Category Archives: my week of running

Week in Running: 1/27/14-2/2/14

I think I sound like a broken record when I say that this week was another step up in mileage and intensity. I guess most weeks are going to be like that for awhile. And, I couldn’t be happier about that! Coming off of a great race and then some reduced training has me really motivated to work hard and put in the work for Boston! For Rocket City, I had a longer time to build up. It’s a shorter turnaround with Boston and I want to make as much progress as I can in the meantime!

Because I am training hard and very motivated to make progress before Boston, I’m trying to take my easy days and recovery as seriously as possible. I was going to try to lump all the things I do to stay on top of my recovery in this post but it was getting long fast. So another post coming on rest and recovery soon!

This week started off freezing cold, again. I was a little discouraged by last week’s short, hilly tempo in the sub-10 degree weather. This week, I had one more workout in the extreme temps but then things warmed up a bit. I am really not taking 30 degree days for granted right now! These days that almost feels balmy!

Monday: 3 miles very easy in the morning; 6 miles easy with 4x30s pick ups in the afternoon. I took the day off from work since I had worked MLK Day. I am running a 5k this Saturday and was near the course in the morning so I decided to jog the course for my morning run just to get a feel for it. Both runs this day felt good.

Tuesday: 3 miles warm up with strides, 16×1:00 on/off (start around 10k effort and ramp it up), 2 miles cool down. This was a bump from last week’s fartlek of 10×1:00 on/off. Scott told me to run this one by effort and not pay attention to the watch because of the extreme cold this day. I think it was about 12 degrees. I started around 6:20 pace on my fast sections and worked down to sub 6 pretty early on. I didn’t mean to speed up that quickly but alas. I felt smooth at first but about halfway in, I started to experience lactic acid build up in my legs. This was a really odd feeling for me because I hardly ever deal with that to this degree-even in my toughest track workouts! Towards the end of the workout, my legs were locking up by the end of each minute which made it hard to keep running fast. I finished the workout and didn’t positive split, but it made me worry just how much I had lost in my recovery from Rocket City. That day, I was curious about just how big of a role extreme cold plays in running performance and I found this article which specifically mentions lactic acid:¬†http://runneracademy.com/cold-weather-impact-on-running/. I felt a lot better after reading that. When I looked at my data later, my heart rate averaged in the upper 160s for each interval which confirmed that I really wasn’t working that hard and the perceived difficulty was due primarily to the lactic acid.

Wednesday: 3 miles very easy in the morning, 6 miles easy after work. It was 5 degrees for my morning run. That made it easy to keep to the ‘very easy’ part of my plan. I ended up getting a later start than I wanted to for my evening run. That made me a bit antsy to get it out of the way and that almost always results in the run seeming to take even longer. I was really slow for the 2nd run. The effort felt like a normal easy run effort but it was definitely slower than my usual easy run. I think I was feeling the prior day’s fartlek in my legs.

Thursday: 8 miles with 10 hill blasts; It was 9 degrees for this run and I admit to being pretty disheartened when I checked the weather that morning. I run my hill blasts entirely by effort but I could tell they were slightly slower this week, probably (hopefully) due to the cold.

Friday: 2 mile warm up with strides, 8x800m at 3:10 with 400m jog recovery, 1 mile cool down. In case anyone (dad ūüôā ) isn’t familiar with track workout lingo, that is 8 repeats of 2 times around the track (800 meters, or half a mile) with 1 time around the track (400 meters, or a quarter of a mile) as a jog recovery between each 800 meter interval. I ended up running 2:57, 3:07, 3:07, 3:06, 3:06, 3:06, 3:06, and 3:06. I clearly way overshot the effort on the first one and was able to dial it back for the last ones. 800 workouts used to be my nemesis but the last two I’ve done have been great. This felt like the first real indicator of how my fitness was doing. Since my fartlek on Tuesday and my tempo the week before were done in such extreme temps, I wasn’t sure where my fitness was. This workout felt really good and strong and I felt a bit of a confidence boost that things are heading in the right direction.

