Twenty Mile Weekend!

I’ve been scared of this weekend ever since I added “Long 20″ to my training calendar this summer.  The idea of running 20 miles seemed beyond crazy and completely outside of my comfort zone.  I started stressing as it got closer because it looked like I was going to have to do it on my own too, and we all know how that goes.  Blah!

I posted on my personal facebook page kind of joking asking who wanted to run it with me.  I figured if nothing else, I may be able to get a few of my runner buddies to run a few of the miles with me and if I planned it well, I’d only have to cover a handful of the miles completely solo.  I got lucky and one of my friends (the one whose group I’ve been running with) needed to run 14 miles this weekend and was looking for company too!  SCORE!

She was planning to run a bit faster than I was, but agreed to slow down just a bit so we decided to meet at Starbucks at 6AM on Saturday and I was actually kind of excited.  Honestly, I just really wanted to be able to post a picture of my Garmin showing I ran 20 miles with a bit “I DID IT!!”  Yeah, I’m a nerd like that.

Since I had to run an extra 6 without my friend, I decided I’d get up at 4:30AM so I could get a few of them in before I met up with her.  I woke up and heard water running.. I figured there was a leak or something.  It never crossed my mind that it may be raining.  I rolled over, grabbed my phone to check twitter, instagram, facebook, and the weather.. I was not so pleasantly surprised when I saw that we were in the middle of a pretty heavy downpour and it wasn’t letting up anytime soon.

I considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but I knew my friend would be there waiting for me so I got up, got dressed, and headed downstairs for breakfast and coffee.  I texted her to make sure we were still on and checked the weather again.  The storms were supposed to clear out by 7AM so we figured if it was bad, we could just hang out at Starbucks ’til they cleared.

Note to self – weathermen don’t know it all.  When they say the storms will clear out by 7AM, the storms probably won’t clear out by 7AM.

It poured on me the entire way to Starbucks.  Not a nice, refreshing rain.. a down pour.  We figured we’d be waiting around for a long while if we tried to wait out the storms, so in true BAMR fashion, we headed out for our long run in the rain.  Thankfully my friend knew the area well because thanks to the cloud cover, we were running in the dark for much longer than normal.  Running in the dark also meant that we couldn’t see the puddles ahead of us until after we ran through them.  Yeah, 20-miles in soggy clothes and soggy shoes.. are we having fun yet?

The run itself was actually really fun.  We had a lot to catch up on and eventually we were so soggy and waterlogged that the rain really didn’t bother us anymore and was kind of funny.  We did learn that when your running clothes are soaking wet, it’s better not to try to pull them up and mess with them, because if you do, then you’ll spend the rest of your run trying to hold them up.  And also, we should get cross training points since we basically swam part of the way and were pretty much running with an extra 10 pounds on us from our wet clothes and shoes.

We made our way back to Starbucks and I was on my own for the last six miles.  I changed into dry socks since the rain had let up some and stretched out for a bit, then took off again.  I’m so glad that I had body glide with me or I would have been beyond miserable.  My wet shoes and wet foot plus dry sock was a chafing nightmare.  I stopped after about half a mile to coat my foot in body glide, the finished up the rest of my run.

Then, I got to post this lovely photo, because we all know it didn’t happen if you don’t post a picture of your Garmin, right?

Meeting at Starbucks was a really great idea (for me, maybe not for the other Starbucks customers) because when I finished running, I was freezing and wet and hot coffee sounded amazing.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have a drive-thru so I went in to get my drink (venti non-fat no whip salted caramel mocha-YUM!) and had to stand in line.  I was so wet that there was a puddle under where I was standing.  Oops!

