Saturday, April 5, 2014

Training by the numbers


Here I am after my last 20 miler. Completely soaked. Really. It looked and felt like I had jumped in a pool, but obviously I didn't (because it's too cold for the right now). Anyway, today was my last long run. Boston is a little over two weeks out now, and I'm thinking about my goal. I have to be realistic, training has been fairly horrendous this training cycle, but the last few weeks have gone well...so that's positive. 

Below I have a table of my weekly mileage, my long run distance, and long run pace. I really made the table for me. Sometimes it helps to see the data in a table...

What does the data tell me? I've been inconsistent with my weekly mileage. I won't make excuses, it is what is. Given that inconsistency, it's unrealistic to think that I'll be running a personal record. That being said, I've also run 12 runs that are 20-23 miles, and that will be a real benefit (especially given my weekly inconsistencies). I did one on course 22 miler last week at 7:24 pace (my peak week), which gave me a little boost of confidence. My 20 miler on the treadmill today was at 7:07 pace (so another little boost of confidence). 

To sum it up: weekly mileage bad, long runs good. What else do I know? You can't tell from the table, but I have no speed right now. My 5K, 10K, and half marathon pace are all pretty much the same right now. That's not the greatest, but maybe it doesn't really matter for a marathon...I don't know. I guess I'll find out in two weeks.

How should I determine a goal? I've decided to go for 3:10-3:12. I'll start out a 7:15 pace and try to stay there for as long as possible. I think that's reasonable. How did I come up with that? I pretended that today's 20 miler was a time trial and plugged it into McMillians calculator and used the marathon pace it spit out to determine my goal. It might be a little conservative as I don't think I ran as fast as I could have today, but reasonable given my other training setbacks...

There you have it, by the numbers. ;)


WeekWeekly MilesLong Run Long Run Pace
141167:39:00
27117.18:21:00
366207:59:00
418107:52:00
532217:42:00
652207:30:00
760227:42:00
875237:22:00
953216:49:00
1016167:34:00
1134168:35:00
126023.47:42:00
1341207:23:00
1438168:07:00
1538207:49:00
1670237:33:00
1775227:24:00
1860207:07:00

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Feeling Good :)

I keep thinking I'm going to let my blog go, but then something about running gets me excited to write...my last post "It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week", well, it turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month (or closer to two months). It was tough. I'm not complaining though, nor am I am really surprised. I went back to work full-time in October, and Emily started a full day preschool. Preschoolers are like disease magnets and work can be stressful. These two factors create the perfect storm for yuck. It's just a reality. I'm assuming that we have another 1-2 more years of winters full of yuck. (Nick is groaning right now.) Anyway, it seems that maybe, just maybe, we made it through, and now that it's officially Spring...

My training has just been a disaster. There were literally six weeks of poor running. It is what it is. I was trying something a little new this training cycle, that maybe has at least helped me keep my endurance. Basically I've been running a 20-23 miler almost every week since January. There were a couple bad weeks where I only got a 16 miler in, but I think I'm up to 10 runs at or over 20 miles, and yes I believe it's been good for me. I know most people have trouble getting their speed back and less trouble with their endurance, but I'm the opposite. I have trouble with the endurance.

So if my training has been full of awful, then what am I so excited about? I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT RUNNING BOSTON! And the awful has been replaced these last two weeks with awesome. Last week I peaked at 75 miles and my average pace for the the week was 7:31. That is like totally awesome! ;) Well, for me anyway.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no delusions of grandeur. I don't think I'll be running a PR, but I could definitely beat my time from Boston last year, which would be fun. It's just generally nice to be feeling good and strong too. I'm been feeling so good that I've been reminded of the song that Ana-Maria posted to her blog last year before Boston:

Cause I'm on top of the world, eh
I'm on top of the world, eh
Been waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I've been waiting to smile, eh
Been holding it in for a while, eh
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I'm on top of the world.

I'm feeling strong and excited and happy even if it hasn't been my best training cycle. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week...

Have you ever read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst? It's one of my favorite books to read to the kids. I use voices and everything. It's fun. In the end, his mom comforts Alexander by telling him that some days are like that...even in Australia.

I'm going to steal Judith's words, and say that I have had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. I know from reading the book (and real life in general) that some weeks are just like that. The week was a perfect storm of illnesses mixed with a buildup of work stress. The result was almost no running, which generally didn't do much to help my foul disposition or my stress level.

Rather than the normal 7 day week, this week was 10 days. It all started when I picked up a crying Kaylee from school last Friday. Ten minutes prior to my arrival, she started having an earache. She cried the next four hours, threw up, then fell asleep. Saturday the doctor confirmed that Miss Kaylee had an ear infection. The next couple days Nick and I generally felt under the weather, but it was Monday that Emily came down with what we are assuming was the norovirus. It started with diarrhea, accompanied by severe abdominal cramping, then came the vomit. This little three year old was sick from Monday through Friday. Her episodes were spread far enough apart that she was able to take in enough fluids, and so she's mostly recovered. While Emily was playing with the norovirus, Nick came down with the regular flu. Fever for four days, blah, blah, blah. This would have been fine, maybe, if we didn't have some big deadlines at work. Even the couple days that Nick stayed home, he had to work.

