Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 10

This is starting my tenth week. If I was doing insanity again I’d be done by now. I guess training for a marathon is long and enduring just like the marathon itself.

Today was supposed to be a great run. Only 10 miles, I slept plenty, had the day off before so I was rested and the weather was pleasant. I was even almost looking forward to it. There are some days however, I should just not have to run. I took a couple ibuprofen, waited until I stopped hurting and put my shoes on and went out anyway. I made it a mile before the ibuprofen wore off…or maybe I was hurting so bad the ibuprofen wasn’t going to cut it. Every time I tried to run I realized I liked myself too much to inflict that kind of torture so I let myself walk almost as much as I wanted after that. It would have been a really pleasant walk if I didn’t hurt so much and if I didn’t know I was supposed to be running instead.  At least I got the miles in. Once I was home, put my pajamas back on and sat on the couch with chocolate brownies and a movie. Sometimes it’s hard being a girl.


Monday, January 21, 2013

14 miles

14 miles today. I took about 17 oz of water in my hydration pack and  2 energy gels in my pocket. My feet hurt the worst towards the end (specifically my left foot) and in my last few miles my legs were just so dang tired. I had to walk every time I got to a hill and sometimes even on a flat stretch. About half of my run is ascending. I make loops, so I alternate going up for a while and going down for a while (those are my favorite stretches!) with smaller hills in between.

My last few miles I kept thinking to myself 14 miles is too hard, just too hard. I was happy to finish. It took me 2 hours 53 minutes 45 seconds. It's weird to think I was out moving for nearly the length of time I go to church for. So long! Compared to my 12 and a quarter mile run 2 weeks ago, my average pace was actually a touch better today, which surprised me. On my last “lap” going up my final ginormo hill I changed my goal time in my head to less than 4 hours (my "I'd be happy if" goal was 3 hours or less, but my ultimate goal was 2 hours and 48 minutes), thinking I was walking a whole lot more than I do on my shorter runs at certain parts of my route that would take down my average pace. If my goal time was 4 hours then I could still be happy with my finish time and not feel guilty about not being able to run at that point and for a while I was thinking there was no way I could run any more and it very well may have taken me an hour to finish my last mile. The hills kill me. I guess I could also figure I had 20 seconds pause when a couple of pedestrians stopped me to tell me about a mountain lion sighting in the area and to keep my kids and animals inside...but really I was kind of relieved for the break.

If I could change one thing about today I probably would have brought more water. I ran out in my last 4 miles and I really wanted it. One thing about the hydration pack is you can’t see how much is left to portion it out. The weather was sunny and warm for January. I was afraid I was going to get sunburned, but I’m not too red. My back under my hydration pack felt like I just dumped the water from the pack right on my shirt. I had dried salt all over my face, and I was sad I didn’t have any more water! There was a time when I seriously considered sitting down on the side of the road, the idea was so nice and I longed for my couch! I didn’t. I kept going and tried not to cry. Ha. It sure feels nice to be sitting now though, all clean and in fuzzy socks. I know I’ve mentioned it before but running does increase my gratitude for things like, food, sitting, water, breathing, and cars.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week 8

10 miles in less than 2 hours! I’ll take it. My run today started out fine, and then I had to walk until my insides stopped burning in my 3rd mile (I probably shouldn’t have 3 deep fried scones the night before a run- I’m sure you all love hearing about my sensitive digestive system). I decided if it didn’t get better before a certain point I’d take an early turn and do my long run tomorrow, but it didn’t last and after that everything was great. Surprisingly great. I felt as good as I have, and probably could ever feel in a run. The weather was sunny, I brought about 8 oz of water in my water bottle belt (if I leave it at least half empty it doesn’t fly out of the holster and is a little easier to run with than the back pack) and an energy gel. I made myself eat the energy gel a little over half way done and by the time I finished the run I drank all the water. The gels really help. So does the water! I was able to pick up my speed at the very end and I didn’t ever feel like dying. I really really really wanted to finish in less than 2 hours and was afraid with my forced walk for a while, in addition to the hills I have to walk when I'm more tired in my second half of the run I wouldn’t make it, but my timer showed 01:57:58 when I got to my mailbox, so I just made it! I remember after my first 8 mile run my feet and legs hurt so bad I couldn’t wait to take off my shoes and be done. Nothing to that extent today. Next week is 14 miles and I’m sure I’ll be back to hating the world...but then 12 miles won't seem so bad just like 10 miles wasn't so bad today.