Saturday: 19 miles over a hilly route. I’m fairly certain that 19 mile runs are never going to feel like quick little jaunts but they’ve gotten better for me. I have worked hard on being patient with them which actually works to make them pass by more quickly (imagine that!). I ran through some of Nashville’s hilliest neighborhoods which was good as far as the goal of the run was concerned, but it was tough! I got rolling pretty quickly and didn’t ease into the pace like I sometimes do on long runs. The first half I stayed around the 8-8:15 range but moved into the 7:40-7:55 range for the 2nd half. A bit faster than I normally do long runs but still far enough away from marathon pace to not be overdoing it.

Sunday: 6 very easy. I was pretty proud of this run. I took it extremely easy and made sure to keep my heart rate low. My heart rate stayed in the 130s and lower 140s which is perfect for a recovery run. Because I had done a track workout followed by a hilly long run, I wanted to be smart with this run and use it as recovery and not do any more damage. I really prefer active recovery over rest days because I feel like it helps my muscles recover more quickly and I feel less stiff and sore.

Total Mileage For the Week:  73

Week in Running 1/20/14-1/26/14

I had a great week of training last week. I’m transitioning back into more intensity and harder workouts. The reduced load was necessary after the marathon and once I got used to it, it was nice to have a little break in higher mileage/intensity. But, I’m very motivated to be better and faster so it’s nice to be heading that direction again.

One struggle right now is that I lost some fitness during my recovery from the marathon. It’s tough mentally because I want so much to be improving but right now I’m still trying to catch back up to where I was pre-marathon. I’m hoping in a couple of weeks I’ll be back there and then I can set my sights on a new half PR at Tom King in early March.

Anyway, here was last week’s training:

Monday: Easy 8 with 6x30s pick ups; Felt pretty good on this but my last pick-up on a gradual uphill section didn’t feel very smooth.

Tuesday: 2 mile warm-up, 10×1:00 on/off, 2 mile cool down. Start off at 6:15ish and work down. This was my first fartlek of this training cycle. If you are unfamiliar with fartleks, here is a good resource:¬†http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/lost-art-fartlek.¬†Fartleks are a great way to transition from base building to heavier training. I did a ton of them early on in my last training cycle. We started to taper off of them later in training as I transitioned to more marathon specific workouts. Basically, the workout was one minute at a fast pace followed by one minute at a recovery pace (those ranged between 8-10 minute pace). I did that sequence 10 times. I do my fartleks on a road with a few rolling hills which is a nice added stimulus (although during the workout I don’t typically think it’s so nice). I started off on these a little fast and got under 6 minute pace fairly easily. The weather was moderate (32ish I think). I was surprised how easily I got rolling. However, about 6 in I started to get tired and had some oxygen debt on the last two. This shows me I’m a little rusty but it was a good reintroduction to fartleks. I had 2 repeats slightly over 6 minute pace and the rest were in the 5:30-5:50 range.

Wednesday: 3 miles very easy; 6 miles easy. It’s really nice to sometimes wake up and only have 3 miles on the agenda. Even though that almost always means I have to run again later in the day, it’s nice to get some extra sleep and 3 miles always flies by. I had to pick Millard up at the airport that evening so I did my second run around noon. It took me awhile to warm up and get settled but then I got rolling. I really liked doing it in the middle of the day and may do that more often before the weather gets warm.

Thursday: 8 miles with 8-10 hill blasts; I ended up doing a little over 3 miles of warm up before starting the hill blasts. I switched to a slightly steeper hill for this one. The hill I’d run the last couple of weeks is a legitimate hill but it’s not super steep. It barely registers on Garmin’s elevation chart which was making me feel like a wimp. I definitely felt the added steepness as these hill blasts were harder than the last couple of weeks. I ended up doing 10. Ran the last 2.6 miles back home.

