I have a confession.
This may make me sound like
a big kind of a jerk.
absolutely incredible kind of good when people ask me what I did this weekend and I can say, “oh, nothing too much… worked, hung out with the hubs, ran 18 miles, you know… nothing too exciting.”
And then… I get the incredulous stare. “You did what?!”
Am I the only one who slightly enjoys that moment in the conversation?
But to be fair, running (or in my case, mostly running) 18 miles, that IS a big deal. And 26.2…that’s going to be HUGE.
So I’m sorry… you are going to hear and read about…but fear not, we’re almost there! My apologies if I start to sound like a broken record…
Anyway, after 17 miles, I learned a few things.
- I need to be careful about my meals the few days before my run.
- I need to buy waterproof sunblock because I sweat like a beast.
- I need to change-up my running gear to prevent hideous tan lines and weird chafe marks (TMI?).
So, in preparation for 18 miles…
- A lot of my meals looked like this:
- I tried to wear shorts as much as possible to get rid of these beautiful lines. It didn’t work.
- I also ordered a full pack of ENERGYbits!
- I made sure to eat something relatively
blandmild on Friday night…
Unfortunately, I had to work both jobs on Friday and once again, didn’t get home until well past my bedtime. I let myself sleep in, but I wasn’t happy. I had wanted to get my run out-of-the-way early and it just wasn’t in the cards.
This is probably the most frustrating thing about training. It never goes as planned.
Once I could finally peel my eyelids open, I had a bagel with peanut butter and banana for breakfast.
I headed out a little after 11 am. Luckily, it was a cool breezy day.
This run went better than my last long run (I had a 17-miler under my belt, after all).
I started out slower and kept my pace (mostly) constant. I had my mapmyrun app going but it was being wonky–at the end of my run it said I had gone a total of 22 miles. Fail.
I picked a 9 mile loop to do twice. This helped me break things up.
- An apple
- A Mint Chocolate Clif Bar
- 1 pack of SHOT Bloks
I’m definitely a fan of the real food over shots and gels. My stomach thanked me. I had to talk myself into eating the Clif bar while running, but I am glad I did. I still noticed that after the run, I felt very dizzy and light-headed…I think this has to do with the amount that I sweat…all of those precious electrolytes!
In spite of the lack of sleep and after-dizziness, I felt strong during this run. It was good for me mentally to break it up into sections. But man, those last two miles were rough, and again, I let myself walk–probably a bit more than I should have…but I was definitely in a better place in those last two miles than I was during my last long run.
Finishing 18 miles was great, but my heart sank when I realized I was still a mile and a half from my house and needed to walk home. That was one of the most painful and longest walks of my life. Mentally, it was good for me…but I almost cried, especially when I finally got back to my house and had to make it upstairs.
Note to self: plan your route so you finish at home.
I also ran out of water. This made the walk home even more frustrating. As soon as I got into the apartment, I chugged some chocolate milk and a giant glass of water. So delicious!
One thing that I noticed, holy moly I was so sore!
After last weekend’s run, I was impressed that I felt so good… not this time. I was weak, run down and am still sore three days later! I attribute my recovery from 17 miles to ENERGY bits. 18 miles was a different story.
I’m glad that my bits came in so I can start taking them before my next long run! We’ll see if my theory is correct after 20 miles.
My soreness was aggravated by the fact that I had to work at the restaurant–again! I have already requested my 20 miles run off. I just…don’t want to do anything after those runs.
Overall, I’m feeling better about training. I still beat myself up about missing a training run, but I know that sometimes stuff happens.
That 18-miler was a huge morale boost. I’m still working on finding the perfect combination of fuel, but I’ll get there.
My goal for this week? Get my runs during the week in. It’s going to be tough, especially as I have zero free nights this week, but I want to–and need to–get them in.
This month is going to be tough. My runs are long and my time is almost non-existent…but as crazy as it sounds, running (along with my wonderful husband) is one of the few things keeping me sane right now. So, I’m making time for it in any way I can.
This weekend’s long run is 13 miles. Not gonna lie, I am looking forward to it. But, I’m also looking forward to 20.
