Marathon Training Update: 17 miler & why RUNNING slow is important. 

Yesterday, I ran a lovely 17 miler. Finally, Mother Nature gave us a break from 90 degree weather. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the 75 degree air was such a sweet gift.

I always have to remind myself to RUN SLOW, especially in the beginning of my long run. 

I am following the Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training plan. And Hal normally recommends that runners run their long run 30-90 (or more) seconds slower than marathon pace. 

Why is this so important?  

Hal says, “The physiological benefits kick in around 90-120 minutes, no matter how fast you run. You’ll burn a few calories and trigger glycogen regenesis, teaching your muscles to conserve fuel. Running too fast defeats this purpose and may unnecessarily tear down your muscles, compromising not only your midweek workouts, but the following week’s long run.”

The above statement is so true. So I’m trying to do my long runs at a nice comfortable slower pace, and saving my fast running for the marathon itself. 

There is also the marathon strategy of… Jogging the first 20 miles of the marathon and racing the last 10k. Desi the female Olympic marathon is one known for running her marathons like this. 

I will not be running my marathon like this, but Hal brings up the point of running your long runs slow, if not for the whole thing, at least in the beginning. This is easier said then done. But it is a technique that I want to try during my next couple long training runs. 

It would be so awesome to be able to run the last couple miles of my long run, fast and strong. 

I need to remind myself that my long training runs are just an opportunity to practice for my actual marathon race. So if I have a bad long run, brush it off and move forward, there will be plenty of other times to practice leading up to my marathon. 

And of course, if I have a great long run, then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll keep practicing the way I have been. 

Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope you guys have some great long runs this week. And just remember a common mistake runners make is running their long run to fast. It is okay and actually quite beneficial to run your long runs slow. There are other days during the week that you can run fast or at marathon pace, but use your long run, as a practice run for your marathon. 

Run ALL the Miles!!

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

And let the long runs begin…

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I just finished the book, The Cool Impossible. Wow, I learned a ton from this book. It is definitely on the top of my list of favorite running books, right up there with Eat and Run, and Born to Run. You should read it.

There is really great stuff in this book. The first half of the book focuses on preparing you to run physically. The last half of the book focuses on preparing you to run mentally. The advice and knowledge I obtained from the last half of the book is also something I can use in other parts of my life. Some things you learn about running and from running, you can take beyond the trail.

The above photo is a great example. Don’t let the day run you… One thing I am going to work on is better preparation for my runs and for my day.

By reading this book, I have learned that before I run a race or long training run, I do things that mentally prepare myself for the distance. These things, mantras, visualizing, and rituals are things I do and didn’t realize I was doing them. Now looking back, I am more aware of these helpful tricks for the mind. Because these have helped me find success, it may be helpful to use them in other parts of my life, including other sports.

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I am a very positive person. However, the above photo reminds me so much of the book, The Cool Impossible. What I like most, is that the author Eric Orton, says negative thoughts are not a bad thing. Negative thoughts are a normal thing. However, become aware of your negative thoughts, identify them, and realize they are just thoughts, NOT truths.

Update on my Running

I ran the day, the day did not run me. This weekend my long runs began. I love running my first long run of the season.

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All winter, I have been lifting weights and running shorter faster runs. It felt good to get out there and run far. I ran a 10 miler, to help my sister prepare for her half marathon coming up in April. As for me, I have two 10 mile races coming up the first two weekends in April.

On this 10 mile training run, I wore my new Newton Gravity. It has 5 lugs instead of 4, which makes it feel like the toe box is wider.

My sister and I ran MVT over the 14th Street bridge and then to Hains Point.

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Have your long runs started yet? What are some mental tricks you use that helps you find success during running?

Marathon Update: 20 plus miler

“Whatever song you have in your head had better be a good one. Whatever story you are telling yourself has better be a story about going on. There is no negativity. The reason most people quit has nothing to do with their body.” ~ Scott Jurek

I have realized that during this marathon training season, the times that I had not so good runs, weren’t really about my physical strength, but rather my mental weakness.

