MCM Training [Week 6]

A wise woman (Janae from Hungry Runner Girl) once said, “Run the week you’re in.”

What that wise woman meant to say was, “If you look too far ahead at your marathon training plan, you will have an anxiety attack.”

I just finished my sixth week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is on October 25. Just to recap: I’m following a Hal Higdon Novice I Marathon plan. I’m a fan because I personally can’t run too many consecutive days in a row and I need time to cross train. This plan gives me two days to rest, one day to cross train, and four days to run. That, I can do.

Except when I looked ahead at my calendar.

Saturdays are the day for long runs.

Every long run from now through October 10 is a double digit run.

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This picture sums up how I felt once I had that revelation. Marathoners of the world, you might be thinking, is she crazy? This is normal! But as a lover of the half marathon distance, my longest “long run” has been 12 miles and my longest race has been 13.1 miles. So when I see those numbers that say 16…20…18…I can’t even imagine running that many miles! But that is why we focus on the week we are in. Because when we get to those crazy long distances, our bodies CAN handle it. We have trained ourselves well. I’m excited to conquer those long training runs, but I’m tired just thinking about it. Saturday afternoon might become the official nap time around here. 🙂

Let’s get to training!

– Monday –

A planned rest day; I ran 4.25 miles with lululemon athletica Clarendon run club.

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It was hilly and humid. This run was hard. I was the second to last person to finish and I kept waiting for the girl behind me because no one likes to struggle alone! We were given popsicles upon finishing our run, so it was all worth it. 😉

– Tuesday –

A planned “run” day; I rested since I ran Monday with lululemon.

I got a little antsy in the afternoon, so I logged onto Beachbody OnDemand and did a 45 minute Cize workout. This is Beachbody’s newest program. You learn a dance routine in 8 counts…first you learn the 8 counts slowly, then you start to dance a little more to the beat…then you learn a new 8 count. And you keep learning 8 counts in this pattern until the last five minutes when you put it all together and “Cize It Up”…or look like you know what you’re doing. Ha! It was fun. 🙂

– Wednesday –

5 miles before work and my furniture delivery!

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I apparently took few pictures while running last week, but I have a plethora of screenshots of MapMyRun! This run wasn’t nearly as hard as Monday’s because it was earlier in the morning and the beginning was slightly downhill. I did get a cramp during mile 3 that I couldn’t seem to shake and that slowed me down. #positivesplits #yuck

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I also hit my fundraising goal on this day! I was aiming for $550 and I have since exceeded the amount you see here. Thank you SO much to my friends and family who have supported me in my training and Give To The World and CitiHope International in their missions! You can still donate up until the date of the race and you can do that here.

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Throwback to that one time I could kind of do crow pose. I’m showing you this because Wednesday is the day I went to hot yoga and could NOT do crow pose. Or a headstand. Or tricep pushups on my toes. Or any of the other tricks that people were whipping out. But I was just there to stretch. I don’t need to be fancy. Hahaha

– Thursday –

Scheduled 3 miles which turned into a fast 4 miles!

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No sunshine, but the chance of rain made the air a little easier to breathe. I was set to run 3 miles on this day and once I hit the road, I decided 3 “regular” miles wasn’t what I was going to do today. Instead I ran through the park to the nearby high school and did a track workout that I entirely made up in my head.

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1 mile run to the track. 400 meter sprint, 400 meter jog. Repeat 4 times. 1 mile run home. I ended up logging 4 miles on this day, I felt speedy, and it was good to mix things up.

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I say that now, but this is what I thought of sprints on Thursday afternoon… 😉

An aside –> The things we do for our blogs. This is such an unattractive picture. Hahaha! Why did I even take it?!

– Friday –

Scheduled rest day.

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I went on the elliptical downstairs in the gym and read the first few chapters of Bossypants to pass the time!

– Saturday –

12 mile long run!

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It may have been early and I may have forgotten to buy Gu, but this was one of my very favorite runs of the week. The weather was gorgeous (read: I felt like I could breathe) and I was just generally in a good mood! Plus Saturday morning on DC trails is always fun because there are a ton of people out running, walking, and biking.

