Monday, September 26, 2011

Marathon Training Week 2

Sunday 9/18/11

Happy Sunday! I love Sunday's because it's our Long, slow, distance run which means I am out running with a great group of other adult females and NO children or spouses! It's my ME time for the week when I don't have to worry about anything and get to enjoy spending time with my friend's - with no interruptions!

This morning the training schedule said I should be doing 9 miles at around a 11:27 pace. What we ended up doing was 10.07 miles at a 10:52 pace. So we went a little longer and a little too fast, but, my heart rate was still within the appropriate range.

One thing I was concerned about as I was heading to the run this morning was my leg. It didn't really "hurt" when I got up but it was a little achy. I change the top bandage to make sure that it was staying closed and had stopped bleeding. It looked pretty good, so I put a new bandage over the top of it and headed out. During the run, I felt it occasionally but it didn't impede my stride or my ability to finish the run.

After the run, we went and had coffee as we always do. Today though, we sat for a long time and visited. It was so great to relax and enjoy the time together.

When I got home, I double checked on my leg again. Here's what it looked like....
Not too bad! It bled a tiny bit on the run, but considering we did 10 miles, I think it's doing really well.

After a quick bite to eat, fresh bandages on the cut and a shower, I left for Occidental to have lunch at Howard's Station Cafe followed by the Cedar Enzyme Bath at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary for my best friend, Amy's, birthday. It was incredible relaxing. The perfect end to a great day!

Monday 9/19/11

This morning I started working on seeing if I needed a tetanus shot. Trying to make phone calls at 8:00 am when the doctor's office opens, with four kids in the car so they have to be quiet so you can hear the sounds coming from your wireless blue tooth speaker, is not what I would call fun. When I finally got through to the office, they said they would have to call me back after tracking down my paper chart (they've apparently gone digital since I was last in... which was years ago.) So I continued on with my morning and waited for their call. It never came, so I had to follow up. In the end, I needed to go get a tetanus shot because they could not find a record of my last booster.

Tetanus shots are not any fun. They hurt! My arm hurt worse from the shot than my leg did from the cut. Oh well.... better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday 9/20/11

Today was a super busy day. Had an extra meeting at my kids' school during the time I would usually run, so I had to get up and do my run at 5:30am. My other option would have been to run in the afternoon or evening, but there were two reasons that was not an appealing option today. One - it was super hot outside today! Running in the heat is not something I enjoy. Two - there's always more of a chance that something will come up and interfere with my plans if I try to run in the afternoon/evening. I've learned that if I get my runs done in the mornings then they will always get done.

Today's run was a slow, recovery run. Last week, going slow was hard. Today, slow wasn't so bad, however, maybe that's because I felt like I was still half asleep! It was so peaceful and quiet out. I almost ran right into a spider and it's web that was across the entire sidewalk at chest height. I spotted it in my headlamp at the last second and walked slowly into the street to go around it. All in all, it was a good run. The training schedule said I had to do 2 - 4 miles at around an 11:30 pace and I did 4 miles at an 11:29 pace.

Since school started, I haven't been running in the wee hours of the morning because I have to be getting the kids ready for school, so it was kind of hard to get up and out the door for my 5:30am run today. I also didn't realize how dark it was at that hour, so at the last minute I woke up our chocolate lab, Trixie, and took her with me. Taking Trixie is always interesting. It takes her about 1 - 1.5 miles to calm down and settle into controlled pace. She was on guard when we went by people; she was ready to chase the cat that crossed our path. All of this made it interesting for my sore arm, which was still aching from the Tetanus shot. Here's a picture of Trixie at the end of our run.... under a street light and in the light of my headlamp (as you can see it was still really dark.... and she's a chocolate lab, so she blends in!)

Wednesday 9/21/11

Waking up this morning, after yesterday's super long day, was extremely hard. I felt like my feet were cased in cement.... I just couldn't get moving. This tends to be an issue when you have to get four kids to school and then run 7 miles. I managed to get the kids to school, and myself dressed to go for the run immediately after drop off but I did not plan my route out ahead of time. Normally this would bother me, today, I was glad for it because I felt sluggish tired. Having to keep my mind busy figuring out which direction to go, when to turn around so I made it back to the school at the end of 7 miles, kept my mind from thinking about how tired I felt. I just started running and made my route up as I went. I eventually ran out of sidewalk along Hwy 116 south, so I turned around and headed back. I decided then to get onto the West County Trail starting at Analy High School because I knew where it went and how far I would be from the school. It was refreshing having to figure it out as I went.

By the end, I had my 7 miles at an average pace of 10:44. My training schedule today was for distance only. No pace requirements that I was suppose to try and keep. I did have some guidelines for my heart rate, though, and I was at the low end of the range I should have been in. That's really good, but at the same time, it felt so much harder than that! Oh well.... some days are going to be like that! Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Thursday 9/22/11

Today is suppose to be the hardest workout/run of my week, according to my training schedule. My schedule for today said 4 - 5 miles, tempo run; but I was running with two others so we did something different. We ran a route we call Montecito Madness. It's named this because we run up Chanate to Montecito and then down Montecito to Pacific and back to Cathy's house. It's SUPER hilly! So no tempo run today, we just pushed hard on the hills. I was not feeling it today! I had to walk up some of the hills because I just didn't have the energy to run up them, which was evident by how my heart rate would climb higher when I tried to push through and keep running. By the time we were done, all I wanted to do was go to bed, but alas, I had a client to see and children to pick up from school.