On Saturday, October 5th, I ran my final super long run, with the mind set that it is going to be a good run. I just knew it was going to be that way, I felt excited and eager to get out there.

My garmin recorded 20 miles, however I think I ran at least 21 or maybe even 22. The reason I say this is because while looping around the Jefferson I looked down at my watch, and it had been stopped.

Anyway, whatever, 20, 21, 22, its all the same. They are all in the 20s and so is 26.2. What I mean by this, is at this point in your run, you pretty much are either hitting the wall, or in the zone. The zone is where you want to be. It is when you are preforming at your peak ability. This is why we run, as runners – this is what we are all chasing.

On this 20 plus miler, I must have been in the zone… because during this run I didn’t desperately want it to end like I do sometimes when I feel bored or hungry. After I finished this run, even though my legs were jello and in pain, I could only describe myself as good, happy, excited even.

This is how it all went down…

Because of the Government Shutdown, the running trails that I normally run on were closed. I did see people sneak on the trails, but I decided to avoid them. This took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to find a new and exciting route.

The night before I decided to use the Map my Run app to figure out a way to fit 20 plus miles in from my house to the National Mall. I live right on the other side of the Potomac… being so closed to DC, made me concerned I wouldn’t have enough miles, and my run would end just short of 20.

Another dilemma, the October Heat Wave. Because it would be 90 degrees by noon, this forced me to get out of bed bright and early. I struggle in the heat. In my early 20s, I use to be able to do runs on code red days without eating breakfast, but now in my late 20s, that just sounds like torture.

So I crawled out of bed, grabbed my iPod, Garmin, Camelbak, and I headed out the front door.

THE ROUTE:

  • I ran from South Glebe to North Glebe.
  • Then I made a right down North Quincy.
  • Made the next right down Wilson.
  • I passed North Side Social heading toward Clarendon.
  • Ran through Clarendon down to Court House.
  • I passed Court House, running down to Rosslyn.
  • Made a left at the bottom of the hill, ran straight over The Key Bridge.
  • At the end of the bridge I made a right on M street.
  • Ran through George Town on M until I hit Wisconsin.
  • Made my next right on Wisconsin and ran down to the George Town Waterfront.
  • Made a left and ran passed the Waterfront.
  • Ran passed the Kennedy Center towards Memorial Bridge.
  • Right before the Bridge I crossed the street to hit the National Mall.
  • I made a right and headed to 14th Street.
  • On 14th Street I headed towards the Jefferson and then jumped on the 14th Street bridge.
  • I ran across the bridge (South) towards VA.
  • At the end of the bridge I turned around and ran it again back towards DC. (North)
  • Then I ran the Tidal Basin.
  • I passed the WWII memorial.
  • I passed the reflection pool.
  • I passed the Lincoln.
  • I headed over the Memorial Bridge.
  • I made a right and ran through Arlington Cemetery.
  • I ran up to the Iwo Jima memorial.
  • I ran down through Rosslyn.
  • Then I ran up hill.
  • ¬†I ran up Wilson.
  • Passed Rosslyn.
  • Passed Court House.
  • Passed Clarendon.
  • The hill finally ended.
  • I made a left on S. Quincy.
  • I made a left on North Glebe.
  • I finally arrived back at South Glebe.
  • 20 plus miles in 3:30ish.¬†
The Jefferson!

The Jefferson!

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

The Lincoln, Reflection Pool, WWII memorial.

This run was really fun because it was a new route. I also hit up a lot of the monuments and memorials that I normally see from the other side of the potomac.

After I stopped my Garmin. I walked a half mile back to my house. It felt good to walk, even though it was up hill. I live in a very hilly neighborhood. But walking after a long run is very important.

When I got home, I chugged a bottle of water. Although, I drank plenty of water while I was running, it is very important to stay hydrated in order to avoid lactic acid build up in your legs, which later causes soreness.

