Monday, October 17, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 11

For those of you who are anxiously, breathlessly keeping track of my marathon training — anyone? anyone? — yes, I'm a week behind on training recaps! I usually post a weekly recap each Monday, but this past Monday was a travel day, and then I spent the rest of the week writing about my trip to New York City. (Check out Part I, Part II and Part III of the NYC recap if you missed 'em!)

It feels a little weird to be recapping Week 11 of training (Oct. 3—Oct. 9) when I've now already completed Week 12, but some very awesome stuff happened in Week 11 and I want to remember it.

I'll post Week 12 sometime this week, and then the recaps will resume their regular schedule. By the way, get excited for Week 12, because it kicked ass!!

For now, I leave you with Week 11, which deserves this subtitle: The Return of the Dreadmill.

Week 11

Monday: Strength-training

I came home from work on Monday in a foul mood. You know when you just feel like turning off the lights, crawling into bed and hibernating for a while? That's how I felt.

Instead of skipping my workout — which would've made me feel even worse — I acknowledged all my icky feelings and gave myself a little pep-talk on Tumblr. Then I shut my laptop, ate a snack, went to the gym and lifted my frustration away.

I felt a million times lighter afterward. I felt strong and accomplished not just because I worked out, but because I fought through negativity instead of letting it steamroll me for the entire night.

Fellow Tumblr blogger Dustin reminded me of something very important: "It’s the work we put in on days like this that defines us. Anybody can do it when it’s easy, but sticking it out when it’s hard is what truly makes us better."

Tuesday: 7-mile run

Ohhh, the dreadmill — the most boring, monotonous way to run. It had been a long time since I hopped on one of these, but it was cold and dark outside, and I'm a wimp.

Unfortunately the treadmill stops at 60 minutes, and a seven-miler takes me a few minutes longer, so I stopped it at six miles and then reset it for another mile. As I ran, fellow gym-goers hopped on and off (and on and off) the treadmills around me. I'm sure they all thought I was crazy for spending more than an hour running in place. Maybe I am?

Wednesday: 3-mile run + strength-training

I learned that the key to a good run on the treadmill is to snag the machine in front of the TV showing Jeopardy! It took my mind off of the run, and I actually got some questions correct. For example, "What is Benihana?" None of the contestants got that one, by the way. I guess smart people don't eat at Benihana.

I also hit the free weights again and achieved my goal of twice-weekly strength-training. I no longer dread lifting weights like I did when I was afraid of all the sweaty men at my gym, but I still have trouble working on my core strength. Translation: I hate crunches! Core strength is really valuable for running, though, so I should probably work on that. Meh.

Thursday: Rest — skipped a 4-mile run

I straight-up skipped a run — which I've rarely done this training cycle — because I needed to do a bunch of laundry and pack for my trip to NYC. In hindsight, I realize the run would have taken me less than 40 minutes, and I could have easily fit it in — especially since I waited until the last minute to pack anything but my running shoes.

When I trained for my first half-marathon, I got super-anxious about missing workouts. Now that I have more confidence as a runner, I know it's not the end of the world if I skip a short run every once in a while. I decided long ago to be flexible with my marathon training plan, and that attitude has really helped me avoid freaking out when life doesn't align with my pretty Excel spreadsheet.

Friday: Rest — flew to NYC

Yay for sitting on a plane while hurtling across the country through the sky!

Saturday: 10-mile run

This run through Central Park and along the West Side Highway trail with Theodora confirmed several things:

  • I love running in new cities. It's an amazing way to explore!
  • I love running with new friends. The conversation goes on and on and I'm never bored.
  • It's not impossible to do a long run while traveling. Just make it a priority and make it fun!

Sunday: "Rest" — walked all over NYC

I did the tourist thing and walked for hours around NYC. I suppose that's considered exercise... cross-training, maybe? When you throw in the stairs I climbed at subway stations and all the heavy lifting I did — a bagel in one hand and a massive camera in the other — it was practically an Olympic event. : )


Miles run: 20
Miles biked: 0
Swims: 0
Yoga sessions: 0
Strength-training sessions: 2
Rest days: 2 (or 1, plus one Olympic event)
Cross-country flights: 1
NYC bagels: 2 (not enough)


Miles run: 208
Miles biked: 68
Swims: 7
Yoga sessions: 1
Strength-training sessions: 13 + 1 shower scrubbing


Weeks 1-4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


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