Week 14

  • Tuesday: 5 miles @10:18/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Wednesday: 8.1 miles @10:09/mi
  • Thursday: 5.3 miles @10:09/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Saturday: 12.2 miles @10:08/mi – nutrition notes: honey stinger waffle pre-run, Gu at mile 5. Sports drink: 1.5 NUUN lemon-lime tabs diluted w/ 23oz. of water.
  • Sunday: 1.5 hours of revitalizing yoga for runners (a lot of deep lunges and hip openers)

Total miles ran: 30.8 miles

I love a cutback week! I wish I could say that the extra rest has helped my feet but they continue to give me issues. I know I said I was planning on going to my podiatrist but I’ve been putting it off because although my feet have been hurting me, they haven’t gotten worse (for the most part — I’ve have some pain since January) and they aren’t really slowing me down. (Plus, I have a $350 deductible that I want to avoid paying which is silly.)

Allow me to post some photos (some are ugly and you’ve been warned, my one loyal reader). Here are the blisters I developed on my 19 mile run 2 weeks ago. The right foot blister is due to my poor taping techniques and has nothing to do with my socks or shoes. D’oh!

photo 3

My left foot has this weird big toe blood blister. Very random. You can also see the callus where I have my Morton’s neuroma.

photo 4

My feet are bendy and bony and bunion-y and I guess that’s why they are bugging the crap out of me. They require much pampering.

photo 2 (1)

Anyway, I tried taping my right foot metatarsals for my 12 mile run, hoping to alleviate the pressure on them. I followed these instructions and my taping job was top notch (sort of). But I still had pain off and on (and whenever I needed to turn a left corner I basically came to a full stop because it hurts to pivot on that joint).

photo 3 (1)

I have 4 weeks to either figure this out and fix it or just come to terms with it and know that I will have some pain during the marathon. I can only hope that it doesn’t get bad enough to prevent me from running the full distance (or worse, cause a long-term issue).

There are all kinds of things I want to try. I have these little stick-on metatarsal pads. I’m going to try them out on my shorter runs this week (hoping to get them placed properly). I also ordered some “dancer’s pads” and I’ve been working on those damn calluses with a pumice stone. I’d love to try a different pair of shoes but I think it’s too risky at this point to change.

Anyway, this marathon training has been quite a learning experience. I suppose if it didn’t have little blips like this in it, more people would train for a one. Or maybe it just takes a special kind of denial to continue running with this pain. On a bright note, my hips feel great and super strong and I haven’t had any soreness or leg fatigue after long runs (even my feet feel fine once I stop running).

Oh look! My knee is almost better! No more band-aids! (I warned you.)

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photo 2

Coming up: 20 miles!!

 

Week 13

  • Tuesday: 5.1 miles @10:37/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Wednesday: 5.1 miles @9:28/mi
  • Thursday: 5.1 miles @10:59/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Saturday: 19.4 miles @10:12/mi (elevation 897′) – nutrition notes: 3 Clif shot bloks pre-run, 3 Clif shot bloks at mile 4.5, Gu at mile 9, Gu w/ extra caffeine at mile 13.75. Sports drink: 1.5 NUUN lemon ice tea w/ caffeine tabs diluted w/ 23oz. of water. Re-filled water bottle at a drinking fountain around mile 15.

Total miles ran: 34.9 miles

Notes: Last week I complained about my hips, this week I’m gonna complain about my feet. I gave myself the most painful yet satisfying plantar faschia massage after Tuesday’s somewhat painful run and my feet both felt pretty decent for the rest of the week but I still have some rubbing annoyances and just dumb stuff happening to them. I’ve tried different lacing techniques, different socks, fancy taping techniques and ChafeX. Still, they don’t seem quite happy. I’d like to try a different shoe but the 2 shoes I’ve been looking at are really pricey and I’m already pretty broke due to other unexpected running expenses.* I started having foot issues with my old Mizuno’s so I don’t know that I can really blame the shoes but it would be nice to have a different model in the rotation.

To make matters worse, I taped up my big toe and ball of foot before my long run which was dumb because my taping technique sucks and I gave myself a nasty blister where the tape rubbed against the joint during downhills. I also got a blood blister on my left big toe but it doesn’t hurt at all and I have no idea why I’m getting one there. During the later miles of my long run I kind of felt like I was running on sand paper. Ouch.

