Lansing Marathon Training recap

Here is the much anticipated Lansing Marathon training recap.  I know.  It’s exciting.  Control yourselves.  I DO find it very helpful to put together a training recap though.  Kind of corny, but it helps me to look back over my training cycle – both the details of the workouts and a more general picture.  It usually gives me confidence and perspective going into the marathon.

  • The training plan:  provided by Coach MB from Lifetime, though I didn’t workout with the group much at all this time.
  • Weeks of training: 17  (including last week of taper next week)
  • Miles run: 695
  • Long runs: 14 miles (1 times); 15 miles (2 times); 16 miles (3 times); 17 miles (1 time); 20 miles (3 times); 21 miles (1 time); 22 miles (1 time)
  • Tune up races: Polar Dash Half Marathon (1:40:33)
  • Other things of note:  My paces on most of my runs were faster this time; typically in the 8:30 – 8:45 range.  MP was around 8:00 – 8:10.  This was also the most 20+ milers that I’ve done in a training cycle (5).  But, of note, my last 20+ miler (22 miles) was 4 weeks out from race day instead of the “usual” 3 weeks out from race day.  (So last long runs were 22, 17, 16, 10.5).  I’ll be interested to see how these changes pan out for me.
  • Extra stuff:  pilates several times a week.   I had such good intentions of doing cross training and weights, but that never happened.  I just couldn’t do it all and those were things that I sacrificed this time.
  • Injury:  None!  However, my right hamstring still feels a little off/tweaked at times, ever since August of last year when I did something to it.  Nothing major, but off.
  • Weight:  started at 115, not sure where I am now but if I had to guess I would say about 118.

So those are the numbers, but how do I feel about Lansing?  I feel calm, peaceful, excited and ready.  I feel like this training cycle, more so than any of the previous 8, has prepared me – both mentally and physically – to tackle the distance and leave everything that I have out there.  I feel like I’m in a really good place physically.  I feel strong and fast.  I feel like I’m peaking at just the right time.  And all that is good.  And important.

But, more importantly, I feel like I am in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been before a marathon.  As you know, I’ve been through an enormous amount of life stress since last Fall, with the divorce, adjusting to life a single parent and several really big trials. And this stress carried through the entire training cycle.  But I feel like I’m in a good place, a better place, now.  I feel like I’m moving forward in a positive direction and I feel excited about the new opportunities that are out there.  Mostly, I feel like this life stress has made me really really strong and comfortable with who I am, where I’m going and what I want out of life.  In terms of the marathon, the life stress I’ve been through has made me realize two things:  1) It’s just a race.  It might be a great day, it might not be.  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a race.  There are so many more important things. So relax.  And enjoy.  2)  I can handle anything.  I have learned that I am tougher than I thought I was.  I have dealt with some major lows and hard times during this training cycle, but I made it.  And I am not just ok, but great.  So even though there will be low points in the marathon, really, they are just low points in a marathon.  I can get through them.

So what do I feel like I’m trained for, time-wise?  I think on a great day I could do 3:32ish.  Let’s hope April 22nd is a great day!

One week from tonight I’ll be in Lansing trying to sleep before race day.  Hopefully I won’t need to make a 9 o’clock noise complaint call to the front desk like at Grandma’s Marathon last year.  Man, I’m getting old and lame.  🙂

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Lansing Marathon training, week #16 recap

Taper week!  It’s been an “ok” week.  The runs haven’t felt great, like I want them to.  The good news is that nothing feels hurt though.  Give me another week of rest and I should be good to go!

Lansing Marathon training week #16 recap:

Miles run: 28.8

Pilates: 3

Details:

  • M: 6.7 miles (8:10) (w/ 6 x 800m); pilates
  • T: pilates
  • W: 6 miles (9:01)
  • Th: 6 miles (8:23) (w/ 3 MP 7:52; 7:56; 8:02)
  • F: rest
  • Sa: 10.1 miles (8:57)
  • Su: pilates (that’s the plan anyway)

7 days til race day!

I do need to focus on better nutrition and better hydration this week.  I’m feeling sort of big and bloated.  Likely because I’ve tapered the exercise but not the eating and drinking.

 

Relax!

Taking a break and relaxing is hard for me.  I would rather be running.  Biking (even falling off of it).  Anything, really.  But I get through taper by reminding myself that taking a break and relaxing is just as integral to success on race day as the hard workouts are.  So today I forced myself to sleep in (which, for me, is 5:30 a.m.).  The extra sleep actually did feel good.