Also related to training: if I’m going to be really honest, I have been a terrible example of strength training. I do stretch after every run and ride the stationary bike to cool down…this helps my hip. I do use my foam roller and The Stick. I have accomplished my goal of doing yoga at least once a week and I definitely cross train on Sundays, but I NEED to pick up some weights this week! I must! I had some nagging shin splints this past week that eventually went away but I have no excuse to slack on strength training when that is exactly how I got injured before. Our bodies can’t just run and run and run. We need muscle!

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Then we have the power to push our legs through runs that let us see beautiful views. 🙂

So, if my personal goal for the week is to incorporate more strength training, what is your goal? It doesn’t have to be fitness related! Tell me!

Running: It’s All In Your Head

I love to run. I have been running ever since my favorite aunt took me to the park with her and let me “jog”. So what happens when you start to work out and you just feel kind of ehhh? If you are hurt, you should definitely stop whatever you are doing. If you just feel kind of uninspired, then you need to push past that mental block. That’s usually the name of the game in running. Even on the very best running days, you may find yourself wishing for a park bench or a water fountain. 😉 And even though I go through seasons of life where I am more dedicated to a different kind of workout than running, running is still my soul mate workout.

I explore.

I listen to music.

I get to wear fun shoes and clothes.

I clear my head.

It’s completely exhausting and some days much harder than others, but I love it.

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One of the best things about running (for me) is that it’s always there for me. I know that sounds cheesy, but when you look at the fitness world and see how much there is to offer (Zumba, BodyPump, Spinning, yoga, PiYo, Pilates, lifting, swimming, boot camp, etc etc etc), it can be hard to decide what you are going to commit yourself to. For two years in college, I did very little besides run and I completely wrecked my hip. I now have a small tear that will always be there. We need to be dedicated, but we also need to rest. Now when I race, I actually strength train during training and I actually take time off from running after the race. I didn’t do this before. And because I worry that I may get injured again, I take extra time off. That’s just my thing. I am still working out, but I choose other things to do besides running. So it is hard for me to admit that every time I start to train for a race, it feels like I am starting over. I feel slow and everything feels much harder than it should. Slowly but surely, I find my groove again, but it’s hard NOT to be envious of my previously speedy times or feel like I am completely out of shape. I am in shape, I’m just not quite in running shape…yet. 😉

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Right now, I am training for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April in Washington, D.C. I used to think I was such a good runner that I could run without training…and then I got hurt. HA! Now I use a training plan for every race (like a normal person). On Saturday, I was supposed to run 4 miles and it was 45 degrees and sunny. Running > studying for stats;) I thought I was in for four easy-breezy miles!

Not so much. I was just feeling blah. I also kept getting a cramp in the same place on my side and those are never fun. Must practice breathing like a runner.

Here’s a little preview of my crazy:

Mile 1: Outside. I like being outside. These sidewalks are half slushy, half dry. Who is in charge of cleaning these?

Mile 1.5: Oh look, a hill. I’m going to be a badass and run up that.

Mile 2: WHY?!

Mile 2.5: Photo op.

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For some reason, there have been a ton of geese all over campus lately. And seagulls. All birds seem very confused with this weather!

Mile 3: If I just do one more loop around this side of campus, I can go hoooooooome!

Mile 4: Lots of fast music and darting around like a weirdo looking for every downhill possible. 🙂

There is a reason people say “you only regret the workouts you don’t do”. I felt so much better when I got back to my apartment even though it was a mental challenge to get through four measly miles. And yes, I sat down at one point and texted my friend to complain. Some days are like that! We just have to remember that the slow, hard days are paving the way for happier, faster days. Any run feels great after a particularly hard one!

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Today, I was excited for my Monday miles. You have to get excited because whatever workout you are choosing to do should be fun for you! I could have totally ditched them because I remembered the struggle from this past weekend. I also could have used the excuse that I didn’t have the right shoes…I usually wear my running shoes to the gym where I teach PiYo and run right after class, but I must have been half asleep when I got dressed because I wore the wrong shoes. I walked home after class and practiced saying, “Your legs are not tired, they are warmed up.” Walked in the door, changed my shoes, and walked right back out. Who am I?! It feels good to prove yourself right and start your day off on the right foot.

Happy running and happy Monday, friends! 🙂