Then I took a shower. After long runs I always put my shower on as cold as I can. Cold ice water is good for the muscles and helps reduce inflammation. Oh wow, this felt truly amazing.

GAME PLAN: 

This long run was bitter sweet. The reason why is because it was my last super long run before the marathon, which means my marathon training is coming to an end. However, I also felt excited because now my super long run is over and the marathon is right around the corner. ¬†Yesterday, marked 20 more training days, which means taper time – it’s all down hill from here on out. Woohoo!!

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So for the next 20 days, I am going to be doing short faster runs. I will also include hill work in most of my runs. Because my runs will be shorter, I am going to put a more intense focus on weight lifting, doing active rest periods, and circuit training to build endurance.

According to my training plan this weekend my long run will be 12, and the weekend after that my long run will be 8 – if you even want to call those long runs…

I will keep my training and nutritional goals on point. It’s grind time!!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update: Walk breaks during long runs… Beneficial or Not?

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Yesterday, I did my 20 miler which I ended short at 18 miles.

My mental strategy was to break this 20 miler into 4 five milers. I was going to sip water every 2 miles, and take water and sports beans every 5 miles.

This is how it all went down…

I stuck with the plan and took my first sips of water at mile 2. At mile 5, I was feeling so good I skipped the water and beans until mile 6. At mile 9, I was still feeling good, but came to the end of the trail so had to turn around.

Mile 10 felt good…

Mile 11 felt good…

Mile 12 felt good…

Hitting the Wall

At mile 13, I mentally lost it… I felt really dehydrated. My mouth was sooo dry. I didn’t put ice in my camel back so my water went warm. No matter how many sips of water I took, my mouth still¬†stayed dry. My stomach also started to feel bad, which is another sign of dehydration.

Walking during Marathon Training

I remember reading in my training plan, that it is okay to walk if you need to, and sometimes walking is beneficial. This is training, practice for the real deal. It is about getting the miles in. So I decided to walk a little to see if that would help. I have decided that walking is not a good idea for me because once I started walking it was hard to start running again. I really needed that second wind. I really needed that runner’s high, that you only get from keeping a consistent running rhythm. But walking took away the chance to be consistent, get a second wind, and runner’s high.

So now I know that walking doesn’t work for me… No walk breaks during the marathon unless I’m at a water station. By walking I also realized that physically, my lung capacity is good, but what felt tired were my feet. I find that very interesting!!! Maybe my Newton shoes work great for me at the half marathon distance, but I need something more for the full marathon distance. However, because I have been training in them all this time, I’m not going to switch now. I mainly have a few blisters on my left foot. I’ve also noticed my recovery time in between long runs is longer.

I am not the type to get disappointed when a long run goes bad. Bad long runs are great leaning experiences. And I am excited I have another 18 miler under my belt.

What I have Learned

1) Eat before I hit the trail… Something I forgot to mention was that I didn’t eat much before going out there. This caused lack of energy and stomach pain. I usually eat a bagel with peanut butter. A good combo of carbs and protein normally always works well. What doesn’t work well, is any type of Cliff bar or energy bars, these have too much fiber which causes really bad stomach problems.

2) I didn’t refuel properly. Water was warm, not enough sports beans consumed. This caused dehydration, which caused dry mouth and stomach pain.

3) Started walking and couldn’t comfortably start running again. This made me loose my running rhythm and I never got my second wind, never got my runner’s high in my second half of my long run. I hit the wall and could not recover.

4) I love my Newton shoes but maybe they are best for half marathons and not full marathons. My feet at hurting after 15 miles and my recovery time has become longer. However, my feet hurting is mainly blisters on my lift foot, which is minor, so I still am planning on continuing my training in them and they will be my marathon race shoes too.

5) Bad music. I desperately need to find some better songs for my running play list. My music is really old, and it bores me. I need music when training by totally solo. My music saves me, and helps me push through during those last miles.

