Friday, November 4, 2011

Uncharted Territory - Week 7 of Marathon Training

Oh boy, here goes nothing! With Week 7, I'm moving into distances on our long, slow days that I have never ran before. It's a scary and intimidating thought; trying to wrap my brain around the idea of 16 or more miles all at the same time!

Sunday 10/23/11

16 miles - our task for the day. We had a big group of people wanting to run today, all different distances, so we figured out a loop that we could do that would work for everyone. It was a 7 mile loop, which was perfect because it gave everyone the distance they needed. Some people ran it once, others ran it twice, and a few ran it twice and added on. Cathy B and I ran it twice and added on to get our full 16 miles. This was also the first long run in my new shoes, so I was hopeful that the balls of my feet wouldn't hurt as much or cramp as much by the end of the run.

Having a loop was great because it allowed for us to fill up our waters, restock on gels/blocks/etc... and lose layers. The weather was perfect! It was a little chilly when we started but 7 miles later as we started the 2nd loop we were all plenty warm. Being able to loop around also made it convenient for people to join us or take off when they were done with their mileage.

The whole run was good. The last two miles were a little hard and I could feel the miles; ready to be done. My right foot cramped a little bit but no where near as bad as on the 14 mile run and it was more localized. I could feel that it was my sciatic nerve (I have sciatica that bothers me from time to time). My left foot was a lot less sore, so the cushioning in my new shoes is working!!!

When we were done, we stretched and then grabbed coffee and ate the yummy muffins I had made. We chatted and laughed, as we always do, when we hang out and enjoy the company of friends at the end of our runs.

Stats for the run: 16.0 miles in 2:55:13; average moving pace 10:57. My heart rate was right in the middle of the range. This all made me beyond excited because our pace was faster than what the training schedule had me doing for the day (11:18 minute/mile).

After the run, I went home, talked to James, then took an ice bath. Jazper, this time really wanted to get in with me so I let him put his feet in. He thought it was great! He looked at me and said, "This is easy momma!" I had to laugh. He had no idea how cold it would be to be sitting in it form the waist down.

A nice hot shower after the ice bath and plenty of resting time during the remainder of the afternoon had me feeling tired but good. 16 miles wasn't so bad - it was actually okay.

Monday 10/24/11

Morning after 16 miles - I was worried about how I would feel. On that first step out of bed in the morning, I felt my calves. They were a little tight. But a walk to the kitchen to get breakfast started and lunches made loosened them up. Other than the calves, nothing was sore, I was just tired. Not bone-dead tired; just tired like I wanted to curl up on the couch and read a book. But alas, I had things to do and get done before I went to work.

After driving carpool, I went home and caught up on some emails and paperwork, and had a session with a client. After my client left it was time to make lunch and get ready to go to work. With Mondays being a "rest day" I normally do not run, but will still do some light strength training on occasion. Since I was still feeling tired from Sunday's 16 miles, I did not do any strength training with my groups at work today. I truly took a rest day.

Tuesday 10/25/11

Recovery run day - though Cathy B and I always have a hard time running slow. My schedule said 5 miles, and Cathy's said 2 - 5 miles. We both were feeling good so we decided to go for 5 miles. We did a loop from my house that ended up being just over 5 miles. It was a good run, but we both felt it by the end; not in a bad way, just that we were ready to be done because we were tired. Our total was 5.15 miles at an average pace of 10:09 (about a minute per mile faster than we should have been.... oops!) My heart rate showed it too. It was a little over the limit for the day.

After changing clothes I headed off for the rest of my morning/day: acupuncture, handwork helper in Sevannah's class; drive the Kindergarten carpool; lunch with Jazper; piano lesson with Jazper; pick up the 2nd graders and drive them home. It was my normal "busy Tuesday".

Wednesday 10/26/11

My morning to drive carpool so I ran by myself after drop off. It was a really nice run today. I hadn't had a chance to find a spare set of ear buds yet so I did something I never do,play music from my phone. I don't like doing this because then anyone around me would be subjected to listen to whatever I had playing, but I really wanted to listen to my music this morning since I was on my own. Overall, the run was a little fast according to what the training schedule said I should have been at for pace, but my heart rate was within the range I should be on for my slower runs. I did 5.25 miles at an average pace of 10:33 (should have ran at a pace of 11:16).

