Sunday, September 1, 2013

Marathon Training Week Seven

Marathon training this week was really good, until, my long run.

On Monday, I went out for three miles and felt so good I ran four.  It was hot and humid, but the sun was not beating down on me and I think that saved me a bit.

I also had a quick bike ride with George, 1. 7 miles.  Not fast, but we got some quality together time in and I loved every minute.

On Tuesday, I went out for seven.  Mr. RWM was home with the kids, so the plan was to just run straight for seven miles and they would pick me up, instead of coming back around.

This is usually a better run for me as my surroundings change.  I like that, plus, it was a nice day and I ended at the beach.

It was a good run, but by the time I was finished, my IT band was screaming at me.  Once home, I stretched and foam rolled.  This IT band is new to me and I am not happy. When I went to check off my miles on my plan, I realized I was only supposed to run six miles.  Oops...

I rested on Wednesday and most of Thursday.

Thursday night, I met Beth for a five mile run.  We met a the beach and it was cool and windy.  It has been a few weeks since we have run together and I was so happy to see her.  We had tons of stuff to catch up on and I starting chatting right away.

We talked non-stop for five miles.  I didn't walk, my asthma didn't bother me, and, in fact, it was the best five mile run I have had since April.

Normally, we grab a drink after our Thursday runs, but since school started, I promised the kids I would be home for bed time.  I couldn't break that promise.

This brings me to my long run Saturday, 12 miles.  I have not run this long since last year.  Plus, the night before my run, we went out to celebrate our anniversary. I may have made a couple of bad choices as far as food and drink were concerned, but you only hit ten years once.

I headed out 30 minutes later than I had planned.  It was cloudy, with a nice breeze but humid.  The first five miles were great!  Really they were.  I was right where I wanted to be as far as pace and I felt good.

When I hit six, I turned back.  This is where I ate some sport beans (too sweet) and stopped at a water fountain to fill up my bottles.  I started to run and the sun was coming up.  It got hot fast.

I started to fall apart in mile seven.  Miles eight and nine, I was just focused on getting home.  I also started to walk here and there.  Negative thoughts started to creep into my mind and they never left.

My pace slowed.  I tried to be positive when I hit mile ten.  Just two more miles to go.  I knew I could do it but had a hard time pulling it together.  I am pretty sure I walked most of or all of mile eleven.  It took me 15:49!

My feet hurt and it took all my strength to just keep my head up.  In the winter, I spent a lot of time in the gym.  I took classes, lifted weights, did all my PT exercises, used all the machines.  I was strong.  I felt good.  During the summer, I did all my runs outside with a little biking.  No real cross training.  I am paying for it now.  I am so mad at myself for losing the strength that took me so long to build up.  I realized here, that had to change.  Back to the gym this week and back into a regular cross training regiment.

Mile twelve, I ran/walked.  I finished, walked into my house and cried.  I cried partly because I hurt and I was tired but mostly because I felt bad that I had done such a terrible job at running twelve miles.  I know I sound ridiculous but in that moment, I felt like a failure and I was doubting my ability to go 26.2 miles.

After my shower, stretching and foam rolling, I started to feel normal again.  I posted on FB how horrible my run was and you all came though with some very positive words and good advice.  The bottom line is, I ran and walked twelve miles today. TWELVE miles!  That is nothing to feel bad about.  I never said that I was going to run this marathon in record time, I just want to finish.  I've said it before and I will say it again, there is no shame in walking.  If I didn't have that walk, I would not of finished, period.  It is what my body needed at that time and I am better off for it.

I took some time to look at my training plan today, particularly next week.  The long run next week is 13 miles.  I usually run better in a race and if I am going that far, then I want a medal when I cross the finish line.  It's the little things.

Sunday, is the Firm Man right here in my town.  It is a half ironman distance.  I had an email form the race director looking for five runners and five cyclists who would make up a relay team for some swimmers he had trained.  The email was a week old, but I took a chance and told him I was available to run.  Two hours later, I was in.

I don't have all the details yet.  The course looks beautiful and well supported.  He is going to link me up with a swimmer and cyclist and we will go from there.  I am equally excited and nervous.  Other people will be counting on me to finish.  People I won't even meet in person until next weekend.

My plan is to stay at my slow and steady pace.  Not go too long without fuel and listen to my body.  Walk if I need to and hopefully finish in 2:30.  I have no idea what kind of weather we are suppose to have and that will probably make a difference.

I know what I need to do differently while training for this marathon and adding cross training is number one on the list.  I can do this, I will do this, but I need to get mentally and physically tough starting right now!

Do you consider yourself mentally tough?  Any advice on that?

11 weeks to the Philadelphia Marathon.  (watching Rocky as I type this)

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. Sorry to tell you we will not be in Philly, hubby is injured so it is out. We will try for next year however. All the best and I look forward to reading about your training. I am now running his October 13th marathon as my first, 5 weeks less training and 6 weeks after my first 1/2 IM that I did yesterday. My goal is survival!

    1. So sorry to hear about his injury and that you won't be at Philly. Congratulations on your first half IM. That is just fantastic!

      I think with the 5 weeks less training, survival is the way to go. YOu can do it, I have no doubt!

    2. Thanks, you will rock your marathon as well. Mental toughness is harder then physical toughness, I worked on it a lot this summer, I did some of my longest workouts alone and it helped me. Enjoy your half IM relay, can't wait to hear about it.

