Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back At It

Last week I felt sluggish, depressed, and pissed off. But I slugged on through some easy runs and made sure to recover from a lot of the hard training I have been doing this year. I only ran 30 miles last week but it definitely helped me recover. This week I feel more like myself again and energetic-I should be back up to 70mpw. On Tuesday I started out on the towpath from Violette's Lock and picked up the Greenway Trail from Riley's Lock and ran out to Berryville road and looped back to Riley's eventually to return to Violette's. I got in 10 Miles and felt good, picked the pace up for about 3-4 miles during some uphill climbs. Today I ran a Dual Ferries Loop of 10+Miles-I kept the pace relaxed, and in the afternoon I led the group run from the store for an easy 4+ miles. I am starting to feel antsy and pumped to do Cherry Blossom(I am more focused on the Dismal Swamp 13.1 however).

I by no means regret the Marathon I did 10 days ago. I am not a religious person, but I do believe that there is a purpose laid out for all of us. I think these "failures" in the Marathon for me are inevitable-they are unavoidable because I am on a path. There has to be low points. You have to fail to succeed. I am 26 years old. I have plenty of years ahead to progress in the Marathon. Failing now is what needs to happen. Of course I am still running Chicago-it is going to be a major focus race-and hopefully if I play my cards right that race will go well. At the same time right now I'd rather do well in the "shorter" races(10K-13.1), run some PRs this Spring..because ultimately these "shorter" races are going to transcend to the marathon...and the ultimate goal I have for the Marathon is to run it very, very, fast. I will not settle for a 2:30:00. I want something higher, and if it means sacrificing a 2:32:00 race I might have had at Shamrock, then so be it. Because ultimately, I am aiming to achieve my full potential-whatever that may be-in the marathon.

But for right now, I'm gonna have some fun and jump in some hot races this coming April.

Cherry Blossom-4/11
Dismal Swamp 13.1-4/17
Pike's Peak-4/25

Have at it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21: It's Not How You Start-It's How You Finish

Sunday, March 21, was a tough day for me, to say the least. I thought I was ready to tackle this race especially after having such a frustrating run at Marine Corps in the fall..

Boy, was I WRONG.

The gun went off, and I stormed to the front with 3-4 other guys and felt terrific. Honestly, I really believed I was ready to win this damn race. I went through the first mile in 5:41. But at mile 8, I began to slip. I fell back to 6th place. Still, though, I felt OK. I felt relatively comfortable through the half(1:17:20)...not what I wanted to go through at(I was aiming for 1:14-1:15ish)...but still, I said to myself,'re not as fit as you thought you were...that's OK...shoot for 2:34-2:35 now, and run a solid second half.

At mile 16, I began to fall apart. I no longer had the same turnover, and was slowing up to a moderate pace. A few runners passed me. I was now 8th at this point. Still, I kept movin. I went through 20 miles in 2:03:00, obviously slowing considerably. I was jogging at this point. More runners passed. I was done. I did not have the strength to race the marathon today. I realized it with hurt. At Mile 21, I started to walk..

I walked and thought. I thought about a lot of things, my life, my goals, my future...what path I am on. I thought about why am I still doing this? Why am I walking? Why not drop out? Am I really cut out for this distance? Maybe I'm not as strong as I think I am...What's the point?

But then, another thought occured to was that I love running. And, if I love running, I am going to still finish this race/run and treat it as any other day. Nothing more..

I ended up walking for 4 miles(mile 21-25). People were still kindly cheering for me, saying I was doing great, to keep going. I smiled at them, but behind the smile, deep thoughts were churning. I was really dissapointed. Why, why, why, did I ask myself, do I enter in these marathons and not do well? Why can't I know when I am not ready? Because I am clearly not prepared for this today!!

I ran the last 1.2 miles, actually passing a lot of people who passed me early on, and finished in 3:27:30.