After my run I headed home and did some chores and paperwork until it was time to go get a manicure and spa pedicure. It felt so good to have my feet pampered! Plus, I had Toni give me hot pink toes with white polka dots which made me smile! Once my polish was dry I headed home and prepped lunch while I waited for Jazper to get dropped off by carpool. He and I sat down and enjoyed lunch together before I had to leave for work. Work consisted of teaching two stretching classes today. It felt really good to lead them through the stretches, working out some residual kinks left my the longer run on Sunday.

Thursday 10/27/11

Last week, Cathy, Teja and I made plans for Cathy & I to head down to the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma to run together. Teja's husband is in the Coast Guard and she invited us down to run with her since she is there every morning dropping her kids off at school. Once we parked, we went into the gym and looked at the various running routes. Both Cathy and I had about 6 miles to do so we picked the longest route they had 6.2 miles. The two guys behind the counter that morning in the gym told us there was a hill - we didn't think anything of it.

We headed out and it was a gorgeous morning. A little chilly, but clear. Cathy and I marveled at how beautiful the base was as we ran on the path at the outer perimeter. We stopped and checked the map a few times to make sure we were headed in the right direction. At one of these stops we were approaching a very, very steep hill. Sure enough, according to the map, we had to run up that hill! And man, oh man, was it steep! But the view from the top was breath taking. We all wished that one of us had packed our cell phone so we could take a picture, so we decided we would have to do this run again.

Once we were done with the run, we sat in the Two Rock Coffee Shop on the base and enjoyed the best coffee! We chatted until we had to get going with the rest of our days. It was such an amazing morning! It was also the first time Teja had ran that far. Cathy and I were both so excited for her. It's great to be able to help others learn that they are capable of more than what they think.

Once back in town I had only enough time to regroup and prep for a busy afternoon before it was time to pick the kids up from school. Once I had the kids, we headed down to Santa Rosa Ave to have a quick lunch/snack and go to Costco. We breezed through Costco as quickly as we could because I had to pick up a friend's daughter from school. My friend had to work that afternoon and needed childcare. So with the car loaded down with Costco, we went and picked up Adie, and then went home. The kids played while I unpacked from Costco and cleaned the kitchen. Adie really wanted to stay for dinner, so after okaying it with her mom (we both agreed she could only stay if she got her homework done!) I settled into making dinner and helping her with her homework. As the three kids ate dinner, I searched online for a new muffin recipe. I found one that sounded good, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.

After Adie headed home with her mom, I made dinner for James & I and made the muffins. The muffins came out okay. I'll have to tweak the recipe some more the next time I make it. I made it "healthy" style like my Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee muffins - using agave in place of sugar, grated zucchini in place of oil/butter and whole wheat pastry flour in place of white flour.

After the kids were in bed, I took a quick shower and went to bed. It had been a long, busy day.

Friday 10/28/11

I dropped the kids off to carpool this morning and then headed to a local Starbucks to work done on this blog. I worked until I had to see a client. After my client, I had to quickly get home to prepare for the afternoon. I had the kids' bikes to load into the car for their afternoon at Grandma Peggy's and lunches to make.

At work that afternoon, I had a request to do Upper Body Work, partner style, and there was an odd number of participants, so I had to partner up with someone. It felt good to get some great strength training done.

Saturday 10/29/11

Being that it's Halloween weekend, today was our Halloween Class for Outdoor Family Fitness. Every strength training station is Halloween "themed". It's always a super fun class. Here are some pictures:

That afternoon, the kids and I carved their pumpkins. I got to do all the hard work - scraping out the insides - and the kids carved their pumpkins. I had to help Jazper a little with his, but Sevannah did all her own work. I carved a few too.

We cleaned up from the pumpkin carving, had dinner and put on our Halloween costumes. We had tickets to Sprites Night at Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm (where the kids use to go to school). The kids had a blast seeing the different skits and people who they miss. It was a long evening, and all three of us were super tired, but it was a lot of fun.

So there you have it - Week 7 of my training. It was a long hard week, but encouraging, making it for the whole 16 miles, which is something I have never done before. And it's scary at the same time knowing that higher mileage weeks are coming.

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