I was surprised at how great I felt afterward.  Nothing hurt, I wasn’t really sore, and I really felt like I could keep going for a while longer.  My pace was pretty decent too.  I think what really helped with that was that we were running intervals.  My friend typically sticks to 4:1 (4 minute run, 1 minute walk) intervals and picks the pace up quite a bit when she’s running.  I’ve done the intervals with her for my last few long runs and I’m always surprised at how little I hurt when we’re done.  I’m trying to decide if I should plan to do intervals at Space Coast — I’m thinking maybe 5:1 or 6:1.  Typically I walk through the water stops at races, so that’s kind of an interval, just a much longer one.  I need to think about how I want to do this.

So now, it’s taper time.  I’m really looking forward to 12 miles being my long run for the next few weekends — crazy that 12 miles isn’t really a long run for me now.  Yikes.

I’d planned to spend the rest of the day relaxing at home with my babies.  It’s Florida/Georgia weekend in Jax (huge football weekend, for the non-fans) and I wanted to watch the game and spend a lot of time in my compression capri’s with these two snuggle bugs..  (please pardon the lack of makeup!)

Sadly though, since work is so busy right now, this is how I spent the rest of my day.. at Panera in a not-so-comfy chair staring at the lovely website that we’re currently in the process of taking over (it’s a government site and I can promise you, it will be a million times better than the crazy Obamacare one!) and documenting every error message I could possibly come up with, then matching it up to a spreadsheet they sent us.  It was quite possibly the most boring way ever to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I called it a day around 8PM and headed home to watch the Florida State/Miami game (GO NOLES!!) and fell asleep a little after half time.  Mackenzie usually wakes up at some point during the night and Adam gets her and puts her in bed with us.  I woke up to her throwing up in our bed around 1AM.  I grabbed her and ran to the bathroom with her while Adam got the bed cleaned up.  I spent the rest of the night alternating between rocking her in the chair in her room and attempting to sleep on the floor next to her bed so I could be close if she got sick again.

Thankfully the vomiting didn’t last, but the poor little thing was miserable all day Sunday.  Our usually crazy-happy little girl spent the day either cuddling on the couch with one of us or sleeping and fighting a fever.  There’s nothing worse than having a sick little one when there’s really not much that you can do for them.  She perked up that evening and seemed to feel better.  By bedtime, she was back to normal and thankfully was kind and didn’t share her sick germs with the rest of us!

Have you ever alternated between straight runs and interval running?  Which works best for you?  How do you decide which to do?

Is this evil stomach bug going around near you too?  I think half of Braden’s school has been out with it!

Dear Sick Germs – Go Away!!

I’m kind of stuck and don’t know what to do.

I’ve been really good lately about sticking to my training, not bailing on runs because I just didn’t feel like it, and I’ve really been enjoying my long runs since I started running with friends.

But then, my kids decided to share their evil stomach bug with me.  I’ve been dealing with it since Wednesday morning and had my fingers crossed that I’d wake up this morning feeling better and well rested (I went to bed early last night).  No luck.10-

I woke up this morning feeling worse and as the day has gone on, I’ve become nauseated and have that all-over achy, sick feeling.  I’ve been drinking lots of water, trying to eat some, taking it easy.

Here’s my problem though — I’m supposed to run 18 miles tomorrow morning at a gorgeous location with my friend and her running club, but now I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

What would you do?  Go and hope for the best, bail if I can’t stick it out?  Stay home and rest?

I’m just worried — I only have two real long runs left before Space Coast, the 18-miler this weekend and a 20-miler in two weeks (with a 10-miler in between), then it’s taper time.

What would you do?  Help!!

I Don’t Want to Run a Marathon

I do, but I don’t.

Actually, I do, but I don’t want to train for it.

That’s not very smart though, is it?  Quite the pickle, isn’t it?

I don’t know what my problem is.  For so long, the idea of running a marathon was so scary and overwhelming and intimidating (it still is, if we’re being honest) but then I ran a half and it wasn’t so bad.  Not bad at all, in fact.  So then I started thinking I could run a full.  I know I can do it.. if I do the training.  Oh, the training.  It is not fun.

