Marathon Training Week #5 – Where I learn the value of sleep…
Another week done. I know…I know…it’s only Friday, but I’m heading out of town this week for a race on Sunday in Upstate, New York. And that means that today ended my week of training as tomorrow, the day of the heaviest travel, I am using as my rest day. In the end, it all balances out. Really. I promise.
With that in mind, I had to approach this week keeping in mind that I would have very tired legs by the end of it. What I didn’t count on was also having new shoes. Yep. Just bought a new pair of kicks. Still not sure how I feel about them…they feel lighter than the Nike’s I was previously in…but…it’s too soon to tell. Of course, this meant my Friday run was not only being done on tired legs…but fresh shoes. So, I did my best to keep it easy. No sense injuring myself before a race…let alone during the middle of my training, right? Right!
So…this week I learned the valuable lesson of sleep. And how necessary it is. Last week with the concert during the week and then the convention over the weekend, I got less sleep than I normally do. And I already get the very minimal. Not because I choose to be that way…but I’ve never required eight full hours of sleep. I function best on 5 hours. But…I wasn’t getting that the week before. And this current week has been just as full with activities and getting things ready for the trip to New York. So…sleep has been rather scarce. I’ve been up later than usual…then getting up at normal time to hit the roads and get my training runs in. I’m really feeling the effects. There are times I’m finding it hard to stay focused on things or maybe even nodding off on the couch. So…after this trip, there is a break in the schedule and things come back on an even keel…so sleep will be a priority. I bet my running will improve too.
I’m still feeling the sting of hurtful things said by people to me about how I look. But…whatever. I’m going to brush it off and know that I am happy and healthy and I don’t need them to drag me down and make me feel ugly. Rise above it, right? Right.
So…with that in mind…here’s how this weeks marathon training went…
Sunday is my easy run or rest day. I was still at the convention, so I went and hit the treadmill at the fitness center of the hotel I where I was staying. I rocked out some intervals, doing one mile at an easy warm-up pace, then rocking out 7 x 800 meters with 6 x 400 meters recovery in between each one. Then, I polished it off with a 1 mile cool down at an easy pace. It was just the start I needed to the day. The gluten-free veggie burger with fries at Cheeseburger in Paradise for lunch was a nice bonus for the day.
Monday morning came way too quickly…and had me back to running in the dark. The 4-H Fairgrounds are close to my apartment and Monday was marking the start of the fair. With that in mind, I decided to stick close to home this week, just to be safe. Safety is always first. I was scheduled for an easy 6 mile run, and that’s what I did. It felt good, despite the 92% humidity that morning. I survived. I think I just needed to get out there and run it all out. I did just that. And, of cousre, Monday marks my Fun Run night, so the Monday Daily Double continued in full swing. I once again went running with Natalie and Harry, up near Cave Hill Cemetery. We didn’t turn this time, we ran around a statue and continued on. And Natalie, as we neared the end, pushed me to have a good finishing kick. She promised to work with me on that finishing kick if I could help her down the road with marathon training. That seems like a fair deal. And she made me work for it. I kicked it and we finished a great 3 mile run. It was hot and humid out and we walked a little. Keep in mind, this lady is running in a cast. She’s hardcore! It was another run that I needed today,with two of my favorite people! I was so tired though…and it was starting to show. Went home, showered, and had to finish getting things ready for work the following day. Later than usual night. Ugh.
Tuesday is the usual cross training day. This week I was scheduled for 40-50 minutes of cross training. No problem. I hit up the gym and did 45 minutes on the Arc Trainer on the Pike’s Peak setting once again, keeping it with the Level 5 setting as well. It’s comfortable, yet challenging, and that was what I wanted. I didn’t want to push too hard due to The Boilermaker this weekend, but I needed some hill work somehow. And this was how I was going to accomplish it. After 45 minutes, I managed 2.38 miles of hills. It was tough…but I pushed on through. Then I moved onto the Cardio Wave machine, which is similar to an elliptical, but your feet move from side-to-side instead of front and back, changing it up a little on the legs. I got in 3.9 miles on there. Felt happy with both of those performances. I capped off my gym day with some strength training. Then headed to work.
Wednesday is my speed work or pacing day and this week called for a 7 mile Tempo run. I used the first mile to warm up and then began to turn up the speed to just under my 10K pace. It was a gradual thing because it was so humid that day. The rain was supposed to be coming down, but it was pushed back to later in the afternoon. That level of humidity at 4 a.m. is intense. The sun isn’t even up yet, and I felt so drained with each mile I pushed through. I did get the Tempo run accomplished with success, I just turned down the speed to train smart. And I hydrated, hydrated, hydrated!
Thursday called for 6 easy miles. So, out I went to get that done. With the rain that had come through, I had hoped that the humidity broke, but sadly…it hadn’t. The teperature was 77 degrees that morning with 93% humidity and a high dew point as well. So, I struggled through these six miles, taking them easy because I didn’t want to do damage to myself. Humidity sucks and it can really just drain every bit of energy out of you. I felt like I was breathing through a wet towel for much of this run. But I got through it, and went inside to have breakfast and head to the gym. I rocked out 9.2 miles on the elliptical in 49 minutes, which made me feel good about life. So did the cool gym environment and the fan that was blowing toward me. Ahhh…relief. Then I hit the rowing machine to get every muscle in my body working. I managed 1.19 miles in 10 minutes. Some strength training followed. Then, on this particular Thursday, I was registered to run in the third BlueMile Brew Mile. This was so much fun, but my legs were just…tired. So tired. I went ahead and tried on the Nike Free shoes that they had for runners to test out at the run. I hated them. I want to move toward minimalist shoes…but those were definitely not for me. The mile went well. It had slight hills and we rounded a sapling at the halfway point, which took some of the momentum away, but I finished in 7:12. My slowest Brew Mile to date. Much water followed. And hanging out with Harry and Laura from my running group. It was a good time. After that, I went to BlueMile and shopped for new shoes. I walked out with a new pair of kicks – Pearl Izumi EM ROAD M 3’s. They are 2 ounces lighter than my Nike’s. I was going to test drive them Friday morning…
Friday…is usually my rest day. But not today. Nope. Not today. With the race being on Sunday and with Saturday being a major travel day, I moved my rest day to Saturday and my normal run I would do on Sunday got bumped to Friday. Sunday I am racing, so I still get a run in. I’m just a bit late on my long run. Anyway, the humidity finally broke and this morning’s run felt amazing. So did the shoes. Although, I can tell they need more breaking in. This will make the Boilermaker 15K interesting…new shoes not quite broken in. Oh boy, oh boy! At least they aren’t giving me blisters. That’s the important part. The lift in humidity made such a difference. I felt so much better during the run. No stopping to cool down. Nope. I think I might have smiled again on this run. It felt great. The shoes are going to take some getting used to…but I think they’ll do good. Next time, I’m getting my Adidas Boosts.
Saturday I should be running 14 miles. But I changed it up with my following week due to the race on Sunday. Next week was supposed to be 10 miles. My 15K is 9.3 miles, so I figure on Sunday I’ll cool off with a short 0.7 mile run after I finish up the race. But Saturday is a lot of time in the car, a race expo, and my rest day this week. We’ll leave it at that.
Another week in the books. Meeting with my sports nutritionist again as the mileage increases and making some adjustments to my regimen. Looking forward to learning more, doing more, and putting the time in to make my first marathon a success. I guess that means getting my sleep pattern back under control as well. But that will have to wait until I get back from Utica.