My miles are increasing and my body is FEELING it, in more ways than one. This past week, I was set to run 12 miles during the week with a half marathon distance on the weekend. Since I have raced four half marathons in the past, I wasn’t expecting this long run to be too difficult because I thought I knew what to expect. But then, that’s one of the best things about running. You never know what to expect. 🙂
– Monday –
Scheduled rest day
I know how to rock a rest day. And a hoodie. Hahaha! I took my car to the mechanic (for the first of three times…) and took some reading material because those appointments are never quick. After waiting for three hours and being told they would have to keep my car (rawr), my friend Kristen picked me up and brought ice cream. What a friend. 😉 It was 74 degrees last Monday and it felt COLD! It’s been 95* and humid all summer long so an unseasonably cold day was welcomed but confusing!
– Tuesday –
Scheduled 3 miles
Last week, my first thought upon having to run 3 miles was, “Really? Only 3 miles?” And now this week as the numbers increase and I only have ONE 3 mile run, I am cursing myself for ever having such a thought. This was a GREAT run. I went in the afternoon after I picked up my car and it looked like it was going to rain so the air was a little crisper (making it easier to breathe!). I even felt fast! But there were a few times where I stopped to catch a breath because I felt like I couldn’t run slow on this day. Every time I tried to pull back, it just didn’t happen. My legs were set on running 8:50 miles. That NEVER happens!
Good job, legs. 😉
– Wednesday –
Scheduled 6 miles
Started off looking like a boss (LOL not) and just had a great morning run. I really love running in the morning because I return feeling full of energy and accomplishment. It seriously sets the tone for my whole day. I am so out of the habit for waking up to run in the morning which is terrible because I haven’t had any incredibly early wake up calls for work this summer! In any case, this was just a fun 6 miles.
I love waving to other runners who are out getting their morning run in and I love passing all the people walking to work. Coffee shops are buzzing and everyone is walking with a purpose, but if you look closely, there are also people sitting on benches enjoying each others’ company, Moms walking with their kids in the stroller, and tourists who woke up really early! I ran through Arlington and Georgetown and DC and ended on the National Mall so I could hop on the metro and get a ride home. 🙂
On Wednesday night, I went to another hot yoga class with Kristen. Down Dog Yoga in Clarendon offers a free hot yoga class every Wednesday at 6 PM. Last week, I was feeling incredibly weak during class because I had a super busy day and became one of those people I don’t understand –> the kind who forget to eat! So during yoga, I was not at my best because the heat was really getting to me. However, this week, I planned much better and I felt so strong during class! I don’t know if I felt strong because I knew a bit more of what to expect since I was in class last week or if I felt strong simply because I fueled my body correctly all day long, but it was amazing! I hit chaturanga (tricep pushups on your toes) almost every time, I did decent in crow pose, and I held a pretty good shoulder stand, too.
Free juice at South Block after class doesn’t hurt, either. 🙂 I tried a new flavor this week, Renew, which is carrot, apple, beet, kale, lemon, and ginger. You could really taste the beet and ginger so I wasn’t sure if I was a fan at first, but I downed the whole bottle on the walk home!
– Thursday –
Scheduled 3 miles
On this day, I hit up the gym downstairs. My hip injury will never truly heal…I will always have a small tear in that muscle. After working with a sports medicine doctor and going through physical therapy, I have re-learned what my body can do as far as running goes. However, my hip still gets irritated from time to time. After stretching in pigeon pose at yoga the night before, my hip wasn’t my biggest fan. Knowing I had 13.1 on the schedule in just a few days, I didn’t want to run 3 miles on Thursday and ruin my long run for the weekend, so I hopped on the elliptical instead. I did intervals: 30 seconds of a regular speed, 30 seconds of a fast speed. I set the machine on Level 8 and just picked up speed every 30 seconds, so it really wasn’t anything special! According to the elliptical stats, I actually did cover 3 miles in 31 minutes, but who knows if that is actually accurate. Usually gym machines are off a bit!
– Friday –
Scheduled rest day
I ate my favorite breakfast and generally relaxed on this day as far as workouts go. Trying to keep on my promise to do more strength training, I did a quick Google search and found this total body workout from Runner’s World. It includes:
Squat and Calf Raise
Push Up + Plank Hold
Lunges (each side)
Plank (30 seconds)
Side Plank (30 seconds each)
Plank (30 seconds)
Single Leg T-Raise
Jack Knife Crunches
Fire Hydrants (30 seconds each side)
Each exercise = 60 seconds. At the top or bottom of every exercise, you hold for 3-5 seconds. So for example, when you do the push ups and you push up, you hold that plank position for a few seconds before pushing down again. Likewise, when you lift your leg in the T-Raise, you hold it up for 3-5 seconds before lowering it to the ground again. Since you only do each exercise for 60 seconds, it’s a quick workout, but I really felt like it was worth it to work this this circuit! Plus, you can do it anywhere since there is no equipment required. I’m actually doing this again today. 🙂 Again, find the detailed workout here.