Friday came, and now Nick had an earache, and yes, a bulging ear drum and ear infection. BUT Emily was recovering! We thought, that maybe, just maybe, we were out of the woods, but alas it was not to be. Saturday morning Kaylee started throwing up. Kaylee throw up is dangerous. She's been to the emergency room more than once due to dehydration associated with throwing up. She is one of those people that can't seem to stop once she starts. Her vomit episodes devolved into a cycle of every 20 minutes on the clock. After 12 hours of that, it was time to go to the emergency room. I know, 12 hours of throwing up doesn't sound like a lot, but it's hard to convey how ridiculous it is to throw up, literally, every 20 minutes for 12 hours.

Her blood work showed that she was dehydrated enough to warrant an IV, two bags of fluid, and an anti-nausea drug. By around 2:00 am, we were home again. Sunday morning Emily, who peacefully slept at home during the ER visit, was ready for pancakes at 6:00 am. To which I said, OK, OK...Nick was still in bad shape, and having trouble figuring out if he felt sick from a stomach bug, or from his migraine.

Yes, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week...some weeks are just like that...even in Austria. There were a few bright spots to the week though. Kaylee was so brave at the hospital. They brought in this HUGE male nurse or orderly to help hold her down in case she struggled with the IV. I almost had a heart attack, but not only was he completely awesome with Kaylee, Kaylee was also simply amazing. She didn't move, say a word, or cry throughout the whole process. When the experience was all said and done she told me they did a good job.

Now it's Monday evening, and it's almost like that week never happened. The kids are completely recovered. Nick is still struggling a bit. It's hard to breath easy though, I'm left wondering if last week was a foreshadowing of what the next week will hold for me. And if that's the case, it does not look pretty. I have washed my hands so often that they are cracked, I've disinfected every single surface, washed all clothes, and dishwashered every dish, but it's almost inevitable. It's just a matter of time...I hate throw up...

Of course, all this grossness has meant almost no running. I do feel out of sorts not having run for almost a week. And it's almost comical how the week prior to all this, I was thinking, maybe just, just maybe I do have a 3:05 in me for Boston this year. Now I'm not sure. I'm not complaining or whining, I'm just being realistic. I know one week of training doesn't define the whole training cycle, but you know how it is, there always seems to be something. And even while I'm doing my best to run from the norovirus, I have this awful feeling it will find me.

Right now I'm glad the kids are doing better, hoping the norovirus doesn't find me, and looking forward to getingt back to our regular routine. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The BAA inspired me today...

I know what you're thinking. Who the heck is this chick? And what on earth is she holding? That's assuming there might actually be someone out there who even visits this blog, which is a pretty big assumption. (Random side note. Have you ever seen the movie "The Long Kiss Goodnight"? Samuel L. Jackson has a sweet line about what it means to make assumptions. I won't repeat it here. You'll have to go watch the movie to find out.) Moving on...

Yes, that's me in the picture. Why do I look so puffy and tired and puffy? And again, what am I holding? I had little Miss Kaylee take this picture with my phone after I ran a 10 mile progression run at 6:40 pace on the treadmill (the day after I ran a 22 miler at 7:40ish pace). Note to self: next time take the picture prior to running. You'll look prettier.

I'm holding my favorite recovery tool, the FRoller. I've mentioned it before, but a year after purchasing it, it's still my favorite (landing above both the foam roller and the Stick). It's especially nice after workouts, like 10 mile progression runs, for instance.

Besides modeling the FRoller, what have I been up to since running BayState three months ago!? I don't know...I've been running, among other things. Just prior to BayState I went back to work full time, which has been an adjustment. It's all good, and I'm happy, but priorities have shifted a bit. Hence the blog silence.

I received an email from the BAA today, which noted that there are less than 100 days until Boston! 100 days in marathon training is nothing! (Statements such as that only give credence to Nick's argument that I'm crazy.) Anyway, the BAA email got me thinking, and thinking got me back to my blog. So there you go. It all makes perfect sense now, right?

Am I excited about Boston? I wasn't. This training cycle is weird (due to my schedule), and since I have a renewed interest in work, training also seems less important (right now). Okay, so I write that, but the fact is, I'm still pretty much running every day. I consider my running schedule "relaxed", but my "relaxed" schedule has had me running 20 milers the past four weekends, with some kind of marathon paced run the day after. I've had some people tell me recently that my definition of relaxed is their definition of stark raving mad. I'm sure, however, that you fellow runners, can appreciate where I'm coming from...I might be less intense this training cycle, but I'm still training. And besides some irritating viruses that my little ladies keep trying to take me out with, I feel good.

Do I have lofty aspirations for Boston? I don't know! It's almost 100 days away! I'm generally more of a, put the training in now, and see how you feel as the race gets closer, kind of girl. I am more excited though. The BAA email makes it feel more real.

This may seem off the beaten path, but I need a new hydration belt for Boston (and training). I had a Nathan hydration belt, but I bought it when training for my first marathon after Kaylee was born, and I've shrunk a little. I had to drop the belt after the first half of Baystate this year because it was bouncing so much that it was cutting me. Does anyone have suggestions? I'd like one that  has a pocket that I could fit my phone or gels in. One that doesn't bounce and cut and chafe. Suggestions please!