Updated: Jul 23, 2018
So, I had my first tempo run of the season on Monday, which basically is a 20-30 minute run at a CONSISTENT faster than usual pace. It usually is about 2-3 miles depending on how fast you are running. It's designed to make you be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I HATED every minute of it! It's not a typical run style for me as I don't run for speed much anymore since I am distance training. They say you did it right if you had some struggles along the way, which I did, so hey, at least that's done...for now.
Strength training this week was 300 dumbbell reps on Tuesday and then again on Thursday before my interval run. I also superset in push-ups and ab work throughout the week.
Mid-week 3 miler on Wednesday...not much I can say to that as I've been doing that all year....the usual annoying people on the Riverwalk, my usual disdain for 3 mile runs...they've never been my strong suit.
Now, let's talk about my interval run...first of all, I hate treadmill runs. I didn't reiterate that above in my tempo run, but treadmills are the worst. That being said, there is no easy way to do pace-based runs outside without interruptions whether it's people, traffic or a goose.
An interval run, for those that don't know, is comprised of a combination of sprints and jogs to challenge your legs as well as your heart rate and recovery. It's a necessary evil as race day, you want to be able to open up your stride when there is open road ahead and pick up your pace without worrying about your heart exploding, being out of breath and losing your legs.
This run was over the moment I began. I thought I was going to pass out 10 minutes in. I thought of every way to justify not finishing the 30 minute run...it's my first week...my legs are tired...I worked hard enough this week...I'm not a superhero...I'm human...I should listen to my body...I'm a trainer, I should know my limits.....and then the next thing I knew, I was enjoying the run and finished it stronger than I even knew I was capable of! Go figure.
Long run day....6 miles. I have never been so petrified of a long-distance run...EVER. I haven't run longer than 4 miles (well, one 5 miler) since October 8, 2017...MARATHON SUNDAY. I was making myself sick to my stomach the day before, I was sick waking up. I don't know what was going on and why I was making myself so crazy. I think I've always felt that the first long distance run for me would set the tone for this year's road to race day.
The weather was hot, there was NO wind along the lake...my shoes were new....I mean, really? Nothing was working in my favor. The first 3 miles were rough, but as my body remembers...miles 4-6 have, are and always will be my sweet spot. My anxiety lowers, my hips relax, my stride opens and I feel like a gazelle!
Again, as I mentioned in my opening blog, I am taking the pressure off this year and not playing the pace game. It was so nice to not have to hear Nike Running lady tell me I am going too slow and that my run is inconsistent....no she doesn't really say that. In all seriousness, I want the runs to be about how I feel going through the long miles, not how long it takes me to get through them. I want to understand my gait, my stride, body position, breath and anything else my body tells me....not constantly looking at my armband checking to see what pace I am at, ignoring everything else in the process.
The run went better than I expected, and I definitely saw the difference in my run just from this first week of tempo runs and intervals...but even more, mentally, I finally feel like I have a handle on this year!
CARB LOADING OVERLOAD! So, generally speaking I keep my carbs at about 30% of my diet, focusing primarily on protein. Marathon nutrition for me is always a challenge...knowing with to fuel up, how to recover, hydration, injury prevention and whatever else food can be used for! Since I haven't gotten to longer mileage, I have only increased my carbs by about 5% and it was enough to make me feel gross. It's weird how just adding 2 more carb laden meals makes my stomach hurt, makes me feel bulky and added about 5lbs of water weight!
However, that glycogen storage helped me on my 6-mile run really well. I never once felt gassed out, tired or hungry. Even my energy levels during the week were great, even though I was fatigued a bit on a muscular level from adding 3 more runs a week than my usual.
I will start my "healing" tea next week which is whole leaf green tea steeped with ginger, fresh turmeric root and honey. I also am back on the watermelon water recovery drink and adding a shake made with peanut butter, avocado, cocoa powder and WHOLE milk...yes, I drink whole milk. I will report more on that next week!
I may even start sharing some recipes too! :)
Week 1 went exactly how it should have. The runs were hard to adjust to as was the additional carbs and of course, the mental wars. There are always adjustments, kinks and reflection that tailors the way I train for every race. Last year, I based my training SOLELY on what I did the year before. This year, I am starting from scratch and it's terrifying....on one hand, why change something if it works? On the other hand, why not find something that works better? Either way, starting marathon training SUCKS. It's frustrating, uncomfortable and it almost seems like a really dumb idea....ALMOST.
Thing is, after I got through that final 6-mile run yesterday, ending Week 1....I started to get excited about race day! That could have been the adrenaline talking, but now that this is my 3rd year, I'd like to think I know the difference between something that comes from deep within and an adrenaline rush. I often get asked..."Why are you running this this again, are you crazy?"....My answer: No, I'm not crazy, I'm driven.
For those of you that are new to RB FIT and my blog, I am running the Chicago Marathon 2018 for the same charity as in previous years, The Chicago Diabetes Project - Cellmates on the Run Foundation! Click on the link below for more information, race updates and donations! Every dollar counts, help us find a cure!
See you guys next week!