Friday: 2 miles warm up, 4 miles at tempo effort (think around 6:45 effort, not pace) on a hilly route, 2 miles cool down; it was 8 degrees for this run. I wore way too much clothing. I ended up doing 3 miles of warm-up because after 2 miles, my feet still felt numb. I felt like another mile would help. In retrospect, I should’ve shed some clothing for my tempo miles and circled back to them and put them back on for my cool down (which is what I ended up doing for today’s fartlek workout). I had on two pairs of tights, two pairs of socks, a short sleeve and long sleeve, a jacket, two pairs of gloves, and two headbands. I felt really restricted. This was much harder than I wanted it to be and it was humbling. I do think the weather and too much clothing played a role, but I’m also rusty at tempo pace. This was my first tempo workout of the cycle. I picked a pretty hilly route and while I felt pretty smooth on the flats and downhills, the uphills were definitely hard. I felt a little discouraged after this because it’s clear I have work to do but I was happy to get some hard running in. In order to not get too focused on pace, I put my watch screen on heart rate so I could gauge my effort level. I only observed my pace when the watch beeped for my mile splits, but I tried to genuinely run this one for effort and not gun for a particular pace. Splits for the tempo were 6:45, 6:50, 6:45, 6:50.

Saturday: 18 miles over a hilly route. This was a really good long run. I ran a hilly route through East Nashville, downtown, up to Belmont area, and back down to downtown. I felt strong on the hills. The miles went by pretty quickly which is nice when you’re running for over 2 hours. The most encouraging thing about this long run was my recovery. Last training cycle, I struggled a little to adapt to the long runs during high mileage/high intensity weeks. I would feel exhausted by dinner time and my legs would feel pretty beat up. I felt great on Saturday. My energy stayed high and I was even able to stay up and watch a movie with my boyfriend! This seems simple, but there have been many nights when I can barely keep my eyes open after 8 on a Saturday. The next day I felt pretty good and my legs didn’t seem to take a beating. This is really encouraging as I think it shows my body is adapting well to the mileage.

Sunday: 6 grandma speed miles. I decided to run the XC course at Vaughn’s Gap (By Edwin Warner park) and then run one of the trails for the last 3 miles. I figured running the cross country course would ensure that I took it easy. The ground is really uneven and pitted and I knew I would not encounter many, if any, other runners on it on a Sunday morning. I ran my first mile slower than I’ve run a mile in a long time. It took quite awhile to get used to the uneven ground. I didn’t have to worry about feeling competitive or too slow because I only saw one or two runners the whole time going the opposite direction. This did show me that I am a road runner through and through. I do not enjoy running the cross country course. I then ran the last 3 miles along an Edwin Warner trail. It’s funny, my fastest mile was on the only paved section I ran that day. My legs felt kind of tired for this, but didn’t have any pain or soreness from the long run.

Total Mileage for the Week: 66.9 (yes…that .1 kills me).

Week in Running: 1/13/14-1/19/14

Last week is the first week I really felt like I was starting to get into the groove of training. Even though I was only sick a few days, it was a tiny little bump in the road on my way to getting back to training. This past week, I had slightly more intensity and did some faster running than I’ve done since the marathon. It felt so nice to run fast again, especially because it didn’t feel terrible and I didn’t feel totally out of shape! I’ve got a long way to go and it’s an effort to stay patient, but last week was encouraging.

Monday: 8 miles easy with 6x30s pick ups. My dad brought to my attention that I should probably explain my workout terminology a little bit better. 6x30s means I did six strides during my run of 30 seconds each. If you’re unfamiliar with strides, this is a fairly good article to read:¬†http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/add-strides-your-next-run. I usually do mine sprinkled into my run, but a lot of people do them after and sometimes I do that, too. It just depends. This run felt great. I just felt really smooth and it felt effortless and fun.

Tuesday: 10 miles easy; One thing I’ve learned over and over is how different you can feel from day to day (or even from morning to night on double days!). I felt great the day before but this run I felt flat and 10 miles felt so long.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy with strides (I did 4), 10 hill blasts, 2 miles easy; Hill blasts are short sprints at an all out, 100% effort up a short, steep hill. I shoot for about 10 seconds as hard as I can go. I focus on good form and turning my legs over. After each hill blast, I jog slowly for 2 minutes and do it again. These are new to my training this cycle, but are great for speed and fitness and will be an asset for training for Boston. I will probably switch to a steeper hill down the road but I’m enjoying getting into the groove with this workout. One thing to note is that 10 hill blasts were a lot harder than last week’s 6. Ended up with 7.75 miles for this day.

