Monday, October 3, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 10

Two days of travel. Three runs completed in another state. My farthest run ever. My highest mileage week ever.

I'm extremely proud of Week 10 of marathon training!

Even though I packed all my running gear and planned to fit in my runs while I was in California for my granddad's memorial service, I wasn't sure I'd actually do them. I don't have a great track record for doing out-of-state runs. Whatever happened to that 8-miler I was supposed to do in Portland during the World Domination Summit? Hmmm...

I've realized, though, that I really want this marathon. I want to cross that finish line knowing that I trained the best I could and didn't half-ass anything. What's the point of going all the way to Las Vegas to run 26.2 miles if I'm not going to absolutely kick the crap out of 'em?

That said, shiz is starting to get real. This week's long run was kind of a nightmare, and it was only a taste of the distances I'll have to cover over the next several weeks. But I'm not going to let one bad run intimidate me. I learned a lot from it, and I hope I'll be able to tackle my upcoming 16-, 18- and 20-milers feeling stronger than ever.


Monday: Rest

I took a day off after last Sunday's 5K race and 10-mile run, which left my legs pretty tired. I also packed for my trip, and wrote on Dev on Running about how I don't get the same sense of accomplishment from racing a 5K as I did a year ago:
I live for challenges, and this race just made me realize that pushing for new PRs isn’t what I really want to do. What I really want to do is run my marathon. What I really want to do is longer triathlons. A half Ironman. An Ironman. 
I really want to keep challenging myself with new events and distances. 
Runners constantly grow and change and become challenged by different things. What challenged me a year ago is now just a warmup. What was outright impossible a year ago is now just another day of marathon training.
I like this about running — that it’s easy to see how far you’ve come and to imagine how far you can go.

Tuesday: Rest — flew to California

I went straight from work to the airport, and had really good intentions with the baked chicken breast and apple that I brought with me. Then I bought some candy and things went south. Heh.

Let's not talk about the Junior Mints I ate on the plane and the chocolate milkshake I drank upon arriving in California. Can you tell that I turn to chocolate when I'm stressed?

Wednesday: 4-mile run

I jumped out of bed and did this run first thing in the morning. It was cloudy, but the air was thicker and more humid than I'm used to, so I struggled a bit. I think flying the previous night somehow threw me off, too.

I stayed at my granddad's condo, which is conveniently near the El Cajon Trail. Much of the trail is paved for walkers, runners and cyclists, and there's also a dirt path for horses that runs parallel to it. That means the stench perfume of manure is pervasive. Yum.

It turns out that Californian walkers and runners are much friendlier than their Seattle counterparts! Everyone I passed said "hello" or "good morning," or at least smiled and nodded at me. Seattleites, in contrast, tend to studiously ignore each other. We're so emo.

Thursday: 4-mile run

Here's a better look at the trail, which is quite pretty — especially this well-manicured portion that runs behind the Richard Nixon Library.

I slept late Thursday morning since my granddad's memorial service on Wednesday evening left me feeling exhausted. The sun was out in full force when I hit the trail around 11:00, and I ended up getting s-w-e-a-t-y. I'm definitely happy to be spoiled with Seattle's cooler temperatures, which are much nicer for running!

Friday: 6-mile run

This was my best run of the week. I finally got accustomed to the heat and humidity (and started running before 9 a.m.), so I flew along the trail. I still ended up getting ridiculously sweaty, of course.

I didn't take my phone on this run because I was like, what am I going to photograph? More palm trees?

Enter three awesome women, each sitting in a tiny, single-seater rickshaw pulled by a miniature horse. I guess that's how they exercise their mini horses! It was the most random spectacle. My uncle also told me that on Thursdays, a bunch of llama owners get together to walk their llamas along this trail.

I'm sad I missed out on Llama Thursday, but I sure was glad to witness Mini Horse Friday.

My dad wanted to do something fun on my last day in California, so we hit up an old favorite — the place where my granddad worked many years ago, and where my parents met when they both worked there in college... the happiest place on Earth!

Disneyland was all decked out for Halloween — my favorite holiday — which made our visit even more fun! It was a great ending to the trip.

Saturday: Rest — flew back to Seattle

I said goodbye to clear skies, sun and temperatures in the 80s, and hello again to clouds and drizzle. Even so, it felt good to be home.

Sunday: 15-mile run

My farthest run yet was quite the challenge! I dressed warmly for Seattle's cool, cloudy weather, only to become super-sweaty just a few miles in (go figure). Throw some wind in there and you've got a cold, sweat-soaked, miserable girl. Can I have some of that California sun back, please?

I had planned to run two loops of Lake Union, but after one loop I realized I needed to change into dry clothes because I was practically shaking! When I made it back to my house after nine miles, I hydrated, ate a Clif Shot and put on a whole new outfit (even socks and underthings — it was that bad). Then I set off toward Golden Gardens for the toughest six miles of my life.

On top of my initial poor choice in clothing, I hadn't eaten the right breakfast for a long run. I scraped together what I had in the house — a few scrambled eggs and some zucchini — instead of sticking with my tried-and-true combo of a Larabar and an apple with almond butter. My body didn't have the fuel it needed for 15 miles, and I ended up making an emergency 7-11 stop to buy a Clif bar at mile 13. I don't know if I would've made it home without it!

Despite my mistakes, I finished 15 miles in 2:33:08 (10:12 pace). The farthest I had run before this was 13.1 miles during my two half-marathons. I'm proud to be getting into the higher double-digit runs that signify I'm really training for a marathon!

I ran 29 miles in Week 10, which is a new high for me! Here's a fun bar graph of my mileage for each week of marathon training from Daily Mile:

I'll peak at 40 miles during Week 16. Eeek!


Miles run: 29
Miles biked: 0
Swims: 0
Yoga sessions: 0
Strength-training sessions: 0
Rest days: 3
Flights: 2
Rides at Disneyland: All the good ones! Except Pirates of the Caribbean, which was closed : (


Miles run: 188.3
Miles biked: 67.5
Swims: 7
Yoga sessions: 1
Strength-training sessions: 11 + 1 shower scrubbing


Weeks 1-4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9

Next week's training recap will include a long run in Central Park, since my solo trip to New York City is this coming weekend! WOO-HOO!


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  1. Disney halloween is probably awesome!!!! I've heard christmas time is amazing too ahh! Nice job this week!

  2. way to go on the training. I was just in LA this past weekend but we didn't get to disney land that looks like fun


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