Bataan Training: Week 5 :: Sighhh, and other stories.

This week definitely wasn’t glamorous, running or otherwise. Thankful I got in my three runs [3 mile recovery, 5 mile pace @ 11:00, 2 mile interval training]. We opted to do our long run tomorrow morning. Yes, that’s nine miles before the sun even comes up.

It’s been an emotionally stressful week.  Work has been no less than stressful. People, I have tried as I might to have a positive attitude. I’ve dove into Bible verses and listened to worship music… needless to say, my discontent has lit a fire under my little runner’s rear and I plan on doing something about it soon. (Graduate school?? Maybe??)

Since going to the doctor and getting some medication for my migraines, I have found relief. Yesterday at work I felt it coming on so I took a pill and did not have a headache for the rest of the day. We ended up checking out Costco, except not really checking it out because we don’t have a membership. So we walked around one of the four huge malls here and got cheap meals at IHOP for dinner.

I felt so distracted at dinner… I feel distracted in general. I have a really hard time just sitting and relaxing. The Husband can sit and watch episode after episode of Smallville (our fave show) with no problem. I’m either Facebooking, or knitting, or Skyping. I get home later than he does Monday through Thursday, so we usually eat dinner, or even just an egg sandwich, and end up doing our own thing. That means we’re both on our computers… last night, it was for hours.

I found Little Women on TV and was wrapping gifts. After that was done, we were both sitting on our laptops, do absolutely *nothing* until 11:00 pm. Silly, just silly. With the stress of work, the stress of not having quality time together just about did me in. Welcome to life, Elizabeth.

This morning we had every intention of going to church. However, I think we were emotionally spent and I hadn’t felt very well. I haven’t had any palpitations, but I’ve felt some pressure in my chest. Don’t know if it’s heartburn, a figment of my imagination, or something new my heart is doing. Who knows. It’s not accompanied by any other symptoms so I’m not concerned at this point. Believe me, I could work myself into a panic attack.

My dear runner-Army-wife friend Natalie posted this on her blog.. it’s the Running Resolutions from the latest issue of Runner’s World.

1) Race Farther. Considering I ran a marathon last year, I think my goal will be to exceed the number of total miles in 2012. To date, I’ve run 617.42 miles in 2011. I had a tentative goal to run 700-900 miles this year. 2012? Hmmm… h0w about 1000?

2) Try Yoga. I love yoga. There are so many videos on iTunes and YouTube I can still try. If my schedule allows, I’d like to attend more classes at Soto on post.

3) Lose 10 Pounds For Good. Hmm. Well, I’m at 158-160 right now. For my height (5’10”), that’s a healthy weight. I’ve maintained this weight for two years now after my weight loss journey in 2009. The highest I’ve been since November of 2009 is 165. The lowest, 152. I would like to tone up more and build more muscle. As long as I can fit into my dress pants and skinny jeans, I’m good. At 152-155 I was able to fit in more size 8’s that I have, but I almost felt too skinny.

4) Be More Consistent.  Getting up early with The Husband has helped… a TON. I plan on having a pretty consistent race schedule this year, especially since races on post are pretty cheap.

5) Try A Triathlon. Uhhhh. I dunno about this one. There’s a sprint tri on post later in 2012. I need to learn how to swim correctly first.

6) Win A Medal. This would be pretty sweet, but unless the age group is 25-29 instead of 20-29 and I’m having a super-fast day with not many competitors, I don’t know if this will happen. I’m not a fast or slow runner. It’s always a good goal, though.

7) Try Real Trail Running. Ahhhh. I am so doing this when we go home to Illinois for a visit. Forest Park Nature Center has been calling my name and pining for me in the midst of my absence. We need to find some trails around here that we can actually run on. One of our goals is to hike to the top of North Franklin Mountain. That, we can’t run. It’s too rocky.

8) Stop Giving Up. I have gotten over The Great Running Slump of 2011, thank the Lord. If I can run in the desert at 4,000 ft, I can run anywhere! I don’t want to give up on training, on races, on healthy living.

9) Figure Out My Watch. I have the Garmin Forerunner 405 with GPS. I’ve figured out the virtual training partner, but I know there are so many more capabilities. I use the GPS on a regular basis.

10) Give Back to the Sport. I should volunteer. I am always so grateful for the amazing people that take time out of their schedules to hand out water (and probably get splashed!), work the gear check, whatever..

11) Find More Partners. I want to find some running buddies. It’s hard with my schedule. There’s a running group but they have no runs in the Northeast, the part of town where we live. I have my husband, who is a good running partner, and honestly I LOVE running alone. It’s how I got my start.

12) Beat My PR. I totally plan on beating my PR’s. My 5K time is what I like to see go down every time I race… currently my PR is 27:56. I know with some training I can do better than that. My mile time is 8:15, I think. Not quite sure. I run my first half in January so that will be a brand new PR. I won’t beat my marathon PR at Bataan because it’s simply too different of a course. My goal is 5:30-6:00, but that’s the “optimistic” goal. I really just want to finish.

>Marathon Training: Week 14: THE LAST LONG RUN

>Hello, friends. I write to you tonight from my couch, having indulged in corn dogs and those little soft pretzel cheese thingies. Yes, that’s a technical term. I’m also enjoying orange creme soda. After our twenty-miler and lots of baking and cooking for First Sunday Lunch and the bake sale, I’m beat. Note to self: Never run 20 miles and then stand up for the rest of the day… owies.