Training for a half is great for me.  The runs were fun, the long runs were the perfect length.  I felt amazing when they were over and I could get them done before we were off on whatever adventure we had planned for the weekend.  Mapping out a run when we were out of town wasn’t such an overwhelming task – heck, mapping out a run in my own neighborhood wasn’t either.

I really don’t enjoy training for a marathon.  I think I’ll probably love running the race (after its over).  I think I’ll probably want to run another one when it’s all over with, even though I keep saying I won’t.. but I sure do wish there were a way to safely train for it that didn’t take up so much darn time.  Or energy.  Energy is a pretty valuable commodity around here.  So is sleep, and all of this running is really cutting into my sleepy time too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do about it.  The thing is, I can’t drop down to the half distance for either of the races I’ve registered for.. and I really don’t want to.  I’m too stubborn.  So I have to do the training, I have to log the miles.  I’ve been a lot better in the last few weeks about not bailing on runs but my body is protesting.  It’s not happy and it’s hurting.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and talking to my marathon running friends and they all told me I was running too much — I was logging more miles than my friend who is training for Dopey.. and well, that’s just Dopey.  So I went back and reworked what’s left of my training plan to make it a bit more conservative and hopefully a lot more enjoyable.  I’m trying to make some other changes too, to keep me excited about the race and pushing forward.

Here’s what I’ve come up with, but I’d absolutely love to hear any suggestions that you have.  My first marathon is just about a month and a half away, with the second one six weeks later.

1.  Stop running alone.  I don’t mind doing my shorter runs alone, but after an hour or so on my own I just get so bored.  It’s not really feasible for me to drive anywhere to run, at least not during the week.  I need to get out and get it done so we can get on with our day.  I recently started meeting up with a few of the girls from my local Moms Run This Town chapter and it has really helped a lot.  One of them ran the first 4ish miles of my 17-miler with me last weekend and those miles FLEW by.  She and another friend are meeting me tomorrow morning to run the middle part of my 14-miler and I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s pretty to run here.. pretty boring. Yay for running buddies!

2.  Less running and more cross training.  The training plan I was on was just not working for me.  I can’t run five days a week and stay healthy – my body needs more of a break.  My hips hurt, my achilles tendon hurt (it always hurts), my knee and foot started hurting.  I felt like I was falling apart.  I’m running four days a week now with one or two cross training days thrown in and it’s helping.  I really want to pick up a copy of Run Less, Run Faster.  Sounds like it would be right up my alley.

3.  Fuel properly.  I have the worst diet.  Seriously.  I am hungry ALL THE TIME these days and usually grab whatever is closest to me.  I’m also a creature of habit.  A typical day for me looks like this — 2 big cups of coffee with dark chocolate almond milk and a banana chocolate chip vita top for breakfast, a pb&j sandwich (at least I eat it on whole wheat bread!) with wheat thins for lunch, a usually pretty healthy dinner with some sort of protein, carb, and veggie, then pop tarts for a bed-time snack.  Seriously Kristin, pop-tarts are not running fuel (but they are oh-so-delicious)!

I’d run an extra few miles for the promise of one of these. Salted caramel is kind of like my kryptonite.

4.  Foam roll and stretch.  I have the stretching down — I absolutely love to stretch out after a run and it feels SO good.  Random fact — I’m freakishly flexible and have had a few people ask me if I’m okay when I’m stretching in the driveway after a run, it makes me laugh.  I always forget to foam roll though.  I usually come in, guzzle water, then take over bed-time duties for Mackenzie (she loves me even when I’m a stinky, sweaty mess — Braden wants nothing to do with me ’til I shower).  Once I get her down, all I want is a shower (and a pop-tart) and my bed.  I need to leave the foam roller on my bed or something so I don’t forget.