I gave this a lot of thought afterwards, and still am. But all in all, I have come up with the conclusion that I need prioritize the marathon better. Because, the truth is, it's not like I'm injured, or ill, or anything like that. I am 100% healthy, and I have taught myself how to stay injury free by listening to my body after years of frustrating injuries earlier in my career. For the past 3 years I have been injury-free and training well-running PRs of 10K-13.1. But there is another piece to this that I am learning now. It is to prioritize. If I really want to run a great marathon, and by that I mean a 2:25 or better... I am going to have to prioritize it as the number one race and not throw any races in front of it. I have been making this mistake. The Colonial Half Marathon took too much out of me to race the 26.2 well. 26.2 is an entirely different distance than 13.1-an entirely different race. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not regret running the Colonial Half...I think I was meant to run that race and it was a terrific race/confidence lifter for me. I PRed, and have no regrets. At the same time, I needed to choose between the 2...or just run Colonial as a training run...which I clearly didn't..I PRed on a hilly course. I think I chose Colonial over Shamrock...but I still wanted to do Shamrock. I did not understand at the time that I wouldn't be able to do both..

Maybe I should have chosen Shamrock over Colonial? But if so, and if I ran a fast marathon...I have a feeling I wouldn't have wanted to race for another 2 months. A 2:30 marathon takes so much more out of you than a 1:12 half marathon...even though the performances are roughly equivalent.

So again, prioritizing comes here. I think, even though I believe I have a great marathon in my legs, that this Spring the main focus for me is 10M/13.1M racing. I think I am actually in really really good 10M/13.1M shape right now.

I took Monday off, and will run tomorrow. I actually don't feel that bad. So, I'll take it slow this week, but also regroup and get ready for a few more races I have set in April.

So, back to prioritizing. I have changed my schedule of races a bit. I scratched San Diego. I am still doing Cherry Blossom and Dismal Swamp Half as I think I have a very fast 10M/13.1M in my legs still. I will also do Pike's Peak as my last race in April. I will then take all of May off and do a small handful of short races(5K, 8K) over the summer(June-July). But after that, I will prioritize Chicago. I will not race at all in August or September, and will not do any races leading up to Chicago. Chicago will be the main focus and I will put all of my energy/strength into that race. I will raise the mileage to where it needs to be as well.

Chicago is the race where I have a chance to run the race of my life.

It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sub 2:30:00?

I am excited for tomorrow's race. It will be a real test of all the training I have been doing the fast few years to get where I am now. I think, if everything goes right, that I could perhaps surpass the 2:30:00 barrier tomorrow. My plan is to just go out and race, and keep it simple, run by feel. If I feel comfortable going through 1:14 at the half, I know I will have a shot. At the same time, I want to make sure I don't overkill the first half, so I will run by feel, but, if in contention, run to win. I would love to win. The best I have ever placed in any Marathon was 2nd(to Dickson at the Frederick Marathon last year). I would love to win. I will sure enough try, and give it my best to break through a barrier I have thought about for quite some time. there is a part of me that says, "2:29...that's fast...can I do it?...and there is a part of me that know, that really isn't out of reach...maybe I can do it."

Whatever the outcome, I will give it my best shot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Taper

I only ran 43 miles last week in anticipation of MARATHON WEEK coming up. I did a 12 week marathon cycle for this race. Marathon week should be around 60 miles. My mileage is getting better, athough compared to other marathoners, it could be much much higher. Still I averaged for the most part 70mpw and am excited to race. I think this year I will really be increasing the mileage steadily and build up to consistent 90-100mpw eventually. If I can run some decent 10k-26.2 times off the mileage I am at currently, the times and performances will really show with more mileage under my belt. Of course, quality is just as important, and I think I touched on quality very well for the past 12 weeks. The 10M/13.1M PRs speak for themselves(which I intend to lower in April.)

