Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Running the Marathon Course – Sue

It is now eight weeks until the Marathon and it's still hard to imagine that day. I did do a training run yesterday as a guest with another running group. They took us out to Hopkinton and I literally ran home to Newton. The run was planned to go to mile 22, which I knew I wasn't ready for, so I “cut out” past the fire station on Comm. Ave since I knew I was a mile from home. It was good to get a 19-mile run out of the way, as well as to be able to scope out the course! I did have to run a stretch of it alone as my running buddy had a muscle pull at mile 11 and needed a lift home. It will be nice to have a lot of other folks around me and cheering for us on race day.

I agree with Cody in that I should have had more to eat along the way. I was going to bring GU but thought it might have been provided, so I left it behind. I tried to stop every two miles for water or Gatorade, but by mile 16 or so, I definitely could have used GU or even a few jellybeans! That's why this is training right, so we learn what to do better the next time.

Another Long Run – Steve

Once again I skied hard on Saturday and probably paid the price on Sunday. I decided to come back to Natick to do my long run since it was supposed to snow in Vermont. My run started out slow, as usual, and I traveled through Wellesley to just past the 14-mile point and then ran through Wellesley back towards Natick. After two hours and forty-seven minutes I was home and the rain started. I felt pretty good but I do have a nagging pain in my ileo psoas area...hopefully it will go away with a little extra stretch and massage. Monday will be a rest day and Tuesday, a light run around the neighborhood in Natick. I hope to get another long run in this coming weekend and extend the time to 3+ hours.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lessons Learned On My Long Run – Cody

On Monday I ran 16 miles, and like every long run I do now, it is the longest run of my life. I'm finding that long runs are different than the running I have done in the past. Here are the top three things I learned along the way on this particular run:
3) When you run for 2 1/2 hours, you should bring something to drink. When I finished I was not sweating and I drank three liters of water within about an hour when I got home.
2) You need to actually eat the food you bring on the run and you should start eating early. By mile 12, I still had ~3/4 of my Clif bar left and I “bonked.” I ate the rest of it and endured the next mile or so, then started to feel better for the last three. I should probably be eating about two of these during a run this long.
1) Donating blood before a long run is a bad idea. I gave the Red Cross a pint of my blood on Saturday and could definitely feel it on my run two days later. My average heart rate was ~20 bpm higher than past runs.

OK, so maybe I didn't actually learn much on the run. I already knew that you should eat, drink during long runs and I know that donating blood prior to an extended physical effort is a bad idea. I guess I'm an active learner. On the bright side, I finished the run with a faster per mile pace than previous runs of eight and 12 miles. I had a chance to see how I would react to some tough times, which I'll likely encounter on Marathon day. I was happy to see I could push through and keep the legs churning. Also, the things that caused the misery are easily modifiable and having experienced them, I won't be making the same mistakes on race day.

I'm still pleased with the results of my program, so I'll keep to the plan and see how I do with 20-22 miles in three weeks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Ready for Heartbreak Hill - Steve

Well, this weekend was beautiful and I skied hard both Saturday and Sunday and then did my long run of two hours and 32 minutes. The weather was beautiful in Vermont and the air crisp. The hills of Vermont will surely prepare me for Heartbreak Hill. They are steeper and longer. I carried my own fluids on my back in a camel back and consumed three chocolate GUs along the way. I don't know how far I ran. I prefer to run for a specified amount of time. My goal will be to run about four hours prior to the Marathon, which will be about 20+ miles, that way I know that I can run for that length of time. During the Marathon I usually run faster than the training runs.

Running in Vermont - Steve

Well, training was rather light this week. I only ran once, but that was the most important type of run; it was a long one of two and a half hours and it felt good. The roads were dry and free of ice but the cross-town trail through Wellesley was slick with ice. Hopefully that is the last of the ice for the training. This weekend I will be ski patrolling in Vermont. After patrolling I run home three and a half miles. On Presidents’ Day I will go for a long run while in Vermont. It should be close to 16 miles and it will be a bit hilly, like Heartbreak. I will write how that goes in next week’s blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back on Track - Cody

The past week has been a good one for me to get back on track with training. I've been able to be a little more consistent getting into the gym, although I'm still having a tough time getting two workouts in a few days a week. I've been feeling pretty run down with traveling two weekends ago and having to work last weekend, so I haven't been able to get much rest. I'm really looking forward to this next weekend to relax a bit. That is until I run on Monday. I'm planning on doing 16 miles, which is a bit daunting, but given how I felt on my last 12-mile run and that I've been back on track training, I think I should do well and it will give me a good sense of where I am and what I need to work on. Until then, I have a couple more hard workouts in the gym and some 800-meter repeats planned with a rest day on Sunday so I can recover and get ready for the long run.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Weather Report – Sue

Thank goodness for the milder temperatures this past week. I planned for a 16 miler last Monday and was lucky to have two friends run with me as a “tag team” - one running 10 miles and then met with the other for another six back up Comm. Ave! I took a couple days off, and started to deal with a bit of chest congestion, which is now clearing up. I was also glad to have gotten that one out of the way - and on a Monday when I didn't have to take 2 1/2 hours from family time.

This past Sunday I thought I should bump up to 18, according to a plan from Runner's World, but some of my running friends were going to do 12, so I thought that would be enough. It was mild, but windy! I am hoping the weekend looks good, since I think I will aim for at least 16 to 18. I really find myself focusing on the weather report even more than before!

Monday, February 9, 2009

An Up and Down Week - Cody

This has been an up and down week for my training. For the past few weeks I haven't been good about keeping to my plan. I was on vacation for a week in January (does skiing count as training), and the week after I got back I had some foot pain that has kept me from running or working out for about a week. I'm not quite sure why it came or what it was caused by, but it was bad enough to worry me. At the start of last week I decided I would test it and get back in the gym. Last week it didn't bother me much and I was able to get back on track. Last Saturday I ran 12 miles in one hour and 50 minutes and felt great. I ended faster than I started and my foot never hurt during or after my run. I've never run that far before and this was a benchmark workout for me. I'd previously decided if it went well I'd continue on this strengthening and minimal mileage program and if it didn’t, I would convert to a more traditional high-mileage program. Needless to say I was very encouraged after having a few weeks of minimal training and I'm continuing on with the minimal mileage program. So that was great, but this week has not been so good. Outside projects have kind of taken over my life and I haven't made it to the gym all week. Plus I'm traveling to Colorado for the lab component of a course I am taking, so I won't be able to do much training wise this weekend either. I'll get done what I can and then buckle down next week, get back in the gym and hit the road.