Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Third Journey to 26.2 Miles

It's no secret that I haven't been blogging as much during this training cycle. There isn't a particular reason. I'm not any less excited about running a marathon and sharing my training progress than I have been for my other races. I enjoy writing about my running because it keeps me accountable to my training; it also helps me keep a running log of my progress so that I can look back down the road and put everything in perspective.

Case in point:  I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn't disappointed that I did not run the Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon in under two hours.  (I may have accepted it, but I really thought that I had it in me to reach my goal.) It also didn't help that my time was only slightly faster that my time at the 2011 Baltimore Running Festival.  But, I went back to my recap of the 2010 National Half and saw how much I've improved in a year:

In 2011, I ran the National Half in 2:09:33.  In 2012, I ran the same course for the RnR USA Half in 2:04:29.  I might not be making huge gains from race to race, but it's affirming to see my progress over a longer period of time.

Next Sunday, I'll be running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler for the second year in a row.  (The lottery has been favorable.)  I want to PR, and I hope that I can run the race in 1:30 or faster.  

After that race, it'll be crunch time for the Cox Sports Marathon in Providence.  I've been anxious about the training for this race and will be until I drag myself across the finish line in May.  Because of my aggressive race schedule at the start of the year (and other excuses I can make for myself), I really haven't been putting in the longer runs (18-22 miles) and won't until after the 10-Miler.  I'll take them slowly, for sure, but I felt so confident going into Philly because I had done many longer runs.  

My goal for this final week of March and April is to train in earnest.  No skipping runs because I don't feel like it.  No cutting speed workouts short because I don't feel like doing another interval.  No whining. No complaining. No making excuses.  

Just running.

Cox Marathon Crunch - Week 1
Monday - X-Training and Strength
Tuesday - 3 miles (easy)
Wednesday - 45 minute speed workout
Thursday - 3 miles (easy)
Friday: Stretching/Yoga
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Inspiration: Creating Safe Spaces

“Shit Men Say to Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street” was inspired by International Anti-Street Harassment Week.

It was created by a group of women and men in NYC who believe that street harassment is wrong, and that we all have a role to play in ending it - especially us guys.

The video shows some non-violent ways that men can interrupt street harassment as it happens. (And it happens all the time. Seriously. Go check. We will wait.)

Join us by sharing this video. And the next time you witness street harassment - and you will - say some shit. Please.

For more information on this video, email:
Thanks for sharing this, Jane!

(Source: girlsgetbusyzine)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Strange Addiction

"America's Pandemic: 'I'm Running a Marathon' is the New Meth"

"Remember that fun friend you had, the one you used to go out to dinner with, have interesting conversations with, get wasted with? That person is gone. Their marathon won’t let them be fun. It makes sure they are always sober and in bed by 9 so they can wake up at 6 and inject marathon training into their veins. It keeps your friend talking only about marathon related things. Remember that provocative conversation about high end sweat socks?"
"You are no longer an important person in their life. You’ve been ditched for a less cool, mean girl who dresses your marathon friend in stupid shorts and sports bras and parades them around the city - all the while laughing at your friend’s struggle to run right past that taco stand without slamming headfirst into the nearest burrito. You can’t compete with this new friend. Marathon always wins."
This sounds about right to me!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll USA Race Recap

Operation Sub-2:00 didn't go exactly as planned.  I set a PR but didn't hit my time goal -- and, I'm okay with that.  It was a beautiful day.  I'm healthy enough to run a half-marathon (while still recovering from a cold apparently), and I'm going out to celebrate St. Patty's Day tonight like a college freshman.      

To the recap!

The morning - unsurprisingly - started out with a metro failure.  (It wouldn't be a DC race if I could use the metro and get to the start on time, now would it?) I got to my station at about 6:45, which would normally plenty of time to ride, transfer, and make it to the staging area in reasonable time.  But, it's Metro on the weekend and that means track work.  I had to wait about 15 minutes at the next station for a train, which got as far as Smithsonian before it was too crowded for the doors to close.  We off-loaded, and I waited for two trains before attempting to continue.  I made it to the staging area at 7:55 (the race started at 8), dropped off my bag, and sprinted to the corrals.  I was originally in corral 6 but made it just in time to join corral 12 at the starting line.