Game Plan

I have 4-5 more weeks to prepare for MCM. I am going to really focus these last few weeks. This is what I need to do…

  • I need to make sure I fit in all of my weekly runs. Shorter runs are just as important then long runs. Running shorter faster runs feel amazing. I ran a really speedy 4 miler tonight. It felt amazing.
  • I need to squeeze in those weight lifting sessions. The stronger I am, the better I run.
  • I need to make sure I am eating properly in order to refuel and have the energy I need. I need to meal prep so I have food on hand, and I don’t resort to eating unhealthy, because I am desperate.
  • I need to drink more water. Hydration is key.

Hopefully, practice makes perfect…

Questions for You…

  1. Anyone have any other marathon training tips?
  2. Do you think walking during long runs is beneficial? It didn’t work for me… does it work for you?
  3. What is on your running playlist?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update: Taper week: 12-13 miler

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Fall has arrived!

Hopefully it is here to stay…

Marathon Update

This last week was a taper week for me. So my long run this week was between 12-13 miles. As you know, from my previous post, because of the 90 degree weather, earlier in the week, I decided to lift weights instead of run! Boy was I glad I made that decision. With a fresh pair of shoes and the rest from running, I felt strong and bouncy on my feet! I ended up having a very well paced 12.68 miles and finished right under 2 hours.

The only thing that has disappointed me is that this weekend would have been perfect to run a half marathon. The Navy 13.1 was this weekend, but I missed it. It doesn’t look like I will be racing at all before this Marathon.

Over all this was a great weekend to run and I had a very successful long run. All this training is paying off because I can confidently say, 12-13 miles now feels easy. During every marathon training season, when I can say, “12- 13 miles now feels easy,” it is then that I surely know my training is right on track.

The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The views were spectacular. There were plenty of other runners on the trail to keep me company. It was the ideal running conditions and a great long run. Hopefully my 20 miler next week will be just as good!

How are your long runs been?When do you start to feel confident about your training?

Marathon Training Update: Long runs.

“We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember that it’s the process of reaching for the prize, not the prize itself- that can bring us peace and joy.”- Scott Jurek

I believe in the words above.

Because of this, it is hard for me to understand people who, hardly train for races, or hate the training process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love running the race. But I also love having a disciplined training plan to keep me on track. For me, one of the reasons I sign up for a race, is to set a goal, that I need to train for. ¬†My training runs, which are sometimes extremely difficult, brings me peace and joy.

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The picture above is after I had finished my midweek 7 miler. It was fast and easy. As you can see, the sun was shining and my hair was blowing in the wind. Although, the beginning of the summer was hot and humid, which slowed me down and made me very discouraged, now the weather has cooled down significantly. I love running on beautiful days. Good weather is motivation enough to lace up my running shoes.
20130819-165339.jpgLONG RUN: Saturday, 8/17/13

Through out my marathon training, I have been doing my long runs on Friday mornings. I don’t work Friday or Saturday, so by doing my long run on Friday, I am able to get it done and have the rest of my weekend free.

However, last weekend, I did my long run on Saturday morning and I liked it 1 million times better. The trails around my house always have traffic, but on Friday, it is much less crowded. Actually, sometimes I feel very lonely out there – it is so quiet. ¬†On Saturday, I didn’t feel alone. Instead, I was surrounded with tons of other runners, running groups, walkers, cyclists. It felt good to be running among other runners that were obviously training for marathons, and in it for the long run, just like me. On Friday, I feel lonely, bored, and really rely on my upbeat music. But on Saturday, I use the other runners on the trail to keep me motivated. The energy is electrifying. My pace was right on target.

Again I was blessed with gorgeous weather, and had an amazing 15 miler. 

1184784_10101290079612166_1249870050_n-1Today, Friday, 8/23/13

Because I am heading up north tomorrow morning, I decided to squeeze my long run in today. I am on a taper week so my long run was 13 miles. I am happy to say, 13 miles felt pretty comfortable, even in the rain. In the above picture, I tried to capture how wet it was – you can see rain drops on my shoulders.

