Jay recently started a new strategy to work toward a healthy life, and I’m trying to draw inspiration from his progress. He gets embarrassed when I share, but I’m so proud of him – how he dropped a bad habit and replaced it with a healthy one all in the course of a week – I struggle to stay silent.
This morning I was at the right place at the right time. I got to witness a one friend encouraging another about how best practice self-care. When anxiety is the question, exercise is always the answer.
If persevering through failure makes for a successful finish, then my current 5K training cycle offers me the chance to earn an A+.
My husband Jay and I do our best future-casting on road trips. Driving back home on New Year’s day, we discussed our goals for 2017. Vacation, finances, fitness – we left no stone unturned.
Much like my “training” for the half marathon tomorrow, this blog post hasn’t taken up a whole lot of my time as prep is concerned. I’m composing it on a friend’s couch in my Darth Vader joggers.
But I did want to give y’all the chance to join me as I travel 13.1 miles. These miles I’ll be slow going and I would love to have you along for the fun. Comment below to claim a mile. Could be your favorite number, or just a random choice.
I’ll also ask you let me know if you have a prayer request you want me to lift up. If not, just let me know if you are an encourager or a butt kicker. I’ll need both along the way!
SLS3 offered me a pair of their Plantar Fasciitis Compression Sleeves.Do I have PF? Well, no. Not right now. I had twinges of it in the later weeks of marathon training, but never bad enough to need to take a break from running.
For the past year, I’ve lived in a perpetual state of training. The beginning of 2014 found me in week 5 of marathon training. Following that round with 26.2, I began 10K training, immediately followed by 8K training. Then it was time to training for my fall half marathon, and that training bled into my training for this year’s marathon.
I had planned to go straight into 5K training, in prep for a late May race. Mostly, I just think I want a break. Maybe its the post-marathon fatigue talking, but I have no desire to stick with a straight plan. I didn’t do speed work in the later part of my plan, so I’m not sure what my hesitancy is.
Of course it could just be too soon to think about training. I’m less than 3 weeks recovered from my big race. Add to that the beginnings of what promises to be a big allergy seasons, and I wonder if I’m asking too much for myself. Perhaps I should just allow my body to be active, rather than in perpetual training.
What does that even look like?
My race schedule typically averages over 1 a month. How would my body react to a month without racing?
At the moment, I’ve completed 3 races in 2015. This coming weekend I’m participating in the Ragnar Trail series in Atlanta, but I wouldn’t count that as a race. Its certainly not something for which I’ve trained.
Dare I clear the race calendar and just keep moving? Yesterday I participated in the Total Body weights class at my gym for the first time since January. I enjoyed the change of pace the circuit routine had to offer, not to mention the muscle soreness that hurts-so-good this morning.
Listen to your body.
If you were to ask for advice, I would tell you to listen to what your body is trying to say. You’ve just come off a your 4th marathon – a personal best time yet again. What’s wrong with a bit of rest and relaxation? I guess it comes down to not being able to trust myself. The longer I stay inactive, the harder it will be to get back started.
As in previous years, this race wasn’t my A-race but did fall into my training plan. My Shamrock Marathon spreadsheet called for 12 easy miles as a long run for the weekend. 13.1 about 30-45 seconds faster than easy seemed to be a good compromise.
My cheering squad deposited me at the start line, then found their way to the a spot in the early miles of the race. I found the porta-potty, then the 4:15 pace group and began to mentally prepare my strategy. I wanted to keep the early miles slow and easy
I’ve never had luck with the pace groups for this race. I attempted a sub 2 hour half in 2013, so I joined up with the 4:00 marathon pace group. Despite being well within goal for the first few miles, they lost me.
While I managed to stay with them for most of last year, the 4:15 took the first lap of the race quicker than the 9:40 average needed to complete the marathon at goal. I suppose the strategy is to bank time in the early miles, given the elevation change on the course. However I have never had luck with positive splits, and had planned to do the first 10 miles at an easy-push effort and go from there.
I stayed with the pace group, checking myself on the down hill during the first mile. During the mile 2 climb into the residential neighborhood, I lost them. The coming miles were rolling, and I could have probably caught them but I didn’t want to trash my legs early on.
I fell into a steady pace and found a group of 3 runners going my same pace. I introduced myself, and we stayed together for the next few miles.
Mike, Sheri, and Pre were each running the full, and were trying to set a nice, easy pace for the first of their 2-loop course. Talking to them helped distract me from the steady climb up Trentham, which has kicked my booty in years past.
I also chatting with a 70+ dude who had on a “run for Christ” shirt on. His shirt prompted me to reflect on my memory verse, and I told him as much. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. 2 Corinthians 8:12. He thanked me for the reminder of why he was out there, then told me about his racing plans. This was his 2nd half marathon, and he was hoping for a full marathon by the fall.
As we crested the top and turned onto Gervais, I said my goodbyes and pushed on ahead. They still had 16 miles to go, and weren’t ready to pick it up. I flew on the downhill approach to the steep hill ahead of me, then kept the legs moving as I tackled both parts of the doozy.
Wearing my heart rate monitor helped me with a strategy on pace. I’ve got no shame in walking a hill like that, but on this day it wasn’t needed. I kept my turnover as steady as possible to the top.
The race is, or at least feels, all downhill from there. Looking at my splits over the years and it would appear that Mile 12 has a bit more elevation gain, than 11 and 13, but only slightly affecting my pace.
The cops at this race were catching a lot of flack from the cars (and from some runners who didn’t want to stay in the cones, as reported by my cheerleaders) so I made a special point to thank them at each intersection. The closer to downtown, the more I passed. In the final mile, however, I was pushing too hard to do any more than grunt and flash a thumbs up.
I finished this race about a minute slower than my time last year, but my last mile had more kick! I think I took it easier on the run for the most part, and am glad for it. I am in taper mode, after all.
Because I know what is important in racing, I posed for post race photos, grabbed a bagel and enjoyed the sunshine on the steps of the state house. While the weather felt balmy by Tennessee winter weather (traveled through sleet to get to my destination on Thursday), the 44* was still a bit cool for my cheering crowd.
Time once again to bear my soul, or at least the superficial surfaces of my brain to link up with Jaime and the gang for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.
Tomorrow morning, I have my 20 mile training run scheduled. For my last marathon 30K was my longest run. This time around I want to follow the plan and see if it results in increased fitness, so 20 miler it is!!
In some ways, I feel ready for the taper. Weekends of forgoing housework in order to get up early and run have started to get wearisome. More from a mental perspective than a physical one.
From a training viewpoint, I don’t feel like I’ve done all that much. Just my standard lunch runs and a bit on the weekend. Of course that’s just not accurate. Wednesday evenings for the past 15 weeks have been dedicated to a “medium” distance run ranging between 5 and 8 miles. I’ve never done those prescribed miles before, and am interested to see if they make a difference.
Am I ready to tackle 26.2 in less than a month? I don’t feel like it. Then again, I also think I’m more than capable. I’m not sure how to reconcile these feelings in my brain. Am I under trained? More than adequately trained for the task? I suppose I’ll get a glimpse in the morning, and better still in 3 weeks.
Starting tomorrow around lunch, taper madness will set in. The mileage will be dialed back and I’ll let my body heal from the past 15 weeks of training. Funny thing, I’m not sure I need it. Easy to say now, I suppose; sitting on this side of the 20 miler.