5.  Make it fun.  I like to play games when I’m bored and running.  I make up stories about the people I pass (and those who pass me) or I pretend we’re racing and I try to catch up to them, keeping count of how many I can pass.  For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out how many light poles in our neighborhood add up to a mile, but much like the “how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?” question, I can never figure it out.  I get distracted and lose count.  I post a lot on social media when I’m long running alone too — I stop every few miles to stretch and post pictures to instagram, read encouraging tweets, etc.. it really helps.  Sometimes the social media aspect can backfire though — its a big reason why I didn’t throw in the towel on my 17-miler (when I probably should have ) — I’d been posting all morning about it, I didn’t want to have to say “oh, never mind, I couldn’t do it”.  Silly pride.

It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.

6.  Don’t think, just go.  I’m pretty good at getting up early to run.  I’m terrible about actually getting out the door.  I’ll drink coffee, play with Buddy, chat with Adam, snuggle the kids, waste time on twitter, drink more coffee… and before I know it, the sun is up and it’s a heck of a lot hotter than it would have been if I’d just thrown on my shoes and gone.  The hotter it is, the crankier I get and the less motivated I am to keep putting one foot in front of the other, which means I take more breaks and it takes longer.. and it’s just a slippery slope.  I need to make myself just go.

7.  The training plan I was doing had a lot of crazy speed work in it.  It was a pain to try to figure out how to run them and the treadmill and I are not friends so trying to program the darn thing to do it just wasn’t working.  I have a hard time pushing the pace when I’m outside and it’s hot (see, I really need to go earlier) so I was reading about Yasso 800s and it sounded like a good fit for me.  I started with four of them (I’m doing 800m in 4:00.. well, actually I’m doing a half mile at a 7:59 pace, but it’s pretty much the same) and I’m working my way up to ten, which I’ll do two weeks before Space Coast.  The idea is you should be able to run a marathon in the time it takes you to run the 800m repeats, but I definitely do NOT have my heart set on a 4:00 marathon, I just wanted to run them at a pace that felt comfortably difficult.

Need a better way to remember the settings for the treadmill, as this obviously didn’t work.

So, that’s what I have.  I have my fingers crossed that these little changes help and that I can get excited about running a marathon again.  I really do want to be excited about it, I promise.  Hopefully I’ll get there.


Did you have a tough time while training for your first marathon?  What helped you get over the training blues?

Too Much, Too Soon?

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to run a marathon.  I’m still kind of freaking out over that decision.

When I first started thinking about it, I was trying to decide if I wanted to run the Space Coast Marathon in December or the Disney World Marathon in January.  I’m horribly indecisive so I figured, what’s the worst that could happen, and signed up for both.

I’d been planning to use the “Marathon Finish It” plan from the ladies at Another Mother Runner, so I sat down yesterday and started plugging the runs into my training calendar.  The weeks between the two marathons kind of scared me.  I took a break from it and started reading first marathon race recaps from some of my favorite running bloggers.  Then I got more than a little scared.  Nearly every single one of the race recaps say the same thing – respect the distance, it’s not the same as running two half’s, it is brutal on your body.

Is it too much to run my second marathon just six weeks after my first?

Am I going to want to die running my first and second marathon that close together?

I can easily step down to the half for Space Coast and I’m really starting to think that might be for the best.  I don’t want to bail just because I’m scared, but I also don’t want to end up hurt and unable to run the Disney Marathon.  The problem with me is, I’m stubborn.  If I say I’m going to do something (and especially if I put it out here on my blog) then it’s really hard for me to bail on it.  I’m learning that sometimes you have to take a step back and re-evaluate, but it is really hard for me.

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I love it. I need to go download it so you can see Braden’s sweet little face.

I know that if I do the training, I can get it done.. but at what cost?  I’m already struggling with an angry achilles tendon.  Everything I read says I’m going to be totally beat up after my first marathon.  Throw in the fact that we’ll be at Disney for four days following Space Coast, and that my husband wouldn’t be there to see me finish my first marathon (he’s staying home with our kids).. it just seems like maybe it’s not a good idea anymore.  Really, it probably never was.

So what do you think.. is it too much, too soon?

Should I stick to my plan and run both or is it smarter to run the half at Space Coast and save the full for Disney?

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