 2 with surges to zone 3 every 20 minutes

Goal: base building

Thoughts: I went out on my typical route through downtown Atlanta. While it was still in the mid 70s the humidity was lower, which was a nice break. I can’t say that I was really excited to get out of the door. Staying up to watch the Olympic opening ceremony was maybe not the best idea. The snooze button got a little action before I rolled out of bed, but I had everything laid out and ready to go, and had even remembered to freeze my water bottle. I took what I had learned about my form on Thursday’s run, and was able to apply it fairly easily for the first 13 miles. The first 6 miles were mostly uphill, and I knew if I could just get to Centiennial Park I would get a break. So, I hit the downhills in the sun, and started singing God save the Queen. The hardest part was running past my street knowing I wasn’t done, but if I could go one mile all I had to do was turn around, and run just 1 mile home and I was done. Somehow the last mile is always the most challenging. It probably wasn’t that bad, but after 8 miles in full sun I was fading a lot, and very much ready to be done. Average pace: 9:57

Conclusions: Everything seemed to be working right today. Definitely a breakthrough run considering how things had gone earlier in the week. Things are starting to click with my form. My legs felt really good with very little fatigue till the last mile, and I was definitely running much more efficiently while easily keeping my heart rate down in zone 2. Took 2 endurolytes before, 2 more 1:20 into the run, and 2 more after.

Strength & Cross Training:

An important part of training is strength training. So, Monday and Wednesday I went through coach’s new strength workout, which needs a little modification because it’s a little challenging, and I wasn’t able to move my arms much afterwards. That’s a bit of a problem when you have a major audition in 4 weeks. Friday I did an hour Pilates workout with Laura for my core workout, and we also went through the new strength workout so she could check and make sure it worked well for me. Sunday I finished up the week with an hour bike ride. Week’s total mileage = 48 miles (31 running, 17 biking)

Week 2 looks familiar doesn’t it? Makes me think of an old camp song. Week 2, same as the first. A little bit louder, and a little bit worse. Okay maybe not worse, but at least I know I can already do everything 🙂