What is the hardest thing about your training program? Have you ever (almost) cried during a long/strenuous workout? What do you use for electrolyte replenishment?! Do you have any embarrassing running tan lines?
As you know, I recently hit the 17 mile mark (ahem, 18 mile mark!) in my training program. That means I’m officially past the half-way mark. Holy moly! It’s going to be marathon weekend before I know it!
I’m finding that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Not only the day of my long runs, but the few days before and after.
I’ve also found that I’ve hit a point where I need to have something extra during the run. 17 miles (or for me, over 3 hours) is a long way to go with just water. This really hit me during my last two long runs.
I asked some of my friends (on twitter, myfitnesspal and in real life) what they use for long runs. Thanks to all who responded!
From my running guru friend, Kristy:
Water. I never brought anything with me…When I ran the marathon I had orange slices, part of a banana and a gu. They all agreed with me.
From some MFP running friends:
I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.
I usually take sport beans on long runs. Anything over 10 miles gets a clif bar halfway.
I have not really used anything. I did try some energy gummy things but they left my throat phlegmy which was pretty gross. The thought of eating actual food during a run isn’t very appealing to me.
Energy Bits every 5 miles and after 10 dates or a slice or two of fresh mango!
I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.
Gu gels or powerbar energy blast chews.
I use Gu gels also. It’s worked the best for me the last couple of years. I’ve tried clif blocks and they work ok (for me).
And from Twitter:
Skora Running @skoraRunning: Drink to thirst. Cals from @honeymaxx and regular MCT oil mixed in, couple hundred cals per bottle.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Clif Shots and Bloks I had leftover from a race have worked… but my finicky stomach isn’t happy after the runs, especially immediately after. They work well in a pinch, and heck, they were free! So I can’t complain…but I don’t want to use them all the time. I don’t think my digestive system could take it.
Needless to say, I’ve been searching for something easier on my stomach and a bit cleaner. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I shy away from long/weird ingredient lists and I am not big on artificial/man-made colors, dyes, and ingredients.
Not gonna lie, the only thing that stopped me was the price-tag. $115 for a bag of 1,000…. which, broken down by serving (20-30 bits), isn’t really that much…but to buy a product without trying it…and then getting stuck with something I didn’t like…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Then, I recently participated in my first #runchat on Twitter and was tweeted by ENERGYbits when I posted something about long runs.
Long story short, I was sent a sample and was able to try them on my 17 mile run.
Before I give you the dirty details, I have to say, I love that this a US company. I also loved that it was founded and is owned by a woman. Not only that, but the staff is so passionate about what they are doing. They truly love and believe in the product they are promoting. To me, that’s a very good sign. Further, ENERGYbits are 100% organic, non-gmo and have 1 ingredient. O-N-E. That’s it!
Here are the nutrition facts (check out all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids!) taken directly from their website:
Anyway, I received my sample about four days after my twitter connection. The packet I received was full of information… I was still a bit skeptical because, well…it all sounded too good to be true. I’d read about the benefits of spirulina but… I still wasn’t convinced.
You’re probably wondering, how does algae taste?
Well, as Farmer Ben put it, “it kind of tastes like fish food.” The nice thing about the bits is that, because they come in pill form, you can swallow them as such, with a big glass of water. You can also chew them, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I swallowed about 10-15 at a time with a few good gulps of water.
In all honesty, taking these during my run was a bit hard. The initial smell was hard to get past…but they didn’t upset my stomach, which is a major plus. Taking these on long runs is going to take some getting used to, but the effects on my digestion are non-existent compared to what other products do.
So, here is what happened:
- I took 30 bits about 40 minutes before my 17 mile run.
- I took more about 9 miles into the run (I also had some Clif Shots on this run).
I feel the need to mention that I had worked both jobs the day before. This means that I worked from 8 am until after 11:30 pm. It also means that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which I mentioned in my 17 mile post.
I also feel the need to mention that after my post-run shower, I received a phone call from my boss begging me to go in to job number 2. And it wasn’t an easy night. I, once again, didn’t get home until late. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be called into work after running 17 miles.