Week 1: 63m- (14m med-long run)
Week 2: 80m- (17.5m long run)
Week 3: 83m- (13m w/ 5m @ MP, 21m long run w/ 5-6m @ MP)
Week 4: 62m- (11m @ MP Workout, 15m med-long run)
Week 5: 83m- (15m @ MP Workout, 14m med-long run, 18.5m long run)
Week 6: 65m- (40min LT Workout, 20.5m long run)
Week 7: 70m- (10miles: 54:35 PR, 15m med-long run)
Week 8: 70m- (16m @ MP Workout(17.5m total), 17.5m @ MP Workout(19m total))
Week 9: 47m- (13.1miles: 1:12:57 PR, 6th place)
Week 10: 68m- (15m med-long run, 19m long run)
Week 11: 43m

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Energy Levels Better

After last week's lethargic week of running, I have been starting to feel more peppy on my runs. On Monday I gave myself a prescribed day off to give myself a little rest before the big dance in less than 2 weeks. On Tuesday I drove out to Edward's Ferry and ran a Duel Ferries Loop. The weather was beautiful and I fully appreciated it after the hellish winter of cold rain, sleet and snow we had. I did 1 loop of 10+ miles. The last time I was out here it was cold and raining when I was running with Karl and Reaves on a 21 miler with the last 5 hauling.

Today I ran with Nate at Old Angler's and headed south on the Canal. My legs felt better and there was more pep in my step. I didn't get hungry in the middle of my run unlike all of last week. I think my glycogen stores are more balanced now. We got in just over 80 minutes or just around 12 miles. We talked about training, goals, phases of running, etc. Another beautiful day.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

2010 Training Progression Update 3/7

Week 1: 63m- (14m med-long run)
Week 2: 80m- (17.5m long run)
Week 3: 83m- (13m w/ 5m @ MP, 21m long run w/ 5-6m @ MP)
Week 4: 62m- (11m @ MP Workout, 15m med-long run)
Week 5: 83m- (15m @ MP Workout, 14m med-long run, 18.5m long run)
Week 6: 65m- (40min LT Workout, 20.5m long run)
Week 7: 70m- (10miles: 54:35 PR, 15m med-long run)
Week 8: 70m- (16m @ MP Workout(17.5m total), 17.5m @ MP Workout(19m total))
Week 9: 47m- (13.1miles: 1:12:57 PR, 6th place)
Week 10: 68m- (15m med-long run, 19m long run)

Average Mileage Per Week(2010): 69.1 miles

2 Weeks until the Marathon.

Training Week 3/1-3/7: 68 Miles/19 Mile Long Run

This week was kind of a low point for me in terms of how I felt. I felt pretty flat/low energy on my runs(which was expected after last week's race). I think nearly everyday I got hungry/low energy/light headed in the middle of my runs(but got through them somehow). One of those days, I felt so awful during an EASY 5.5 miles, I stopped, held onto my legs as if I had been running for 100 miles. I wanted to stop and sleep. I looked around. Everything was still. So still. I felt like I was floating. What the fuck is going on? I wondered. After standing and looking confused/dazed I got going again and finished the run.

In a nutshell, I think my glycogen stores were only half full all week, until I ate A LOT Saturday night. Boy, did I EAT! I think that fixed it. Sunday morning I ran 19 on the canal(I did it on my own in the AM since I had to get to work at 12:00) but I saw Grcers just meeting up at Riley's when I passed-Jake gave me the confused question as I passed by: "Sloane, what are you doing?" LOL.

Anyway, the long run was good, I felt like I kind of woke up after a sluggish week. I kept the pace moderate and finished in 2:11:00. It felt easy, really. Now, tonight, I feel a lot more energized. Sometimes running just makes you tired, and hungry, and you need to make sure you refuel and recover. I guess I was recovering this week but also refueling at the same time. Really good Marathoners have a great ability to store fuel and use it efficiently. I am training my body to do that better and better.

More to come on training/mileage progression for 2010...