Thursday: 9 mile natural progression run; starting nice and easy and working down towards 7 effort. I LOVE progression runs. They’re my favorite. I guess it’s kind of the lazy man’s favorite workout because you get time to naturally warm up, usually they’re fairly unstructured (not always) and you can gradually speed up. I love that I start slow and feel like I’m flying by the end, but I don’t feel like I’m dying. I went a little fast on this one unintentionally, but loved getting the wheels moving again. These runs are a nice transition to harder training and more intensity. Splits were: 8:54, 8:14, 7:56, 7:37, 7:22, 7:12, 7:05, 6:56, 6:49 and last .14 was 6:16 pace (down a hill).

Friday: 6 miles very easy

Saturday: 16 miles; if feeling good I could drop it down to a steadier, 7:30 effort the last 3-4;¬†I felt really great and strong for most of this. I’ve been running a bit faster on my long runs and I am guessing it’s just because I don’t have much, if any, cumulative fatigue built up yet at this point in training. I am not intentionally picking it up but it’s hard to slow down once I’ve gotten rolling.¬†The last couple of miles were tough. My legs were tired and I wanted to be done. I really truly meant to keep the last four miles slower but had trouble putting on the brakes. Gotta get more disciplined with that. My last four miles were: 7:25, 7:28, 7:26, 7:22. This training cycle I want to be more disciplined and not run much faster than the effort or paces I’m given. An important lesson I’ve had to learn is to not race my workouts because then I have nothing to give on race day.

Sunday: 0-6 very easy. I ended up going with six. Felt really good besides some left calf/behind the knee soreness. My boyfriend always pokes fun at me because I almost always do the max if I’m given a range. One day he asked me how many miles I was going to do and he said, almost angrily, “Are you EVER just going to do zero?” My philosophy so far with this has been, I’m going to listen to my body as much as I can. I don’t cut myself a lot of slack so I’m generally not going to take a day just because I feel lazy. But, if I feel like my body really genuinely needs me to do less miles or even zero, then I will. I’ve found that active recovery really works for me. Getting out and doing some very easy miles seems to help me recover better than not running at all.

Total Miles for the Week: 63.5

Slowly climbing in the mileage and intensity. I maxed out last training cycle at 79 miles for a Monday-Sunday week (though I went over 80 on a 7 day stretch a couple of times). It’s important that I not rush right back up to the 80 range or I could risk injury. I really enjoyed some variety in my workouts last week and am starting to feel like I’m getting back into training again.

Week in Running: 1/6/14-1/12/14

Whoops. I just (re)started this blog and I’m already behind.

I am easing back into training for Boston. At first, I panicked at the reduced mileage but I’ve come to appreciate the time. It’s given my body a chance to recuperate, I feel much fresher, and it’s a chance for a mental reset. My first week after the marathon I only ran every other day (that was tough!) and ran not quite 16 miles. The next week back, I had one rest day and ran 40.8 miles. Then, the next week I ran every day and logged 51.8 miles.

Last week, I had a minor setback as I came down with some kind of cold. I ended up only missing one day of running but it meant a few extra easy days.

Here was last week’s training:

Monday: Coach said to run 0-4 and if I had a fever at all to not run. This was the only day I took off. I felt like I was on the mend but I felt so drained. Decided my body probably needed the rest.

Tuesday: 8 easy miles; felt surprisingly good after being sick.

Wednesday: 10 miles easy with 6x30s strides; it felt really nice to get out there and run a little bit longer.

Thursday:¬†3 miles with 4x30s strides, 6xhill blasts and 3 miles cool down; it has taken me awhile to get into the groove with hill blasts. I struggled to find the right hill initially, one that was short enough and steep enough. Hill blasts are 10 seconds at 100% up a short steep hill. As someone who is more long distance minded, I’m not accustomed to running at 100% ever. It’s deeply ingrained for me to conserve! So, it’s actually been kind of fun to do these. However, I had 10 instead of 6 this week and that was significantly harder!

