September 25, 2011

Memphis Marathon Training: Week 6

This week, I ran my longest run EVER -- 14 miles. Leading up to my long run yesterday, I was so nervous. I didn't know if I could make it. But I did! And it really wasn't all that bad! I think I must have a selective memory because I've already blocked out how bad my Achilles hurt after I finished and how my feet throbbed the rest of the day. I feel OK now, so it's not important.

All I've really been thinking is...I could definitely do 6 more. While a full marathon is far longer than 14 miles and I'm worried about finishing 26.2, I've also been worried about getting through 20, which is my longest training run. I will run 20 miles on November 12, and if anything, yesterday showed me that I can do it. It will be slow, it will include walk breaks and it won't feel good or be easy, but I'm 14 miles closer to 20 than I was last week. If 14 miles can give me hope for covering 6 more, then if I can get through 20, maybe I'll see light at the end of the tunnel for another 6.2. The closer I get, the more it hurts, but also, the closer I get, the more optimism I have for getting through this thing on December 3. Tomorrow, when I try to run again after my long 14 miles, will be the true test of my sunny outlook.

In week 5, I fought shin and calf pain like I've never experienced in my life. So this week, I didn't do speed work to try to take it easy on my legs so they wouldn't be a disaster before I even started my 14 mile run. And I didn't have ANY pain at all in week 6! I don't know if cutting speed work was the key, but I'm hoping my shins stay quiet again this week.  

Speed Rest
My whole week was off from running the Hillbilly 5K on Saturday and doing my long run on Sunday, so I rearranged my schedule for the week and didn't try running back-to-back days.

Cross train Easy run
Trea was out of town for work all week, so I was on my own for every workout. This is new territory for me since we always do everything together. I've never run more than 5 miles by myself. The weather was perfect and cool, so I went to the Bella Vista trail and ran 4 miles around the pond. My shins had been killing me for over a week, and I didn't want to attempt speed work and make it worse. I intended to run slow and not try to push myself, so I just ran by feel and didn't pay attention to my Garmin.  I somehow ended up running quite a bit faster than I normally do and had an amazing run! I wanted to keep going, but I ran out of daylight and spiders the size of chihuahuas started coming out of the trees. Now, that'll make me run fast!

4 miles/42:20/10:34 avg. pace

5 Tempo Cross train
Since my running days were off, I wasn't able to make it to spin class. Instead, I decided to just ride my bike. I have a bike rack that goes on the back of my car, but if it stays on all the time, I can't open my back hatch, which makes grocery shopping no fun at all. So when we ride bikes, Trea puts on the bike rack right before we leave, and he loads up the bikes so we can take them to the park. But this week, I was on my own. I had no idea how to put the bike rack on my car, so I didn't even try it. Both our bikes stay on a rack on the garage wall, and I had to take down Trea's mountain bike before I could get to mine. I was worried about even doing that, much less getting the thing in the car. But I was able to pick up Trea's bike off the wall and move it out of the way! And then I was able to pick up my bike! Then, I laid the back seats down in my car and put the bike inside. It fit, but just barely. And I did it all by myself!

Solo bike ride

After work, I rode around the dog park until it got too buggy to stay out. I used to think fatigue and dehydration were the most important things to worry about on runs and while biking, but really, swarms of gnats are even worse. It was a gorgeous evening, and the park was super crowded. There were lots of other runners (who wouldn't share the path!!) and cyclists and puppies. I even saw a family having a real picnic...on a blanket, with a basket, in a field under some trees, like on TV. I didn't have enough daylight to ride very long, but I had a great time and was so proud of myself for loading and unloading my bike.

7.77 miles/40:00

Cross train 5 Tempo
I ran with my friend, Laura, for this one. It was cool out and easy to run faster, but we were too busy visiting to hold a tempo pace. I barely even listened to my music. It was so nice to catch up with a friend that I don't see often enough! She's been having aches and pains too lately, and we both realized afterward that nothing hurt the entire time! Maybe we were chatting too much to notice?

5.01 miles/54:44/10:55 avg. pace


14 Long
Trea got home late Friday night, so he wasn't feeling up to an early long run Saturday morning. That left just me, Lori and Laura. We took it slow and kept to a pace that let us talk easily. The first 3 miles were kind of awful, which is almost always the case with long runs. It takes me forever to warm up. For some reason, I felt my best at mile 10, which I never thought I'd say.

The weather was cool and cloudy and it had been sprinkling and threatening to rain off and on the whole time. Around mile 11, it started to seriously rain big drops, but it was just enough to feel refreshing and fantastic. At this point, I was about to run out of water, and seeing the raindrops made me thirstier! I barely sipped the last couple of miles so I wouldn't totally run out, and I made it to the end without any issues. I know I'll need something bigger than my 22 oz. handheld bottle for longer runs, even in the cooler weather, so I'm not sure what to do next time since I've tried three different hydration belts and hated them all. I'm considering a backpack or vest of some sort. I would appreciate any suggestions!

14 miles/2:40/11:25 avg. pace

Total running miles for the week: 23

10 weeks till Memphis!

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