Mentally marathon-ready

Good tips for marathon preparation.

Run and Jump

Never mind your legs; how’s your head? Sometimes it seems that the marathon is just as hard on the mind as on the body.

Training is fine because you can focus on the job in hand. But then the taper comes – and suddenly your mind is struck by weapons-grade maranoia, full of doubts, worries and the irrational urge to throw in one extra 20-mile long run ‘just to be sure’.

That’s even before the race itself, when your grey matter has to stop your body from charging off in mile one, and then has to kick-start your body when it falters at mile 20, the dreaded Wall.

Mental preparation is just as important as physical fitness on marathon day. There’ll be super-fit, well-trained athletes who go mad at the start or crack at mile 20, just as competitors of more modest ambitions will overcome the psychological challenge and…

View original post 1,079 more words

Mileage Recap 13 – 19 Oct/Marathon training

Last weeks run began the slow decline leading up to the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon this Sunday.  I wouldn’t say I’m nervous yet, maybe more agitated.  I’m trying to focus on nutrition, sleep and those little pains that crop up.  My right hamstring is hurting, I think I’m getting shin splints in the left leg and the left knee hurts a little.  Can you say ~ overuse.  Not bad, but none-the-less they have caused me some issues on my long runs.  I am using the foam roller, stretching, icing and trying to keep all things in check.  So nervous no, but agitated yes.

My short runs during the week were fairly uneventful.  My long run on Saturday was eight miles.  I started out sure-footed and into a mile of it my right hamstring started acting up.  Not bad, but the pain makes my right leg feel heavy.  I found myself having to concentrate more on my form.  It was a little easier because I had just taken my first Gu Energy Gel.  I was trying to gauge if I really felt that kick of energy.  I think I did!

MarathonI don’t care what flavor you want to call it.  You can call it “Best thing since slice bread”.  It’s still an energy gel.  It tastes like an energy gel.  Ice cream…it ain’t!

I also ran with compression socks for the first time.  Pink compression socks!  Every so often I would look down at my calves and sigh.  I love you pink socks…eh hem sorry, but it did take my mind of the pain a bit.

compression socksI LOVE THESE ~ they really helped and felt great.  LOVE THEM.

Around mile four I actually caught myself yawning.  Thank goodness for the skunk on the side of the road.  It was a close call.  If the stink hadn’t been so bad I might have stopped for a nap and thank goodness it still stunk on the way back too.  Really.  I’m really glad.

skunk

The week unfolded as follows:

Sun ~ rest

Mon ~ 3.33 miles

Tues ~ 1:15 yoga and 3 miles on the elliptical

Wed ~ 1.83 miles (walked)

Thurs ~ Rest

Fri ~ Rest

Sat ~ 8 miles

Total for the week = 16.16.  Pain and all…grateful that 10,442.42 remains.

Final week marathon tips

Good advice before the marathon.

Run and Jump

There’s only a week to go to the 2013 Dublin Marathon. Those of us who have run marathons before will already know how we’ll manage the next seven days – while still feeling excited and slightly apprehensive, of course. (You never take a marathon for granted, no matter how experienced you are.)

If next Monday’s race is your first marathon then you’re in uncharted waters. How should you prepare? How much should you run this week? Do you really need to eat your body weight in pasta the night before the marathon?

Different runners have different rituals and techniques for the pre-race week, all developed through experience and advice.

So, with that derrière-covering caveat made clear, here’s what I’ll be doing this week.

Sleep: Getting plenty of sleep should be your top priority this week, so that you recharge your batteries after months of training. Your goal is to…

View original post 583 more words

Mileage Recap 7 – 12 Oct

Another week of training down!  I’m beginning to taper for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon on 27 Oct.  I’ve read a lot about different people’s experience on tapering.  The common denominator seems to be the restlessness and anticipation before the race, i.e. sitting still and going on shorter runs to give your body a break.  I’m going to go out on a limb here….I LOVE TAPER TIME!

Taper Week

Courtesy of tubefilter.com

                

Yeah, that’s right ~ I love me some taper….

I’ve been working hard and have a lot of mileage under my belt, so I welcome a little bit of lower intensity to focus on my body, eating properly and easing my mind about the race.  The runs this week were normal and fairly uneventful.  Had the pleasure of running with my friend Kathi this Saturday for the long run.  Kathi is fast, but I enjoy the push.

