Philadelphia Marathon Training Week #5

August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Weekly recap of activity:

  • Monday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday – 5 mile run
  • Thursday – None
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 10 mile run
  • Sunday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class

Last week marked successful completion of week #5 of marathon training!  Of course I began a half marathon training plan 4 weeks prior to that, so to me it seems like it has been twice as long.  Since I am a newer runner I am really glad I started scheduled training runs back then though because I think building up more of a base has been a benefit to me.

Anyway, this week both my 3 and 5 mile runs felt rather sluggish.  I think the trail running the Sunday before left my calve especially sore.  Yoga on Monday helped a bit, but I felt a bit rough.  I ended up skipping my other scheduled short run of 3 miles.  While I always feel rather lazy if I skip a planned run, I think it was a good call in the end.

Saturday morning I left around 7AM to catch the trolley and get my scheduled 10 miles in.  This would be my first 10 mile run since the Broad Street Run in May.  After last Saturday’s 9 mile run that I kind of struggled through I was a bit nervous, but hoping this would be a good one.  Turned out it was!

I ended up finishing with exactly a 10 min/mile average pace, which is fairly on target for me at that distance.  However the run felt so much better than last week’s 9 mile run.  I ran pretty strong the entire time and used my experience last week to help get me through this week quite easily.  It kind of made me realize how important the ‘bad’ runs really are since it was kind of nice to be able to say to myself “Hey, this feels so much better than last week and you finished that run, so there is no reason why you can’t finish this one!”

My splits did surprise me a bit however, because I felt that I went out slower and it turned out to be my fastest mile by far.  I have been trying not to really look much at my Garmin while running because at this point in my training I really am just focused on getting the miles in at a comfortable, yet goal oriented, pace.  I have alerts set for the miles so I try to just glance at it then.  But I would like to somewhat attempt negative splits  and obviously my sense of pace is still a bit off.  I am happy with my splits in general though, because to me at this point in my running they seem fairly even.  At mile 5 I slowed down for a short time to open a pack of of Clif Shot Bloks, which I tried out for the first time.  I had two then and one more at mile 8.

The only negative thing about this run is that my stomach felt way more upset than usual afterward.  I don’t think it was the Shot Bloks.  Well, they definitely wouldn’t be the only culprit.  I really think I need to get more serious about both hydration and what I am eating during the week, which I hope to expand on in further posts.

This week is a ‘stepback’ week, so my long run will only be 7 miles and my total mileage will be  around 18 miles (same as this week due to skipping the one 3 mile run).  Hard to believe that after that I only have one more long run until the half marathon.  So excited for fall race season to begin!


Hitting the Wissahickon Valley Trails

August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Sunday I went on my first real trail run.  In the past I have done a bit of hiking, but since I wasn’t a runner then I never really ran much on trails.  Philadelphia actually has some wonderful trails within the city in the Wissahickon Valley and one of my summer bucket list items was to hike out there since I haven’t been in quite some time.  I wasn’t sure this one would be completed because I am not too fond of the idea of going out there myself.  Lucky for me however, a group I run with, the Fishtown Beer Runners, was planning a trail run and pot luck.  Perfect opportunity to get out there and I was very excited to run the trails instead of just hike.

Look, I’m running! This is the only photo I got along the way because guess what?  I found trail running to be completely exhausting and about halfway through this 4 mile run I was struggling to keep up with the group of people I was with.  And since I have a hard time admitting that I get lost easily I didn’t want to lose them.  I had run 9 miles the day before, which is long for me at this point, but still trail running seemed a bit more challenging than I thought it would be.  Total respect for those of you who do this regularly.  Of course it is also far more beautiful than the usual sights of the city (especially mine when not out running the Schuylkill River Path), so that helped keep me going too.  In the end it took me 51:10 to run 4 miles.

Afterward we all met up at the picnic tables near Valley Green Inn to enjoy some food and socializing.  Pretty sure I consumed about 4x as many calories as that run burned because everything just looked so amazing that I had not choice but to eat it.

Though I had a lot of fun I am not sure I will be doing any trail races or even runs in the near future.  With my current goals as a beginner runner I’m not sure it would be very smart of me.  I had some near-falls due to sloppy footing and my calves are still a bit sore.  But I am very glad that I at least got to get out there once this summer and I would love to add more trail running to my repertoire next year since I really do love being outdoors.

Regaining Momentum

August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

So it has been about a month since I updated here.  Shocking.  I think I wonder so much about what to do with this space and how it really fits in with anything else that I just end up neglecting it altogether.  Unfortunately a familiar pattern of thought right there.  I know I need to stop thinking so much about  how I fit in this world and what others think of me, and I have to a large extent.  Trust me.  However, I still admittedly have some growth to do in that area.

One of the main things I wanted to write about here is my race training.  As mentioned previously, I am running a half marathon on September 16th (less than a month away!) and have been training for it during much of this summer.  I actually switched over to a marathon training plan (Hal Higdon Novice 1) when the timing was right to line up with the half.  So currently I am in week #5 of this plan with the intention of then running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18th.  This will mean cutting out week #17 of the Higdon plan (sorry Hal!).  Of course in true me fashion I haven’t actually signed up for the full marathon yet, but I am planning to finalize that by Labor Day Weekend.  I even purchased Hal Higdon’s Marathon and thought about opening it up and giving it a read a few times.  Serious business!  Truthfully, I’m just lazy when it comes to reading anything that isn’t a magazine these days.  Attention span, where are you?

My longest run far was Saturday’s nine miles, which was a bit of a struggle.  I feel like a lot of this was mental as my actual pace wasn’t at all off with my normal pace for long runs , though I slowed a bit.  I also didn’t get out until near noon.  While this weekend the temps were actually quite pleasant, I feel like I would have had a better run if I weren’t out during the hotter point of the day.  The reason why I think a lot of it was mental was due to how much talking to myself I had to do and the fact that the lat mile was so incredibly easy once I realized it was the last.  My last long run of 8 miles two weekends before was not at all like this, though the pace and run itself was quite similar.

My goal time for the half is under 2:15, which the trusty McMillan Running Calculator tells me is totally possible.  And in my mind and body I think this is totally possible as well.  My goal for the full would be 4:45, which the McMillan Calculator also tells me is possible.  However, more realistically I do have a B goal of just finishing in under 5 hours.  I won’t lie though, I wish I could go by the Oprah standard of 4:29.  I mean I feel like I should be as fit as Oprah was when she ran the MCM, but I am sure that is based on somewhat faulty judgement.  I’m no Oprah and my current training times do not indicate that this is a goal I should be setting for myself at this point.  We’ll see.  For now I would be thrilled with under 4:45 as I am still a bit intimidated by 26.2.

Anyway, hopefully I will have much more to add in coming days.  I really think actively blogging will help me in various ways.  My life and my attitude about it is changing and evolving so much  lately, but there is also a lot of anxiety and fear that needs to be dealt with as well.  I guess I just need to keep reminding myself of this:



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