It started sprinkling three miles into my run. It started pouring at the 6 mile mark. Because of the rain, this Friday, the trail was even more empty than usual, however there were still a few other runners out there – we smiled when we passed each other.

Minus the blister on my toe, because my socks got soaked. I am pretty happy with this run. My pace was right on target, and I was blessed again with cooler weather.

Questions for You..

  1. How is your marathon training going?
  2. Do you enjoy training?
  3. Do you like long runs?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Marathon Training Update

The start to my Marathon Training didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, because ¬†I traveled to Vegas and then came home with a really bad cold. It has also been really confusing for me, because this last year my longest race was a half marathon, with the focus on running form and speed. But now that I am in marathon training mode I am running farther, but slower. I am not that worried about speed though, I am more concerned about going the distance and getting all my miles in.

This week was a really good week. I got all my miles in. And I am starting to get my Mojo back.

On Friday, 8/2/14, I ran my long run for the week. It was only a 10 miler, but it was a hot 10 miler. Humidity was high. When I ended my run, it was 90 degrees.

946315_10101253480482116_1644004689_n-1When I was reading Runner’s World I came across the quote above. I love it and it is so true. I’m going to tell myself this every time I don’t feel like running.

On Saturday, 8/3/13, I headed to the gym and lifted heavy. I worked chest and abs. ¬†Then I changed at the gym, into my running clothes/shoes, and headed out to do 6-7 miles. It was around 3:00 in the afternoon, so it was hot and humid. The temperatures were as high as 90, but it was overcast and started to rain a little. Unfortunately, my run ended early because I tripped and fell at around 4.5 miles. Thank goodness I was close to my car, and didn’t have to run too far with bloody hands and knees.¬†1094782_10101255793841126_745558221_nAlthough, my miles weren’t super fast, and I fell, I was still feeling really good durning this run.

Today, Sunday, 8/4/13,¬†it was 75 degrees, windy, with no humidity. On my break at work, I sat outside to read, and felt a little cold. After I was done with work, I couldn’t get my running shoes on fast enough. I ended up running 7 amazing miles. What a difference it is when the weather is a bit breezy and cooler!¬†1098181_10101257661124076_1265396807_n

This is my first time blogging while training for a marathon. I am having so much fun keeping track of my training this way. I also have been reading tons of other blogs where the blogger is also in training for Marine Corps Marathon. Reading about these bloggers’ training experiences have been so cool and motivating.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

What type of miles did you get in? Have you ever fell while running?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

photography and 11.5 mile Training Run


“How many of you like to run with a phone or something else to capture images of your run?” –Newton Running
Above is the facebook status of Newton Running, and it already has close to 600 likes. I am happy to know that I am not the only one who enjoys taking photos during my runs. I will admit that I was late to jump on the smart phone wagon. I know, call me crazy, but about two months ago I bought my first smart phone, the iPhone 5, and I am in love. This phone goes everywhere with me, even on my runs.

really bad picture of me. but great picture of my new iPhone 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use to run, carrying nothing with me. But I always regretted it when I came across something really cool I wanted to record- by snapping a photo or video of. But now with my new phone I am able to do that. My two favorite new apps are Instagram and Map my Run.

I just started using Map my Run. I still use my Garmin, but I am just experimenting with a couple new apps. I just wish Map my Run recorded your Cadence, because I think my Garmin’s Cadence my be inaccurate. I just downloaded an app to measure cadence, but I have yet to try it.

11.5 Mile Training Run

Anyway, lets get to it. I felt pretty good on my 11 mile run. L came and picked me up yesterday morning. We headed down to the south side of the MVT. I felt cold at first so I had my gray Nike fleece on, but I new I would warm up, although it was 48 degrees out, the sun was bright.

After the first mile, I ditched my fleece on the side of the trail, I knew it would still be there on the way back.