Our run ended up being 5.2 miles long and the average pace was 10:24. My heart rate, despite climbing too high on the hills, was overall, below my target range for the day. I was shocked to see this because the run felt so incredibly hard.

I had been hoping today would feel better than yesterday, but it didn't. I tried not to feel disappointed by it, and tried to focus on the positive aspects - like as still did it, I finished the run, etc... - but it was hard. I really just wanted a nap, and by golly, I got one! After I picked the kids up from school, we all curled up in my bed and took a nice, long two hour nap. Pure bliss!!!

Friday 9/23/11

Today was cross training/strength training day. I went to Cardio Kickboxing and it was a tough class! Colleen kicked our butts today! It felt great. My sciatica was bothering me a little and so was the cut on my leg so I modified a few things when I needed to. In the afternoon at work, I did a small amount of strength training when I needed to demonstrate some exercises.

Saturday 9/24/11

Woke up really sore across my upper back and shoulders this morning from Kick Boxing yesterday. It was that good sore, that lets you know you really worked hard. I love that feeling! Taught my Outdoor Family Fitness class this morning. The theme for the day was "ALL ABS" and it was a great class! Everyone worked really hard.

Had a busy day after class. Had to pick up my son's friend, JP, so they could have a playdate. Then, had to drop my daughter off at a birthday party. When it was time to pick her up, I loaded the boys into the car and went and got her. After the party dispersed, we took JP home, but of course, the kids wanted to play, so we were there for a bit. Once we finally got home it was 4pm and I still needed to go to Whole Foods. Once the kids were settled at home with my husband, James, I went to Whole Foods, came home and made dinner. After dinner, James got the kids in the shower while I cleaned the kitchen. By 7:30pm the kids were tucked into bed and I got to relax with James for about an hour before I went to bed because tomorrow, Sunday, we're running at 6:30am.

And that's the end of Week 2 Marathon Training. It was busy and hard, but I made it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marathon Training Week 1

Saturday 9/10/11 8:40pm
After posting my last blog entry earlier today, I worked almost all afternoon and evening making my "official" training schedule. When I finished I sat back and was hugely relieved because even though it's a daunting task, taking on a marathon, once I could look at it one week at a time it didn't seem so daunting.

So I sat back, examined the three pages a little more, added in my work schedule so I would know what days I would have split some longer mid-week runs into two to fit around my work schedule, and then sat it aside. I'll pick it back up tomorrow after our long, slow, distance run of 8 miles and see if I feel I need to make any further changes. Then, I'll pick it up again on Tuesday after another run to go over it with and compare it to my main running partners plan that she's put together for herself and her schedule (we're running the marathon together; it's a first for both of us). And as training goes on, I'm sure there will be adjustments, but I am starting to feel better, more relaxed, about this journey now that I have a plan.

The other part of the plan is coming into focus too. In my earlier post, I said I would post my marathon journey on the blog. After thinking about it all afternoon while working on the schedule I thought it would be best for me to update the blog weekly. This weekly update will include a daily note on my progress, both mental and physical!

Monday 9/12/11
So yesterday marked our first official day of training. We did 8 miles on trails in Annadel. It was a great run despite me falling and all three of us being covered in a paste of mud. The dirt was dry (and it's super fine) and then the fog was so thick it was drizzling so it created this paste that coated our shoes and lower legs.

After our run, we stretched and did some body weight strength training - 1 set of 15 Lunges, 1 set of 15 Pushups and 1 set of 15 Side Plank Dips. Once that was done it was time to grab coffee and get home for food and a shower. That afternoon we gathered to celebrate the birthdays of two of our friend that we run with regularly. It was a great afternoon of food, drinks, conversation and laughter!

Today, is a rest day on my training schedule; though I have also left it open to Strength Training as well since I sometimes have to do some for work with clients.

Tuesday 9/13/11
Today is a slow recovery run. I ran with my best running pal, Cathy, and our faithful "training dog" Teddy. Our pace is suppose to be SLOW.... really slow compared to what we're use to doing. We ran 4.25 miles at an average pace of 10:45. We were suppose to be slower - closer to a pace of 11:00 but both of our heart rates were at the bottom of the range we should have been in so we both figure it's okay. That said, it's still going to be important to learn how to run a little slower than we're use to. Training for a full marathon is proving to be very different from training for a half marathon... and it's only day 3!!

