647 – 652

So tonight I had 8 planned, but ended up doing 5 for a few reasons. First and foremost, I am supposed to be tapering and resting my legs. Week 15 ended up being a weird rest week, but I don’t want to run miles just to run them and mess myself up for my marathon that is in 10 days. Also, I just wanted to spend less time running. I didn’t have much of a plan, but here’s what I ended up doing: a warmup mile, a mile at 7:17, a jog mile, a real fast mile at 6:14, and then a cooldown mile. The 6:14 surprised me and it felt really good and like I could’ve kept going for a while. That was a nice surprise. I’ll try to make up the 3 extra miles but if I don’t, no big deal.

I should also mention that for the last several months I’ve completely forgotten that marathon training did not start on January 1st. It actually started on December 30th. So, I have been completely neglecting 9 miles that I ran in week 1 in my total “marathon miles”. So, I have actually run 661 miles since marathon training began, and should be at 710 total miles walking up to the start line. Obviously 9 miles isn’t anything nuts but I’ll take it!!

When this all started, I planned 884 miles, and I will end up with 736 assuming all goes to plan, which means I did 83% of the miles I planned. It’s also almost exactly 8 miles a week. That’s a lot, but I think a lot of it is justified. At some point I sat down and figured out what I had done versus what I had planned, but at least half of the missed miles were snow related. Week 5 in particular was very bad, and I missed a ton of miles in week 15 I had to take off 4 days because I was sick, and that was probably another 30 or so, maybe more. The rest were just a product of having to take days off for rest or an actual social life. I think I struggled in the later weeks because it’s just very difficult to run 10 miles when you get home at 6:30 and don’t really get out the door until 7pm, and need to eat dinner and unwind at some point. I know a lot of busy people train for marathons running only 3 or 4 days a week, so I think I did a decent job of running the miles that my life allowed me to run.

Finally, I was 207.5 on March 5 after a long run, but I was also 209 on March 29, 207.5 again on April 6, and 205.5 yesterday after my run. I have no idea what my “actual” weight is, since I’ve only been weighing myself after runs all year, but I’m about 15 pounds “after run weight” lighter than I was when the year started. I’m going to try to keep making progress on that as the year goes on. I fluctuate a lot depending on what I eat and drink, but I feel like I’m about 5 pounds away from being a really good weight. Obviously I’d like to have lost those 5 lbs by now, but I’m not going to do it in 10 days.

Alright, doing 8 tomorrow, see ya then.

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639 – 647

Hey blog.

Last night I jogged 8 miles and it was fine. When I left work I had to grocery shop, and then walk the dog, and it was raining, so I was not in the greatest mood, and my legs were a little bit sore. I really wanted to run 6 miles, but I somehow talked myself into doing all 8. I didn’t time the first 4, and ran a route that I for some reason have an easier time getting through than others, and I ran the 2nd half in 35:50. The rain let up before I went out, so that was good, and I just kind of had to shut my brain off. I find jogs like this really hard to get through sometimes, because they’re just time consuming and hard to get mentally engaged.

I have 8 more tonight, and I might throw in a tempo or interval portion just to get my legs moving and to break up the monotony. Alright, that’s all I have for now, see ya later.

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623 – 639

So tonight was my last run over 12 miles, and it feels a little bit bittersweet. In some ways it’s a relief because doing long runs is super time consuming and physically draining, but it’s really rewarding to accomplish running very far distances. There’s also a sense of feeling like you need to do more to prepare yourself, and during the taper period I get really antsy. There are still more workouts to do, just shorter distances, so I’ll let that distract me.

As for tonight, my goal was to run comfortably for the first 3/4, and then try to run really hard for the last 4 miles. What ended up happening was something different, but equally as productive. The weather was very incredible tonight, and I would like to reiterate that for any time I might read this in the future and need to remind myself that great running weather exists. My legs were a little sore to start, but warmed up nicely, and I could tell that my pace was pretty good. I didn’t look at my watch until 5 miles, and I was at 42:17, which 8:28 miles. That’s pretty fast for my first 5 in a training run. I decided to stick with the pace for as long as I could, and kept it moving until mile 10, where I stopped for water. It was technically mile 10.15, which I hit in 86 minutes, and I think was still 8:28 miles total. I told myself I would really push it until mile 14, and then cool down for the last 2 miles. I opened up my stride a little bit, and was actually feeling really good for a while. When I hit mile 13 to check my watch, I was gut punched by the realization that I never started my watch again after the water stop. I was super pissed. I started it up again for another mile which was in 8:35, but I could tell I was slowing down a lot due to fatigue.

