Average Jane Runs

I'm just like you. And that's okay!

St. Jude Marathon 2011 – Training Days 16-21

Alrighty. Since I haven’t blogged about training in a handful of years, I’m still kind of working out how I want to do it. Initially I thought I’d have a post each day but obviously that’s not happenin’. So starting tomorrow…

…weekly posts it is! I know you’re on the edge of your seat with excitement and anticipation. I can totally feel it.

08/16/11

I was so happy to get outside again! The weather was fantastic! I made my run a bit more boring than it should have been, though. I found a paved track on my 7-miler that I assumed was about a mile long and decided to test that theory. Sure enough, it was a little over a mile. I figured I’d run the track, hit the neighborhood streets a bit and then run the track again.

Why on EARTH would I do that? I have all this freedom to run wherever and I resign to run a track not just once, but TWICE? Hello!

I just ain’t right before I have my coffee.

3 Miles – 37:31 (asphalt/12:31 pace)

Crunch Fat Burning Ab Attack – 32:00

Gym In A Box Upper Body Segment – 10:00

08/17/11

I can’t believe I’m admitting this…but I actually had fun on the treadmill here. I had so much fun I ran over my allotted mileage (not by much, but it’s there)! I decided to try the incline (1%) again, at the suggestion of my friend (and occasional running mentor) Laurie. I did have to slow down a lot, but I must admit once I got into a groove I felt pretty good! I felt so good by the end of the run that I did a little speedy pace pickup around the last quarter mile that pushed me over the 4 mile mark.

I am NOT coming back to you for good, though, Dreadmill, so don’t get any ideas!

4.06 Miles – 59:48 (treadmill/14:41 pace)

08/18/11

I did some unintended speedwork with this run and reaped the benefits almost immediately! I was taking it slow in the beginning since I was using the 1% incline again. Toward the middle of the run Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” popped up on my mp3 player. Most songs I can pretty much ignore the beats per minute and just run at whatever pace is comfortable at the moment. There are a few I just can’t ignore and inspire some kind of mutiny in my legs causing me to take off at ridiculous speeds. “The Pretender” is one of these songs.

Once the drums kicked in I was rockin’ it at 6mph (which is insane-o fast for me right now). I said to Myself, “Self, let’s do this at least through the chorus and then we’ll slow back down.” Then Myself said back, “Um, k, you do that. But I’ll meet you when the song’s over.” I actually ran at 6mph through an ENTIRE SONG. I haven’t been able to do that in, like, ever.

What kept me going? Endorphins, man. For the first time since coming back from pregnancy, I experienced the Runner’s High. I’d almost forgotten it actually existed! As my legs flew under me my eyes almost spewed tears I felt so good.

I’m pretty sure I giggled.

3 Miles – 37:52 (treadmill/12:37 pace)

Crunch Fat Burning Pilates – 43:00

08/19/11 – REST

08/20/11 – REST (5 Miles Scheduled)

Once again, my neck, shoulders, and upper back kept me from my long run. I think I’ve found the culprit, though. Every time I do the Gym In A Box Upper Body segment a few days later I’m toast around the neck and shoulder blades. First I thought maybe I just had terrible form but the last few times I REALLY focused on getting everything just right…to no avail. Going to retire this one for sure.

08/21/11 – 5 Miles (Cross-Training Scheduled)

Spent the morning alternating stretches with heat so that I felt loose enough in the neck and shoulders to get my 5 miles in. It mostly worked – I ran. Had to treadmill it again, though, since it was storming outside. Of course when I finished it was sunny and nice…

Used the 1% incline again and fared better on pacing this time. I ran a few intervals, switching from 4mph to 4.5-4.7 and back. Mostly because I was ready for my time on the belt to be over…but also because I needed a “fix”…I punched it up to 6mph again for the last quarter mile.

It worked.

5 Miles – 65:25 (treadmill/13:05 pace)

WEEKLY THOUGHTS

1. My treadmill running has become less awful for a few reasons.

  • Getting to run outside more makes it easier to suffer inside.
  • I think the incline definitely has helped (thanks Laurie!).
  • I have completely ditched my “brick” shoes. I have been slowly transitioning from my standard “corrective” running shoes into the more simple and pared down Altra Intuition. The last long run on the treadmill with my regular shoes left me feeling like I was falling apart. I thought this was mostly because of burnout and fatigue…but since I stopped alternating shoes I haven’t had this problem/feeling again. In fact, I’ve felt much the opposite and have enjoyed my time on the ‘mill (well, most of it).

2. I’ve noticed a pattern in the last three weeks. Each training week I’ve taken three rest days instead of the two prescribed. My husband noted that maybe I need three rest days and that perhaps I should change the plan to allow for that. He’s probably right…but I’d rather leave the plan as is and work out if I can and rest if I need to.

A few things I’m doing better this time around (this is my second full marathon) are:

  • Not being stubborn about rest/taking a day or two off – I’ve learned to not only listen to my body but to DO WHAT IT SAYS. Of course I learned that lesson the hard way, but don’t we all sometimes?
  • Strength/Cross-Training - This has made a HUGE difference with my neck and back issues. I can also see a difference in my legs and core.

So to keep up my improvements I’ll leave the “extra day” without mileage up for grabs, be it rest or be it cross-training.

I just keep thinking at some point my body will just surrender to THE SCRIPTED PLAN.

I won’t hold my breath.

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