Sunday, September 26, 2010


It's been an incredibly lazy Sunday full of errands, bursts of productivity, hours watching 24, and thinking about the approaching race.

During Week 14, I swapped two running days for workouts in my building's fitness center. I was a little worried that it would affect my running performance, but I'm very happy that I did it. I felt incredibly tired on Tuesday and knew that any run I attempted would be a complete disaster. Today, I wanted to rest a bit after Saturday's run. I hate skipping runs, but I know that taking a few days off from running will be better in the long run.

The last twenty-one days are apparently the most important for training. Over the next few weeks, I'll be readjusting my training schedule a bit so that I'm not exerting myself too much, but I still feel feel good about distance running. I'll also make a few diet changes to make sure that I'm getting everything that I need to fuel these last few weeks of training. (Not that my diet was terrible to begin with, but I definitely was starting to miss protein targets.)

I originally planned to run a second 20-miler, but it's time to taper. I'll shoot for a minimum distance of 16 or a maximum distance of 18 miles.

Week 15:

Monday: Strength train and stationary bike
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Off
Saturday: between 16 and 18 miles.

So, here we go!

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Motivation

Courtesy of Jane (who always wins at finding awesome things on the internet). This is amazing!

From These Go to 11:

After several woman collapsed upon completing the 800 meter dash at the 1928 Olympics, the powers that be in the world of running decided that women lack the constitution to run long distances. Running was thought to be not only unladylike, but dangerous for frail, frail ladies. Some hypothesized that running long distances could cause a woman’s uterus to fall out of her body, and we all know that the worst thing that could possibly happen to a woman is NOT HAVING BABIES. Women were barred from racing distances of more than 200 meters.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, a 20 year old college student, registered to run the Boston Marathon under the name “K. V. Switzer.” When race officials discovered that K. V. was a woman, the race had already started. This picture shows perfectly-named Boston Marathon official Jock Semple attempting to physically remove Switzer from the event, reportedly shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” Switzer’s college athlete boyfriend bodychecked the race official and the pair continued running.

She successfully completed the race in 4 hours and 20 minutes, and seven years later won the New York City Marathon with a time of under 3:08.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 Weeks to Go

Friends, I'm down to the last three weeks of training.

Week 14's schedule:

Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 12-15 miles
Sunday: 4 miles

I'm overdue for a longer post about the actual details of running. Soon. I promise.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

20-Mile Run #1

The feeling that comes after completing your twentieth mile is amazing. I'm very proud, but I know that there is still work to do. I cannot be more excited for the remaining training weeks and the marathon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On Mild Discomfort and Other Adventures

Week 11 has presented its share of challenges, but I am still in this.

This week's short runs were glorious. The crispness of fall is settling in, and I've actually needed to wear the cute little wind breaker that I picked up at Target a few weeks ago. Cooler temperatures mean great runs. On Wednesday, I ran from my place down to the Mall and back. No complaints there.

On Thursday, I followed the trails l to Georgetown and ran around the area for a bit before heading back to my apartment. I didn't stretch as thoroughly as I usually do. I'm not really sure why, but it doesn't have anything to do with the article that I posted about stretching a few days ago. I think I was just very excited. When I started to run downhill towards the trail, I started to feel discomfort in my right leg (around the lower end of the tibia). With each step, I felt it. I didn't really think about it and even thought that it was a great idea to push my limits a bit. When I got home, I felt the pain in my leg simply walking barefoot in my apartment. I iced it and went to bed. The minute that I stepped onto the floor the next morning, the pain was so much worse and I spent a while limping around my apartment. The choices were: 1. call the doctor and make the trip up or 2. suck it up and go to work. I chose two, and even walked the mile to the Rite Aid to pick up an ace bandages and athletic tape before heading into the office. During the day, the discomfort wore off but walking down flights of stairs was still a problem.

