Monday, September 19, 2016

3 weeks left. Like, whoa

Week 17

9/12: rest
9/13: 6 miles 
9/14: 4 miles
9/15: rest
9/16: rest
9/17: 20 miles 
9/18: rest


Miles: 30
Rest: 4!
Strength: 0!

17 weeks!

This is definitely the longest I have ever trained for anything. Those are also a lot of rest days up there. I honestly have been struggling the last few weeks to scrape up the motivation and energy to wake up early and treadmill it before work! I think my body is just craving more sleep, and it doesn't help that it is dark well up until I'm even dressed and ready for work. I'm bummed and a little mad at myself that I didn't take advantage of te summer mornings to run outside because how it's pitch black until 6:30, and just then a tiny bit of light starts to peek into the sky. 

My weekday runs were the usual- but both were evening runs, one with Dani and one on the treadmill. I thought about bagging the last 20 but decided to just suck it up and get in the miles for my last long long run before the race.

Mac and I planned to meet at the trailhead at 6:15 but we didn't get quite started until closer to 6:30. 

Did I mention it was dumping rain the entire time? Not even 4 miles into the run we could wring the water out of our shirts and my shorts formed suctioned diapers onto my meaty ham hock thighs. Also my top had formed a Saran Wrap like seal against my body, which I'm sure showcased my soft bagel like midsection. Who said runners aren't sexy? 

Me, that's who. 

We decided to mentally break up the run into 4 5 mile chunks, and I think this really helped us not dread all the upcoming miles. It was definitely one of the more eventful runs on the trail, as Mac saw a couple of snakes, an unknown creature scampering across the trail, and we passed droves of fisherman crazy enough to brave the elements and stand in the river to catch God knows what. We did get some comments from passing fisherman on our state of "crazy". Excuse me, fisherman, but I'd say all of us out there were pretty damn crazy. 

We also ran by a large electric gated fence where some emu-like animal resides. We got close enough for the animal to stare us down, which then resulted in a hilarious Kevin Hart convo:

By the turn around, we were feeling pretty good if not a tiny bit stiff. We were mindful this time around to stop as few times as possible, aside from stop lights and a couple impromptu bathroom breaks, to really get an accurate idea of our pacing. We also ran into a friend who was fitting in 18 miles for the day and he was able to run the last 7 for us. 

As usual, we scattered towards the last 3 miles, and I focused on keeping my form and finishing strong. I reluctantly took one last gu at mile 17, because I knew I needed to practice my race day fueling and strategy. Maybe that helped me finish pretty happily? Or maybe the runners endorphins took over and temporarily numbed the pain? In any case, we finished our second 20!

Now, time to cut back, rest up, and prepare for the longest run ever. 


First mile was accidentally 9:34. I don't know...

I walked in the door post run, and the kids gasped. I guess I looked a little wet? Also. My favorite socks have holes in the big toes. Why?! Need a new pair before race day!

I also just ordered new shoes but one model up from my current ones. Praying these are as good to me as my 18's

Monday, September 12, 2016

16. I can't count.

9/5: Rest
9/6: 8 miles
9/7: 4 miles
9/8: Rest
9/9: 4.76 miles
9/10: 11 miles
9/11: 4.26 miles


Miles: 32
Strength: Big fat zero
Rest: 2

Cutback week. I love that these are thrown in throughout the training but I think I definitely take too much liberties in these weeks. At this point, I've been training for 16 weeks. 4 GD months and I'm pretty over it. 

The kids' started school on Tuesday, and I take this day off every year and spend a day w JB. We go for a run, go out to lunch, and just lounge around until pick up, but this year I was on my own! 

I dropped off the kiddos, moseyed home, and set out for 8 easy-ish miles. I struggled through the last couple of miles and honestly didn't think I'd even make it through. I also managed 4 measly TM miles on Wednesday, but missed Thursdays wake up, so D so kindly met me at 5am (whoa so daark!!) on Friday to log a few miles. 

I'm also struggling with fitting in any cross training or strength. I'm still having a lot of issues w my elbow, and I really can't lift weights or attempt yoga. I can't even squeeze the dish sponge without pain shooting up my arm. Hmm, it might be time for some xrays. This gettin old shit sucks. 

This week's long was only 12, and initially I figured I'd try for 13 but Saturday was definitely one of those days where my head was NOT in the game, and my body was like, 

Oh girl. Helllll to the no.

Every mile felt like a struggle, and even the easier downhills were slog worthy. I spent every mile waiting for the next one, and the next one, instead of patiently keeping my mind present. I also took only one gel and a few chews, and ran out of water around mile 9. So thirsty. 

Oh! Did I mention I didn't start my run until close to 10? Who is not smart? 

