4 days to go!

I have been tapering this week and it’s been nice but weird. I feel a little lost. I feel anxious about the upcoming race. I watch the weather every morning and night. They were talking about rain on Sunday for at least 3 days and today the forecast changed to a sunny day with temps in the 50s. That is a relief. I sort of had the feeling that it would change to a more sunny forecast; because I just couldn’t believe or accept that my first half marathon would be in a complete downpour. So now I need to set aside some time to THINK. I read an interesting blog today http://drrachelruns.com/2012/04/25/thinking-about-running/. I know that I like to run so I can have time alone and regroup, but I don’t necessarily use that time to think. You may think that people have time to think when they are out running, but in fact it is just the opposite for me. It does give me the time to clear my head, regroup myself and feel better. Then when I am done with the run, the fuzziness is gone and I can think. I like to listen to my podcasts when I run and sometimes I notice lately that a few minutes will go by and I didn’t listen to a word they were talking about because I was getting list in my own running.

This week I have been very conscious about how much water I am drinking and making sure I am eating well. Getting some additional carbs in from time to time and I did a 3.1 mile run on Tuesday. I plan on doing another run either Thursday or Friday. I have to “think” about it and come up with a plan. I need to work out my pre race jitters as well. I have to pick up my number on Saturday, that will be when the real jitters kick in!

What will be next?

As I sit here a week away from my 1st half marathon, I am thinking about what will happen after the race. I know that I plan on running that week as usual and am also looking forward to packing my running clothes for our vacation and running in the cooler evenings in Florida. Once we get home I need to determine what I am going to do with my summer and running. It is very hot to be doing 12-13 mile runs. So should I shoot for some 5 mile races or 10Ks? Will I plan a half marathon for the fall? I have to do so me soul searching after this event to determine where I want to be. I also know that I need a goal in order to push forward.

The taper begins

The long run was just that, long. It was a very hot day. I started off with temps near 60. When I was done it was about 85. I was on the road by 8:30 and ran to Cooke road and then towards Anderson road. I had a gu pack around 50 minutes and headed towards my parents’ house where they had water waiting for me. That was refreshing. I grabbed a small bottle and ran with it down route 17 and left it in a mailbox to pick up on my return loop back.

I headed back towads my house up route 17. At mile 8.5 I was starting to fall apart. I was getting very hot and I needed to get my water belt from home but I also didn’t want to run up my hill. I called my husband and asked him to meet me with it at the bottom of my street so I could continue down route 17 for the last 30 minutes of my run. We didn’t meet up and I ended up runninp up my hill TWICE! Turns out that was good training. I continued up my road and finished up in my neighborhood on Anderso Road to Deepwood with a return trip up my hill. I had to eat a little time in the front yard. While out on this run I had moments where my mind goes away from me and I think to myself, I can’t imagine doing this twice to equal a marathon distance. But I never say I will NEVER run a marathon. I just realize the endurance and mental strength and training that will be required to go the 26.2 miles. I believe I can do it

My final distance for a 2 hour 20 minute run was 12.3 miles so I estimate that I will finish my half marathon around 2:25. Following my run I did my cold bath and then we went out to some parks with the kids. It was still hot out and I think that plus the long run really tapped me. I was trying to rehydrate. I had a headache though for most of the afternoon. I suspect that was due to the heat and loss of fluids. I still want to research into that to plan for it in the future on hot days. My quads were sore for 2 days after this run. I think it is due to 3 trips up my hill, but I also wonder if that is part of the dehydration I might have experienced a little of.

Tapering:
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-238-244–14073-0,00.html
http://www.chirunning.com/community/blog-entry/and-let-the-taper-begin/
http://www.active.com/running/Articles/How_to_Taper_for_Your_Road_Race.htm

For my taper I ran 3 miles on Thursday and my legs didn’t feel too bricky. Then on Saturday I ran 6 miles. I wasn’t planning on doing 6 miles this weekend, I thought I was just going to do 3 and 4 miles for the next two weeks but my chiropractor said 6-8 won’t hurt. I did 6 miles in 1 hour 7 minutes so again I estimate my finish time to be around 2:25. Anything earlier would be a great bonus.

I plan to run 2 more runs between now and the race; a 3-4 mile on Tuesday and then a 3-4 mile on Thursday. Then I hope to get in a walk on Friday and Saturday to collect my thoughts and settle my nerves.

As I am writing this, I am having a lazy morning. My husband made us pancakes and bacon. I usually don’t eat pancakes, but indulged today since it is the week before my race and carbs are ok. I am taking the time to relax as much as I can this week and give my body a little time off.

I have been conscious to eat more protein this week and starting today I will also make sure to have carbs more this week. I also have to be real good about getting hydrated. The weather forecast looks good so far for next Sunday, 60’s and sunny. But this is New England, that can change in an hour.

It does hit me from time to time that I am going to be doing a half marathon in a week. I have run the distance before, but I never participated in an organized event with even the word “marathon” in it! Dr. Pat told me that by next year I’ll be doing a marathon. I don’t doubt that either. If it’s not a Disney marathon, it may be the Hartford Marathon.

2 weeks left! AHHHHHH!!