Per usual, I had to ask myself as I was finishing up this long run, could I go further? Could I run 7 more miles right this very minute? And the answer was, um, yes? No, the answer was yes! It wouldn’t have been comfortable (my feet so owie) and it might have been embarrassing (I kind of felt a little out of body-ish and dumb and pretty over-caffeinated) but I would have made it work.

And hey, my hips were fine!!!! Completely happy! And the hills felt great!

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This week is a lower mileage week and next week includes my big 20-miler. I’m going to pamper my feet as much as possible before then.

*You know, I started running because running is FREE. No one told me I would get sucked into all the technology and gear and race fees. Speaking of which, my new Bia watch that Robert gave me for my birthday will be essentially bricked late next week because the company is going out of business and they will no longer maintain the cellular service that allowed one to upload their runs wirelessly (and there’s no mechanism to upload them another way). I really liked the design and technology and it makes me really, really sad that they couldn’t make it work. The market for GPS watches is so saturated but no one else really has anything out there comparable in my opinion. Did I mention the watch was $279? I can feel sorry for myself for the money wasted but my loss is nothing compared to theirs. My next watch is a Garmin 220. It’s a fine watch but I was so looking forward to showing off my pretty Bia at the marathon. :(

 

Bend Marathon planning

I’m beginning to think about my marathon running strategy. What should I eat, drink, wear, listen to, etc… I’m also trying to figure out how to mentally survive 26.2 miles! On all my long runs I’ve been breaking them into 5 mile segments because that’s about when I take a gel and it seems to be working out well for me. I never think “Ok, only 12 miles more to go!” Instead I think, “3 more miles until a gel!”

For the Bend Marathon I think I’ll do the same. I mapped out each segment separately (to get a better picture of the segments’ elevation and aid stops). I hope it helps!

(Note: we were just notified that the finish line is going to be moved to accommodate more people, perhaps within Drake Park, so these routes aren’t really accurate but give me a general idea of what to expect.)

Segment 1:

Aid stations at mile 2.2 (Nuun) and 3.7 (Nuun)

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Segment 2:

Aid stations at mile 6.5 (Gu+h20) and 8.5 (Nuun)

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Segment 3:

Aid stations at mile 11.2 (Gu+h20) and 14 (Nuun)

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Segment 4:

Aid stations at mile 16.2 (Gu+h20) and 18.5 (Nuun)

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Segment 5 (6.2 miles):

Aid stations at mile 20.5 (Gu+h20), 22.7 (Nuun) and 24.5 (Gu+h20)

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That doesn’t look so bad. I’ll have to bring 5 Gu gels with me (I’m not sure if I’ll have the stomach for them later in the race but better bring them just in case) and they’re handing out water and Nuun on the course. The only segment that has any major elevation is segment 3 and I regularly run 5 milers with similar elevation so if I can make it into that segment feeling okay I should be fine.

I’ve been asked about my goal finish time. I don’t really have one. I want to run somewhat comfortably and maybe speed up a bit at the end. This is my first marathon. Anything could happen, right? Yikes.

Anyway, my 5 segments look much better than this, don’t you think?

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Week 12

  • Tuesday: 5.1 miles @9:54/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Wednesday: 8.2 miles @9:24/mi - notes: I taped my forefeet like this with KT tape, hoping to relieve my sesamoid issue on my right foot but taping had the opposite effect and I had my first issue with my left foot’s Morton’s Neuromona since I switched to my New Balance 890v4s. My last 2 miles were brutally painful. Shame on me. I should know that my forefeet need to spread out.
  • Thursday: 5.1 miles @10:49/mi + glute and hip strength training
  • Saturday: 13.3 miles @10:09/mi – nutrition notes: 3 Clif shot bloks pre-run, 3 Clif shot bloks at 30 minutes, Gu at 60 minutes, Gu w/ caffeine at 90 minutes. Sports drink: 1.5 NUUN lemon ice tea w/ caffeine tabs diluted w/ 23oz. of water. Having gels more often was a bit of an experiment. Every 30 minutes seems like overkill (I was a bit over-caffeinated when I finished). I think I’ll stick to a gel every 5-6 miles (or every other water station during the marathon).

Total miles ran: 31.7 miles

Notes: I felt okay this week. I was a little worried about my hips after my painful 18 miler last week. It was a bit of a rest week which was nice and I felt like I was able to push my runs just a bit and still feel fine. I’m pleased that I’ve been able to consistently get in negative splits on my long runs and am feeling stronger and stronger on hills (trying to engage my glutes and core more).