Assuming that I would start in my corral, my plan was to run the first three miles at a 9:15 pace, the next seven at a 9:00, and push at 8:00 pace for the last 5K.  Of course, starting six corrals back with people who didn't want to run that pace at the beginning of the race, my strategy became "Get as far away from this corral as fast as you can so you can hit your target pace as fast as possible."  With that in mind, I ran the first three miles in 8:54, 8:57, and 8:06.  Not exactly the plan, but okay.

After the first 5K, I felt myself starting to slow down. By then, I was in a groove but not hitting my target pace.  I did the math in my head and figured that if I slowed down but then pushed for the last 10K, I could still hit my time goal.  I decided to enjoy the run until the second half of the race.

Miles 7 and 8 were definitely the hardest and my body tried to stage a rebellion.  I took a few walk breaks, stretched, and kept trying to figure out what I needed to do to finish in under two hours.

Things started to feel better around Mile 9. By this point in the race, I figured that I could hit by time goal with a finish time of just under two hours if, at mile 10, I pushed myself harder than I've ever pushed myself on a run.  Unfortunately, the rest of my body wanted to hear nothing of it.  At Mile 11, I decided that I just wanted a PR.  With the revised goal, I really started to enjoy everything about the day and the race.

According to my Garmin, which lost satellite reception a few times and was at least a tenth of a mile off from the mile markers on the course, I hit 13.1 miles at 2:02:13.  (An unofficial PR!) I crossed the finish line - after 13.34 miles by my watch - at 2:04:31 (only a little faster than my time at the 2011 Baltimore half-marathon but a PR all the same).  I'll post my official results when I get them.  I'm very curious to know how my official time compares.

Stef and I have earned our St. Patty's Day celebration.  Congrats on your PR!

I imagine tomorrow will be a recovery day. Then, I'll be back in training mode for this year's Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and the Providence Marathon...which seems to be approaching faster than I would like.  Time to put in some serious work!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Operation Sub-2: Weekly Round-Up (9)

Alright, folks, I'm five days out from race day.  I feel very confident about my progress, and I'm ready to race this weekend. 

I picked up a cold, and I hope that I can knock this thing out by Saturday. My plan is to take it easy this week, sleep, hydrate, and hope for the best.

Week 11
Sunday: 3 miles (easy)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo Run (30 minutes)
Wednesday: X-Train and Strength
Thursday: 3 Miles (easy)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rock 'n' Roll USA

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Operation Sub-2: Weekly Round-Up (8)

I've been a little down on myself for the past week about my training.  I know I shouldn't beat myself up because I've put in 95% of the work and my most recent 5K PR is proof that I'm getting faster.  But, the thought of not running next Saturday's race in under 2:00 keeps popping into my head.  I even had a hilarious anxiety dream that involved showing up to a marathon completely unprepared.  I even showed up to the start in a pair of flip-flops! In the dream, I decided to just go with it and finished the first 5K in 34 minutes -- nearly nine minutes slower than my personal best.

In the waking world, I've had a few shorter runs during which I've run 8:30 miles and faster. On my long runs, though, I haven't been able to hit that pace during the faster miles.  (Stef and I have started to break up our long runs by doing a few miles below our intended race paces, a few runs at or faster than our race pace, and finishing with slower miles.) 

I know I'll be okay.  Hell, I had a half-marathon PR in Baltimore on a very hilly course and after running the Army 10-Mile Run six days before. I'll just think positively about what I'll be able to do on race day.

So, here we go:
Sunday: 30-minute speed workout
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 40-minute tempo workout
Wednesday: 3 miles, easy
Thursday: 4-5 miles, easy
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 miles, easy

Ten days to go until race day!