Monday, November 29, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 21

This week was all about being thankful. I am thankful that I have survived 4 months of running 4 days a week with relatively no injuries, without losing any toenails and still have the ability to run and enjoy it. So as a Thanksgiving treat to myself (and my inflamed IT band), I took the week off from running. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. I did not run for a full seven days. I figured my body could use the rest, especially if I want to make it through the marathon pain free.

As I mentioned in last week's post, I bought a new pair of shoes. This will be the pair I will be wearing on race day. Running is a cheap sport. You really only need to invest in some good shoes, but I find it sad that I now have a pair of each of the colors available for this year's model of my shoe. At least I am brand loyal and found a shoe that works well for me.
Now it is time to lace up the shoes and get back to running. I ran five miles this morning without any pain or complications with the IT band. So I think the resting help. Just six weeks of this left, then I can celebrate big at the finish line.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 20

Week 20 came with some ups and down. First, the bad. The IT band on my left leg flared up. Never had an issue with that side before, but I listened to my body and rested. I skipped two training runs this week - a five miler and 8 miler. I also got a massage to help work everything out. It seemed to help and I felt good going into my half marathon race on Sunday.

Now to the good. My long run for the week was 13 miles. So to make it easier to track and get me in race mode, I signed up for the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was surprised to learn based on my estimated finish time I would be in starting corral #2. Thankfully, two friends who are also running the 2011 Disney Marathon were in the corral with me.

Overall, it was a good race. I got to see parts of St. Petersburg that I have never seen before, like the Pier. I made it through the first 10 miles feeling great, but then my IT band became an issue and slowed me down a bit. I will say I finished this race 11 minutes faster than my first half marathon, setting a new PR of 2:12:24. The finisher medal was also kind of cool. So I really can't complain. 

Speaking of cool, while picking up my race packet, I was able to get an up close view of what I have been training for. Disney was on hand with the medal for the 2011 marathon. It is massive and heavy. I can't wait to have one draped around my neck. I will probably cry like a baby when they do it, but it will be such an awesome accomplishment and I will be relieved to finally be done with training. Just seven more weeks to go.

I do think I have clued in on the IT band issue though. After two months and a couple hundred miles or more, I think I have worn through another pair of shoes.

I was hoping to get a new pair of shoes at the race expo, but the vendors did not carry my brand. BOO! I did find a place online that had my shoes on sale with free two day shipping. So I will have some new kicks by Wednesday. However, I think it is best that I take a small break from running, do some yoga and stretching and give my IT bands a break. I want to feel good and be able to fully run the marathon in January.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 19

Week 19 has been a bit exhausting and painful. I think it is because I really haven't been taking care of myself as well as I should. Because the weather has been so cool, I haven't been stretching as much as a should before and after each run. I really haven't felt the need. Well that has resulted in a tight left hip flexor. I tried some intense yoga, but that really hasn't helped. I just need to do some more stretching and icing.

Another battle I am fighting is food. I really haven't been eating much lately, which is bad for someone running more than 30 miles a week. I find myself struggling to eat three meals a day. I am just not hungry. Then on top of that, I am never hungry after my training runs. It baffles me that I can run for three hours or more and not feel the need to eat the rest of the day. On a positive note, I am hydrated. I bought some replacement bottles to make up for the one that was run over by a car last week. So my hydration belt is now fully loaded again.

Other than the hip flexor and food issues, it has been a successful week. I completed all of my training runs, which included my farthest run to date - 18 miles. I can't say the 18 miler was pretty. My hip flexor started acting up around mile 10. So my walking breaks during those last 8 miles were a little longer than usually. I can't be disappointed though. I completed all the miles in a respectable time and am still walking. Those are all good things.

Next week, I get to take it easy a bit. My long run is only 13 miles. Of course, it is also a half marathon race. Knowing me, I will probably push myself so that I can beat my last half marathon time. Hopefully my hip flexor will calm down and I can run the race pain free.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 18

I have completed another week of training injury free. Hooray! I did, however, suffer a small casualty. One of the water bottles on my fuel belt popped off during one of my runs and was run over by a car. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, it is really insignificant. I can buy a new replacement bottle.

This week's training seems to be more about the mind, than the body. The New York City marathon is this weekend and there have been several inspiration and scary stories in the news. The article that really caught my attention was one about heart damage and marathon runners. Research shows that marathon runners do temporary damage to their heart while running the race. Your body recovers in three months, but that is still scary. But I will say that if Al Roker and Jared the Subway guy can finish the NYC marathon, I can finish the Disney marathon.

November is going to be a rough month of training. I have my two longest runs this month and a half marathon race. When I make it through, the hardest part of training will be behind me and I will officially be ready for the race. Of course, I will still have a month of running left, but I will be tapering off from my mileage dramatically. So here's to hoping for a healthy and successful month of training.