I am fairly certain I went through 13.1 in 1:51 or less, since that is exactly 8:28 miles, and through 14 in 1:59 or so. I am willing to bet it was closer to 1:50 or 1:50:30 for the half, because miles 10-13 just felt fast. I’ll never know though. The important thing is that the pace felt good, and sustainable. I need to get myself geared up for “race effort”, which for me means that I’ll be running faster than that, and for a lot longer, and there will be extreme pain at some point. To essentially do a fast jog of a half marathon at 1:50 when my goal pace is 1:45 for a race is pretty good, but 5 is a lot minutes for a half marathon, not to mention the fact that there is a whole other half marathon to run after that. I probably would have benefitted from doing some races to get my brain ready for what to do when I start crashing and burning, but it’s too late for that. Either way I am glad today went well.

The rest of the week is some middle distance stuff (3 consecutive 8 milers, a 6 miler on Saturday, and a 10 miler on Sunday), and then next week is jogs of 5,6,5,6,3, and then that’s probably it. That’s 65 total more miles, which will get me to 704 walking up to the start line. Considering I basically missed 2 weeks combined that is not terrible. It’s also a weird taper but I’m not really going to get into that. ANYWAY, I just want to get through this week and then lose probably my mind on race week. See ya tomorrow.

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617 – 623 (week 17)

Last night I ran 6 miles, the first of which was slow, the next 2 of which were uphill and in about 17 minutes, the next 2 were down those same hills I just ran up in 16:22, and the last was slow. It went just OK. My legs are tired, and I felt like I was pushing it kind of hard, and just not moving that fast. Like I was legitimately making an effort to run very fast and I just wasn’t doing it. My confidence is not super great right now. I missed a lot of miles due to weather and injury/illness, and I think it’s kind of just standard marathon fare to feel like you could’ve done more. I am going to do my 16 miler tonight, and then it’s pretty smooth sailing until marathon day with the exception of a 12 miler at some point this weekend. All of the hard work is done, so I need to just focus on having quality workouts for the next 10 days or so.

What I feel is necessary is to boost my confidence by focusing on what went well during training. First, I went from weighing 220 lbs on January 1 to weighing 205, and hopefully less than that on race day, and that is an accomplishment. I still feel kind of bloated recently but it was definitely good progress. I also went from being completely out of shape to running 5 miles in under 36 minutes in a workout, and capable of running 21 miles in 8:48 miles pretty comfortably. All of my long runs, which were 18, 20, 20, 21, and 22 miles went very well. I also did all of my planned long runs with the exception of the one in week 4 or 5 where I was basically shut out from running entirely due to snow. It’s very difficult to run 6 days a week when you work full time and have other obligations like eating dinner before 10pm, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever hit the mileage I was able to do a couple of years ago. I think my expectations for the marathon might need to change a little bit, because I’m just not sure I’m in good enough shape to break 3:30. I still think there’s a decent chance I can do it, but I really just want to focus on a PR. I am still planning to run 8 minute miles for as long as I can, and hopefully that is 26.2 miles. I also think there’s a way better chance of me running 8:15-8:30 miles and having that be more sustainable on a good day, and 8:15s gets me a 3:36 marathon, which I would be pretty happy with.

Most importantly I am glad to be back in shape, and at least have the ability to not start from scratch again if I want to run another race in the Fall. I am going to spend the next 2 weeks trying to be as healthy and positive as possible, and hope for perfect race conditions.

Alright, see ya later for the last semi-long one.

