Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 14

I spent most of Week 14 plotting to hook myself up to an IV drip of chicken-noodle soup. I was sick, people. Really sick.

Take it from me: Running in the rain is pretty badass until you get walloped with a sneezy, runny-nosed, sore-throated illness that leaves you flattened for days. OK, so it probably wasn't just running in the rain that did me in; a serious lack of sleep and several beers last Saturday night definitely contributed to the mess. Don't be like me!

Rather than trying to push through my misery and stick with the training plan, I took four solid rest days to recover. And then, on the day I resumed training, I ran 18 miles. Crazy, party of one!

That strategy could have been an epic disaster, but it actually worked out well. I guess my efforts over the past three-plus months have conditioned my body to traverse ridiculous distances despite horrible illness. Good to know.


Monday: 5-mile run

Ben Davis crashed on my couch Sunday night during a brief stop in Seattle en route to his home state of Arkansas. We stayed up late chatting about his book deal, his Runner's World cover and people we know from the Interwebs, so I went to sleep feeling completely exhausted and a bit under the weather. But someone wanted to run on Monday morning and I was too stubborn to say no, even when the sky threatened end-of-days-style rain.

I felt fine as we ran five soaking wet miles, but after I dropped off Ben at the airport, cleaned up and had lunch with a friend, I was very clearly sick. I then passed out for about five hours — thank goodness I had already taken the day off from work!

Tuesday: Rest (missed strength-training)

I chugged water, tea and chicken-noodle soup and used an embarrassing amount of Kleenex. I also took this day off from work.

Wednesday: Rest (missed a 9-mile run)

I went back to work, but still felt miserable. Meh.

Thursday: Rest (missed 4 miles + strength-training)

At this point I started itching to run again. Three whole days off from my training plan? Are you kidding me?

Friday: Rest

I finally felt well enough to run again, but I held off to really make sure that I was better. Also, taking it easy was a welcome change after more than three months of marathon training!

Saturday: 18-mile run

All week long, my only goal was to get better and be able to complete this long run — and it would be my farthest run ever. About 90% of me thought that this run would suck horribly and that I wouldn't finish.

But, oh, I finished. And I kicked some butt.

(Please forgive the duck face. I was too tired to smile.)

18 miles took me two loops of Lake Union, two chocolate Clif Shots, five bottles of water and nearly three hours to complete. I ended up running at a 9:41 average pace, which is right on target with the best long runs I've done so far. Against all odds, this run went about as well as a long run can go.

That's not to say that it was easy. I did two identical 9-mile loops of Lake Union since I'm very comfortable with that route, and the end of the first loop brought me back within a quarter-mile of my house. My body was ready to pack it in at that point, and I knew the remaining 9 miles would be all mental.

Since I don't run with music, I rely on internal cheerleading when things get rough. Here are some of the things I told myself over and over again during this run:

  • "You are kicking the shit out of this. Keep going!"
  • "Only 10K left to go... only 5K left to go... that's nothing!"
  • "Honey badger don't care!"
  • "You can do anything for 2.5 more miles!"

Mile 15.5 was the toughest point. I wanted nothing more than to lie down on the grass and take a nap. I just thought about how badly I want to finish my marathon and how I'll have to push through the wall in Las Vegas, and that helped me push through this one. When I finally got home, I collapsed onto my concrete patio and it might as well have been a Sealy Posturepedic mattress. Heaven.

This was my first run wearing my new CEP compression sleeves, and I think they really helped reduce shin pain, leg fatigue and swelling. I also wore them during my incredible post-run nap and as part of my "runner" Halloween costume that night (please try not to faint from my creativity). Consider it love at first wear.

Sunday: Rest

I rested my legs on Sunday and was extremely pleased to find that they were not sore at all, save for a little creakiness in my knees. I stretched, foam-rolled and iced my knees immediately after the 18-miler, and completing those good practices in combination with wearing the compression sleeves made me a very happy runner.

I finally carved me a pumpkin the day before Halloween, and I will totally count all that sawing and scooping action as strength-training! OK, maybe not, but a girl can try.

Now there are only FIVE WEEKS and one more really long run — a 20-miler — left to go before the marathon!!


Miles run: 23 (I had scheduled 36)
Strength-training sessions: 0
Rest days: 5
Days I thought I might die: 2
Boxes of Kleenex I demolished: 2 or 3? I'm not joking


Miles run: 294
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
Week 13


New here?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...