This week absolutely flew by which must mean that running is becoming a routine. The first step needed to run a marathon! The big news this week is that RunDisney is returning with in-person events! For any RunDisney fan, this was desperately and much anticipated news. While I love seeing all of the Dopey training posts on Instagram and am very envious, I think I will try to do the Fairytale Challenge in February for the first time. I’m also going to plan costumes for the affair, so I’m quite excited. Even though I’m planning for the Chicago Marathon and that is my focus, I need to have goals lined up for afterward to keep me motivated.
But good luck to all of those training for marathon weekend and Dopey 2022! I love thinking about my 2020 Dopey experience and plan to do it again in 2023.
Monday – the dreaded yoga day. I did yoga for a hot minute before getting too bored to continue. Then I tried again, so I didn’t stop once but twice. I walked and did some other bodyweight exercises, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do a full yoga session. Why is it so challenging? So many people talk about the benefits of yoga for marathon training, and I understand there must be a huge benefit, so why can’t I just do it? Sigh…
Summer is in full gear, so it’s important to get out to run early. Today was my normal 3-mile run which went well. I am still focusing on heart rate since I don’t think speed work will help much until I lose weight. I had a great run in both metrics and how I felt finishing with an average pace of 11:43/mile and a heart rate of 141 bpm! Big accomplishment. I restarted my full Pure Barre membership, so I am going to get in as many workouts as I can. My schedule let me fit in an evening workout, so I finished a barre class. All on a Tuesday! At least that makes up for my lack of yoga yesterday. Getting stronger can help improve my running to make marathon day easier. Pure Barre does a lot for core strength which can also help make you a better runner.
Semi-long run Wednesday this week was another 4 miles. I finished with an average pace of 12:10/mile but also achieved my average heart rate goal of 141 bpm. This pattern should mean my aerobic fitness level is improving, which is my goal. I need to have the fitness level to sustain 26.2 miles. Felt really good again but was super sweaty – the humidity is awful!
This is going to get more challenging in the upcoming weeks. I have to fit in 5 miles next week, and I’m really nervous about timing for this.
My final weekday run was another 3 miles. I felt great again finishing with a 12:04/mile average and 149 bpm heart rate. Another wickedly humid morning, but it was done! I’m really proud of how these morning runnings are becoming natural. I lay out my clothes the night before and have a morning routine that gets me out the door.
I signed up for Pure Barre again, but wasn’t sure what “Pure Empower” meant as the class name. Little did I know I was going to do burpees at Pure Barre! This version of class is a cardio version of Pure Barre. It was a fun class, but I wasn’t really expecting it. A challenge with doing strength training in this type of environment is form is really important, but it’s hard to have good form when moving so quickly. Needless to say, I was very tired that night.
After a hard workout the night before, I was at another Pure Barre session at 6 am. I like this class and enjoy it in the morning. You feel strong for the day, and I really like the teacher. Pretty low-key activity day, but then I had work and getting ready for Independence Day weekend!
Chicago Marathon also posted on Instagram is that race day is 100 days from TODAY!!
I usually cross-train on Saturday and originally planned to swim this morning. Then I got to thinking about fireworks on Saturday night and how staying out late will make for a rough 9 miles the next morning. Using the logical side of my brain I thought, “why don’t I do my long run on Saturday morning?” For someone who doens’t like to deviate from a plan, I was pretty proud of myself for arriving at this conclusion! So, long run on Saturday!
This week I spent a lot of time reading Disney race recaps and information on running basics. Fueling is always a big topic, and I read somewhere that if you finish off a long run slower it can be because you 1. start out too fast, 2. don’t fuel properly. Hmm. I’m sure I have both of these troubles. 9 miles is a mental hurdle for me, so I wanted to make sure to eat enough to start my run, plus I brought a berry Huma and a salted caramel GU gel to take at miles 3.5/4 and 7 (if needed) and packed a plain bagel and peanut butter to eat before the run.
I hate eating before I run, but I learned training for my first half, that I have to eat if I run over 4 miles. I hate it, but it’s necessary. My usuals are toast with peanut butter or a peanut butter Cliff bar. A few weekends ago I tried to eat a banana, but that wasn’t enough. I also have to have enough time to digest my food before going out and usually try to give myself an hour.
The actual run…
Well, we had AMAZING weather on Saturday. Seriously 62F in July is unreal in North Carolina. I woke at 5 am had water, Nuun, and ate my bagel. I didn’t finish eating until 5:45 am, and I wanted to get out at 6 am. I waited until 6:20 since it was so nice out. My first two miles were around an 11:40/mile pace which is strong for me, but in the third mile, I didn’t feel right. I had to walk a lot taking my pace to 15:00 minutes. Finally, all I wanted to do was throw up. I knew it was the bagel, and it wasn’t sitting with me right.
That third mile was rough. I threw up a few times which made me feel worlds better. I walked into the fourth mile forcing myself to take it slow, then incorporated more running and got stronger into miles 5 and 6. My 7th-mile split was high at 14:02 because I took the very hilly route, but I finished my ninth and final mile at a 12:04/mile pace! I felt so strong at the end and so proud of myself. My average heart rate for the run was 157 bpm, and as Hal Higdon suggests, I got my miles in regardless of pace!
No running for me today. I slept in until 6 am and had a lazy morning snuggling with the puppies before going on a walk. I just love those kinds of relaxing mornings. More importantly, today is July 4 and Independence Day! Happy Birthday, America! The fact that we live in a society where we can be free to pursue our passions like running is a gift. I listened to podcasts about forgotten American heroes and gave thanks to all of those brave men and women. I’m so appreciative for the life I lead and the country that allows me to be me.
Lessons from this Week
- I need to figure out my pre-run fueling strategy for long runs. I don’t think a piece of toast is enough, but I also don’t think I can handle any more than that. There will also be the added complication of more time between wake up and the start of the race once marathon day is here. I have several more weeks to figure this out, so I’ll keep researching ideas.
- I’ve been really conflicted about how to structure my weekday runs. I learned in my last training session for Dopey the benefit of hill running but also what a speed workout is. For his Novice 1 training plan, Hal Higdon doesn’t recommend any of this. He stresses getting the miles in. While I’m not a complete novice and want to do more to improve, I am starting to think this approach is probably right for me. I’m going to continue focusing on heart-rate running and losing weight.
- I started tracking my food again, so we’ll see if I can do a better job at planning my diet. This could be one of the biggest benefits for my marathon performance.
Looking forward to WEEK 5! The weeks are just flying by!