2.5 miles on the MVT. Looking over the GW parkway. It was a Beautiful Fall Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L and I continued on. I like the south side of MVT because it is so beautiful. Although, it is a paved path, you feel like you are on a trail run. You also run so close to the Potomac River that you could fall in. I also like it because it is much more hilly. Annapolis will be all hills so it was a good practice.

In it for the long run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we headed back and I hit mile 10, I realized I was making better timing then I thought. We ended up finishing in 1:48:00, running an average of a 9:23 min/mile. I would like to run an average of a ¬†9:00 min mile for the race. Which I am pretty sure I can do. I am still debating on which shoes to race in though… Distance U are lighter, and I feel faster in them. The Gravity are a bit heavier, a little more supportive, but sometimes I feel like I am dragging in them towards the end.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 11.5

Time: 1:48:00

Average Pace: 9:23 min/mile

Best Pace: 8:46 min/mile

Calories: 938 C

Cadence: 96 – which can’t be accurate. I use to have a cadence of 160, which is lower than average, but not that low.

Future Goals

The plan for this week is up my weekly milage a bit! I am going to have plenty of time to get some good runs in with days off thanks to the Thanksgiving Holiday. I also plan to strength train, stretch, and continue to work on form.

Questions for You

  1. Does anyone know of a good Cadence App?
  2. What is your favorite running app?

© 2012 sweatdaily

 

10 mile Run with Em and Honey Stinger

Last week two exciting things happened.

  1. On Saturday, I ran a 10 mile run with my sister, Emily.
  2. And I also finally typed up my Blog Award post. If you have any desire to get to know me better, you should read the post, because it is super personal.

Anyway, in my Blog Award post I was asked what was the last movie I had watched. I answered with, The Fighter. One thing that I love about the movie, The Fighter, is the bond the two brothers, Mickey and Dicky have. I am very close with my family, so I can totally relate to this.

Dicky is the older brother, who has a star shining boxing moment back in the day. He still wants to be involved in boxing so he coaches his younger brother Mickey. Drug abuse ends up becoming an uncontrollable obstacle that alters Dicky’s ability to coach. Although, Dicky’s quality of life suffers, the brotherly bond never breaks.

Of corse there is no drug history among the relationship I share with my sister. I can relate to this because in life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

And that is exactly what happened during my 10 miler.

My sister pushed me to my fullest potential.

Here is what went down…

I met my sister at her apartment. Before we left we looked up this Half Marathon Pace Chart. I am no longer just going out there to run. I learned from Hal Higdon, if you want to run fast, you have to train fast several times a week. So we decided to practice our 10 miler by running at a pace similar to the one we are planning to run race day.

We decided to hit the MVT, but to get there we had to run down hill for two miles, stopping at some street lights. Once we got to the trail, we ran three pretty flat miles and then turned back. The last two miles were off the MVT and up hill. We wanted to add two miles up hill because Annapolis is super hilly, so we are expecting a lot of hills race day.

Honestly, I don’t know what happened during this 10 miler. Normally my sister and I run at a similar pace, and sometimes I am a little bit faster. But during this run my sister was much more speedy.

There is a quote from the book, Born to Run, it goes like this, ‚ÄúBut you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.‚Ä̬†¬†Even though, it may seem like an excuse to you, it is the truth. During this run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t find my running rhythm.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 10.00 miles

Time: 1:37:31

Average Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:51 min/mi

Calories: 814 C

Run Cadence: 96

HONEY STINGER

One thing that did help me when I felt a little bit low in energy was my Honey Stinger. This is the first time I have ever tried this product. I actually had never heard of this product until the blogger from All Seasons Cyclist suggested I give them a try. ¬†I am really thankful I did. I love the fact that this product is more natural and free of chemicals. They also tasted really good, and didn’t cause any stomach problems. The Honey Waffle was a fantastic post run snack. For a more detailed review check out the blog All Seasons Cyclist or click here.

 
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to do an 11 mile run with L. So stay tuned…
Questions for You
  1. Have you tried Honey Stingers?
  2. How did your long run go this week?

© 2012 sweatdaily