I made a decision to take the day off from training on Friday in hopes that things would be better for my long run on Saturday. I woke up, walked around a bit, felt some discomfort, but decided to take it slow and run anyway. Once I started to run, everything seemed okay okay. I ran 12 miles as slow as I possibly could without feeling like I was walking and made sure to stay on soft surfaces whenever I could. After the run, I felt okay. There was the usual feeling of exhaustion that comes after a long run, but it wasn't anything a warm bath and rest couldn't fix. When I woke up this morning for my last short run, I felt the pain again. More limping, applying ice, and deciding that running wouldn't be the best move. Instead, I tried the elliptical and strength training -- if only to feel like I was doing something other than sitting on the couch. It went pretty well, and I've tried my best to rest today. At the moment, everything feels okay but I'm still going to give myself some time to see what happens.

So, assuming that I wake up tomorrow and can move around my apartment without doing my best Charlie Bit My Figure impression, the schedule for this week looks like this:

Monday: Strength train/stationary bike
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Off, mental preparations and pasta party for one
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: 3 miles

As of tomorrow, there will be 33 days between me and race day. Bring it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mid-Week Update

I learned in college that time passes fastest when you're happy, enjoy what you do, and have fun. It also flies when you're totally screwed for a paper you didn't start until the night before it's due date -- but that's another story.

At some point, it became the middle of Week 11 without me even noticing. After a relaxing Labor Day Weekend (with many hours spent in the company of friends, my parents and younger brother, watching 24, knitting, running errands, and starting yucky grad school applications), I started my Tuesday at 6 AM for a quick three-mile run. Now that it's dark at 6 AM, I decided to run on the treadmill and remembered it is the least exciting way to run. The actual work day was pretty chill, and I learned that I'm going to be traveling like it's my job (oh wait) over the next couple of months: definite trips to New York; at least one trip to Louisiana, California (Riverside), Washington, or Ohio (Columbus); and a teacher quality magical mystery tour. I'm excited and know that I'll learn a ton on various trips, but at the same time I still find myself sick at the very idea of flying (I'm better than I was years ago, by the way) and thinking about how this will affect my training (obvious solution: book hotels with fitness centers).

In terms of running, this is what I scheduled for the week:

Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 5 miles (Strength train)
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 12 miles (one week until my first 20-mile run)
Sunday: 4 miles (Strength train)

Oh, and there's been a lot of talk about my knee recently. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m starting to worry that it’s going to give out on my next long run. I’m thinking about seeing my doctor. I probably shouldn’t even be thinking about it at this point and make the appointment. I’m just not sure what she’ll be able to tell me besides “Take it easy” or “Run on softer surfaces” or “Stretch” or “Try more strength training.” I just don’t want to hear “You need to give this up.” We'll see. It's probably nothing, but it would be nice to know that I'm going to be okay for the rest of this and be able to make it to the finish line.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

18 Miles by the Numbers

Jiminy jillikers, Batman! It’s September, and I just finished an 18-mile run!

There is nothing quite like a good, fast, wind-in-your-hair run in September. The weather is absolutely gorgeous today, and I’m looking forward to frolicking later (or at least claiming a lawn chair on my roof and reading for a while). Right now, my weather widget says that it is 74 degrees – which means that it was much cooler earlier this morning when I started my run.

Today’s run was incredible! I kept a steady pace, planned water stops well, and had a pretty good runner’s high going – especially by Mile 14. Here are a couple of numbers to help paint a picture of my 18-mile journey:

Number of songs played: 49

Number of tactless men who ought to keep their lecherous thoughts to themselves: 3 (Yeah, jerk, I might be rocking out to Styx but I can still hear everything you say to me.)

Number of 40+ year-old runners who proved that they could outrun me: 2

Number of energy gels: 2 (Lemon Sublime and Tri-Berry. Both are still pretty disgusting.)

Number of elephants: 1 (not kidding)

Number of unintentional fist pumps during “Every Time We Touch”: 10

Number of times I skipped “Don’t Stop Believing” because it was premature: 3

Mile Mark when I needed to hear “Don’t Stop Believing”: 16

Mile Mark when I felt like a total bad ass: 18

And with that, this crazy train keeps rolling. Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!