Me! Me! *raises hands high in air*

Such a terrible idea, and I was served a swift punishment for taking my time in the morning. Yes, I slept in until 8:30 after a long night but still.... Some things just arent worth risking.  

To be honest, it wasn't as hot as some of my other runs, but it was warm enough to serve as a reminder to just get my ass up next time. 

I was this close to calling it good at miles 9, and then 10 but then made one last loop around the neighborhood to get to 11.  During this run k stopped about a zillion times and just stopped caring if I did or not. I wojld patiently wait at lights, hands on hips, watch paused, head down. 

At this point in the game, I know I can run 12 miles but on Saturday, I was throwing some sort of pre teen internal angst type fit, and just quit. I don't regret quitting because I think the last mile would have left a terrible taste in my mouth, but I was a little disappointed in how I felt the entire run. I felt like I didn't even get to enjoy the endorphins from the run; it was that disastrous. Womp.

And then the next morning, I unexpectedly started my period, which explained... A lot. 


Explains the fatigue, negative thinking, skewed body image. Ah what it is to be a woman. 

I'm hoping I can snap out of it this week because I guess we only have 4 weeks left until the race! I swear we had more time. 

Clearly I cannot count. 


I have no idea what happened to miles 6 and 7?!

Post long run. 
Beep beep! All aboard the struggle bus.

Boys greeting me with nerf guns, and requests for food. 

Long run split. Blah

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shut Up We are so close

Week 15

8/29: Rest (camping!)
8/30: 7 miles
8/31: 4 miles, TM
9/1: 4 miles- 1 TM. 3 outside.
9/2: Off
9/3: 20 miles, boom
9/4: 5 miles, easy w D.


Miles: 40
Rest: 2
Strength: 1

Shit gettin real! I cannot believe the marathon is around the corner. I'm scared,yo. Scurred. 

I think the burnout hit me a few weeks ago and I've not quite been able to shake it but I also know that it'll be over soon. Ive really been dragging on my weekday runs, and have had to fit in a few evening runs instead of getting it done in the morning. I need to switch my mindset to excited anticipation instead of impending doom. 

Let me work on that one...

Last Saturday's 20 miles was... Uneventful? I mean, yes I ran 20 freaking miles but it was made much less painful with some good company as well as a surprise appearance of J on the trail towards the end of our run. We started out very nice and very slowly and then once we hit the halfway point and turned around to head back, I got a second wind yet again and found a little pep in my step. We did have to stop at a gas station for a water refill and some ibuprofen for Heidi's knee, but after we ran into J around mile 15, we spread out a bit more, and I ended up running the last 3 wth her. My goal was to try and push myself for the last miles and I ended mile 20 with a 8:28 pace, which felt very hard and very satisfying. 

20 miles. We did it! Now, we just need to add 6.2 more.

Sure thing. 

Post run. Everyone looking good except me. Ew, sorry 

Obligatory blurry watch photo

Splits. Well, as many as I can fit in the screenshot. 

New record! And of course, donuts.

And then later? A giant gas station burrito

We ended up school shopping for a few hours later in the day, which meant my only downtime of the day was taking a cat nap in the car. Probably not ideal, but at least I got this cute coat.

Don't worry, I will wear pants with it. 


Things I am looking forward to, post marathon:

Sleeping in
My pants fitting 
Less physical stress
Social life
Not having to bitch about marathon training 

Things I will miss: 

Running together wth M and H.
The satisfaction of running all the miles at once
The opportunity to bitch about marathon training

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 14 - Spectacularly unexciting and lame.

Last week was so uneventful I waited until the end of week 15 to even mention it. Bear with me, as I can barely remember yesterday...

8/22: 6 miles, outside?
8/23: Off
8/24: Off
8/25: 5 miles, treadmill
8/26: Off
8/27: 13 miles, outside with friends
8/28: Off


Miles: 24
Strength: 0 (doh)
Rest: 4

Well, that kind of sucked didn't it?

If you look at this week, looks like I'm either not even training, or training for a half. But alas, last time I checked I"m still registered for a 26.2 mile race in October.

I've been fighting some mild knee pain for most of this training but the last couple weeks after my great 17 miler has been fraught with debilitating pain near my knee cap. The dull pain started behind my knee where it bends and has moved its way forward. A few mornings I've had to either cut my runs short or just call it quits because of the pain. I've been trying to stretch and identify what is causing it. The pain comes and goes, and I notice lots of turns and downhills seem to exacerbate the problem. So far I've made it through 18 and 13 miles, but not without pain during and after my runs. I've had to skip my Sunday recovery runs two or three weeks in a row, and I'm not happy about it but I've woken up both mornings and had to hobble to the bathroom.