- I took the last of my bits about 30 minutes after arriving at work and didn’t stop moving all night.
I won’t tell you that I felt an immediate surge in energy, because I didn’t. BUT, I made it through a 17 mile run on very little sleep. I also made it through a (super insane) Saturday night dinner shift after running the furthest distance of my life. I did both of these things without crashing. Yes, I was tired…but I made it through an extremely long and strenuous day better than I should have. I still had pep in my step–after 17 miles and a night spent entirely on my feet.
I will also tell you that, although I was sore, I wasn’t as sore as I expected. I’ve felt worse after shorter runs.
I recovered faster from that 17 mile run than I have from some 6-8 mile runs.
All of these things speak to me.
I recently ordered a full bag of ENERGYbits with my own money and am applying to be an ambassador for the company, because, well… I’m finally convinced.
Side Note: I ordered these on Friday afternoon, standard shipping. They arrived today (Monday). LOVE THIS!
Will this be my only pre and during workout fuel? For short runs, yes. For long runs, not yet…but maybe someday. BUT you can bet that I will be incorporating this into my regular regimen. I am not big on powders, vitamins and supplements…I’d rather get my nutrients directly from the source.
This is a food, and your body digests it as such.
If you have any questions about ENERGYbits, feel free to comment or shoot me an email and I will answer as best I can…If I can’t answer it, I will find out for you.
If you’d like more information about ENERGYbits, visit their website: http://www.energybits.com/
UPDATE: If you’d like to order ENERGYbits, you can use discount code “NoellesNotebook” for 25% off your total order.
Have you ever tried algae? What did you think?! What is your favorite way to fuel?
*DISCLAIMER: ENERGYbits provided me with a sample of their product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*
UPDATE: If you order ENERGYbits using my discount code, I do receive a little bit of money, however all opinions are still my own.
I am not a doctor, I am simply writing about my personal experience, as with any food or supplement, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional.
I was worried about this run. After missing my long run the week before and dealing with foot issues for the last couple of weeks (aka resting), I was worried my body was going to fail me. I felt unprepared and completely unsure of myself. Not good.
But I did it. And I survived. I can officially say that 17 miles is the furthest I have ever run.
It didn’t go exactly as planned…does it ever?
Side note: This is going get a little detailed. My apologies in advance.
I started out Saturday morning thinking that I would have a quick breakfast and head out the door to get the run out of the way early. Sounds easy enough, right?
Unfortunately my body had other plans. I had worked late the night before and my employee meal of shrimp and pasta was not settling well (the chef had already made my meal before I could say anything and I didn’t want to be rude).
I woke up around 7:30–still relatively early for me on a Saturday–and laid in bed for another few minutes. Then I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter. All things that don’t typically bother me.
But my body, more specifically my stomach, was not feeling too hot.
I paced around the apartment hoping things would settle but it wasn’t happening…so Farmer Ben talked me into going to the Farmers’ Market, telling me I could run home to start the 17 miles. I agreed and gathered my CamelBak and other run essentials to throw in the backseat of my car.
When we got to the market, I took some of these (which I will be doing a whole post on!) in preparation for my run home and beyond:
After picking up a few things and a quick side trip to the co-op, I knew running home was not going to happen. Let’s just say, my stomach was running (Ha! Get it?) the show. So, back home we drove.
Finally, something happened (I’ll let you use your imagination) and I decided to get going before my body had a chance to realize what it was doing. I grabbed my CamelBak, a few items for fuel, my phone, headphones and watch and headed out the door.
It was 11 am. And it was hot.
I decided to try running on some different roads near my house. I’ve been wanting to check them out for a couple of months but, I guess you could say I am a creature of habit.
The first four miles were a breeze. Even though I had some hills, I found my stride and was in the zone. Not only was I energized, but I felt good. Really good. I was actually surprised at how quickly the miles passed. Note to self: Start slower.
I took a walk break at the five-mile mark for a Clif SHOT gel.