On Saturday I finished my 4 ¼ mile route faster than I’ve ever run it in 47 minutes and 50 seconds.

When it comes the rules I’ve created for myself I’m crushing them. A+ for Katie.   I’m not losing any weight because I eat all the time, and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’ve stopped worrying about food too much and I just go...for the most part it’s healthy food (please forget about the 3 scones last night). If I find that my clothes can’t fit anymore I might start paying more attention to how much I’m eating.

I’ve decided to not think about how many more miles I’d have to do before I hit marathon distance, because it’s daunting and then I feel bad that (for example) 8 miles was so hard and it isn’t even a third of the distance I’ll have to go. So far I’ve been able to hit each new distance week by week (even if it’s super slow), so I’ll just keep my eyes on weekly goals to build to the big day. I’ll celebrate each new furthest distance and better time, reflect on how much I’ve improved rather than how much more I need to improve, and I think that will help keep me going.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Week 7

Man, my long runs make me cranky! HA! Today felt better, but I only had to go 4 miles. I was happy with my pace and how I felt. I was glad I didn’t have to run yesterday because my legs were still sore and it would have been a chore just to get my running shoes on and out the door. I feel really good today, and my run felt really good. Running may hurt sometimes but overall it really does make me feel good about myself (If only I could remember this at mile 9!). I can feel the difference in how I’m feeling now vs how I felt before my run today, and it’s for the better. I wasn’t moody or anything before my run, but maybe knowing I’m done exercising for the day has left me a little bit happier. Once the marathon is done though I probably won’t continue at this same rate, and will go back to whatever is enjoyable for not running on days that I work or running so far it hurts. I’ve been thinking I’d like to know how to swim well. So after May 4th perhaps I’ll focus on swimming and eventually consider the idea of a triathlon depending on how I like it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

12 miles

Every Monday I feel like the biggest retard. Who DOES this to themselves?! I was so nervous before my run today, but 12.24 miles are done. It took me 2 hours 35 minutes to complete 12 miles and a quarter. It was slow, but I’m happy I didn’t die and that I completed 12 miles! Especially with all the hills around here. I’m really getting tired of hills. I mean literally tired.

The whole second half of my run I kept thinking I was a crazy person for willingly doing this to myself as I had to walk up more hills. It felt like I walked a lot. I don’t feel so retarded once I’m done with a long run, but golly geeze do I feel tired and hungry! I’m not quite walking like a normal person yet today. My feet hurt the worst. Finally got a couple blisters and my feet feel like I’ve been standing all day. I’m happy the only thing I had planned today after my run was sitting on my bum watching season 2 of Gilmore Girls eating a ginormous subway sandwich and zucchini muffins. Ahhh. This is the best part of running. Being DONE with running. If nothing else running always makes me especially grateful for being still with my feet up eating good food.

I went with my hydration pack for the first time. I put about 16 oz of water in and took one 110 calorie gel thing in my pocket. I really liked having the water with me. The sound of the sloshing would have bothered me a lot if I didn’t have music blaring in my ears drowning out the sound, but it wasn’t very heavy and I liked having water there to drink whenever I wanted it, which turned out to be rather frequently. I don’t usually drink when I run and I was surprised that I drank most of it. I was afraid it would make my stomach feel funny, but taking sips whenever I was thirsty only had a positive effect on how I felt overall- so I kept doing it.

After the initial gag at the flavor and texture, the gel thing didn’t make me sick either. It was supposed to be vanilla (the only flavor that didn’t come with caffeine) but it really didn’t taste like vanilla. It was like having to take medicine and turned out to be another aspect of my run that I wanted to be over with as soon as possible once I tasted it. I don’t remember what it tasted like other than tangy and gross. I guess that would be the potassium and sodium making it a deliciously tasty treat. But it helped.