I continue to have hip flexor tightness/pain and some issues with my feet (mainly my right big toe sesamoids) but icing, yoga, stretching, and resting all seem to help. I do worry that if I miss even one icing or stretching session I’m going to be in big trouble. Edited to add: another weird foot issue I had this week was nerve pain when I tied my right shoe. I think I’ve been tightening my laces too tight and irritated a nerve. When I tied my shoe I got a shooting pain from the top of my foot down to my toe. I’ve adjusted my lacing technique a bit and things are feeling okay again. I could do without all these odd issues popping up. Come on! 

Anyway, in terms of marathon training, I’m almost there! Less than 6 weeks to go! Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running.

This weekend I have a 19-miler. My goal is to get in at least 1000′ of elevation (oddly difficult in Seattle’s urban areas) and feel decent at the finish. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Week 11

Bleh.

  • Tuesday: 5.1 miles @ 10:05/mi – notes: biffed it big time on a sidewalk bump; major road rash and bruised ego
  • Wednesday: 8.5 miles @10:27/mi
  • Thursday: 60 minute sports massage with major focus on my hip flexors + an amazing night out with my bud Stacey (dinner at RN74 and a Cheryl Strayed event at Benaroya). Definitely the highlight of my week!
  • Friday: 5.2 miles @10:26/mi + glute/hip strength training – notes: totally ran out of steam after 3 miles for absolutely no reason that I can fathom
  • Sunday: 18.4 miles @10:18/mi – nutrition notes: Gatorade pre-game fuel pre-run, 3 Clif shot bloks at mile 5, Gu at mile 9, Gu w/ caffeine at mile 14. Sports drink = 1.5 NUUN lemon ice tea w/ caffeine tabs diluted w/ 23oz. of water.

Total miles ran: 37.3 miles

I tried to make this week perfect, I really did. But after Tuesday’s huge fall I kind of didn’t give a shit.

First, let me tell you about my amazing fall. I was 4 miles into a 5 mile run. I was feeling really strong and fast. The sun had just gone down and I had my knuckle light on (just one since I only needed it for the last 10 minutes of the run). It had just occurred to me that this was probably my last night time run of the season and that made me really happy. Then BAM! I went flying up and then went vertical along the sidewalk for about 6 feet. Fortunately, my knuckle light and my running clothes protected me quite a bit. It was a cold evening so I’d not only worn long running tights but also had on my thick running top with the thumb holes (which really protected my palms). After I got up, made sure no one saw me, made sure my fancy gps watch wasn’t busted, and made sure my watch was stopped, I surveyed the body damage. My left arm really hurt a lot. My right knee felt icky. I considered walking home but decided to just keep on running because I was so  close to home and I’d get there faster by running (plus running masks pain big time).

When I got home I realized I had a bunch of road debris on my shoulder and a small hole in my tights at the knee. I saw some red flesh in there. Shudder. I also noticed blood on my left elbow. Instead of stripping down and making sure I was really okay I decided to take a series of “yay-no-more-night-gear-and-I’m-avoiding-looking-at-wounds” selfies. After I finished those I was still too afraid to disrobe and check out the damage so I took a photo of my fancy new shoe lacing technique.

After about 10 minutes of stalling I finally took off my running clothes. Not good. My knee looked like raw hamburger. I was pretty sure I needed stitches but the bleeding was minimal. I had Robert check it out. Neither of us are good with blood but he’s even worse than me. He was kind enough to take a quick look and suggested I shower and clean it up really well, gauze and wrap it (fortunately we had just enough first-aid stuff on hand) and then call the consulting nurse in the morning.

Long story short, it was a very painful shower, I didn’t get stitches, I’ve been protecting it with Nexcare bandages (these and these), and I think I’m going to have a nasty scar but I’m fine. The rest of my body ached like crazy for a few days and my elbow had a huge cartoon bump on it but after 7 days I’m feeling 95% a-okay. I got all my runs in (I’ve learned that running makes pain go away so when my knee  was killing and I had to run 8 miles after work I couldn’t wait to get out there).

The week ended with my 18 miler and my right hip was a crampy mess for the last 6 or so miles (and continued to hurt for 24 hours when I walked). I think what’s happening is my hips go out of alignment when I’m not diligent about glute training, foam rolling, stretching and doing yoga. With  my hurt knee I ditched all that extra work (it was physically impossible for me to do most of my normal stretches) but I’m back on track this week and my long run is an “easy” 13 miler so I’m hoping for the best. I can’t believe I’m 6 weeks away from the marathon!