I did another long run last week of 8 miles and a short run. My mileage last week was very low compared to the previous weeks. I am planning on a 2 hour 20 minute run tomorrow morning. It is going to be a very hot day tomorrow. I hope to get out there before the heat becomes an issue. I am also going to have to dress for it. I have been wearing long tights and a vest for the entire winter and even the past few weeks. I think now I have to wise up to the conditions and be ready to feel the heat. It’s not a winter run for sure. I’ll miss that. I am feeling a little anxious about the run but keep remembering something I read that suggests to just say you are going for a run, don’t get hung up over the distance of the run.

Today was a day that I had to listen to my body. I had been extremely busy the past two weeks. Yesterday was a day where I didn’t eat as well and didn’t drink enough water. I paid for it today with a headache and fatigue. Once I had gatorade I started to feel better. I am continuing to have lots of fluid and will have some protein and carbs for dinner with pasta alfredo to help me prepare for tomorrow. I decided to just stay home today with the kids and stay low key to rest up for tomorrow.

Here’s to a successful long run prior to the race and looking forward to the taper and preparation.

3 weeks a few more long runs to go

On Friday I ran 10 miles. I want to do two long runs between now and the race. So that was the first one I can cross off my list. I ran a new route. I was ready for it, but I encountered a few bumps along the way. About a mile and a half into it I realized my sensor wasn’t tracking my distance. I had to stop my run and fix it. I wasn’t about to run 10 miles guessing how far in was going. I had an idea because I mapped the route ahead of time. After the fix I swore about it to my friend and moved on. I regrouped mentally and decided to shoot for a total time over the total distance. The final time was 1:52 and the distance was 10 miles.

In had my water belt filled and waiting with a gu near my mailbox. However I never made it back to my house to get it. After I ran Cooke road and did my library loop I ran towards my parents’ house. That was mile 6 or so and I was feeling thirsty. I called my mom and had my brother meet me with water. I finished the run on route 17 took a big drink of water at their house on the return trip and headed home. I felt great after the first hour. In fact I only felt good once I got to the hour. Why does it take and hour to feel in the groove. Once there it seems more comfortable. At about 1 hour 20 minutes I was running out of gas. That was about mile 8. In the beginning I had a gu around 50 minutes. I needed another one around mile 8. These are notes I am making for the race. The race will have Gus available at 6-8 miles. I will bring my own for the beginning and will have one of theirs at mile 8.

My plan next is to run a 2 hour 20 minute run next Tuesday. The begin tapering with lots of protein next week and carbs and tapering the week prior to the race.

Getting back into it

So I think once again I am fighting off one of the kids colds. I thought it was allergies, but it may be a cold. Who knows, but whatever it is, I think it slowed me down a little bit today. My lungs felt labored. I did 6 miles. I planned to do 6 but it felt more like 12. I was mentally ready for it, but once I got out there my mental game was missing. I was feeling challenged.

Lately I have been questioning my method of training with using the Galloway run/walk/run method. Before doing it, I could run a 5K in just over 28 minutes. Now when I run a 3 mile distance (while doing walk run 4:00/1:00) I am clocking it around 32 minutes! I may have to go out for a run soon and not stop for a walk and see what my time comes out to be. However, when I decided to increase my distance, that is why I used that method. I listened to Jeff’s podcasts, read things on his website, got one of his books and really wrapped my head around the idea that this was the way for me to run to avoid injury and to recover quicker.

My husband asked me while he saw me out on the run and pulled over with the kids, why I stop to run. My timer went off so it was a walk break. I just told him this is the method of training I am doing. He was a sprinter in high school so distance running isn’t something he is interested in. But he also sees marathon runners who run the entire distance and doesn’t see them take walk breaks. Now mind you, I am now 40 years old, am not a professional runner and this is a new endeavor for me. So I am taking the safer approach. I don’t have to justify myself to him or anyone else, but I have been questioning the style for a few weeks now.

However, I do like this style of running. It has allowed me to run 15 miles, my shin splints are completely healed, I can walk the same day after running a long distance, and I feel good while out running. I was told to read about chi running. I think that is the type of running I do.

So after my 6 mile run today, I am going to give my legs and brain a break for 2 full days and head out on Good Friday for a 10 miler in the morning. I’d like to have 2 10 mile runs under my between between now and the half marathon. Once I get this 10 mile run done in a few days I think it will help me build up the courage and mental toughness I need to feel confident about this big race for me.

What have I been up to? The Big 4-0

I haven’t been blogging as much as I had a few months ago. What have I been up to? I just turned 40 on March 30. I am still running, and my back has recovered from my recent compression injury. After 5 trips to the chiropractor I am back to my old self again. But during the time of my injury I was beating myself up mentally over it. My first run after 9 days off was a struggle. It was 80 degrees out and I was still recovering from my gut not feeling 100%. I was overheated, but still did a run. I felt disappointed however. I thought that during my 9 days off I lost my desire to run. During my recovery time I was taking walks. The first 2 walks were mentally challenging because I wanted to take off and run. Then I began to enjoy my walks. Since getting better, I sometimes take a walk on my non running day. By my 3rd run back into it, it was coming back to me. My longest run since my 15 miler has been a 6 mile run. It felt good and took me 1 hour 10 minutes. I did run it a little faster and now I want to focus on doing another 6 miles and then 10 by Good Friday. During my 6 mile run I was getting a little intimidated by the race. However, I remind myself that I have already done 2 runs of 13 miles or more, so I know I can do it. I think in my mind I have a finishing time in mind and I think I am not going to make it. I’ll continue to work on speeding up a little bit. So 29 days left to go!