NOTE: I got a bunch of these free from a race and have been trying to use them up. I like the gel/bloks ingredient list a lot more than other gels or GU’s, but I don’t think this is my fuel solution….my stomach hasn’t been happy.
The new route did not disappoint. I lost myself in the scenery, I passed a few farms (including a goat/sheep farm!), an airstrip, rolling hills and open fields. I got an awesome burst of energy after my fuel break and kept up a pretty good pace until my next break, the 9 mile mark. I caught myself speeding up a lot and had to force myself to slow down a few times. Note to self: start slower and pay attention to your pace.
I took a walk break for some more of those green beauties pictured above and passed a woman driving a carriage with a miniature horse. Pretty cool right?
At 9 miles, I had run out of new roads and was trying to figure out the next stops on my route. I decided to stick to a combination of two of my usual routes because they have some hills…and well, I need to run more hills.
Miles 10 and 11 weren’t too bad, but I was definitely getting tired. I let myself walk for two minutes during mile 11 because I happened to be running up a giant hill. LAME.
A little after mile 12, I started to feel really light-headed and took another Clif SHOT.
The last 5 miles were some of the toughest I have ever done. I was sunburnt, light-headed, starving, and my feet hurt. I had wicked Charlie horses in my quads. Not gonna lie, I let myself walk. A lot. I chewed some (also free) SHOT Bloks, hoping that would help me re-focus and ease the muscle cramps. And it did help…some. I ran out of water with 2 miles to go. Thankfully I was close to home.
I play this game with myself when I get tired. I think the technical term is “posting.” Basically, you pick a point on the road, and mentally pull yourself toward it. I did this a lot during those last five miles. I would make myself run to a certain point, then let myself walk to a certain point…then repeat.
I turned up my music and tried to block out everything else. I even caught myself jamming out a few times.
Soon, I was there. I had done 17 miles. Granted it wasn’t a running-only 17 miles, and it wasn’t very fast, especially those last five miles. But I had done it.
And you know, after doing it, I know I can do 18, 20 and eventually, 26.2. It won’t be easy but I’ll do it.
What did I learn after this long run?
- Watch what I eat . Not just the day of my run, but the day or two before as well. I’ve been eating a lot of veggies this week in preparation for my 18-miler on Saturday. My stomach has been all out of sorts this week, partially because of some poor post-run eating choices and partially because of the long run after-effects… so I’m sticking with my go-to giant salad for lunch as much as I can..
- Play around with my in-run fuel. I think it’s safe to say that I need something to supplement my water because I was definitely feeling depleted after all those miles. The light-headedness was tough and I think I need to add some electrolytes to help that. I’m going to try real, whole foods this weekend (some fruit, bars, etc.) and see how I feel.
- Pay closer attention to my pace. I started out fast. A little too fast. I was happy to be out running after taking time off and I just let myself go. But, I would rather start out slow and steady and hold that pace than to start fast and bonk like I did. I would have had an easier last five miles if I had paced myself better. Lesson learned.
As I mentioned before, I am going to do a separate, more detailed, post on my fuel (the green goodies pictured above). I can’t wait to share more. Stay tuned!
How is your training going? What’s on your training schedule for this weekend? Any advice for long-run snacks?
Wow…how long has it been since I’ve done a Gross But Necessary Post?! I guess it’s time to get back in the habit! As this is a marathon training update, it’ll be a little different than previous GBN posts, but you still get the gross pics. Lucky you!
When I last updated you on training, I was working on saying no, scheduling, upgrading my gear, listening to my body and ditching my scale. I’m now about half-way through my training…all I can say is, HOLY CRAP!
So how am I doing?
1. Saying no. I’ve gotten a lot better at this, but I’m still overbooking. I’ve got to stick to my guns and be more firm, but it’s coming along.
2. Scheduling. This goes hand in hand with number 1. My work schedule has been pretty nuts, so I’ve had a hard time scheduling my runs…but I’ve been doing some night running and even dragged my butt out of bed for a quick 6 am run! It’s a miracle!
