Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Half Marathon is Easier Than…

…trying to keep up with an 8 year old and a 10 year old in a 2k race. Actually, who am I kidding, I just waved goodbye to my 10 year old at the start line of tonight’s Beaver Chase in Kanata. I knew I wasn’t going to be keeping up with him and sure enough, he was out of sight pretty quickly. But I figured staying with my younger son wouldn’t be too challenging. Wrong. Apparently he has more of a competitive side than I realized. Throughout the whole race there was a girl immediately behind him and it was clear he had no intentions of letting her pass him. So I just did my best to not lose sight of him completely but quite frankly it was a struggle. It seems like not long ago at all we were taking the kids to 1k Somersault races, the two of them wearing race shirts that came to their knees. In those days a 1k could seem to last forever. Now I just comfort myself in the knowledge that I can still run farther than them, just not faster.

The good news – IT band felt good after my 2k sprint. I’ll be trying a very slow long run tomorrow to see how it lasts.

Things to Do When You Can’t Run

Wow, there are just so many fun things you can get done when you are not running…
1. Clean out your upright freezer after someone didn’t close the door properly.
2. Clean up the water all over the floor from when you took a break from the thawing freezer and the break lasted longer than it should have.
3. Wash the camping dishes you brought home a week ago in a plastic bag and forgot about. Even more fun when your dishwasher is broken.
4. Go shopping with your kids (if you don’t have kids you are probably not registering the sarcasm in this one).
5. Vacuum the area where your two dogs sleep and realize you have collected enough hair to make a third pet…and you are still not done yet.
6. Figure out creative ways to bribe/cajole/force your children to stop arguing.

I need a run…

It Was Going So Well…

…and now I have pulled my IT band. I knew I was feeling “twinges” during last night’s 12k run but I didn’t want to stop. Honestly, it didn’t feel serious enough to stop. I should have stopped. By the time I drove home certain movements felt like a knife was being jabbed into the side of my leg. I have iced, foam rolled and elevated and while it certainly feels better today I can tell I have some healing to do. Today is a rest day anyway, not sure what I will do tomorrow. I do know I will be going to pick up an IT band strap ASAP.

A Training Mash-Up

I’m the kind of person who likes to research so I have been doing a lot of reading about marathon training schedules. One has to wonder how something so simple as running can be so complex. The theories as to how one can successfully complete this distance are diverse and often contradictory. So if you have never run a marathon, how do you choose a training program?

The two programs I have ended up focussing on are the Running Room schedule and Hal Higdon’s Novice II program. I more or less followed the Running Room program for my half marathons and it seemed to work well for me. But I really like the simplicity of Higdon’s schedule. Even more, I like the fact that his program calls for only 4 runs a week while the R.R calls for 5. For me, 4 runs feel good, 5 starts to feel like a chore. If I fit in a fifth run in a week I want it to be because I feel like it, not because I have to.

So in the end, wisely or foolishly, I have combined the programs, hopefully taking the best from both. I have either created a masterpiece of a schedule or recipe for injury and fatigue. I also had to be creative for the summer months. I have no interest in doing long runs on summer weekends during family time and would rather take advantage of the long evenings to complete those particular runs. The advantage of being a teacher is I don’t have to be up and at work on summer mornings, so having a late evening run is not a problem. And, as someone who really doesn’t do well running in heat, the evening run will allow me to finish those long runs as the temperature is cooling.

My general pattern for the summer will be as follows:
Monday: tempo run – later in training this will be hill run or fartlek run nights
Tuesday: yoga and tempo run
Wed: long slow distance
Thur: boot camp and yoga
Fri: rest
Sat: steady run
Sun: rest

And here are the paces I will be using. These are taken from the Running Room “Marathon to Complete in 4:15”. I actually have no plans to finish in 4:15 and would in fact be thrilled to finish somewhere around the 4:30 mark. But at the moment I am comfortable with these paces and am completely willing to slow things down if necessary as training progresses.

LSD= 6:45-7:35
Tempo/Fartlek/Hills = 6:05
Steady = 6:45
Speed = 5:19
Race pace = 6:03
Walk adjusted pace = 5:47

My biggest question in all this planning? When to take walk breaks. In a half marathon I don’t take any breaks and enjoy maintaining a fairly steady pace. But I know for me to be successful in the marathon I will need to plan breaks. The question is do I use Running Room’s 10/1 run/walk program, or do I use Higdon’s advice of walking at water stations? The latter would mean a walk break every 2 – 3km. I can find numerous examples in blogs and articles of both being successful but have no idea what will work best for me. On my 14k run this week I did walk breaks every three km and that seemed comfortable. I guess the next step is to try the 10 and ones and see how they feel. This truly is one big experiment!

Running After a Rest

Last week I went into full running mode and was surprised when I realized at the end of the week I had put in just over 40km. Those final km were done on the Friday night and were followed by 72 hours of long weekend rest and relaxation.

While I can be pretty driven in my running, I am also pretty good – make that particularly talented – at doing nothing. My husband will attest to the fact that I can sit on a deck for a really, really long time just looking at a lake. If I get bored I just move on to reading and I am good for another few hours. Admittedly I am interrupted on a regular basis (about every 5 minutes) by my boys, but even so I have mastered relaxing at the lake.

Can’t say I’ve mastered the healthy eating on a long weekend. I am pretty sure I had a fruit cup one day and the nacho chips did have kale in them. Does the lemon in my vodka drink count?

After a great mini break it was time to run again Monday night and what a great run it was. Most days you know you should run, many days you want to run, and once in a while you need to run. That last one is a pretty amazing feeling. That’s when you know you are fuelling an addiction. On Monday’s run I didn’t care about pace, distance or time. It wasn’t an easy run but it felt amazing. If being lazy and eating crap food leads to this kind of run, well let’s just say I’m looking forward to the August long weekend.