– Saturday –
Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.
Rice cake, peanut butter, and banana for breakfast before 13.1 miles. The only rice cakes I had were caramel flavored and the only real peanut butter I had was salted caramel (leftover from my recipe last week). In hindsight, that much sweetness before my run wasn’t the best idea. Ha!
Miles 1-5 were relatively uneventful. Kristen and I started on the Custis Trail here in Arlington and passed a million others out and about for their long run or ride. The Custis Trail is very hilly so it was a tough start to our course, but we figured it was better to get those hills in at the beginning rather than the end! We stopped at a water fountain in Georgetown to eat Gu (for me) and Shot Blocks (for her) and hydrate. Then it was off to the Capital Crescent Trail where all our dreams went to die. I kid, I kid.
At this point, the morning had turned into day and it was starting to get hot. We hated the rocky trail so we jumped down to the paved trail. Our legs felt like lead, nature smelled funny, bikers were rude, and we just plain could not believe we had 8 miles to go. We planned to go 4 miles down this trail and then turn around and do 4 miles back, which would let us hit 13.1, but instead we started discussing different route options that would let us turn around NOW. So essentially, our minds were in the wrong place. There was shade, we were running next to a river, there were a ton of other people out waving and being supportive and generally cheerful, and there were bathrooms and water fountains along the way. I wish we could go back and slap ourselves. 😉 Miles 6 and 7 weren’t so bad, but miles 7-10 were a lot of hating everything about running. We had been running without music until this point so we both put headphones in, let ourselves walk if we needed to, and just sucked it up!
I don’t want you to think we didn’t have fun at all…we definitely did. In between all the complaining ha! I would definitely recommend training with someone who will let you yell at them one minute and take a selfie with you the next minute. 🙂 Three happy moments:
1. Taking pictures by every location sign we passed on the way home: Maryland, DC, and VA.
2. Running into Josh, one of the guys on our training team for the marathon!
Josh was running 15 miles on this day and he lives in Georgetown so we were all headed to the same place. We did the last 3 miles together and it made it so much better!
3. Seeing 13.1 on Kristen’s watch.
Both of us have run 13.1 much faster and much happier than we did this past Saturday, but it’s the challenging training runs that make you stronger and more ready to face the distance you are training for. Or at least that is my personal opinion. 🙂
Overall, I have not felt my best this week. I eat a relatively healthy diet, but I don’t think I am eating enough. I was talking about what I eat in a normal day and it sounds exactly the same as it did before I started training for this race. That is not good because I am running more miles now and if I haven’t changed my eating habits, I’m not refueling properly. I kind of talked about this last week, but it hadn’t affected me so much yet. For most of the weekend, I craved junk food and felt nauseous unless I was eating. When I ate, I felt fine, but as soon as I was done eating, I was back to feeling nauseous. It was very strange. I had a piece of pizza on Saturday night and I had sweet potato fries on Sunday, so I have let myself have some of that junk food that I have been craving, but I don’t think I would feel so ravenous if I just eat MORE of the already good foods that I already eat. Goal one this week: eat more.
A second goal for this week is to keep hydrating. I talk about hydrating all.the.time and I think I have gotten much worse at it…again, at the absolute wrong time to do so! Now is when I need to be drinking SO MUCH water, and I think I am just dehydrated. I drink more when I drink out of bottles with a straw, so that is my first step. Next, I bought fruit punch nuun at the running store when I stopped to buy Gu. You add one tablet to 16 ounces of water and fill your body with the electrolytes it needs without all the sugar of a typical sports drink.
Another side effect of marathon training: exhaustion. Like sit down on the escalator to the metro exhausted. Like take two 30 minute naps and still feel like you got the crap beat out of you exhausted. It’s no joke! I had plans to go out on Saturday night with friends and I ended up staying in and watching The Longest Ride with pizza, pretzels, watermelon, and my friend Sarah. Ha! I was talking to Courtney when we met for brunch last weekend and she has trained for several marathons, so she knows her stuff. She does her long runs on Saturday mornings in the 6 AM hour which has me saying OMG NO!!! and she still makes it through her entire day on Saturday without crashing. Lesson: more food. More water. More sleep. Happier Kylie. Let’s see how it goes this week. 🙂