I’ve already made sure that I have the days of my 20 mile runs off…. I just don’t think I’ll be up for a night of work after running that far.
3. Upgrading my gear. This is taking me longer than planned. Right now I’ve got the new kicks and the CamelBak…I need to save up more tip money for the rest of the gear I want.
4. Listening to my body. As I mentioned before, I’m still having some foot issues, forcing me to skip some of my training runs (a week and a half!)… this has been so frustrating! But I’ve been really good about stretching, taking a day off or rearranging my runs if I need it (grr…), and wearing proper shoes, even if it means that I have to wear sneakers to job 1, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve also been mindful of the heat…I’ve been doing some late night runs simply because it’s been hot and humid.
I’ve also been working on hydration and fuel and got a super exciting sample that I’ll be trying out on my long run this weekend…I can’t wait to share the results with you! I’m starting to figure out what foods my body works best with, and (a little bit to my surprise) all of those giant salads I’ve been eating seem to really help. Eat your veggies!
I’ve been taking the CamelBak out on my medium and long runs…I don’t know how I ever ran without it.
5. Ditching my scale. July is flying by and I’ve stuck with not using my scale. I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and eating quality whole foods, save for the ice cream the hubby and I treated ourselves to twice. I’ve been feeling pretty good.
Confession: I did weigh myself once in a moment of weakness. And you know, I was exactly the same weight.
Overall: Not gonna lie, I had a mini-inner-freakout last week about having to take some time off to rest my feet, but I took another look at my training schedule, talked to my boss at the restaurant about time off for my long runs coming up and just took a deep breath. And you know, I’m feeling pretty good. Right now, my goal is to finish injury-free. I know I’m not going to break any records, but it will be a personal record for me. And that’s the most important part.
I was feeling a bit nervous about my 17 mile run this weekend, but I’m just going to take it one mile at a time.
How is your summer training going?! Anything you’re struggling with?
Marathon Training is challenging. The running itself isn’t the hard part, it’s really the time needed to DO the running…among all of the other things.
Does that sound weird?
You have to make sacrifices:
Like not sleeping in, waking up early (Ha!) or staying up an hour or two later to get that training run in, skipping out on a happy hour or a shift drink after work or not having a meal with your hubby because you want to avoid running at the hottest part of the day….
And you have to schedule….Ew.
I’ve mentioned this before. And I’ve talked about how I am going to work on saying no and plan ahead… but stuff comes up…I’ve found myself overwhelmed more than a couple of times and wondering how I’m going to fit in my long run…or any run, depending on the week!
But…I’m dealing with it. And I’ve gotten better about saying no…most of the time. I have so much respect for those who are busier than myself and are still able to get out there and make things happen. Mad props.
But it’s worth it. Once you find that time and get out on the road, it’s just you, the run, your faith and…time. Perfection.
I’ve also been focusing on upgrading my running gear:
I recently purchased a CamelBak for my long runs, because, more than likely I am not going to get out as early as I want to and running in the heat is no fun.
I also bit the bullet and spent way more money that I usually do on a pair of running shoes. I went with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9. I went with these shoes because they have more support, something I’m finding I need with longer distances. I’m taking them out for the first time tonight!
Next up: Sports bras and better bottoms. Any suggestions?!
Listening to my body:
The shoes I was running in before aren’t that old, but I’ve had some serious foot pain–so much that I took the last week completely off (I was still active, but I wasn’t running)–and the last thing I want is to be sidelined with an injury.
My other (super light-weight) sneakers are great for shorter runs, but after about 6 or 7 miles, I want to cut my feet off….and then I hobble around for the next few DAYS. I don’t have time for that! Lately, I’ve been doing more hobbling around more often than not…not a good sign.
I was adhering to the “tough it out” school of thought, but after a solid three days of hurting, I finally caved.
It sucked taking a week off, and I hate to skip a long run…but my foot pain has decreased drastically and I’m feeling rested.
I’m feeling confident that rest, combined with better shoes and a focus on stretching (ahem…) will help.