  2. Nicole,

    To answer your question about mental toughness....It's the training for the marathon that has increased my mental toughness, but yesterday's long run (18 oh my miles) that really tested me. My first 13 mile training run rocked my world. I was running the length of a 1/2, but with no aid stations, no cheering, no medal at the finish line...And I did just fine. Didn't hit the 11 mile wall I'm used to hitting on race day. The next weekend it was 14, then 16 (which was horrible - we all have them!) But yesterday's 18 miler produced a mental fatigue and anguish I'd never experienced before. When my running app told me I had .30 left to run, I began sobbing, uncontrollably! And I don't know why!! I wasn't hurting more than I should be hurting; it was strange! I have a 1/2 marathon this coming weekend, which will feel like a walk in the park (I hope) and then it's the big one: 20 miles. Not sure where I'm going to find the rest of the miles I need to cross that finish line for the marathon, but I'll be digging deep...we wouldn't be this far without the ability to dig deep within ourselves when we need it. Chin up!

    PS. I suffered with IT Band syndrome for about 6 weeks until I started working on my hips, glutes, and core. Love my foam roller - life saver!

    1. Debra, I love your comment and really appreciate it. I am always amazed at how some runs are so incredible and others literally make us cry! I totally understand your tears. Mental toughness is so much harder to achieve than physical but your are right, it is the marathon training itself that will increase that mental toughness. I run 13 next week, not new to me, but it has been awhile. I am very nervous about passing that distance but i know I can do it! Good luck with your half marathon this week and with your training. Thank you for reading!

  3. You are mentally tough, never doubt that. Running solo sucks, in the lifetime, ok only a few months, but in running time it is a lifetime, we've been running together you have taught me the benefits of running with a friend, that support you have when you feel like you are done or want to be done but want to just keep going either for the company or the conversation or the end is near. The mental toughness you demonstrated is to stick it out for the full 12 miles. You could have called home, or hitched a ride, or just sat down and had a frothing fit. You did not. You mustered up all of your toughness and did what needed to be done. You did not give up. The solo long run is when you pull from everyone supporting you and I'm learning from those times you run with friends. Take your mind somewhere else. Running is as mental as it is physical. The mind is an evil defeating creature we have to deal with. Beat it senseless, instead of yourself. Remember running up and over the Newport Pell bridge and the excitement in that, and the fact that not everyone was able to enjoy that privledge. Remember your first 1/2 marathon. The picture of you pointing to your 13.1 magnet on the back of your truck shows that amazing and full of pride smile. You can run 26.2 and you will run 26.2. Training can suck and it can be amazing. Focus on the amazing, and let the suck fade in to the background. Be proud of setting your goal and achieving YOUR GOAL! I'm proud of you and you inspire me. You were with me pretty much my whole run today. I was willing you the strength to see what an amazing thing you accomplished. Did it help?

    You inspire me, you fight through pain that can be fought through and you listen to your body, you start what you finish and start as you mean to go on.


    1. Wow Beth, this brought tears to my eyes, AGAIN. I am a crying fool. You are so right though and i have learned a lot from this run that I will take with me the next 11 weeks and beyond. One of the best things that happened this year, was you asking if I wanted to run with the NRA. I remember thinking you are nuts but said yes anyway and never looked back.

      This run yesterday was different in the fact that I have had bad runs before but even after those, I still felt good. There was no good feeling yesterday, but last night and today is a different story.

      You did a fantastic job today and I hope to see you Thursday.

    2. Awesome to see that commitment, it's not an easy thing to power through that mental roadblock. Your mind is your biggest adversary, once you beat it into submission, you can go for miles! I guess I'm at the point now where I know some runs are going to be painful, maybe totally suck, but I'm trying to test my limits (and so are you), so it can't all be rainbows and unicorns...but I know it's going to get me to my goal, as it will for you, and that's where it's awesome. I guess even when it sucks, it's still a pretty damn good way to spend a few hours, right?

    3. Yes it is Michael! Thank you!

    4. I know those no good feelings no matter what runs. When I hit that point on the road where a run (and I) completely fell apart it gives me a little extra boost to stomp on that ground just a little heavier, knowing while what ever may happen again, it isn't happening now and I am moving forward. You are moving forward and 3 miles on Thursday sounds fantastic! Mike has a great point, it is a nice way to spend a couple of hours! Your next run may be a little scary at first, but hey, you will lace up and you will get out there and you will succeed. You didn't give up!!! Hugs!!

  4. Nicole... each time I head out for a run, I think to myself, "This is a blessing. For millions of reasons, not everyone can run." Have I hit the wall? Yes. Am I mentally tough? Yes. I hadn't done much training running since Marine Corps last October... mostly just miles for exercise. When I began training for Providence Rock 'n Roll Half, I went out for 4... stopped at 2 and wanted to cry. I walked the 3rd and was able to finish running the 4th. I thought back to training for my first 5k... and remembered, THIS IS A BLESSING. It's supposed to be fun, too, and energizing. I"ve hit walls at 10 while training for a Half and hit a big wall at 14 training for my first marathon. It's demoralizing and frightening... but we get back out there and amaze ourselves. You are an awesome runner. Thanks for this raw honesty. I hope FIRM was perfect! Keep posting, my friend! You're gonna rock Philly!

    1. You are right, Sharon. Every run is a blessing and I need to remember that. Two of my friends are currently in a boot and can't run at all. I know you can relate. This will be a much better week, with two races this weekend.5k with Connie on Saturday, which I will be taking easy and then the run of the Firmman on Sunday. I know it will be better than this past weekend! Thanks!