Recap of the week, which was also spring break:

Sunday: nada
Monday: 5 @ 9:34 pace!
Tuesday: nothin’
Wednesday: seriously hem-hawed around for three hours before I got my butt out there. 5 @ 9:29 pace! Last  mile was amazing at 9:00!!!! In the afternoon I went out with Amelia to do her C25K program.. that added 2 miles to my day.
Thursday: Cross-training at the gym – bike and elliptical for 30 min. each, some arm exercises.
Friday: rest rest rest!
Saturday: 20 miles @ 11:18… WOW. We knocked almost 20 seconds off our pace from the last time we ran 20 two weeks ago.

I feel like I really broke through a mental wall this week.. even though I didn’t run as much as I could have. On Wednesday I really felt like I was going to puke the entire time I was running, and I really didn’t want to go out, but I made myself do it and it ended up fabulous. That’s what usually happens.

And the 20-miler. Wow. I wasn’t nervous at all. I laid everything out the night before and filled my Camelbak. I drank about 40 oz. of Gatorade (the regular kind, not G2) and had some energy gummies that Gabi brought on the run. I felt so good at the end that I could have kept running. Seriously. Our last mile was 10:18.. usually we’re not pushing towards the end, just trying to get done! Mile 19 included a huge hill that we decided to walk.

The first ten miles, we had the wind at our backs and man did we feel it when we turned around to head back! You can see the difference in the splits:

Here’s the graph of my heart rate. Notice: no SVT! The spike around the first hour was the first crazy hill we had. We ran that one. And for the record, I really don’t know if I had an episode on my 13-miler last weekend.. my battery is going bad on my other watch. The other day it was trying to tell me that my HR was 203 when I wasn’t even half a mile into the run.. I would have felt that for sure.

I am on fire for this marathon and really feel like I could do it right now. Well, not right now, as I’m hella sore. Surprisingly, though, my knees and joints are not as sore. Our elevation gain/loss was 647 ft for the run this morning, and for the marathon it’s only going to be 82 or something. Even with an average pace of 11:18, I’d still have a sub-5 race!

I weighed myself at the gym on Thursday and was pleased to see that I haven’t gained or lost. I was concerned that my Lenten fast would cause me to lose a couple pounds and therefore give me an ulterior motive for the fast, but I guess I’ve been eating enough to maintain. That is totally fine with me. I don’t need to lose any more weight.. I’m at my ideal.

Next weekend I head up to Chicagoland for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K… hoping to kill that race! Since we did our last long run this weekend (we had to since I will be out of town the next two weekends), I don’t think running an aggressive race will be an issue since it’d still be three weeks out. That and it’s only (only) five miles.

On my way home from Gabi’s, I was listening to “Bones” by Hillsong off of their new album Aftermath, and there’s a line that says “Oh Jesus, alive in me”. Running makes me feel alive like nothing else could. I want to either make or find a shirt that says something like “Running: It’s what makes me feel alive”.

It’s brought a force to my life that’s made me more mature, more patient, more relaxed, more focused and believing that I can do things I never in my life thought I could do.

>Improvements

>Some of you may have already seen my post on Daily Mile about my great five-miler today. I have to say that I could not believe I ran that fast! I mean, I know I’ve been training hard, but by the way I was feeling as I was forcing myself to get out the door, I thought it would be a pace run or something.

I headed out with my new Garmin, which is AMAZING. The best money ever spent on an electronic device. I also got a heart rate monitor with it, and it fits much better than the Polar one I have. The watch itself is pretty big on my small wrist, but it’s solid. It came with a little USB drive that syncs wirelessly with the watch and uploads the data to connect.garmin.com.

Here are some snapshots of the data I have on my run…

 This has all the info on pace, elevation, etc. I can’t believe my best pace was 6:49.. I’ve never run that fast ever! At least, not that’s been recorded.

 This is a graph of my pace as it relates to time elapsed. You can see where I hit my peak.. right about the time I was sprinting to cross the street before the light turned.

 This is a graph of the elevation change. My normal route does have a few hills, so my pace would probably be better on flat ground.

 Here’s a graph of my heart rate as time elapsed. I love this because now I can track my SVT, if it happens while I run, and how long it lasts. My average HR was 171, which makes sense for how hard I was working!

This is one of my favorite features: splits. It seriously does not feel like I was running that fast, especially the last mile. I know that GPS is undoubtedly more accurate than the Nike+ iPod, which was just a fancy pedometer.

It also shows a map of the exact route and you can even play it back.

My final time was 47:30, which is just crazy. This summer I was running five miles in 55:00! My goal for the Shamrock Shuffle is 47:00, but I would have been stoked with my time today. Maybe the course will be more flat.

Let’s just say that it was totally worth it to get off my butt and out the door. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and laid in bed until 9:30… seriously. It seems that it’s always those reluctant times where I perform the best.

On a final note, the marathon is ONE MONTH from today and I feel total confidence in our ability to complete it, and complete it well! Tomorrow I run another five miles, and then rest/hydrate Friday in preparation for our last LDR (long distance run) of 20 miles.