Not beating myself up:
I’ve mentioned before that I am not as fast as I was at this time last year… and in all honesty, on some of my long runs, I’ve had to stop and walk… this would have infuriated me last year…but now I’m okay with it.
I’ve come back from being injured and trying to prevent (or remedy?) a new injury. If this means I need to walk for a few minutes on a 14 mile run, I am okay with that. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make a huge difference. I’m still out there doing it.
Ditching my scale (for now):
This is something new, allow me to explain.
I’ve been annoyed (especially for the last month) because my weight has not budged. I’ll have the normal 1-2 pound fluctuation, but the number has not changed…. then I went up a pound… again, in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t make a huge difference. I know that that number doesn’t mean perfect health and overall I am healthy and fit…
But it’s still frustrating, especially when I’m doing a lot of running, eating whole foods and staying active.
Instead of getting angry, I’m focusing on the fact that I’ve lost 30+ pounds and maintained that for quite some time… and my body is such a powerful creation that it can handle whatever I throw out at it. It can adjust and adapt without missing a beat. That is pretty amazing, right?
I stumbled on the Darwinian Fail’s #bodyLOVE challenge today and decided to join. One of the steps is to ditch your scale for the month of July. So I figured, why not?
I’m doing it… I’m going to focus that negative attention to training and to fueling my body with the right foods. I eat healthy for the most part, but in case you missed my last post, I’ve been indulging the last few days…80/20 principle, right?!
In short, marathon training is going. It’s a learning process but I am doing it. Loving it. And I’m learning to appreciate myself in that process.
What are you training for? How do you handle injury and time obstacles?
Last week, my new CamelBak came in the mail. As promised, I tested it out on my long run this weekend.
In case you forgot, here is what it looks like:
Sunday, I headed out after church with our friend Preston (PS. Thank you so much for running with me!). I picked the hottest time of day to run and my body protested the whole way, so I was relieved to have water with me.
In short, I’m really happy with my purchase.
Please forgive me if I call something by the wrong name, I’m new to the hydration pack lingo.
The pack stayed put for the most part. It was super nice to have pockets to store some shot blocks, my phone and chocolate adzuki bars (recipe coming!). I love that the reservoir had a wide lid (especially if you want to add ice cubes!) and was easy to fill and clean.
I read online that the water swished a lot, but I didn’t notice this at all. (I found and tried this tip: fill the bag and close it, turn it upside down and suck out the excess air through the hose/mouthpiece. There will be no swishing).
I also put the reservoir in the fridge overnight to keep it cold. The water stayed cold for most of my run…amazing considering I ran from 12:30-2:30 on a very hot day.
I did notice some bouncing, but I think part of this may be my needing to figure out the perfect adjustments for my body. I do wish that there was another buckle around the waist to secure the bag just a bit more, but I ended up tying the free ends of the shoulder straps and this helped some (it also kept them from flapping around, which would have bothered me more). If you choose not to tie the ends of the shoulder straps, they have Velcro on them so they can be out-of-the-way. Another plus!
I had some trouble adjusting the shoulder straps, but that may just be me. Again, I’ll figure it out as I wear it a few more times.
Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
You guys! I cannot tell you how excited I am!
Allow me to explain:
If you know me, you know that I don’t like spending money on myself…but I’ve been wanting a CamelBak for my long runs (so I don’t have to plan a route based on where I can stop for water when I need it…or make Farmer Ben come out and meet me en route)…so I finally broke down and started looking.
I knew I wanted something kind of middle of the road (that way, if I don’t like it for running, I can at least have it for hikes or bike rides)…from there, I let the reviews lead me.
Long story short, I had a gift card for LL Bean and they happened to have this little beauty:
What makes this so special? It’s my first CamelBak… I also got it for $23 instead of the $68 + tax! Thank you LL Bean gift card!!!
On top of that, it only took two days for (regular) shipping…FREE shipping. Can you say win? Mad props to L.L. Bean ( no compensation from LLB, I am just ridiculously impressed). Seriously.
As you can imagine, I had to drive home on my lunch hour to rip open the package and check things out. I love the color and I am happy that I decided to go with a 70 oz. pack. I’m also pretty excited about the pockets… I’d love to not have to use my running belt and/or stuff things in my sports bra (TMI?)!