I had a freak out moment this week where I literally could not keep running. After reluctantly waking up to run on the treadmill before work, I made it one lame, sad mile before I had to call it quits. My knee was just not having it. I know stopping was the smart thing to do, but I was still not happy about it. I half assed-ly did some glute work out in the garage for about 10 minutes, and then grumpily got ready for the day. Once I got at work, I lamented over texts and emails with my wise, and very patient friends, and after some good bossing around counseling, I finally contacted the doctor and was able to squeeze myself into see a physical therapist on the 9th. Here's to hoping and praying my knee can hold up until the race.

So, as you can see this particular week was pretty lame but I didn't want to get into the head game of trying to hit a certain amount of miles or runs just to say I did, and risk injuring myself even further. Sometimes having to swallow your pride and take the suck is the route you have to go.

As a runner, sometimes it's hard making smart decisions. You feel me, right?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are we there yet?

Week 13: 

8/15: strength
8/16: 5 miles
8/17: 6 miles
8/18: Rest
8/19: Rest
8/20: 18 miles 
8/21: unplanned rest 


Injuries- 2

Weird looking week.

My total mileage is low, even with the whopping 18 miler on Saturday.  I've been lacking serious motivation to jump on the treadmill, and it clearly shows. My two runs I did manage to squeeze in were fine, but it did take me well over 2 miles to not feel terrible. I woke up feeling pretty tired on Thursday; with a sore knee to boot so I figured two days of rest would have me more prepared for Saturday's long run. 

Also, oh Monday while playing around with weights, I somehow tweaked my elbow and had pain everything I tried to lift heavy objects or even straighten my arm. By the time Saturday rolled around, I had a bum right knee and a permanently bent right arm. I also think the compensation of limping and not being able to bear full weight on my leg also tweaked my back-right side, naturally.  I also made plans to run w D on Sunday but I woke up with an incredibly sore knee, and made the call to cancel. I think this was our first early am cancel ever! 

7 weeks left and my first trio of injuries. Not quite what I was expecting after 13 solid weeks of training, plus all the relays and previous training I'd been doing. 

Met Mac early early in Saturday for what I thought was to be an easy, flat 18- out and back.

Some things-

The Orting Trail is real dark at 5:30am

It's also reaaaal creepy at that time. 

5:30am bikers look actual riders until you run to them after sunrise and realize they may possibly be homeless and be sleeping on the trail. 

Just because a trail is flat doesn't mean it's always easy. My knee was twinging for the first half of the run, and then I think I just got numb. 

18 miles is long. Very long. 

Running with friends make everything a little easier, and unexpectedly running into more running friends is the best!

Splits, so many

Beautiful sunshine along the river. First time running far enough on the trail to see this!

When you run 18, you are allowed to stop at McDonalds in your way home.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 12 - We're basically past the first trimester.

8/9: off
8/10: 4 miles, TM
8/11: 5 miles, outside pm. 
8/12: off
8/13: 4 miles, TM
8/14: 17 miles, outside! 
8:15: rest


Strength: 0 (damn it)
Miles: 30

Weirdest looking cutback week, right? I'm pretty sure I did it wrong but it goes with the theme of most of this training cycle, so whatever.  This was the first time in 12 weeks that I've taken 3 rest in a week. This used to be the norm, but that was back when I was semi normal. I just had a really hard time motivating myself to get out of bed before 5:00 all week, and I managed two short am treadmill runs, and one afternoon run outside with J, and all runs were relatively slow and easy paced. 

The scheduled long run was 12 but I decided to join Mac and Heidi for part of their 17 miler. The original plan was to run 6 with them, split up, and then run 6 solo back to the car but last minute I changed my mind and ended up running all 17. I didn't like the idea of heading back alone, so I figured a few extra miles with friends wouldn't hurt. I actually had a lot of fun most of this run

I realize the use of the word "fun" is all very relative here. 

The route was super (really really really) hilly but full of lots of twists and turns, beautiful scenery, plus a scary jaunt across a giant bridge, complete with a coyote sighting #nature and a group of confused volunteers setting up a water station for a local race. 

There was one large hill we all walked up, with paused watches, and some random stops for lights or to decide which direction to go, but for most of the time we were out running, we were moving - sometimes swiftly, sometimes at a snails pace (hills!!). Luckily the last part was a slight downhill and then flat straight away, and it was right along the waterfront.

We stopped twice at gas stations for more water and some ice, and then we were off again. We also tried to practice timing of our fuel. Mac and I took a gel at mile 6-ish and then some chews around 10,11, and then another gu at 13}, 14. I think that worked well and it took us to 17. I think for the marathon I will alternate more chews and one more gel? We shall see. 