My friend who is also training for this run (her first marathon as well) commented that long runs kind of feel like having a part-time job. I agree! After trudging along for 3+ hours I owe myself a little reward. This week’s reward was 2 Dick’s burgers and a couple of pints at Chuck’s. Yep. Life is pretty good (and scars are cool).

Here are those ridiculous photos I took while trying to avoid looking at my wounds:

 

Week 10

  • Tuesday: 4.5 miles @ 9:39/mi + glute/hip strength training
  • Wednesday: 8.2 miles @9:42/mi
  • Thursday: 4.3 miles @9:26/mi + glute/hip strength training
  • Saturday: 17.5 miles @10:14/mi – nutrition notes: 4 Chomps pre-run, GU at mile 6, Gu w/ caffeine at mile 12. Sports drink = 1.5 NUUN lemon ice tea w/ caffeine tabs diluted w/ 23oz. of water.

Total miles ran: 34.5 miles

All I can say is WOW! I really surprised myself this week. I went into the week with a negative attitude. I figured I’d be tired from all the mileage right after last week’s fast half marathon but instead every one of my runs was pretty freaking amazing. I felt light on my feet (no foot pain) and my paces were faster without even trying. I felt so good on my 17 miler that I kind of wondered if my watch was broken (even though I’d mapped out the route beforehand). Afterwards I kept expecting to get stiff and sore and tired but none of that happened. I bitch a lot about how many annoying things happen to my body on runs so I’m just flabbergasted that I can’t find a single thing to complain about!

One or all of the following made the magic happen:

  • My new Superfeet insoles! Love.
  • My Nike uber thin Dri Fit socks. No slippage.
  • Foam rolling every other day.
  • Pigeon pose. Double pigeon pose. Warrior pose. Psoas stretching daily.
  • Weighted bridges. Kettlebell squats. Clamshells with therapy band.
  • Deep belly breathing. 3 breaths in, 2 breaths out.
  • 2 slices of pizza for lunch the day before my long run.
  • A big salted baked potato with 1/2 chicken breast and a buttered rosemary roll for dinner before the long run.
  • McD’s egg mcmuffin and hashbrowns 2 hours before my long run along with EFS electrolytes mixed with 12oz. water.

I’m going to consume the exact same things this week in hopes that I can keep the magic happening to get me through my longest training week on the schedule. I have a 5, an 8, another 5, and then an 18 this weekend.

My favorite thought during my 17 miler was at mile 12 when I stopped to suck down a salted caramel GU: “This is the best thing that I have EVER put in my mouth!”

p.s. this is the last week before we change the clocks forward. I am so looking forward to putting my knuckle lights and reflective vest in storage! My evening runs are definitely speeding up with more daylight!

Week 9

  • Tuesday: 4.1 miles @ 10:12/mi + glute/hip strength training
  • Wednesday: 7.3 miles @9:48/mi
  • Thursday: 4.3 miles @10:09/mi + glute/hip strength training
  • Sunday: 13.5 miles @9:14/mi – notes: I got a Half Marathon PR thanks to Robert’s pacing! I hydrated with 2 Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tabs, plus 3 Clif Shotbloks (w/ caffeine) before the run, 3 at mile 5, and 3 at mile 10.

Total miles ran: 29.2 miles

I somehow came through this week feeling stronger and faster. No idea exactly how but I think the Hammer Tissue Rejuvenitor I’ve been taking along with iron is really helping. I also took some running tips from Meb (I added more knee lift) and I think it’s really helping me with my stride, pace, and foot landing (much less pain this week). Thanks Meb!

I really like my new Bia watch but something wonky is going on with it. On Saturday’s run it reported that I was at .25 miles just after I started and gave me a pace of something like 7:30/mile for the first mile  (which I know is impossible for me). Then, yesterday I ran my usual 4.2 mile route and it added over .25 miles and my pace was all over the place. The map, at times, shows me nearly a full long block from where I was actually running. I guess if it’s making me look like I’m running faster and longer I’ll be more positive?? I dunno.

This upcoming week is intimidating. I’ve got my first mid-week 8 mile “race pace” run and 17 miles this weekend. I can’t decide if I should push the pace or just slog it out on that one.