And, is it bad that my marathon hasn’t even been run and already I’m looking at the calendar wondering if I can squeeze another one in between Lansing and Chicago?  🙂

Also got a fun email with new pictures of my puppy. He appears to be relaxing, just like me.  Only 5 more weeks til I get him!

Dessert! And Lansing Marathon training week #15 recap

Dessert anyone?

Photo Credit:  Brother Tom, testing out his new camera and the focus on the yummy/blur out the not so yummy (me!) effect.  

The lime bars and black forest cheesecake bites were both SO yummy!  But I think I am officially done with desserts and red wine until after Lansing.  Right.  Let’s see how well that works out for me.  Any bets on how long I last?!?

Today was a great day.  Started off with coffee and a run.  Church with the kids.  A food filled day with the family.  Dessert and red wine.  Love it all!

*******

Wow – week 15 of training is in the books.  Crazy that this training cycle is now almost at an end.   Official taper time now!  My week this week was heavier in the first few days, so I would say that I’m doing a 2 1/2 week taper, which seems to work just right for me.  3 weeks ends up seeming long and 2 not quite enough.

Lansing Marathon Week #15 Recap:

Miles run: 44.5

Pilates: 4 times (yipee!)

Biking:  About 18 miles of REAL biking!  And only 2 falls!  🙂

Details:

  • M: 10 miles (8:03) w/ 3 x 2 miles at 10k pace (7:11; 7:11; 7:31); pilates
  • T: 4 miles (9:06); pilates
  • W: 6.9 miles (7:59) w/ hills; biking 5 miles and 2 falls!
  • Th: 5.5 miles (9:10); biking 10 miles
  • F: pilates; biking 3 miles
  • Sa: 16 miles (8:38)
  • Su: 3.1 miles (9:02); pilates

13 days til race day!

Lansing Marathon Training, Week #14 Recap

First, random picture of Norah giving me some love:


Week #14 of Lansing Marathon training went well.  A decent amount of miles and pilates.  Even managed a bit of cross (biking).

Miles run: 47.4

Biking: 50 minutes

Pilates: 4 times

Details:

  • M: 9 miles (8:05) w/ 1 mile at 6:54, 5 x 400m (paces: 6:15, 6:10, 6:24, 6:16, 6:29), 1 mile at 6:55
  • T: pilates
  • W: 8.1 miles (8:29) w/ some hills mixed in
  • Th: 7 miles (8:18) (w/ 4 miles at MP 8:08, 8:02, 8:03, 8:01)
  • F: pilates; biking 50 minutes
  • Sa: 17 miles (8:21)
  • Su: 6.30 miles (9:23); pilates

Only 3 more weeks of training left.  SO looking forward to race day!   19 more days til race day!

Donut run!

Loved today’s long run for a bunch of reasons:

  • It was with the group and running with them is good for me.  It motivates me to go faster/harder than I would on my own.  It also forces me to get out and be social, which is desperately needed after months of focusing too much on work and life craziness.
  • Hills!  They have been lacking in my training this time around.  But between last week’s hilly 21 miles and this week’s hilly 17 miles, I should be good for racing in Lansing (which is supposedly flat; anyone know if this is really the case?)
  • 17 miles, with hills and a bunch of marathon paced miles that didn’t feel like MP miles, which is always a nice feeling.  17  miles, 8:21 pace avg.
  • Good times.  Good conversation with KH and Jen, made the time and miles fly by.  Plus I got some good baking, fashion and self defense tips.  Fun stuff.
  • The best part:  DONUTS!  We started our run from the parking lot of Yo-Yo Donuts, so when we were done with 17 miles we pigged out on yummy donuts and coffee.  I’m gonna talk to coach about starting all our runs from there.  So good.

****

I’m gonna admit it:  I’m jealous of all the Boston peeps.  Most of the running group is doing Boston, so there is excitement in the air.  I think I’M more excited about it than they are (most of them have run it before).  I can’t wait next year when I get my Boston chance, finally.  I’m gonna be crazy obsessed with the picture taking and blogging.  So be ready, readers.

Lansing Marathon Training, Weeks 11 and 12 recap

Oooops, forgot to post week 11 of Lansing Marathon training.  I know you were all just dying to read about it.  So here you go, week 11 and 12 of training (crappy cut back week in trial all week, followed by awesome running week on vacation!):

Week 11:

Miles run: 31.6

  • M: 9 miles (8:22) with 6 x 60/60, 5 minutes at 15 sec slower than MGP, 5 x 30/30, 5 minutes at MGP
  • T: 5.8 miles (8:54)
  • W: 6.25 miles (8:48)
  • Th: rest
  • F: rest
  • Sa: 10.5 miles (8:45)
  • Su: rest
When’s the last time I had 3 COMPLETE rest days in one week??  