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611 – 617

Saturday I planned to run 9 miles, but I only ended up doing 6. It was a very nice day, and also the warmest day of the year. I was a little bit nervous about the hamstring issue so I took it easy at first, and after 3 miles I was really bored of jogging, so I threw in 2 tempo miles which took about 16:30 or so. I jogged another mile and was basically home, and I was kind of waffling on what I wanted to do next. It was like 75 degrees and I did not feel great, and I was also thinking about resting my hamstring instead of hammering out 2 or 3 more miles. So, I went home.

Yesterday I planned to run but I was busy at band practice from like 9am-3pm, and when I got home I was pretty beat and wanted to watch the NBA playoffs, and I got talked into hanging out in Hoboken for a while. So, I did not run. I still have to do the 16 miler I had planned for yesterday, and then it’s lots of mid-distance stuff for the rest of the week. I probably won’t do 16 tonight, but it will be Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m probably looking at hitting 700 miles or so before the race and I am trying to be OK with that even though it’s way less miles than I would have liked. I have some doubt creeping in and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do what I’d like in a race, but I guess we’ll find out soon.

Alright, see ya later.

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605 – 611

So as planned I took yesterday off, and planned to run 8 miles tonight. I was still kind of sore when I started, but warmed up nicely. I ran 4 miles out in about 35:30, but I started at like a 9:30 mile and was down to about an 8:30 pace at the halfway point. Out of nowhere, my right hamstring started flaring up, and that sucked. I kept going but had to stop after about 4.5 miles. At mile 5 I had a choice to either run a mile home, or do the 3 more I had planned, and I chose to go home. It was more precautionary than anything, because I am not trying to mess with pushing it on any injury. My plan for this weekend is to do either 9 or 10 one day, and 16 the other. See ya later!

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583 – 605

600 miles!!!!

Tonight I ran 22 miles. Here’s how it went:

22-122-2

I don’t have my watch with me but I think my final time was 3:21:34, and it was 9:09 miles. In general that is fine, but the first 10.75 miles were in 9:26 miles, and that was pretty terrible. A lot happened in this workout so I’ll just get into it.

First of all, my legs were pretty sore from the outset, since Tuesday was a really hard workout. I was essentially planning to do my fastest tempo workout and longest distance run back to back, and it should not have surprised me that it would be difficult. I also planned to run a different route, just to break up the boredom since all of my long runs have been on the same course, and I wanted to do some hills. For the first 5, I didn’t know exactly what my plan was, but I was trying to go from JC Heights into Hoboken, and that involved me getting in an elevator at some point, which I was not expecting. It was also the warmest day of the year, so I was sweating a little bit more than normal. I stopped for water at 5.5 and ate a Gu, and I was just feeling super lethargic and not mentally engaged. I decided I would just jump back on my normal route, and apparently right after that I just slowed down incredibly.

As you can see miles 6-11 were super slow, and I was feeling pretty bad. I stopped for water again at mile 9 and another Gu, and I was just dragging ass. I never looked at my watch until mile 10.75, and I saw how slow I was running. It was getting late, and I was just not in the mood to run 11.25 more miles, and I just decided to try to get home as quickly as possible. I put my head down until about mile 16, where I stopped for water and another Gu, and I had already knocked the total pace down to 9:18s, and then I ran the final 6 at a pretty good pace, and finished around 10:30 p.m.

It was a really, really hard workout. The last 6 actually were the best part of the workout, but the first 16 were torture. Once I finally sped up it finally felt like I wasn’t trapped in slow motion, but I was also pretty tired at that point. I was incredibly sore when it was over, but I guess that’s to be expected when you do two very hard workouts back to back. Today I actually feel decent, but I know I am taking the night off. I work until 6 and I have to leave the house at 7 to be somewhere at 7:30, so that means I won’t have any time, but I think my legs need a day. My goal was to be at 720 miles by race day but it might have to be closer to 700 because I don’t want to drain myself just arbitrarily trying to hit certain mileage. I am still kind of amazed that I was able to do a total of 950 miles over 19 weeks in the fall of 2013 because that just seems like it would be impossible, but that was also a time that I had no injuries/illness and no terrible weather.

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow. See ya then.

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