Despite hating everything during the run itself I love knowing that a couple weeks ago I didn’t think I could take one step further than the 10.46 miles I did with my brother and now completing 12.24 miles today and feeling like if I HAD to I could have taken maybe 2 steps further. Today is twice as far as my long run in week one. My shorter runs still feel hard, but my time is getting better. That part I love. I’m always a fan of progress and improvement, which I guess is the only reason I keep at this because otherwise it just hurts.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Week 6

After my first 8 mile run I finally felt like I could do this marathon thing. I take it back. Good grief running is hard! On Christmas Eve morning I went 10.46 miles with my brother and I wanted to die. My pace was horrible (13 minute something  a mile avg pace) but to make myself feel better I remind myself that’s including the time I had to stop to use a portapotty (awful), time we took to stop and shake rocks out of our shoe, and 2 miles of it was sucky mud. Sucky meaning suck your shoe off as you run through it, although I’ll give it the other meaning too. It was so hard and my legs got burned out faster than I would have liked and when we finished with the sucky mud we still had 5 miles to go. That’s what I get for planning a route that included a lap around Contra Loma reservoir after 3 days of rain. Actually, my original route had 2 laps around the reservoir, but we nixed that idea once we hit the mud and used my brother’s phone that had a handy ap that was keeping track of where and how far and fast (or slow) we were running to complete the 10 miles a different way.

This Monday I went 8 miles and felt pretty good until the last few miles it got hard, but not nearly as hard as the 10 miles were the previous week and I kept with my just under 12 minute average mile pace. I went at 0530 in the cold dark because I was going to be leaving to spend the day in SF with my best buddies that morning. We took BART into the city and walked everywhere we went- my legs and feet were so tired at the end of the day! The next day (new years day) I had to do a 3 mile run. My right knee was hurting, my legs were sore, I wasn’t watching my diet as carefully with it being new years eve the night before so my stomach wasn’t feeling so great with the cheese cake and snacks I had that night, I was still super tired, everything in my body seemed to hurt, my endorphins never kicked in and those 3 miles were the hardest 3 miles I’ve ever run since starting this thing. I thought I was the biggest idiot for agreeing to this. I was sucking wind and wishing I was back on the couch as soon as I started…and I started DOWNHILL. Hopefully tomorrow’s 4 ¼ mile run will be more enjoyable. My legs are still tired but not as sore as they were yesterday. Today was a rest day and I haven’t even been doing my strength training on my off days the last 2 weeks. I’ve been so tired! I bought some iron supplements today. I don’t plan to take them every day, but I think taking them maybe at least once a week as well as a few other days at certain times will help with some things.

This coming Monday I get to go 12 miles and I’m freaking out remembering how hard 10 miles was. I couldn't imagine going one step further than I did. On our 10 mile run on Christmas eve we had a water fountain we stopped at on our route not quite half way through and I still haven't run with water or food. I got a hydration pack to wear on my back for Christmas, so I think it’s time to see how that feels running. I bought a couple Power Bar brand activity energy gels (non caffeinated, 110 calories, vanilla flavored with some potassium, sodium and carbohydrates in it- they sound like a condensed gatorade). They recommend one every 45-60 minutes of activity along with water. I plan to use one after about half way through my run on Monday and I’ll see how I feel with it. If I like it I’ll keep with them since they seem like the easiest thing to consume on a run. They had bars, jelly beans and gummy blocks, but I figured I didn’t want to have to chew forever to get something down. A lot of them also had caffeine in them, which I’m too afraid to even try. I’m hoping that these gels will help keep me from feeling so awful towards the end of my long runs. My legs get to the point where they just don’t want to go and when I do slow to a walk they hurt so bad for a few steps until they loosen up and adjust to the walking pace. The beginning of my long runs are always pretty good. The ends are always pretty awful. Mondays aren’t exactly my favorite anymore.

I’m surprised at how well my feet have been doing. Still no blisters. They don’t hurt as much as they did when I first started, and they hurt even less after my last 8 mile run than they did after my first 8 mile run. After my 10 mile run I had a sharp pain whenever I stepped on my left heel just right that lasted a few days and worried me at first, but eventually faded away after about a week. I didn’t do anything special for it and still ran every day I was supposed to. I think it was just some bruised tissue in there.