The weather here in the Midwest is very unpredictable.  Wanted to get out of the house at 7 am and received an update on my phone that lightning was within 5 nautical miles of the base.  I look out the window and everything looks great.  Eh, I’m going.

It’s a cool morning, slightly overcast and an easy run of 9 miles ahead of us.  Kathi is so polite; she can tell when I need to slow down.  She just finished a marathon the week before (her fourth) and was giving me some good advice.  If you are running your first race, doesn’t matter the length, it’s always good to get advice from someone who has completed that length of a race.  They will give you the true ups and downs of what’s going on and how they felt during the run and what to expect.  Granted each race is a little different, but you get the picture.  Nothing beats experience.

Out running on our main road the road kill is in full force.  Sigh….running side-by-side I find myself dodging this and that.  I’m beginning to think I’m running an obstacle race this morning.  What is that?  Kathi, “It’s weird how it gets so flat“.  I’m just bracing for the stink!  Me, “Is that seven or eight now?”  We get to our turn around point and we see the weather off in the distance.  Around mile 5.5 it starts pouring.  You know when you’re with a good running buddy when you both start laughing.  I love running in the rain.  There’s something so freeing.  It’s beyond the fact that you are getting soaked.  You remember when you were young and it was raining outside?  Your parents would yell at you to get into the house.  You’re going to catch a cold!  And you would run around in defiance!  Hey, at least I did.  Well, let me tell you, that feeling you had at five feels the same at forty-five.  The way the drops hit your face.  It was cool and warm at the same time.  Lean your head back and watch those big drops fall down.  We laughed all the way home.  Being rained on…look at it as a blessing and character building and we Army folk like to say ~ good training!

Last week’s workout:

Mon ~ 4.7 miles

Tues ~ 1:15 yoga

Wed ~ 8 miles

Thurs ~ 5 miles

Fri ~ rest

Sat ~ 9.01

Sun ~ rest

Total miles for the week = 26.71 with 10,458.58 (rainy possibly) miles remaining.  Happy miles to you!

Mileage Recap 1 ~ 6 Oct

It’s true…

Michael Jordan QuoteI won’t lie, marathon training is getting ha**…challenging:)

I’m tired this week.  Not super tired, but I can feel this marathon training starting to take a bit of a toll.  It’s challenging.  I woke up with every intention of running the long run on Saturday like I always do, but I was just too tired and sore from cross training on Thursday.  I was up all night Friday.  I just couldn’t seem to get to sleep.  I will admit, I was worried about the long run.  How will my body react?  Am I eating the best I can (uh, no)?  What if I pass out on the side of the road?  Hey, some other runner can write about stuff they see on the side of the road and include me~ lol.  By the way I did see Marlboro Silver Pack, nail clippers and road kill.

Marlboro Silver

When you need Ultra Light – yeah!

It’s challenging and I’m scared.  Admitting you’re scared to do something you’ve never done isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s an affirmation of treading into the unknown, trying something new, or stepping outside your comfort zone.  The results will be good or bad.  So, I got myself together and moved my long run to Sunday.  I was supposed to run the 5K Graffiti Run today, but I sacrificed that for marathon training.  Yes I know, why did I sign up for that race ~ eh, don’t ask that question, poor planning.

I started out around 7:30 a.m. this morning.  The funny thing about the long runs is you want to get started early as possible, because you don’t want to waste the whole day!  I felt really good until I got about 7 miles down the road and I had to…go to the bathroom.  Sigh.  When I run to Mascoutah there is a little man-made lake to the right. People go there and fish or feed the ducks.  There is also a Porta-Potty in the parking lot.  It’s been there for ever ~ not the same one mind you.

Porta Potty

It looks just like this one!

It is also very clean.  Ok, as clean as a porta can be.  I shuffled right on over and took care of business ~ then back on the road.

It was a beautiful morning to run.  Clear, about 55 degrees and only a little windy, perfect running weather. Pace was respectable and breathing wasn’t a problem.  Plenty of water, had a pit stop for a banana, some gels, and part of a Cliff Bar along the way.  I’ve noticed on these longer runs I need a little something extra besides water.  I get hungry.  So, a little bit of energy is good for me.

