Eugene Marathon Check In

It’s been a while since I did a check-in on the marathon training, which is odd because it is basically consuming my life right now. There’s been a lot of this:

tart cherry juice - natural anti-inflammatory, good source of antioxidants, and, most importantly, a good substitute for wine.

tart cherry juice – natural anti-inflammatory, good source of antioxidants, and, most importantly, a good substitute for wine.

Quite a bit of this:

recovery beverages taste better in the shower, and make me feel better about skipping the "cold bath" and going straight for the "hot water to make me stop shaking from the cold".

recovery beverages taste better in the shower, and make me feel better about skipping the “cold bath” and going straight for the “hot water to make me stop shaking from the cold”.

And probably not enough but still a fair amount of this:

Lots of compression sock wearing, but not so much icing. It's winter, give me a break :)

Lots of compression sock wearing, but not so much icing. It’s winter, give me a break 🙂

Onto the actual running – #OM2k13 weeks 13-8

Cue the *holy crap single digit weeks left until Eugene!*
-FAVORITE WORKOUT/RUN: 4x(400, 800) on the track (200m recovery (~1:15)  between each). I got up early to beat the snow and ran this workout with the sunrise. It was so peaceful being alone on the track, in the quiet, gutting out a hard effort. I finished the last lap right as the snow blew in – perfect timing. I ran the 400’s between 1:40 and 1:43 and the 800’s between 3:27 and 3:30.  It was definitely hard but still do-able.
-LEAST FAVORITE WORKOUT/RUN: Oooh such a toss up. There were several bad ones – the failed Long Run in Houston was pretty bad (completed 5 out of a planned 10 miles). My wave run on the treadmill a few weeks ago was also pretty brutal – 75 degrees in a dry stale gym with 7 miles alternating between 8:30 and 8:00 pace (+warm/cool).
But I think the cake might have to go to two recent recovery runs, both on Mondays. The first, 2 weeks ago, was 4 very sluggish miles done the day after a pretty aggressively run long run. The worst part, however, was my under-dressing. When I packed my bag for work it was mid 40’s out. I  didn’t take into account the fact that 1) it’s colder by the lake where I was going to be running, and 2) it would be 6 o’clock before I got out the door. A long sleeve and knickers were NO match for the frigid temps and wind, making my run that much more miserable. I’m pretty sure I was cursing under my breath for 45% of the run. Then there was my run this Monday – supposed to be 5 easy. Around mile 3 it started torrential downpouring. Talk about adding insult to injury…cold, drenching rain is not conducive to a good recovery jog. I think I even whimpered a little. I was SOAKED…and I ran straight home, barely making it 3.75 miles.
-BIGGEST CONFIDENCE BOOSTER: I’m going to have to go with my 5k race for this one, I guess, though my mid-week 16 miler yesterday also made me feel pretty strong. It was extremely redeeming to race a {in my mind} solid time for a 5k, and more importantly to go into the race with a plan and then EXECUTE that plan pretty well. There is always room for improvement, and a 5k is just a little bit {sarcasm} different than a marathon, but it was nice to run well and actually race for the first time in a while and run at what both I and my coach thought my potential was. Plus according to the McMillan running psychic predictions website my 5k time equates to a 3:37:xx marathon time with 10 weeks left to the marathon. Room for growth (and hopefully like 2 and half minutes taken off of that time) :).
-MOST ANNOYING-BUT-ALSO-HILARIOUS-MOMENT: Hands down the 7-9 miles during my 18 miler two weeks ago when I had “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore stuck in my head. Not so annoying you say? Au Contraire, my friends. First of all, I only had the chorus stuck in my head, and second of all I don’t even KNOW the whole chorus. So basically what I was singing in my head was this:  “I’m gonna drop some {a sound that is similar to bombs but not quite}, got $20 in my pocket. Buh bum bu nana, looking for a stunnah, this is AWESOME”…and repeat….and repeat…and wish you wore an ipod…and repeat. I googled the chorus today and found just how far off I was. [also, white girl alert, I initially googled “thrift store” not “thrift shop”. It’s obvious that I usually listen to country.]
If you’re interested, here are the actual song lyrics of the part I was singing:
I’m gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is {no cursing!} awesome
THINGS I’VE LEARNED in the past 5 weeks of Marathon Training:
– I now know what “marathon rungry” means. I have never been so hungry in my entire life! I eat, and an hour later I’m famished again. It’s both awesome and annoying! I’ve never been one to advocate the whole “What I ate today” blog post because I feel that in general it’s an unhealthy practice, but just know that having multiple dinners (one night I had a huge chipotle burrito bowl followed by half a bag of sweet potato chips and finished with an Amy’s frozen entree) has become a mainstay in EGLGFG land. And check out the massive 3-egg omelet + roasted potatoes I downed after my long run on Sunday (yes I ate the whole thing, and yes it was delicious).

I've also been on an avocado kick lately...seriously just looking at this dish is making me hungry again...

I’ve also been on an avocado kick lately…seriously just looking at this dish is making me hungry again…

– I finally learned what cumulative fatigue feels like. I thought I knew, but OH I really didn’t. Sunday was the end of my 3rd week of hard training since my easy step back week in February. I started off my 18-miler loving life – it was almost 60 degrees out, the sun was shining, I was high on life and loving the “easy 18” I was about to do. I made sure to take it nice and easy. And then around mile 9 my legs started to die. And then at mile 10 I turned the corner into a righteous headwind and gradual uphill for the next 2 miles. I was literally cursing outloud. It was sad. My pace never went below my “range” but in those last miles I had some serious doubts as to whether or not I would be ready for this marathon. And then it hit me: This is what I’m supposed to feel like. These 18 should feel like the last 18 of the marathon. Silly Abbey. My coached put it best when I texted her afterwards to tell her I finished and my legs were tired as poop. “If your legs weren’t tired I would be worried about you being human!” Best Coach ever.

THINGS I STILL NEED TO FIND THE ANSWER TO:
– So the whole structured training/running 5 days a week thing is new to me. For my first marathon I did very little running. This is not the way to train for a marathon. The only thing a single 15 miler 6 weeks before the race prepares you for is walking by mile 9 and “help me I want to die” by mile 15. My second marathon I ran a whopping 3 days a week but those 3 days were all quality workouts. I missed a couple long runs due to massive snow storms but still got redemption with a 3:52:XX. Now, I’m running hard, running often, recovering well, running way more mileage, and yet I feel like I’m getting slower. Is that supposed to happen!?!?

– I haven’t been very good about consistently practicing my fueling. Yes, there have been a couple runs where I’ve been diligent about taking fuel and fluids at strategic points but often I’m lazy with this. Many times on midweek runs between 10 and 12 miles I won’t take in anything. Part of this is due to my extreme dislike of carrying a water bottle while I run, so sometimes I will run loops for my long run and keep the water in one place. I really just need to suck it up and look at it as a little extra arm workout 🙂

How do you fuel on long runs?

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