Friday, August 27, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 7

Cross another week off the training schedule. Week 7 is now complete. Overall it was a good week. It started with a 10 miler. And if you read my previous post, you know it went alright. I completed the distance in a decent time, but my hips started aching between miles 8 and 9 and were sore for the next 24 hours. It wasn't excruciating pain or anything like that. My muscles and joints were just a little tight. I guess I didn't stretch enough.

Mentally, I think I am ready for a half marathon. I'm running 12 miles next week, so I will put that theory to the test. However, I still can't imagine running a full 26.2 or even a 16, 18 or 20 mile training run, especially after being sore after 10. I guess I will have a better idea in 3 weeks. Training week 10 includes starts with a 14 miler. It will be the longest distance I have ever run and my first real step towards marathon distance. Hopefully I can survive. So, keep the positive thoughts and comments coming, I could really use them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Hips Don't Lie

Ouch. Shakira was right. The hips don't lie. I ran my first double digit training trek Sunday - 10 miles. Everything was great until around mile 8 or 9. My hips started feeling sore. I actually did some stretching before the run, so I was surprised by the pain. I also made sure to thoroughly stretch after the run and throughout the day. My hips were pretty stiff and sore last night. But thankfully 24 hours later, the pain has pretty much subsided.

However, this got me thinking about the cause of the problem. After some research, I have come to the conclusion my iliotibial bands have struck again. The IT band runs down the outside of your leg from your hip to your knee. Most runners, especially ones who don't properly stretch, experience pain in their knees because the band has become inflamed. But in some cases, it can also cause hip pain.

Thankfully this ailment is not something that needs any kind of medical treatment, at least for now. I just need to make sure to stretch, rest and use my foam roller more frequently. Of course, I hope this isn't a bad sign of things to come. If my hips can become that sore after 10 miles, how will I survive 20? Or 26.2? I know, I know... think positive.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 6

Another week of training down. Things are going well. I have put the 3 milers behind me. This week, my runs were all 4 miles or longer. And next week brings the double digit runs. I will say getting up early for training runs this week have been a bit spooky. Hitting the roads before 6am is starting to seem like a bad idea. Sure it is cooler, but it is also pitch black. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder and worried someone is lurking behind a bush or something. The sad part is the longer the runs become, the earlier I will have to leave the house. I think it may be time to reconsider running in the evenings after work.

Another thing I think I may need to consider is getting a Road ID. The bracelet can be worn on your wrist or ankle. It can also be attached to your shoe. It has all your vital information and an emergency contact number. Um, that's another thing. I really need to find an emergency contact. Someone I know is going to be there and I can call should I get injured or something happens to me during my long runs. I had never really thought about it before now, but it may be important to have. Any volunteers?
I also need to start scouting new running routes, especially since I am just days away from my first double digit training run. I am one of those runners who prefer not to double back or take many twists and turns during runs. So I try to find straight, easy routes.

Here's to another injury free week of training. Positive thoughts! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 5

Another week is down and I'd like to say the running is getting easier, but it's not. I think I am just having a bad week. The 8 mile run at the beginning of the week was great, minus the major headache afterward because I didn't eat or drink enough following the big run. It was the weekday runs that got to me this week. I was slow waking up and getting out the door and felt sluggish and tired during the runs. The sad part is the runs were short; two 3 milers and one 4 miler.

I guess what I am learning is that everything going on in your life, good or bad - happy or sad, comes through in your running whether you'd like it to or not. If you're having a bad week personally, your running is going to be a struggle. I need to get better at letting things go, especially when I am training.

Despite all those outside issues, I completed all 18 miles this week and am looking forward to what the next week holds. The week ahead is actually a bit of a recovery week. Instead of adding miles to my long run, I am shaving miles from the long run to add to my weekday runs. So I will have one 6 miler, two 5 milers and a 4 miler. Should be easy enough to complete. I just need to keep a positive mindset and power through.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 4

I did it! I made it through the first month of marathon training. Only five more to go! The first month has been a pretty good one. I ran a total of 52 miles, of course that amount will double and triple as the months move on. So far there have been no major injuries or problems other than the ridiculous heat and lack of stretching.

Speaking of the unfortunate weather, it is really taking a toll on my training. I feel like I am running so slow and am instantaneously sweating as soon as I take my first step. Sure, people say that when the weather cools down I will pick up the pace and be stronger, but right now it is leaving me with doubts. Will I be able to able to endure a 26.2 mile run? If I run this slow during the race, will my knees give out on me? One of my friends told me the training process and marathon itself will be an emotional and physical roller coaster. You will have ups and downs, but you just need to focus and power through. I guess that is my problem right now - focus. I am letting too many outside elements enter my mind and effect my running. I really need to learn how to shut off my brain and go on auto-pilot if I plan on finishing the race in January.

I want to thank everyone for all their encouraging words and support. I know the training process is taking up a huge portion of my time. So I appreciate those of you who are asking how things are going, those who volunteered to go on training runs with me and those who say they are coming over to Disney to watch me cross the finish line. All that positivity keeps me moving in the right direction.