Friday: 8 miles easy

Saturday: 15 miles with 11.2 on the Percy Warner 11.2 (infamous for its crazy hard hills); I did the 11.2 the week before and had a bad experience. I felt okay during the run but at the end felt truly awful. Now I realize I was getting sicker that day and the sickness really took hold of me that evening. This week was much better. I ran the first 4 miles up and down Belle Meade Blvd before doing the 11.2. The hills are brutal and sometimes relentless, but I finished feeling really strong which was a nice contrast to the week before.

Sunday: 4 miles very easy

Total Mileage for the Week: 53.1

Next week maybe I’ll try to get my training up before it’s almost time to document the next week’s training!

My Week of Running

This week was my highest mileage week ever! And boy did I feel it on Saturday. But before I get to that, here’s the recap:

Monday

8.08 miles, 1:00:29, 7:29 pace (morning)
1.3 miles, 9:42, 7:27 pace (warm up on treadmill before Sculpt class in the evening)

Tuesday

1.01 mile warm up, 8:23, 8:16 pace
2 mile time trial, 12:41, 6:19 pace
1.06 mile cool down, 8:34, 8:04 pace

Wednesday

7.27 miles, 53:47, 7:24 pace

Thursday 

2.06 mile warm up, 17:12, 8:20 pace
5.05 miles (Boulevard Bolt), 33:48, 6:41 pace
2.01 mile cool down, 16:44, 8:19 pace

Saturday

16 miles, 2:01:05, 7:34 pace

Total weekly mileage: 45.84

Right now, I’m starting marathon training but I’m not using one particular training plan. I think when I first started out with running, I needed an exact plan every week. It helped give me structure and honestly I had no idea what I was doing. Now I have a pretty good idea of what my body needs and what works for me. I still use them as a guideline but I adapt them. I have Peter Pfitzinger’s book Advanced Marathoning¬†and it’s an incredibly helpful book to read based on the comprehensive information it has about all facets of training-from nutrition, recovery, etc. However, the plans in the book are VERY high mileage. I’m loosely following the 18 week plan that tops out at 55 miles a week (that’s the lowest mileage plan!). The problem with the plan for me right now is that a lot of the weekday runs are LONG. I’m not used to running 12 miles on a Wednesday. I definitely want my body to get used to the longer runs but I’m a bit scared off by the prospect of having to fit 12 miles on a morning before work. He also doesn’t have speed work built in for the first part of the plan. I’m in the habit of doing speed work every week and will continue with that. I am however going to use the plan to dictate my long runs every week and when I should do cut back weeks. I want to get my weekly mileage higher and at least do one run during the week that is fairly long-but it’s intimidating to me right now to imagine regularly going on runs over 10 miles before work. I already wake up between 5-5:30!

So onto this week’s runs! I have enjoyed being a bit flexible at the start of marathon training. I went out on Monday morning with the idea to at least do 6 miles and just see how it felt. Something about that freedom, allowing myself to end it at 6 or go longer if I felt like it, really helps me mentally. I ended up doing 8 miles because my legs just felt great and I had a lot of energy. I’m not sure if I had told myself I absolutely had to do 8 miles, I would’ve enjoyed it as much.

I did speed sessions with Fleet Feet back in the winter and it’s what got me hooked on speed work! Even though the speed sessions ended in April, I’ve continued doing the workouts every week on my own since then. We did a 2 mile time trial at the beginning of speed sessions and in the middle. The first time I got somewhere around 14:10 and the 2nd time I got 13:35ish (I got a cramp 1.3 miles in and had to stop and breathe through it and start again). All of your workout paces for speed sessions were determined by your time trial. I hadn’t done a time trial since March and all of my paces were way outdated. I’d been guessing for months. I finally got my ass in gear and did the time trial on Tuesday. Ugh-they’re a certain kind of agony. It’s just really tough to run full out for 2 miles. However, I ended up getting 12:37! I shaved almost a minute off my time. I was extremely excited about that. My first mile was 6:20 and my second was 6:17. I felt like I really paced myself well this time. When I ran my first one last winter, my 2nd mile was about 10 seconds slower than my first. This time I tried to stay relatively conservative for the first mile and then was able to really push it in at the end. I do not enjoy time trials but it was so validating to see my progress! And it’ll be nice to have legit times to shoot for when I do my workouts now.

