26 March 2012

Week 12: 32 miles

Four runs a week is starting to agree with me. I used to prefer five or six, but with the long runs creeping up in mileage and my ankle tendons a semi-consistent source of semi-pain, it's making more sense for me to stick to four. I'm supposed to cross train on one of my three days off, but I prefer to watch The Biggest Loser and lay in bed. Can I consider it cross-training when I get up to refill the ice bag? The only awkward thing about taking Sundays and Mondays off is that my mood take a dive on Mondays and I forget to breathe sometimes. But I'm learning to remember that it's second-day-off syndrome, so I shouldn't beat myself up over eating four candy bars in an hour. Right?

Speaking of candy bars, I think I forgot to mention that in Week 11 I experimented with a wheat-free sugar-free diet. Sometimes when I have MS symptoms (like the random tingly foot I had a couple of weeks ago) I convince myself that some extreme dietary measure will save me. This usually takes the form of eschewing dairy, wheat, and/or sugar consumption. In Week 11 I avoided all those things and, aside from achieving freakish bowel regularity, I didn't feel any different. As a result, I ate everything in sight during Week 12. It was crazy and a little grotesque. I should be less extreme and more consistent. After the marathon I might blow up like a balloon, which is what happened when I stopped hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2001. I might be the first marathoner to be on The Biggest Loser. We should all have a dream.

In Week 12, I did all my runs as prescribed by Dr. Hal. I did my final "longish" pace run (8 miles) at my target 9:00 pace, which as I've said a few times is really more like a tempo pace for me. I felt pretty proud after that one. I don't kid myself that I'll run the entire marathon at 9:00, but it's good to have a challenge. From now on my pace runs are five miles or less, while my long runs stretch to 20 miles.

For my long run this week ("only" 13 miles), I met up with Kat from Eating the Week. We ran the Boston course, although we were too early for the crowds, water stops, and general fanfare that accompanies the last long run for Boston hopefuls. I ran five before meeting her, and we ran eight together. I have never experienced eight faster miles. Not pace fast (duh), but blink-and-they're-done fast. It was great, especially since my stupid ankle tendon was sore the whole time. Maybe those shoe experiments from last week weren't such a good idea. Or maybe I'm going to have ankle issues no matter what shoes I wear. Anyway, running alongside Kat was like running with an old friend. We chatted about all sorts of fun stuff like Viagra! And vomit! Afterwards, we had donuts at my dining room table with her family and Maple. I really hope to run with her again soon because it'd be nice if 20 miles felt like four.

On Sunday, Maple and I ran a mile together in the rain. That was the farthest she's ever run. I'm so proud. I now know what it's like to really really wish your kid takes after you. Well sort of. I hope she's faster than me.

Pace range for this week: 9:00 to 10:09
Temperature range: 41 - 60 degrees

Details for Week 12 (Mar 19 - Mar 25):
Monday: off
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles (pace)
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 13 miles
Sunday: 1 mile with Maple


  1. Maybe we can collaborate and sell a podcast series for marathoners, given that our vomit/Viagra/colon conversations are such an antidote to long-run boredom! I'm sure they'll be a huge success ;)

  2. LOL @Kat! I think my running partner and I could join that conversation - our long run conversations start with poop and digestional issues about 75% of the time :) Running with a partner is the bomb.

    You're almost there!!

  3. I love this idea. Although I wonder if hearing about other people's bowels will be less exciting than talking about your own...