My feet started hurting around mile 10.  I made a concerted effort to mentally move that pain.  Focused on my hips a bit more and was able to get past the discomfort.  Around mile 15 the foot pain was back and I really felt I was shuffling.  The rest of the body felt great but the legs were heavy.

The will to train must be greater than the will to win.  It was a challenge.  Instead of focusing on the pain I took in the scene around me.  The wind is rustling through the trees and golden leaves are slowly floating down in front of me.  There are bursts of cool air mixed with warm letting me know Fall is here.  The soy beans in the field to the left are slowly transitioning from green to dried brown and soon will be harvested.  Then I start to think about my Aunt who passed away last Saturday.  She was in pain but the drugs made her “comfortable”.  I felt a little guilty about my foot pain.

Challenge accepted ~ 16 miles completed for the long run and 10,485.29 remaining.  Happy miles to you.

Workout recap starting Oct 1

Tues ~ rest

Wed ~ 8 miles

Thur ~ 4.67 miles and cross training (kettle bells, pull-ups, weighted wall ball, and burpees

Fri and Sat ~ rest

Sun ~ 16 mile long run

Mileage Recap 22 – 30 September

Last week was fun.  It took me off my regular training for the marathon but that’s alright.   A few niggles here and there, but feeling pretty good.  I have ended the month  of September completing 95.41 miles.  Happily have 10,513.96 miles remaining.  Hope you are reaching all of your goals, running and otherwise.  A very happy day to you.

Schedule is as follows:

Sunday – 22 Sept – Rest

Monday – Too much motorcycle riding on Sunday 🙂

Tuesday – Yoga 1:15 hrs

Wednesday – 8 miles

Thursday – 5

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 3.1  Warrior Dash!

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5.02

Digging Deep

This is a hard week.  I’m tired and need a little bit of motivation.  I missed Monday’s run because I rode my motorcycle for four hours on Sunday.  My body was physically whipped.  So, I listened and took a break.  I want to stay focused, but I also know when to say, okay I need a break and not to take myself too seriously.

This brings me to Tuesday.  Went to yoga class.  Drive up to the studio and notice there aren’t any cars in the lot.  Not a good sign.  Hmmm, maybe class was cancelled.  Then a car rolls up and the other yoga teacher gets out.  I feel bad because I don’t remember her name, but I will remember her…no doubt.  This was the first time I’ve ever really interacted with this new teacher.  I’m excited because – hey I’ll learn some new things.  I go to “my” place and wait.  About 10 minutes pass and I realize I’m the only student.  Here is an equation for you..

Only student does not equal easy class

Guess what…she’s a runner too – that equals hip opening exercises – one on one style!

I have earned the honor of the tightest hips – meaning I do not like to bend certain ways.  Fast forward to Wednesday.  Apparently my hips were very, very angry.  Very angry.  This eight mile run will go down as the worst run ever!  I think someone strapped two concrete blocks to my feet when I wasn’t looking.  I couldn’t believe how heavy my legs felt.  Then the right hip and hamstring were howling.  The whole run was a conversation with my inner running self “Awww come on you can do it…just put your mind to it” ~ eh, be quiet.

Digging way down deep…completed but very hard.

Happy miles to you.

 

Mileage Recap 15 – 21 Sept

Moving right along with marathon training.  I did it!  This weeks long run was 14 miles.  I’ll be brutally honest – I didn’t want to run Saturday.  The body felt fine, but I just wasn’t into it.  I laid in bed until about 6:00 am and finally trudged out of the house around 7:30 am.  It was a nice cool morning.  I love when the weather isn’t too hot or cold.  Fall is the best time to run.  There is a crispness to the air, leaves are beginning to litter the ground and excitement that the holidays are right around the corner is building.  This is my favorite time of the year.

I started my run out with my Aunt Patty heavy on my mind.  This is probably why I was dreading this run.  I feared the mental chatter would be at its peak and that this run would be brutal and undisciplined.  I let the tightness in my shoulders sink down and proceeded to glide along.  Mind over matter.  What’s done is done, there is no changing the past and I know in my heart that she wouldn’t want me to dwell.  So I won’t.