Wednesday’s run was so run of the mill (get it…hahaha…) that I don’t really remember details. Thursday was the Boulevard Bolt! It’s a Nashville Thanksgiving tradition. It’s a 5 mile race up and down Belle Meade Boulevard. Basically you run past mansions the whole way as people in Belle Meade are LOADED. This is really the only thing I took pictures of, so bear with me.

It was way too f-ing cold for that outfit. I took one step outside and turned back around and put on a long sleeve shirt.

I wanted to get more than 5 miles on the day, so I parked 2 miles away and jogged to and from the race start. This seemed like a great idea, and I still think it was, but unfortunately the jog to the race was mostly downhill, so…I kind of hated myself on the jog back. Especially after racing 5 miles. I kept my pace super conservative for the jogs there and back. On my jog there, I got yelled at by a police officer. Yes, really. Me, goodie-two-shoes, got yelled at. By a police officer. Just want to reiterate that for emphasis. It was close to the start and it was a madhouse. This year’s race pulled in over 8500 participants! I was jogging along, trying to get around people, and I had my headphones in so I wasn’t hearing what was happening around me. Apparently this police woman was trying to get people to stop at the driveway into the church (where the race started/ended) so that a shuttle could get out. Me, with my headphones in, trying to get around the crowd, was oblivious. Suddenly, out of nowhere, this woman was in my face yelling at me. I gave her the stink eye and told her that I saw her. At this point I had no idea why she was freaking out. I took out one of my headphones and realized she was yelling at me because I was trying to jog across the driveway and she was trying to get people to stop. She was screaming about how it was a police order and did I think she was just standing around for fun, she was a police officer, blah blah blah. It was so intense and so unnecessary. Granted, she must be really bored since she works in Belle Meade, the land of rich people. She was probably enjoying her brief tango with power.

The look I gave the angry police woman

Anyway, if I learned anything from running the Bolt last year, it was that you should absolutely line up right by the start line. Even though there are signs for you to line up by predicted finishing time, and people on the megaphones are yelling and reminding people who are going to walk or have small children to get to the back, no one listens. Last year I spent the first mile running through the grass on the side of the road trying to pass all the assholes who willfully disobeyed the seemingly simple rules of lining up. I learned my lesson and lined up right by the start line and thankfully didn’t have to spend much time at all dodging the rule breakers.

I have the sense of humor of a 7th grade boy but now I keep thinking the circles look like boobs. Sorry.

Running past mansions!

The race itself was uneventful. After doing a 5 mile tempo run at 6:53 pace as my speed workout a couple of weeks ago, I knew that I could do sub 7 minute miles. That was my only goal. Here’s the truth-I don’t care for shorter distance races. It really sucks to go all out. Even though it’s over quickly, it’s painful. I like going moderately fast for a long period of time much more than going super fast (relative to the individual) for a short amount of time. My splits for this race went: 6:58, 6:41, 6:44, 6:45, 6:17. I’m pretty excited by the last mile time. It’s amazing what the human body can do. Even when you feel like you just can’t give anymore, somehow your body finds the strength to give it that final push. By mile 3 I wanted to be done but somehow at mile 4 I found something within me to push it to the finish.

Shit loads of people at the finish area

After the race and jogging painfully 2 miles uphill to my car, my legs felt kind of wrecked. I decided to get a bag of ice on the way home and ice bath it. I knew I was facing 16 miles on Saturday and wanted to try to recover as much as possible before then. After the ice bath, I got decked out and ready for Thanksgiving feasting.