Week 8

  • Tuesday: 4.2 miles @ 10:40/mi + strength – notes: I started wearing a new pair of Superfeet green inserts and my arches are happier!
  • Wednesday: 7.1 miles @10:39/mi  – notes: I took a steeper route home via Wallingford and Greenlake (vs. Burke-Gilman). The weather was decent and this week’s midweek run was much better than last week’s horrorfest.
  • Thursday: 4.2 miles @10:20/mi + strength
  • Saturday: 15.2 miles @10:27/mi – notes: I did it! I did get a mild cramp in  my right butt cheek around mile 14 and have had some sciatic pain since but overall it wasn’t a bad run. Nutrition included Generation UCAN powdered SuperStarch* 30 minutes pre-run (130 calories), 4 Gu Chomps at mile 5 (90 calories), 3 Clif Shot Bloks w/ caffeine at mile 10 (100 calories), and 2 Hammer Endurolytes fizz tablets drunk (20 calories). I think I do better with regular sodium/sugar intake during exercise vs. a carby snack (like a bagel with jelly) before a run.
  • Sunday: Restorative yoga and foam rolling

Total miles ran: 30.8

*I ordered a sample pack of Generation UCAN powdered drink mixes. It’s pretty expensive stuff so I don’t want to buy it unless it blows me over. I didn’t notice any extra energy after one trial but I’ll give it 3 more tries (I have 3 more samples). 

General notes:

Last Friday was my 46th birthday and I got a few great running related gifts.

I got a super cool BIA sports watch. I love the wrist strap and the technology (workouts are uploaded wirelessly). Also, it’ll work with my Garmin heart rate monitor. The coolest thing is it has an SOS button in case I get chased by wolves or, you know, trip and break my leg. I handed my wonky TomTom GPS watch over to Robert.

I also got a HydraQuiver. Last week I was complaining about my Amphipod belt and Robert took note. I used the HydraQuiver during my 15 miler and it was wonderful. I barely knew it was there.

I’m supposed to race a half marathon this upcoming weekend as part of my training plan but there isn’t one in town that I’m aware of so Robert has agreed to pace me. I know it pains him to run that slow.

Final note: I’m starving and I’m eating all the stuff.

Sunriver Half Marathon photos

I keep meaning to post the photos from the Sunriver Half I ran last labor day.

This first photo was taken around mile 7:

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And this one was taken just before the finish:

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It looks like I paced this guy for at least half the race. We also dressed alike. Just a semi-interesting tidbit.

Week 7

  • Monday: Jillian Michaels + static lunges and squats
  • Tuesday: 4.1 miles @ 9:47/mi
  • Wednesday: 7.1 miles @9:37/mi – notes: Ran via my route from work to home. It’s relatively flat until the last few miles when I leave the Burke-Gilman trail. Once I left the trail all hell broke lose. Darkness, rain, traffic, more traffic, near misses with traffic, bad patches of sidewalk, etc… Could not wait to be done! Had some pain in my left arch.
  • Thursday: 4.2 miles @10:50/mi + Jillian Michaels – notes: right arch pain during all inclines, more rain, more grumpiness!
  • Saturday: 14.4 miles @10:19/mi - notes: left arch pain and later on ball of foot pain in both feet. Fortunately my foot issues didn’t really slow me down. I’m waiting for my podiatry referral to arrive so I can get my feet analyzed to see what’s going on (hurry up!). I’m pretty frustrated since everything else feels great (hips, legs, knees). On the plus side I had absolutely no problems recovering from this run (I felt tip-top after I popped out of the shower).
  • Sunday: Restorative yoga and foam rolling

Total miles ran: 29.8

General notes:

I am hating my Amphipod hydration belt. It’s worked well for me on long runs in the past but lately it keeps riding up during the later miles when my water bottle gets lighter. It has occurred to me that my figure might be morphing into a SpongeBob shape aka I’m shaped like a square and have no waist. My belt is an older version that doesn’t have stretch. I can either replace it w/ a stretch version or go with something completely different. In a perfect world someone would hand me a drink every 2 miles and I wouldn’t need to fuss over this.

For my 14 miler I ate 3 Clif Shot Bloks just before I headed out, ate another 3 at mile 5, and a caffeinated Clif Shot Gel at mile 10 (boring tidbit: I find the Clif gel package super sharp/rigid compared to Gu’s gel package… I have cuts on the corners of my mouth from it). I also sipped Hammer Endurolytes Fizz (1.5 tablets/16oz. bottle). It was the perfect amount of nutrition and hydration for this particular run.

Next week I have a 15 miler on the schedule. New territory! My feet are nervous.

I run and stuff