Week #12

Miles run:  54.1

  • M: 6.2 miles (9:29) morning; 3.1 miles (8:51) evening
  • T: 9.1 miles (8:24) w/ 3 x 1 mile repeats (7:17; 7:02; 7:05)
  • W: 4 miles
  • Th:  3.1 miles (8:24)
  • F: 20 miles (8:52)
  • Sa: 2.4 miles (9:13)
  • Su: 6.4 miles (8:40)

Notice what was completely absent from the past 2 weeks?  Pilates and core.  Uggg.  Hitting that like crazy for next few weeks.

33 days til race day!  (Holy crap!  That snuck up on me all the sudden!)

Lansing Marathon Week #10 recap

Today was really the first time that I started picturing the marathon itself and started thinking about how I can’t wait to run another marathon.  I love everything about the marathon.  I love the anticipation of it.  I love the race itself.  I love seeing different courses.  Love seeing the crowd support.  Love seeing the emotion of the other runners.  Love the highs and lows that I experience along the course.  Love the pain (sick, I know).  Love hitting mile 25 and knowing that I am going to make it.   Love crying and dropping F-bombs along the course and swearing that I’ll never run another marathon again.  ove crossing the finish line and having another marathon under the belt. Love thinking about when my next marathon will be, within minutes of crossing the finish line.  I love the marathon!

This should have been a bigger mileage week, since I had a monster of a long run.  But I ended up taking two days COMPLETELY off of training – not even one little plank on either of those days.  I wanted to do some running or cross today, but was crazy busy with life stuff.  And then one of my days was zero running and just pilates.  So I guess I can’t complain about 40+ miles in only 4 days of running this week.  It’s all good.  I still feel really really good about where I am at with my training.

Week #10 recap:

  • Miles run: 41.6
  • Pilates: 3 times

Details:

  • M: 8.3 miles (8:25) w/ 8 x .25 (1st 4 at 2 mile pace, 2nd 4 at mile pace) and 2 x .50 (at 10 mile pace)
  • T: pilates
  • W: 5.3 miles (9:21); pilates
  • Th: 6 hilly miles (8:53)
  • F: complete rest day
  • Sa: 22 miles (9:08)
  • Su: complete rest day

48 days til race day!

22 miles of crap!

The 22 miler was a mixed bag.  Success in that I got it done (yipee!) and got my thinking/work done (yipee!).  Fail in that it felt off from the beginning and the last 5 miles were really sucky (9:07, 9:23, 9:44, 9:31, 10:04).  My finish, with the miles getting slower and slower and feeling suckier and suckier (is that a word?), reminded me of many marathons that I crashed and burned in the later miles.

So, in analyzing what went wrong (b/c you all know I like to analyze things), here’s what I figured:

  • The weather didn’t help.  It was cold and windy (23 with 18 mph winds) and light snow at times.
  • The footing wasn’t the best.  Slippery in spots.  Not horrible, but enough that I had to concentrate on the road.
  • Things just felt off right from the start.  During the first 1/2 mile I felt like I was at a comfortable pace.  I felt like it was about an 8:40 pace.  When I looked at garmin it was 9:08 pace.  Uh-oh, not a good sign that my pace was so much slower than what I thought it felt like.  In retrospect, maybe I should have just stuck with that pace and then my run might have finished stronger.  But, I tried picking it up a bit, so that for the first 10 miles it would average 8:58.  Weird, but 8:58 felt hard.
  • So for miles 10 – 20 coach had said to try to negative split it.  So I did pick it up for miles 11 – 17 (8:42, 8:47, 8:46, 8:45, 8:51, 8:51, 8:47).  But then I just completely died at mile 18.  I felt dehydrated.  I was shuffling more than running.  My right hamstring was tight and I had to stop and stretch about 8 times.  I was cold.  I just wanted to be done.
  • I was very close to quitting at 18.  The only thing that kept me going is knowing that my schedule wouldn’t allow me to do a long run next week, so I needed to get it out of the way.
  • In retrospect, I think my biggest problem was that I didn’t give this training run the respect that it deserves.  22 miles is a REALLY long way.  It’s just about a marathon.  And my fueling yesterday was sub-par.  My sleep all week has been minimal (5 – 6 hours a night).  My stress level has been high.  I probably would have been better off sleeping in a couple extra hours instead of getting up early to work before my run.

Lessons learned! The important thing is, it’s done.  Now my remaining 20 milers should feel easy after this!

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