Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 13

During Week 13, I realized that October would be my first month of running more than 100 miles! If I stick to my training plan for the rest of October, it'll actually be a 139-mile month.


You can see from this Daily Mile graph just how much I've ramped up my mileage since beginning marathon training in late July.

I feel like I barely trained for my June half-marathon in comparison!

A friend recently asked me how I find the time to do all this running. The answer is that I've made it my top priority. Right now, running a marathon that I'm proud of is my number-one goal, and I'm laser-focused on making it happen. Everything else in my life fits in around training.

It's probably easier for me than for many people for several reasons. My friends are all very busy, so we tend to converge only on weekend nights, and that fulfills my need to be social. I'm single, which frees up a lot of time. I rarely work late, and I never have to take work home with me. I enjoy running at night to shake off workday stress, so I don't often dread weekday training.

All that said, my success with training so far boils down to commitment. I've heard a million times that if you really want to do something, you'll find any way possible to do it. If your heart's not fully in it, however, you'll find any excuse to avoid it.

There have been incredible runs and incredibly crappy runs. There have been times when I felt like I could run forever and times when I literally felt like I was going to die.

No one will tell you that training for a marathon is easy. Most, I think, will tell you that it is absolutely worth it.


Monday: 5-mile run

Since the days are quickly growing shorter, I've been putting in extra effort to get back out the door to run right when I get home from work. These dark evenings are exactly the kick in the pants I need to quit procrastinating and GO!

I think this may have been my last evening run that featured a shred of daylight, though — it was fully dark when I finished just before 7:00.

Since I hate the treadmill, I'll be doing lots of night running, so I picked up a headlamp, blinky light and RoadID to stay visible and safe on my runs. The RoadID is something I think everyone should have for running and cycling, whether it's dark out or not — I've heard way too many stories about people who've been hit by cars or who have crashed their bikes and had to be rushed to the hospital. I feel more secure knowing that my parents will be contacted as soon as possible should, God forbid, anything happen to me!

Tuesday: Rest

I spent the evening at a wonderful panel discussion about world travel. It featured all types of travelers, from a young couple who spent seven months having adventures abroad to a professional travel writer who presented tips about staying safe and respecting other cultures.

Just over a year ago, I realized that I really want to see the world. I always love meeting people who are actually doing that because they inspire me to make that dream a reality.

Wednesday: 4-mile run + strength

Earlier this year, I trained for and ran my first half-marathon with the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation team and had an awesome experience. Now I'm volunteering with DetermiNation to help out with PR and social media for the 2012 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon!

On Wednesday I went to my first volunteer committee meeting, and then I went straight to the gym to lift weights and run. It was a very packed night that left me eating dinner at 10 p.m., but I didn't mind since I was busy doing things I enjoy and am passionate about.

Thursday: 9-mile run

This was my first night run with the new headlamp! I think it might be magical because I ran my fastest 9-miler ever — 1:19:49, 8:51 pace.

The headlamp worked perfectly to help me avoid slipping on wet leaves and tripping over sidewalk cracks. It left me with a fun little forehead welt, but I'll take that over a broken ankle any day!

I realized after this run that I much prefer 8- or 9-mile runs over 5- or 6-milers. They're just long enough that I can do a loop around Lake Union instead of an out-and-back somewhere, which keeps me from constantly checking my Garmin to see when I can turn around. Also, I'm crazy. That's the only logical reason why anyone would prefer to run that far, right?

Friday: Rest

Sometimes life just hands you fun gifts, like a free 10-course Chinese dinner! My roommate's boss bought a few tables at a fundraising auction for the Bruce Lee Action Museum, and she invited me to come along on Friday night as her "plus one."

If there's anything I like to do more than running, it's EATING, and this dinner was amazing! I usually don't carb-load or eat anything special the night before long runs, so I was a little worried about how this feast would affect Saturday's 12-miler, but I ended up feeling fine. Ohhh, what a delicious gamble.

Saturday: 12-mile run

I did this great long run with Lindsey, a public defender from Connecticut who had emailed me earlier in the week to ask about Seattle running routes since she would be in town for a conference. I know how intimidating it can be to run in a new city, so I invited her to run with me and we had a blast!

We braved some truly icky, rainy weather at 7:30 a.m.

Welcome to Seattle, right? But Lindsey came prepared with her game face and rain jacket, and the downpour eventually let up and didn't bother us too much. We chatted away for the nearly two-hour run, and, as per usual, a relative stranger became a fast friend through running.

Sunday: Rest

My roommates and I threw a big ol' Oktoberfest party Saturday night, so Sunday was a low-key recovery day — as in recovery from the long run and from all the beers I enjoyed. I had brunch with all my best friends at Hunger to celebrate my roommate's birthday, and then I took a great nap.


Miles run: 30
Strength-training sessions: 1
Rest days: 3
Ridiculous injuries: 1 headlamp welt
Nights I got enough sleep: Zero-ish


Miles run: 271
Miles biked: 68
Swims: 7
Yoga sessions: 1
Strength-training sessions: 16 + 1 shower scrubbing


Weeks 1-4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12


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