25 November 2012

Weeks 10 and 11

In Week 10, I officially ran over 40 miles. In Week 11, I ran over 50 miles! The Hanson’s Plan is very strict about long runs being less than 30% of weekly mileage, but they seem less concerned about the 10% rule (don't increase mileage more than 10% per week). My legs feels trashed, but I don't think I'm injured. Sometimes it's hard to tell because my ankle tendons hurt on more and more of my runs, but after a good night’s sleep, they are more or less okay. My IT band is also pretty tight, but it doesn't actually hurt.

My half marathon (two weeks ago) helped me realize I have to downsize my A-goal for Disney. I no longer think a sub-4 marathon is possible, even on a flat course, so I'm currently aiming for 4:10 or 4:15, which is what the MacMillan Calculator says I can do. This means my training paces are a little slower now, which is good because an 8-miler at 9:09 pace (my tempo run) wasn't working out too well for me, and it goes up to 9 miles this week. In Weeks 10 and 11, I averaged 9:22 for the tempo run. More realistic.

On Thanksgiving, Sean, Maple and I ran a turkey trot. Maple wasn't thrilled after the first mile, but she ran about 3 minutes faster than her last 5k, finishing in under 37 minutes. She is running the Mickey Mile in January when we go to Disney, and she says she's more excited for shorter races.

Today was my first 16-miler, and it worked me. I didn't expect to feel so crappy afterward because I did longer runs last time I trained for a marathon, but the Hansons plan aims to tire you out during the week so that the long runs simulate the last 16 miles of the marathon rather than the first. You don't get a day off before a long run, nor after. I’m running a 5-miler tomorrow.

Next week my long run is just 10 miles, and then it goes back up to 16. There are a total of three 16-milers in the plan. Hopefully the next one will be easier than today's!

In general, marathon training is going better this time around. My legs are holding up, and I feel less worried about the impacts of MS. I haven't been dizzy or disoriented since Week 1. Sometimes I still freak out though. I was really nervous this morning about my long run (even though it wasn’t that long), and when I was done, I felt so out of sorts that I got a little panicky. Ever since my last big MS relapse in 2006, I get scared when I feel “weird”. That “weird” feeling landed me in the hospital, where I watched the room spin for a week and never stopped throwing up. But it's been over 6 years, I should get over it already! Some people have real problems! I keep reminding myself that my neurologists say exercise doesn't bring on relapses and I can do whatever I want, including run marathons.

Here are the details for Weeks 10 and 11:

103 easyoff7 easy 10 (8@9:22)5 easy8 easy10 long43
115 easy9 (6x1mi@9:00)off5k + 2.5 easy9.7 (8@9:22)8 easy16 long52

Time to get some rest before the alarm goes off at 5:30 for my next run.

13 November 2012

Week 9: Halfway There

First of all, big congrats to Andi, who ran her first marathon last (last) weekend! It is so satisfying to follow along with a friend's training from start to finish, and to watch her achieve her goal. I'm excited to see what she does next!

So what's up with my training? Since I had a half marathon on Sunday of Week 9, I decided to sorta kinda taper this week. My training plan didn't incorporate a half marathon, so I had to wing it. Tapering is a complete mystery. I did my speedwork as usual, but skipped my tempo run, then took an extra day off and reduced my mileage in the days before the race.

95 easy6 (speed - 5x1000)off4 easyoff3 easy13.1 (race)31

My goal for the race was to run under 2:00, and I think I might have done that on a flatter course. The Chilly Half Marathon had almost 800' of elevation gain, and I missed my goal by 1:15. My time was still a PR (by over 5 minutes!) so I'm happy. The hills were mainly in the second half of the race, and I ran about a two minute positive split. Had I run even splits, I would have cracked 2:00. I can't wait for next time!

This week, I'm trying to get back on schedule as soon as possible. I ran yesterday (the day after the half), but my ankle tendons were cranky, so I took today off. I'm planning to run 7 tomorrow, and then resume with my tempo run on Thursday. My long run this weekend is only 10 miles! This low mileage plan is starting to sound really nutty to me, but I like the fact that I'm not injured, so I'm going to stick with it.

05 November 2012

Disney Training: Week 8

Week 8 of training went very well, just like Week 7:

86 easy5.8 (speed - 6x800)off7 (5@MP)5 easy5.7 easy10 long39.5

On Saturday, Maple wanted to come on my run with me. I told her I had to do 6 miles, so she could run the first half with me and I'd run the second half by myself. But she insisted she wanted to do the whole run, and Sean reminded me that I hadn't thought she could do our 4-miler a few weekends ago (which was no problem for her). So I took her with me and she did great! Afterwards she said she never wanted to run again, but she changed her mind the next day.

Today I'm going to ramble on about some things I'm doing differently in this, my second marathon training cycle.

I hurt my IT band before my first marathon, and I started going to PT right afterward. I learned a number of hip strengthening exercises which have helped me immeasurably. Even after my IT band calmed down, I kept up with the exercises (or at least most of them). A couple of months ago, I tried cutting back because all those exercises were making me crazy, but I started to get aches and pains again. I pared it down to just five leg exercises and went back to doing them more often. I'm also doing some core and arm strength exercises which were recommended in Advanced Marathoning.

At the same time I started PT, I also started seeing a chiropractor for ART. ART is awesome and has helped me so much with my IT band, as well as some little niggles I've had in the past few months. Even though I'm not dealing with an injury right now, I still see Dr. V once a month to get ART on anything that's bothering me.

My shoe troubles have been an ongoing source of annoyance, pain, and boring blog posts. I've finally found the right shoe/insole combination (Asics GT-2170 and Sole DK insoles) and my feet/legs aren't bothering me at all. I have two pairs of the shoes that I switch between on alternate days. Sometimes I'm tempted to try new shoes but then I hear a loud buzz and I drop my coffee and forget what I was thinking about.

I'm also using a different training plan this time, and I'm running SIX TIMES A WEEK. And nothing hurts. Isn't that weird? It's fucking amazing actually. Three of my weekly runs are super easy, like 11:00 pace easy, and I think it's really good for all my tendons and ligaments to do lots of slow and steady miles. That's what the Hansons say anyway. And have you heard the rule that your long run shouldn't be more than 25% of your weekly mileage? Last time I trained for a marathon, my long runs were typically 45-70% of my weekly mileage! That's crazy, and it's not a shock that I got injured. This time around, I'm doing shorter long runs, which are in line with the 25% thing. This week I ran about 40 miles and my long run was 10. I'll run up to 16 miles for my longest runs, but at that point I'll be running 55-60 miles a week.

Almost done.

I'm also eating more and thinking about my diet less. I gained five pounds and I feel better. I'm still vegetarian, but I'm not avoiding anything except meat, which I don't like anyway.

Finally, I'm religious about stretching and rolling. I hardly ever stretched last time, and I didn't know how to foam roll. I spent way too many nights lying in bed with aching muscles. That was dumb. Life is better now. I stretch after every run, and Sean and I roll every day. There's lots of moaning and grunting. It's hot.

I'm almost halfway done with this training cycle and I feel great. Let's hope it stays that way!

In Week 9, I'll be doing basically the same runs, except I'll swap my Thursday tempo run for some easy miles; a kind of pseudo taper for my (very hilly) half marathon on Sunday. I'm hoping for a PR, but I might be coming down with a cold, so we'll see what happens. My "A" goal is to run under 2 hours, which means running at my marathon goal pace of 9:09. If I hope to run 26.2 at that pace, I have to be able to run 13.1 at that pace as well, so this will be a test to see how realistic my goal is.