As I made my way down this familiar path I found my footing with little complaints.  The only pain was in my feet.  Funny how running pain seems to migrate from one part of the body to the next.  Just strange.  I’m happy to say the first 4 miles I kept the pace in the 9 minute range and the remainder in the 10 minute range – not bad I think?  Seemed consistent and that’s good.

I could have done without the bloated possum road kill that stunk to high heaven, but what can you do?  Hold your breath and move on…yes it stunk that bad:)

I did see a pack of Kool cigarettes.  Yeah that’s cool with a “K” baby not “C”…woot woot!

Around mile 13.55 a song by Fleetwood Mac streamed across my iPod, Storm sung by Stevie Nicks.  It’s one of my favorite songs.  It’s a passionate song and it drug me back to thinking about my Aunt. All of-a-sudden it was hard to breathe.  Thank goodness the run was almost over.  Running is mental, no doubt about it.

Call someone special today – don’t miss out on the chance to tell them you care.  Life is short.

I have thankfully completed 28.03 miles for the week ~ 10,535.08 remaining.

Sunday = Rest

Monday = 4.01 miles

Tuesday = kettle bell work out and 1:15 hrs of yoga

Wednesday = 6.02 miles

Thursday = 4 miles

Friday = Rest

Saturday = 14 miles!

Mileage Recap 8 – 14 Sept

Week three of marathon training down!  The beginning of the week started off hot but now we are really feeling some cool weather here in the Midwest.  Perfect for running.  My training week consisted of:

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 4 miles

Tuesday – 30 minutes Kettle bell workout 1:15 yoga

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 4.01 miles

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 11 miles and 2:00 yoga/meditation.  Total for the week 24.01 miles

Felt good on all the weekly runs.  Saturday’s long run was okay.  Started around 6:30 am with a temperature in the 40’s.  It’s great running weather but now comes the conundrum of layers of clothes.  Start off cold end up hot.  I hate being cold and I hate being hot!  I wasn’t tired on this run at all.  Felt like my breathing was even and consistent.  About 3 miles into the run I felt like I had to….can you guess?  Sigh, go to the bathroom.  Good heavens!  Really?  I try to plan, ah hem, accordingly but this was just one of those days.  I know when I’m eyeing the cornfields, thinking, “ok will that one be safe” I’m in trouble.  But I managed to survive.  The arches of my feet were hurting a bit, but I battled through that too.  Noteworthy items on the side of the road this run you got it – light beer, an inhaler and….drum roll please – a pillow!  Let’s analyze and make this interesting shall we?  Hmmm – a pillow, with pillow case mind you, on the side of the road.  Fell out of the back of a truck?  Sleep-over gone bad?  Angst on the family road trip?  Do tell.

Well my friends, I hope your weekend was pleasant.  Gratefully, 10,563.11 miles remaining for  this gal.  Happy miles to you.

Mileage Recap 1 – 7 Sept

First week of September and it doesn’t quite feel like Fall.  We had some lovely weather a few weeks ago then it reverted back to hot and sticky.  I’m knocking on wood – the cold damp weather will be here soon enough.

Week two of my marathon training was smooth.  So far feeling good and no injuries.  Some tightness in the back right hamstring, but everything else is functioning as it should:)

I got in some extra mileage on Sunday walking with friends in the morning and the rest of the week was planned running.

My long run consisted of 8 miles this Saturday.  It was a nice steady run.  Elevation was fairly flat with a high amount of road kill.  I did notice a sock on the side of the road.  Have you ever noticed a sock or shoe in the street while running?  That single sock got me thinking.  You can’t help but wonder about it.  How did it get here?  Did it fall out of someone’s car?  Did they just decide “hey, I don’t want this sock” and out it goes?  Was there an accident?  So many things to ponder.

The mileage break-down looked like this:

Sunday 3.02 Walk
Monday 3.05 Run
Tuesday Kettle Bells and 1:15 Yoga
Wednesday 5.00 Run
Thursday 3.16 Run
Friday Rest
Saturday 8.02 Run
Total 22.25 Miles
Remaining    10,587.12

I hope you reached your goals this week.  Until then…happy miles to you.

: