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Long Run: Where am I? January 17, 2010

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Marathon Training.
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My long run this week (12 weeks to go!) was supposed to be 11-12 miles.  However true to form I got a little lost.  I was running in Umstead and my map and directions did not correspond with the signs on the trails.  When I got to the half way point I saw that I had already been running for an hour and a half which is about 8 miles at my usual pace.  All together the run took almost 3 hours.  When I got home I checked my route with more maps and figuring in my pace I think I really did around 14 miles.  Woot!

While the fact that I was able to technically do a half marathon without death or even exhaustion is pretty exciting I ran through the entire gamut of emotions during this run.  Everything from gratitude to being able to be out running enjoying the beautiful day to anger and discouragement that running a marathon is the worst idea I’ve ever had and I would never be able to do it.  It is this spectrum that makes me think this is probably one of my most valuable runs.  I realized how important the mental techniques I’ve been reading about are.  I tried a few on my run and they helped but I know I need to take them more seriously and practice them more often.

Now that the real training is happening I need to start utilizing my marathon research; to be more careful about how I am fueling myself and what mental exercises I need to start practicing on the run.  Also I should be adding more strength training into my regimen.  With trying to build everything else in my life while I’ve been running, I haven’t been focusing so much on the other preparations.

Here is a short list of what I should think about this coming week for my next long run (12 miles).

*Note this was written for someone who does their long runs on Sunday, I do mine on Saturday so I’ve changed days where necessary.

Get lots of rest Friday night, aiming for 8 hours sleep.
Make either Friday or Saturday a complete rest day for the legs.
If you do train on Friday, make it a very light workout on the legs.
Begin hydrating on Friday.
Eat meals high in carbohydrates for lunch and dinner Friday. Selecting the “right” foods is an important area of experimentation.
Avoid foods with excessive protein/fat content all day Friday.
Drink about eight ounces of water Saturday morning prior to your long run.
Eat a light snack Saturday morning prior to your long run. This is also an important experimentation area in regard to food selection.
Drink lots of fluids while running. Be sure to stop for water frequently throughout the run. For runs longer than 60 minutes, you MUST drink sports beverages (such as Gatorade, PowerAde, etc.) at every two to three mile interval. Drinking on the run requires careful planning of the route (making sure there is water frequently available along with places to stash sports drinks).
Consider trying gel carbohydrate replacement products. Be sure to chase these supplements down with water to avoid stomach cramps and insure absorption. A final thought: Please dispose of gel and energy product wrappers properly by throwing them away in trash receptacles or placing them in your fanny pack. Let’s all work together to keep the environment clean!
After the run is over, continue to drink fluids (water, sports drinks, and/or juice products are all great choices).
As soon as possible (ideally within 15 minutes), grab something nutritious to eat to replace your depleted glycogen stores. Research indicates that to avoid muscle fatigue the next day, carbohydrates should be eaten as soon as possible following long duration exercise.

So with instigating this routine as well as notes from my other trainers hopefully I’ll see a positive difference between my long run on Jan 10 and Jan 16th.


Ich Ein Marathoner December 29, 2009

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Marathon Training.
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It feels good to be back in Raleigh. (Although it would feel a little bit better if on the drive down I hadn’t gained $160.00 in speeding fines 😦 ). My mindset is completely different down here. I am so much more content and find that motivation and focus come much easier.

So finally I went running.  My usual routes at my parents house were covered in snow, so the only exercise I did there was the NordicTrack (shout-out to 1990’s fitness) and walking the dog.  It was only 4 days but it felt like an eternity. Now I have to amend my training plan a little.  I am using “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” by Whitsett, Dolgener and Kile.  They say it’s alright to miss a run now and then but this is the week where my long runs go up into the double digits and I’ll log over 20 miles total this week so I feel like this is an important week to do correctly.  Also I started the 16-week plan about 19 weeks before the actual marathon in case of injuries or holidays etc, so I’ve got some wiggle room.

I’ve been listening (and belting along to) Defying Gravity from Wicked for the past two days.  Actually, I think it was the only song I listened to on my 3-mile run today.  I feel like such a teenage girl.  Perhaps I’ll make it my anthem for 2010?

My long run is 10 miles this week for a total weekly mileage of 20.  Last week I was really nervous about 8 miles but it turned out to be fairly easy.  So far the most difficult part about this marathon training is figuring out the training routes.

Also this week I have to make two “mental highlight reels.”  One should be about the best training run I’ve had.  I’d say mine has to be the 7-mile run I did in Umstead State Park.  I did not have the dog with me so that was one less thing I had to be concerned with.  It was cold that day and it was the day of the big storm that snowed in the East Coast (well North of Raleigh anyway), so it smelled like snow and the air had that a velvety feel to it.  The run was almost completely in the woods, it went along side a creek for aways.  There was some tricky terrain I had to maneuver over, but I could tell my body liked running on the dirt much better than the asphalt I usually do.  I had my ipod, mostly listened to Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs.”  I wasn’t listening to it too loudly as I could still hear my breathing and the sound of my feet against the ground.  I remember feeling so much lighter running in the park as opposed to the road or the trail in Apex.  At the end of my run it was just starting to snow (the flakes didn’t last long) and even though I was tired I immediately felt rejuvenated.  There is something about snow that activates child tendencies.

The second mental tape is off what we’d imagine it would be like to finish a marathon… what I will look like, the weather, who will be there, what I would say to them.  I am signed up for the Virginia Creeper Marathon in Abingdon, Virginia on March 28th.  Like most marathons it starts in the morning.  March weather is kind of difficult to predict but I see it as being chilly and cloudy, overcast so I will want to wear brighter clothes, I see myself in running capris and some kind of bright top, I’m thinking like a rose color.  (Looking at the pictures from previous years there doesn’t seem to be a ‘proper’ outfit.  I’m thinking I’ll buy some new gear (some of mine is starting to wear out) at least a month before the marathon so I can ‘test drive’ it.)  My face will be red but my eyes very bright.  My parents will be there but I don’t think I’ll be saying much to them, I imagine I’ll be out of breath and relatively emotional.  But I’ll thank them for coming.

What I like about this book is that it has a lot of mental exercises.   (One of the techniques is to start identifying yourself as a marathoner even if you haven’t completed one yet – hence this post’s title).  It covers the physical basics but the visualizations and other techniques are what really give you the belief that you can actually do this.  The anecdotes of what people imagine while they’re running are really fun.  I know I do my best thinking when running and after I’ve ‘solved’ all my problems my imagination runs wild with fantasies of running a marathon or running in the woods, becoming another person for a while or having crazy adventures.

So what about you other runners out there?  What do you think of when running?  Or do you not think at all?