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Posts Tagged ‘Long run and short run’

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Once I got back from all my traveling (more recaps coming soon) and took a few days to recover, I looked at the calendar to count down the weeks until the Chicago Marathon.  As of July 23, there were 11 weeks until D-Day.  Oh crap! I was so far behind in marathon training, I was practically starting from scratch.

I unfortunately  did not run very much while in Europe.  I naively brought lots of work-out gear, genuinely believing I would manage to run the majority of days but the combination of wine, site-seeing and having too much fun basically killed that plan from the get-go.

According to my original training plan, I should’ve been running around 14 miles for my long run the Saturday after I came back.  Yeah,  ain’t no way, no how that was happening.

So I’ve been a bit frantically training, trying to catch up to where I should be.  After taking a few days of working out on the elliptical for 45-minute stretches to get my general cardiovascular abilities back, I started training for real on Monday, July 25.  Just for fun, here’s what my work-out schedule looked like:

Monday, July 25– 6 Mile Run

Tuesday, July 26- 45:00 Elliptical at medium resistance, 15:00 Strength Training

Wednesday, July 27- 8 Mile Run

Thursday, July 28- 55:00 Elliptical at medium to hard resistance

Friday, July 29- 12 Mile Run (Long Run for the week)

Saturday, July 30- 30:00 Elliptical (Recovery, very low resistance)

Sunday, July 31- 30:00 Elliptical at medium resistance, 15:00 Strength Training

That is an intense week of training, with far more running than I normally do but given my limited time to catch up, there just wasn’t any other option.  Luckily, I’m on summer vacation so I had plenty of time to do all this.  I’m going to shoot for 14 miles this coming Friday (8/5) and 16 miles the following Friday (8/12), which will finally put me back on schedule.

Bumping up my long runs by two miles rather than my usual one mile is a little bit intimidating but honestly, it’s only an extra 8-10 minutes (depending on how spent I am) so it shouldn’t be too terrible (HA. I say that now, we’ll see how I feel after it’s done!)

I’ve also been taking between one and three 1:00-walk breaks during my longer runs at evenly-spaced intervals (approximately every half hour or so.)  No shame, I think they’ve been helping, at least with my mental state.  I’ll probably continue these until I feel like my running stamina has truly returned.

With only 9.5 weeks until the Chicago Marathon, it is seriously go-time.  No more excuses, no more dragging, no more minimal whining, time to git ‘er done!

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The animal below is a tapir…

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But in case you didn’t see through my corny pun, I’m going talk about tapering (but HOW perfect is that photo?!?)

Tapering (in the running world) is when the athlete lessens the distance they run each day as the race approaches.  The idea is to have your muscles be truly rested for the big event, thus maximizing performance.  In other words, we don’t want no “dead legs”!

I’m running a half-marathon on Sunday, so the past ten days or so have been “taper” days.  I ran my longest run (11 miles) about 2.5 weeks ago and since then, I’ve been gradually reducing my mileage, running 6 miles as my last “long run” just over one week beforehand.

Luckily, my spring break vacation (Ahhhh, one of the true joys of being a teacher- spring break!) coincided with my tapering week and we just happened to have a trip to Florida planned. While March in New York City is a cold, blustery wench, it was 85 degrees, sunny and (miraculously) not humid. Perfect running weather!

Here is my pre-race training, starting from 7 days out. Running in Florida was awesome.

Day 7- Run 1:00, Walk 1:00 for 30:00 total

Day 6- 15:00 Water Aerobics (in the pool, yeah!) and 20:00 Walk

Day 5- 4-Mile Run

Day 4- Rest

Day 3- Run 1:00, Walk 1:00 for 30:00 total (same as Day 7)

Day 2- 30:00 easy Elliptical

Day 1- 20:00 easy Jog

RACE DAY!

I’m very much looking forward to this race, probably because I have no goal time and plan on just enjoying myself.  It’s the first race I’ve ever run like that and I think it’s going to be fun.

Have you ever run a half-marathon? Do you taper before a race?

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I haven’t had a bad run in a while but man, yesterday’s kicked my arse! I set out with the intention of running 12 miles (my long run for the week, got two weeks until the More Half Marathon!) but only managed to complete 10.5 before my legs just quit on me completely.

Honestly, the entire thing was a mental battle that, while I did win, was fairly intense.  Usually in a long run, the first couple of miles go by quickly but on this one, I was wiped right from the get-go. My legs felt like they had 20-pound weights strapped on to them and I lacked the usual spring in my step. There were SO many times where I wanted to stop and walk but somehow, I managed to keep trudging along at a pace far below what is typical for me.

It probably didn’t help that it was 74 (!!!!!) degrees and sunny out, quite a departure from the typical 40-degree and raining weather I’ve been running in as of late. Plus, I forgot a hat and/or suntan lotion so I wound up with a wicked lobstah face and a funk leg tan. Oooooops (Don’t tell me mother, she’ll KILL me!)

The only thing that made this run less than a total disaster was that I didn’t poop my pants.  Yes, laugh, laugh all you want but it’s happened an embarrassing number of times.  It’s a runner thing.  Actually, that topic probably deserves it’s own post, stay tuned…

What’s frustrating is that I don’t really know why I felt so poorly during the run.  It would be understandable if I had done an intense work-out or weight lifting session the day or two before but I didn’t.  On Wednesday, I ran 4 miles easy with a co-worker and then on Thursday, I ran about 3 miles.  Neither of these should give me dead legs but I sure as sh*t had them on my run yesterday.

I used to get really upset when I had a bad run, one where I didn’t feel like I went fast enough or far enough but I think I’m finally at a point where it doesn’t bother me as much (OK, being honest, it still bothers me a little because I kept getting passed by other runners and I HATE THAT!) because I know that it’s not necessarily an indicator of how I’ll do come race day.

And even better? I’m not running this race aiming for a certain time (I’m leading a group of co-workers) so there’s zero pressure, which is really nice.  Although, truthfully, the only pressure there ever is is self-imposed but giving myself a break isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

Long story short: Bad runs happen.  It’s how we react to them that matters and in my case, I guess I’ve finally got enough running experience to shake it off.

Whoohoo, another level of maturity gained!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick my nose and laugh at my farting dog because while I may have matured somewhat as a runner, in the rest of my life, I’m still five years old.

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