This afternoon, I added a run. My friend, Amy, just recently trained for and ran her first 5K and is now training for a 10K. Her training schedule (she's doing a Podcast) had her doing a 5 minute walking warm up, then 4 x 10 minute run/1 minute walk, followed by a 5 minute walking cool down. We covered 3.5 miles which gave us a 15:31 pace. I'm hoping that by keeping Amy company, and encouraging her in her training, that it will help me learn to slow my pace down. Plus, it's just great to spend more time with one of my best friends! We've been best friends since we were 16 years old.

Wednesday 9/14/11
I had a hard time waking up this morning. Yesterday was a super long day (I was at the grocery store at 8:30pm) and I really wish I could have slept longer, but it's was my day to drive car pool. After I got the kids to school I headed out for my run. The training schedule had me running 7 miles at race pace (10:19). Since I did an extra 3.5 miles yesterday, I figured I could and should decrease today's mileage, so I only ran 6 miles. I was pretty close to my target race pace too. My average pace was 10:06, so I was still a little fast. Miles 1 and 2 were too fast; miles 3 and 4 were right on target; and miles 5 and 6 were a little fast. For the first week of training, I figure I'm doing great!

This afternoon I got a little yoga in at work which felt great! Nothing like some plank and downward dog to make your spine, hamstrings and core feel stronger and more relaxed.

Thursday 9/15/11
Today I had to get up earlier than usual because the mom I car pool with is out of town to visit her older son and daughter-in-law who just had a baby last week. So her husband was dropping their kids off at 7:15am so he can get to work on time. This means that I had to have my kids ready to go before they got her, otherwise, they would play and not get ready for school. It was an interesting morning, but we made it!

Cathy came over and rode with me to take the kids to school because we're running a hard, hill run today. Our training schedules have us running our hardest run of the week on Thursdays. So sometimes we'll do hills, other times we'll do sprints or tempo runs. The route we ran this morning is one I did a few weeks ago at a leisurely pace. It's on the back roads of Sebastopol so you feel like you're all alone; it's peaceful. Cathy wanted to check it out so we decided to run it fast and push our limits.

It was a really good run! It felt great to push after the days of trying to slow down. It was a 5.13 mile run and my average heart rate was at the low end of the range I should have been in - hooray!!

I had a full day after we were done though and by 4pm I was done. As I sit here now, at 9:05pm, I am very ready to head to bed, but there's laundry to be done and a shower to be had. I will be in bed by 10:00 pm though. One of the most important things in any training is rest and recovery. Our body's heal and repair while we sleep so I am making it a point to be in bed by 10:00 pm because most mornings I need to be up at 6:00 am thus giving me a good eight hours of sleep.

On a fun note, one of the things I did today was make some adjustments to a recipe that I love and so do all my running pals - Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. The regular recipe calls for all-purpose flour, sugar and butter. Today I substituted those for organic whole wheat flour, agave and grated zucchini. They came out great!!!

Friday 9/16/11
Today was suppose to be a cross training / strength training day. So I did some strength training - all core work - which felt really good. A low-key day overall which was nice after the busy week I've had.

Saturday 9/17/11

Today was a long, crappy day! It's an "OFF" day in my schedule so I'm suppose to rest. I taught my class which requires some demonstration of the exercises. It was a really good class! After that the day just went downhill. I was tired, the kids were not listening that well, they needed new shoes, I had to get to the grocery store.... I felt like the day was never going to end. Just as the end was in sight (kids were tucked into bed) I cut my leg open on a piece of non-rusted, new metal. One spot along the "slice" was kind of deep and wide so I had to quickly clean it up, get to Rite Aid so I could get the supplies I needed to bandage it up in hopes of not needing to go in the Emergency Room for stitches because it's 8:00 pm! I also can't remember the last time I had a tetanus shot so I started to think about needed to take care of that as well. I decided since it was new, non-rusted metal, that it could wait until Monday morning. When U got home from Rite Aid I was able to get the butterfly bandages to close the gap - thank goodness! The bleeding wasn't bad and stopped pretty quickly, so I hope it'll hold up for tomorrow morning's long wrong. Oh what a great way to end Week 1 of Marathon Training!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Marathon Training: And so it begins....

Some of you may remember that back in April, I announced that I registered to run my first FULL Marathon. I will be running CIM in Sacramento on Sunday December 4, 2011. That date has been lingering in the back of my mind since I registered. All summer long, I've kept my weekly running mileage up so that when my running pals and I started officially training for our marathon I would already have a strong base.

Now that that kids are back in school, and we're about 12 weeks until the race, it's time to get serious about my training. Being that this is my first full marathon, it's a little intimidating thinking about a training program and what I should or shouldn't include. So, I have spent a few hours over the last couple days arming myself with my basic knowledge of what to include, suggested training plans and recommendations so that I can sit and build a training program that is specific to my personal needs.

So, this afternoon after I go run a few errands, I will spread out all my papers, my work schedule, my kids' school schedule, my obligations for the kids both in school and out, and I will sit down and create my training schedule.

I have also decided that as I take this journey of running my first full marathon, that I will catalog my experiences here on the blog. I hope that by sharing this journey with you I will be able to inspire you to tackle a new obstacle for yourself and your own fitness/health goals.