I tried it on, and it seems to be a good fit, but I won’t know for sure until I hit the pavement.
I’ll keep you posted as to how I like it, but I am feeling good about it thus far! I’m really looking forward to my long run this weekend to test it out!
Do you use a hydration pack? What are some of the pros and cons? Where do you store your must-have items on the run?!
In case you missed this post, I finally took the plunge and officially signed up for my first marathon! Wow.
On September 22, 2013, I’ll be running the Adirondack Marathon in Schroon Lake, NY. I’m pretty excited.
Here is a view of the course elevation (and part of the map):
It’s going to be
ridiculously a bit hilly… but I’m not worried (yet).
So what is my plan?
1. Train: I opted for Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 program. I’m currently on week 4. Luckily, I had already been running consistently for a few weeks because I had to start at the end of Week 2 to be on track. Poor planning on my part….Oops!
I’m going to focus on hill work…because, well, you can see why. Luckily, Schroon Lake isn’t too far of a drive, so if I get desperate, I can head there for a long run.
I’m focusing on, not only getting in the mileage, but also on getting stronger. If this means doing a 10pm 30 Day Shred session or doing an early morning core workout, then so be it.
I’m not as fast as I was last year, but I’m not beating myself up. I’d rather be slow and steady than fast and injured (again).
2. Plan ahead: I’m really good at filling up my schedule, and this summer is no different. Between full-time work, part-time work, volunteering, online classes, praise and worship team, weddings, baking and hubby time, I’m committed almost every weekend for the next couple of months. This is going to make fitting in those long runs tough. It’s also going to require me to say “no.” And…I’m going to have to drag my butt out of bed early. Really early. This is tougher. So if you have any tips, please share them!
3. Sleep: Speaking of dragging my butt out of early, I need to focus on quality sleep. This is going to be the hardest part for me because I have never been a good sleeper. Don’t get me wrong, I love sleep…I’m just not good at it…if that makes sense. It’s really hard to get up early and run (or go for a late-night run, as I had to a few days ago) without enough sleep.
So how do we remedy this? The hubby and I have made a commitment to turn our phones off and, taking it a step further, keep them out of the bedroom. Have you ever woken up at 3:00 in the morning to that obnoxious flashing because you got some sort of junk mail or late night text? Yeah, me too… I’m over it.
Another thing we’re doing is unplugging at least an hour before bed and trying to make our room dark (there’s a light outside our window that goes on at random intervals through the night… not conducive to quality sleep). I’ve also been trying to make a conscious effort to not drink caffeine after a certain time… or anything for matter (raise your hand if you have a small bladder!). Someday, we’re upgrading to memory foam. Someday. Until that day, we’ll see if these other adjustments help.
4. Proper Fueling: I eat pretty well…most of the time (80/20 principle)…but eating for a marathon? I’m not really sure how to eat for optimum training and energy. I can tell you what foods I wouldn’t eat because of stomach issues…and I have a vague idea of eating a variety…but after that, I’m not really sure. I can tell you that the thought of ingesting all those gu’s and gels kind of freaks me out.
So, I’m doing research and experiments to figure out alternatives; I’m reading new running/health blogs and am in the middle of Eat & Run by Scott Jurek (he’s a vegan ultra runner! Awesome, right?!) and getting some ideas from the recipes in the book and his personal anecdotes. I know not all of them will work for me, but I’m willing to try. I’m also eating lots of veggies, mixing up my meals and trying new foods (chia seeds, anyone?). I am also focusing on eating enough quality foods….like this salad (90% of this came from our garden).
Yesterday, I made rice milk. I don’t think Farmer Ben will ever forgive me.
This weekend? Chocolate Adzuki bars. I’ll be posting my kitchen/fuel successes, so be on the lookout! I’m not working my second job as much, this means that I have more time to play in the kitchen. Win.
5. Have fun. I don’t think this one needs an explanation.
What about you?! Are you in training? Any tips?!