All the cool kids wear compression socks with flip flops

Saturday’s run was tough. I am struggling lately mentally with long runs. I decided to sign up for this marathon because I wanted to do it at least once and see if I could enjoy it. I know that I’m capable but I guess I want to be able to say I did, not just I could. I know that when I trained for my first couple of halfs, runs of 10, 11, and 12 miles seemed HUGE. They were not always enjoyable. Now, those runs don’t seem bad to me. My body and mind have adjusted. I know it’s just going to take time and patience for my mind and body to adjust to these even longer runs. I’ve been doing longer runs since the summer. I basically built up to 17 miles and then had 3 half marathons in about a month and a half so I wasn’t able to keep building. Now my race schedule is clear until the marathon and I have nothing but time to work on this. I wanted to see if I could enjoy training for and running a marathon but I have to be honest-some weeks these long runs discourage me.

I love the half marathon distance. Part of me feels like there’s this idea that to be a legit runner, you have to be a marathoner. I can’t tell you how many times I would tell people about a half marathon I ran and they’d ask me when I was going to do a full or tell me about someone they know who runs fulls all the time. Or my favorite question- “are you doing the full? Or just the half?” JUST THE HALF. YOU GO RUN 13 MILES AND SEE HOW JUST THAT SEEMS TO YOU! Anyway-all of this to say-I love the half distance. I love the push of endurance but still being able to really push the speed. Maybe one day I’ll love the marathon-but if I don’t-is there really anything wrong with that?

Now, that’s not to say I never have enjoyable long runs. I do! I had a run a few weeks ago of 14.5 miles that was great. I’ve had a few 15s that were great. But this week’s 16 was rough. Here are a few issues:

  1. I ran way too f-ing fast. You’re supposed to run your long runs significantly slower than your normal paces. But I’m too much of a damn perfectionist to let myself chill out and take it slow. I start out with the mentality that I’ll just take it easy and not push it. But then I get comfortable around miles 3 or 4 and my pace naturally increases and then I won’t let myself slow down. Something about positive splitting seems like a failure to me and so I push myself to at least keep the current pace up. It’s a problem and I know it will eventually hurt my training so I need to work on it.
  2. I haven’t had much of an appetite lately for some reason and I think probably didn’t have the proper glycogen stores built up that I normally would.
  3. Cramps. I have been cramping so badly lately. It’s happening on almost every run. I can’t seem to figure out why it’s happening. It happens on fast runs but it also happens on the slower runs. The cramps started early on this run. The started around mile 4 and plagued me until around mile 11 or 12. It’s always the same spot, in the right abdominal muscle. It only seems ¬†to happen in the winter which makes me think it’s asthma related somehow but I also wonder if hydration/electrolytes are playing a part. I don’t fuel differently now than I did during the summer. I don’t know. I’m stumped but I’m really freaking frustrated. I guess the silver lining is I’m learning how to run through them so it doesn’t totally derail my run.
  4. High mileage week + strength training on Friday. This was my highest mileage week ever AND I raced 2 days before this run. I think my legs were just wrecked. I also did strength training on Friday morning instead of Thursday evening since Sculpt was obviously canceled for Thanksgiving. The worst part of the run was how tired my legs were. I think I just wore them out.

Not even proud of the pace because it was dumb to go that fast.

Anyway-this post is already absurdly long and I can’t imagine anyone else is really still hanging in so I’m gonna wrap it up.¬†I got home after the 16 miler and did my regular routine of ice bath + coffee, hanging out in bed with about 800 layers because I’m fucking freezing, and then getting ready for my day. Ultimately, I know these long runs are important. Some of them will suck, some of them will be okay and doable, and some of them will (hopefully) be great. They’re important because they’re training my mind and my body. I want my body to get used to these long runs. I want them to be able to endure the strain. But I also want my mind to get used to the idea of running for so long. I want it to be less daunting. I want to be more confident in myself. I know that if I can step my mental game up, the runs will be more pleasant. Honestly-that’s my biggest concern at this point. Can I get my mind to the point where it can handle 26.2 miles? Because I know my body can get there.