NCR Marathon Training Week 4: That time I jumped in to marathon training during week 4.

I was doing the whole weekly workout recap thing for awhile and then I stopped. Why? Well mostly because there wasn’t any real reason for me to be writing it all down. I wasn’t working toward any specific goal so who cares if I missed a run on some random Tuesday?

Now that I’ve unexpectedly thrust myself back into marathon training, for my own accountability and sanity I thought it might be good to make Mondays my recap days all over again. This time I’m starting in week 4 and I’m basing all of this very loosely off the same Hal Higdon plan I used for New Jersey with a couple major differences:

  1. I will actually be racing during this cycle. I enjoy it and yet I pretty much entirely held off last time thinking that it would cause problems when in the end it did me zero favors. Also…
  2. I will only be running one 20 miler. I fared waaaaaaay better in the first marathon when I kept my milage lower leading up to it. Live and learn I guess.

So let’s take a look at what happened last week:

Monday, August 17: I raced last Sunday and on Monday my quads felt a little like they had gone through a meat grinder. You’re welcome for that lovely visual.

I downloaded this free virtual spin class app for my phone and hopped on a spin bike at the gym for a half hour. I kept the resistance really low and it felt nice for my tired legs. Then I went to Body Pump, eased up on the squats, but added some extra weight when we did upper body stuff.

Tuesday, August 18: 3 miles. My legs were feeling much better and I banged this one out fairly quickly at a 7:24 pace. I know in a couple weeks I’m really going to miss these short 3 milers.

Wednesday, August 19: 6 miles, pace. So I had already decided that I would be doing my long runs on the trail where I will be running the actual marathon and I wanted to try and do my pace runs there as well for obvious reasons. I needed to get this run done in the morning though and there’s no way that I’d be running 6 miles on the trail in the pitch dark of 5am. Instead I ran a pretty regular route around my neighborhood; 7:51 pace which is still waaaay faster than intended.

I seriously suck at pace runs. Luckily I have a quite a bit of time to work on this.

After work I had a bunch of free time because Betty was with her dad. I ended up taking half a spin class and then going to yoga for an hour.

Thursday, August 20: 3 miles. Treadmill (7:37 pace). Then I went to BodyPump again because the Thursday instructor is hilarious and awesome.

Friday, August 21: A marvelous day of rest and celebrating my mom’s birthday!

Saturday, August 22: Long run. The plan said 11 miles, but I have a 12 mile race in 2 weeks and even before signing up for NCR I wanted to get a 12 mile training run in beforehand. This was my longest run since April. The last time I did a long run out on the trail (10 miles) it couldn’t have been more fantastic. This time?

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And not because of my pace or anything. I just don’t know what was wrong with me out there. It started off well, but by the time I got to mile 6 I was completely checked out. All I wanted to do was get back to my car, but the problem was? I was 6 miles from my damn car.

Those 6 miles were a serious mental struggle bus. I was texting my boyfriend and my mom along the way to tell them how much everything was terrible. I told my mom that I was going to stop at mile 11 and just walk the rest of the way back.

Then I didn’t, which was the one thing that really saved this run from being a complete disaster. I made it all the way through even though I was nearly in tears at the end. I wasn’t necessarily in pain; I just hated everything in that moment. But I have to admit…I did feel pretty good about myself after that.

Sunday, August 23: 60 minutes of cross training. I went to BodyPump because awesome instructor was teaching again. Then I hung out on the elliptical for a half hour to get my legs moving. They were pretty stiff from the day before.

Total Mileage: 24.
Grade: B. 

This week I am scaling back my mileage and doing something of a mini taper before Charles Street 12 on the 5th. Also on the 5th?

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The Color Run Night comes to Baltimore!

BALTIMORE3 at checkout will still get a discount on registration if you want to run with me. Slowly. Because I will have already run 12 miles that morning.

Have you ever double-booked races on the same day before? How’s your training going?

I hope everyone has a great start to their week!

xo,

Salt

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Some thoughts on rest days and finally taking my own advice. (For once.)

If you’re anything like me–and I suspect that many of you are…at least in this case–rest days can sometimes be a difficult thing. I would run every day if I could. I even tried to do that one time and scored myself a nasty case of peroneal tendonitis. That’s when I learned that run streaks are not my style.

My reality is that running more than 4 days a week is pushing it. If I don’t rest I get hurt, which I think happens to most people with the exception of a couple people I know of who could just go out for 20+ miles a day 7 days a week and their legs never fall off.  I’d do it if I could, but I can’t. And I’m a little jealous.

Running is also tied to my sanity which is kind of unfortunate because things have been weird around here for the past couple months. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that I’ve been running a lot more than usual.

And what happens when I run a lot more than usual? Something ends up hurting.

Currently it’s my high hamstring on the right side. As much as I have always told other people to rest something when it hurts,  I previously would have continued to run on my crappy hamstring until something terrible happened. I could link back to injury after injury that I’ve had that was directly related to overuse, but I won’t because I don’t want you or me to have to relive my stupidity.

This time is different though and I don’t know why I’ve suddenly decided to take my own advice, but it’s about time that I took some days off.

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I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m 100% comfortable with the extra resting yet, but I have realized how important it is. For who knows how long I was taking one rest day a week and it was almost always Friday. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been taking two complete rest days per week and scaling my mileage way back. Even before I knew I was running another full I wanted to do everything I could to be healthy for fall race season and now with the NCR Trail Marathon on the horizon the extra rest is more important than ever.

And on the days where I feel like I might go crazy because I hate sitting around? I walk. Or I stretch. Anything easy and light that I can do that makes me feel as if I’m being active even if I’m really not. So far it’s working out okay and hopefully this will mean good things for my hamstring in the coming weeks!

Do you have a tough time with rest days? How many do you typically take a week? Have you ever suffered from an overuse injury? Any more tips on how not to go crazy on rest day?

xo,

Salt

I’m a Trail Blazer!

I have some excellent or terrifying news depending on how you look at it:

Marathon #3. 

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And it’s only like 14 weeks away.

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On November 28, I’ll be running 26.2 miles on the NCR Trail which is one of my most favorite places in the whole world to run and also the location of my first marathon last year although that was the Pennsylvania portion of the trail and not the Maryland portion. I’ve already heard so many wonderful things about this race both from my local BRRC peeps and from Courtney who ran it last year so as nervous as I am, I’m also really amped.

Even better, I was chosen to be a Trail Blazer or Ambassador for this race which means that you can expect to see me talking about it a lot here and on social media as if I wouldn’t be doing that anyway because it’s a MARATHON. I had no real plans to do another one this year, but here I am. I have plenty of time to prepare for this right!? RIGHT!?

I guess it’s time to figure out how I’m going to train for this thing!

If you live local to me, I highly suggest that you check this one out. It was on my radar anyway because it really is the perfect time of year for a marathon with all the longest runs happening when it’s not so crazy hot outside and the trail is absolutely beautiful. Feel free to email me if you want any more details or just feel like listening to me rave about it!

So does anyone have a good training plan to suggest for me?? Who else has a big fall race coming up??

OMG I’M RUNNING ANOTHER MARATHON!

xo,

Salt