It was the first time in a training run with more than one person, and while it was super fun and the best company, it was tricky because many times the sidewalks were not wide enough for the 3 of us, so we were lined up like little ducks for many of the miles. I did speed up a few times to power ahead, once mainly to get across that damn bridge as fast as I could, and then at the last mile to just see how fast I could finish.

I actually feel a little guilty about this, because I should have just sucked up my stubbornness and ran together with the other two, but during the bridge miles I just wanted to be OFF that thing (TOO HIGH. SO SCARY) but at the end I was feeling so good and happy that I just kept going.

That sounds so annoying, I'm surprised M or H didn't push me into traffic. Ugh sorry! 

I honestly felt pretty damn good most of the run, and i seriously am going to give all props to the massive amount of carbs I consumed the four days leading up to the run. Pizza pizza pizza and some banana bread for the win. 

Pizza is life. 🍕

So, most of this training I've been winging it, because I've been mixing two or three training plans. This is very unlike me because I generally like to stick to a strict training schedule with very little budge, but you know, this summer I've had to learn to just roll with what life deals me on the daily, and this has included training. With 8 weeks left (ahhhhhh) I decided yesterday that it would be best to follow the same plan as M and H, so we could line up our long runs. This Saturday we will tackle 18, and then I'll have a real cut back week of 13 miles as my long run. Then comes the 20, but we will deal with that when it comes. 

Hold me.


God's morning greeting to us before starting our run. 


This damn bridge. 

Some of the fastest miles of the run were from this thing. 

Guess which miles were on the bridge?
Also. My last mile was completely on weird happy runner adrenaline. 

I mean. Might as well see just how bad this tan line can get, right?

Monday, August 8, 2016

When it starts to click...

Week 11: 

Monday: 8 miles (7+1 mi CD)
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 5 miles; TM
Thursday: 5 miles, TM
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 17 (16+ 1CD). 
Sunday: 6 plus some change 


Rest- 2
Miles: 42
XT- 0

A couple things. I suck at cross training. 42 miles is my highest weekly mileage ever. 

I'm finally feeling somewhat back in the groove this past week. I was home on Monday after a long weekend away, so I headed out for a longer mid week run. I managed to huff through 7 miles at an 8:54 pace and then ran a 1 mile slow cool down home. I also had two decent AM treadmill runs that didn't feel like hot, slow death. I think those treadmill runs really helped stabilize my mental state, as the previous weeks I had been finding myself worked up in anxiety every morning. 

Treadmilling is hard, people. 

However, I have embraced that it is really my life. It's what I can manage and fit into the day with my early schedule. So, a mindset shift somehow occurred this week and I made it through yet another week of mostly treadmill training. 

Saturday's 16 was my first solo long run in a few weeks. I love love love running with friends, but sometimes I need a solo check-in run to see where I'm at mentally. I tend to run slower with friends and focus less in pace, which is always great. However, I also need those solo runs to test my fitness and to work on pacing and fuel. 

I hadn't run hamster circles in my neighborhood for a while, so I set out early on Saturday before 6am to weave through 16 miles of cul de sacs and streets and loops. I even forced myself to run some hillier parts of the neighborhood, which was actually a confidence booster because my legs felt strong charging up the hills. There were a few longer tough hills in the middle of the run, and you can see by my paces where those hills were. ;)

It's easy to psych ourselves out over long solo runs and overthink every aspect and every mile.  My wise friend J always reminds me to pray beforehand, which I honestly just forget to do most days, but on Saturday, I said a small prayer, took a deep breath, and decided that today's run would be great. 

Running can tend to be one giant cliche but sometimes it's a pretty accurate cliche. I really felt positive energy during the entire run, even in those dreaded first few miles. Most long runs have some dark middle miles but I never quiet felt that shadow looming over me the entire time.  It also helped that I had some fresh new jams to get me through. 

My long run goal was to stay between 9:30-10 and I managed to run 16 at a 9:23 pace. Not too shabby for my longest training run to date!

Splits, like banana... But even better 
Mile1: 9:55
Mile2: 10:01

So many splits it doesn't fit in one screen shot!

Uh. Mile 6. I do not know. 

Also, mile 11.. HILL!

I had to dig deep for that last mile. Let's just say my arms were pumping like Forrest Gump. 

Saturday was the first time in 11 weeks that I've felt like I can (maybe) actually run this marathon. 

I think that's what they call, Progress. 


Obligatory garmin shot. 

Sunday's 6 mile "recovery", which ended being the same pace as Saturday? #doingitwrong

Oh and I finally ordered this, because....#mylife

Love my new Ragnar necklace. And last yeesr's shirt. Maybe that necklace gave me some sort of super powers? Nah.