Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Let's talk about running.

So, guys, remember how I am training for that marathon and I've been barely talking about it?!  Well, let's talk about it.  It's freaking September already and I have no idea when that happened.  Let's forget about all the life stuff going on right now, where I flew to today, or where I will be tomorrow an just talk about running, shall we?

I am now just starting Week 12 of the Hal Higdon Novice 2 marathon plan.  I originally started the Novice 1 training plan, which is the plan that I did for the Paris Marathon, but I randomly decided to try upping my mileage a bit and do Novice 2.  The midweek mileage doesn't get as high as the Novice 1 plan but there are more long weekend runs.

I am not sure if I will be doing this new plan justice since I am not really concerning myself with pace, and some of these runs are supposed to be at a specific pace, but I'm just going with it.  My whole thought process for training for this marathon was to be a little more easy-going than the first time around.  Especially as life has become more crazy, I am not trying to accomplish anything more than completing this race, which will be a huge success in itself with all that I have had going on these past few months and weeks.

It's funny to see how things have changed from my long runs the first time around to my long runs this time.  It's been a similar transition to when I did my first and second HALF marathons.  The first half marathon I did, I ran 10 miles, then lay on the floor for the rest of the day feeling like death.  The second half marathon, I ran 10 miles and then went about the rest of my day like a normal person.

For the marathon this past winter, my whole weekend was built around the long runs.  What I did the night before was dictated by an early bedtime and a (mostly) healthy meal.  My post-run plans were nonexistent beyond putting on my compression socks and planning to eat a lot.  After our 16-mile run, I lay on the floor of Jess's house in front of the wood stove for hours and ate a bowl of ice cream.

Then, a week ago, on August 22nd, I did a 17-mile run for this training plan, where I literally ran ALL AROUND my town that I grew up in (which was an awesome route, by the way) and then immediately had to get ready for a busy day at my friend's wedding.

We had to be in southern Rhode Island at 11:30 a.m. and I also had some pick-up duties with the other bridesmaids since I am the only one with a car.  Teenie was planning to be at my house at 10:15 a.m. to leave to head out, and I needed to run 17 miles beforehand, stretch, eat, shower, do my hair, and pack up everything I needed for the wedding and be ready to go at 10: 15 a.m.  I mapped out exactly what time I needed to leave my house for the run, how long it would take me to get ready, and managed to fit everything in.  However, I don't even think I paused to take a post-long run picture of my watch or a selfie, which is something I always do!

I finished running, and achingly went right upstairs to shower.  And, funny story, was that I accidentally blew a fuse in my mom's house before I got in the shower, which meant I then had to walk down two flights of stairs from the upstairs down to the basement to try and switch the fuse.  I walked 2 flights down, with my knees aching, and then went 2 stories back up and saw that I hadn't switched the right fuse!  Well, knowing that a) it was tiring to walk up and down those stairs after running and b) I didn't have much time to figure it all out -- I just lit some candles, showered in the dark, and left a note for my mom that I had accidentally blown that fuse and apologized.

I was so proud of myself at the end of that day because my legs felt great the whole time and I was able to stay awake, and on my feet until the very end of the night (which was around 10:30/11 p.m.)  It was seriously the best recovery I have had from a long run ever.  I am sure that there was some adrenaline involved with all the wedding stuff.  Plus, in the afternoon we all got pedicures, which were amazing!  It was something that I thought about all during the run when my feet were killing me.  I just told myself to keep going and promised my feet and legs that they would be getting massaged later if they just got me through the run -- which they did!

This Saturday I did an 18-mile run with Jess, which was a slight adjustment from the 15-mile run that we did from Galway to Saratoga this past winter.  Jess planned the route, and I went along for the ride, and it was a beautiful beautiful route that we ran.  It was cool seeing some familiar spots on the route from the winter, and that part of town is just beautiful so it was very scenic.

One thing that has been a challenge is that I have been having some pain in my knees lately.  I know that when I have knee pain it is time to buy new sneakers, which I did a couple weeks ago, but they did not feel right on the couple runs I took them on, so I chose to not use them during the long runs I have had lately.  I ended up returning them, and wanting to order them in the same style & size, but the Wide variety, however those need to be special ordered.  Since I was moving, there was a holiday weekend, etc. I didn't know when I would be able to get them and I didn't special order them sneakers through the store.  After the run I did on Saturday, I finally ordered them via Amazon Prime and they should be delivered to the hotel I will be in this week on Thursday.  Hopefully they make it on time because on Friday I check out of that hotel to head somewhere else!

Anyways, I did Saturdays run in an older pair of sneakers and I had some pretty bad knee pain a few times throughout the route.  I also had it on Wednesday and Friday during my midweek runs, so it has been making me nervous.  On Saturday at mile 8 we stopped to buy an additional bottle of water at a Stewart's market and as soon as I started walking, my knee started hurting.  And then when I tried to run again, it took a while to get in a groove and randomly hurt again throughout the last 10 miles.  I finished the run in 3:14, which is a little better pace than my 17 mile run that I did in 3:07.

I made it through and am hoping that the new sneakers help me out when I get them this week.  I also made a stop at the running store and bought some random stuff that supposedly help with knee pain like Rock Tape.  I always see people at races with this stuff on and thought it was silly, but figured why the heck not?  I've been wearing it around the past couple of days and although I haven't run, it feels fine (maybe mental??)  Staying healthy is one of the key elements to training, so I am trying to be really cautious with the knee this week during my runs and also took an extra day off today.

And on the nutrition side of things, on Saturday I started tracking my Weight Watchers points again.  I am going to try hard to keep it up while I am traveling, because it really helps me to be more conscientious and mindful of what I am consuming.  I would ideally like to get rid of some of the extra weight I am carrying around on my runs before the marathon, but without a kitchen and essentially eating out for the next month, I know it is going to be hard.  As least making sure I am getting nutritious food and adequately hydrating will be important.

In the words of the new headband my mom gave me for my birthday, "Strong is the new skinny."

I'm hoping to try and write more, even if it is quick, as the next couple of weeks progress to share the ups and downs of marathon training, while moving, while traveling, while living out of a suitcase and not knowing when I am going to be able to do my dirty running clothing laundry (this is a real concern of mine.)

Hope that the start to your September is going well!

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