Thinking Out Loud: I Think I Can (Maybe)

T-minus-three days until race day. This is my eighth marathon, and I don’t think the pre-race nerves have gotten any better. I’ve made no secret this training cycle that my goal time is 3:10. All week, I’ve mentally bounced between “I can definitely do it!” to “Well … maybe not.” So I needed to write this post for my own sanity (and probably for J’s sanity, too, since he has to spend 5.5 hours in a car with me Saturday…). I’m linking up with Amanda, because this is definitely some thinking out loud…

Reasons I Think I Can Run a 3:10

  • I haven’t missed a single run this training cycle. I like to cross off each workout when I finish it, and my schedule looks like this now:
    photo (4)
  • I’m finally getting the hang of fast-finish long runs, and I had several solid ones this cycle. Hopefully they’ve taught me to not go out too fast and finish strong.
  • Before digestive issues not messed me up in September, I was on pace to hit 3:10. I just needed to hold it  for a couple more miles.
  • Lincoln is flat. Fort Morgan is flat. My training has been mostly flat.
    photo 1 (2)
    Recycled picture of flatness.

Reasons I Think I Maybe Can’t Run a 3:10

  • Guts. I don’t want a repeat of September. This is my #1 (or #2…sorry, I couldn’t resist) worry going into this weekend.
  • Training runs derailed by those guts. I haven’t missed any runs, but several were… interrupted. I hope my legs didn’t get too cheated out of the training stimulus.
  • Heat. The marathon sent out this e-mail today: 
    I hope it doesn’t get hot too fast. I should be done shortly after 10:00, so here’s hoping the cool morning holds.
  • Sleep. It’s not been going well for the past week or so. I’m not sure why.

Basically, I think the 3:10 is possible if all the stars align. But if I pace myself smart (I’m planning for an even or slightly negative split, especially given the increasing temperatures as the race goes on), and if, when I cross that finish line, I’m exhausted and sweaty and feeling 90% dead (but not injured), I’ll be satisfied, regardless of what that clock says. And if I leave it all on the course and the clock says 3:10:xx, I’ll be ecstatic.

So, here we go.

Any last advice for me? 

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Lincoln Marathon Training: Week 17

Marathon day is one week from today, and taper madness is setting in hard. I feel “puffy.” I feel eight hundred little niggles that I’m SURE will be an injury (and that go away in a second, because they’re imaginary anyway). I’m obsessively checking the weather (right now, it looks perfect for race day. And I really hope I didn’t just jinx it…). Here’s how the training portion of my taper madness went this week:

Monday: 

5 miles easy, plus core work

Tuesday: 

6 miles of fartleks, then some upper-body and core strength work. Leg work is done until post-marathon.

Wednesday: 

5.1 easy miles, then core. I took a selfie because I was trying to show off my Skirt Sports gear for the giveaway (which you should enter if you haven’t!). I ended up having to take a mirror picture instead, but you can’t have a training recap without awkward selfies, right?
photo 1 (10)
Confession: I tried for an embarrassingly long time to take a cool jumping picture like Christy always has, but I couldn’t time it right. I had more than one that looked like I was about to use the bathroom, and so I gave up.

Thursday: 

3 x 2000m tempo intervals with 400m recoveries. With warm-up and cool-down, a total of 7 miles.

Friday: 

Since I was moving my long run to Sunday, I took Friday off from running. I did 45 minutes of yoga and called it good.

Saturday: 

6.2 easy miles and a quick core workout. I saw a post on Instagram the other day that said, “Never trust a girl who wears pink workout gear.” I thought that was stupid, so I posted this post-run shot as my rebuttal.
photo 2 (8)
Hashtag wearallthepink

Sunday: 

Thunderstorms kept me up most of the night and were still going strong in the morning. I don’t do lightning (living is my favorite), so I took to the treadmill for my last “long” run: 12 miles with the last 6 progressively faster.
photo 3 (6)
I should’ve waited a few hours; it rained all day, but the lightning stopped not long after I finished running. Oh well. At least it was only 12 and not a long-long run.

Total: 41.3 miles.

And now, I enter the hardest (mentally) week of marathon training: race week. Let the antsyness begin!

How do you deal with taper madness? 

What’s your reaction to thunderstorms? I hate them. Hate, hate, hate.

Giveaway: Skirt Sports 13er Entry and $125 Gift Card

I’ve always thought that the half marathon was poorly named. I mean, I get that 13.1 is half of 26.2, but calling it a “half” seems to diminish the accomplishment of running 13.1 miles. And it is an accomplishment that should be celebrated.

The awesome ladies at Skirt Sports share my opinion, so they  named their race a Thirteener, because “it’s not half of anything.” I kind of love that.

Know what else I love? Giving stuff away. (Okay, so this is my first blog giveaway, but I already know I’m going to love it. And so will you). Skirt Sports is giving one lucky reader an entry to the 13er (or the 10k or 5k), PLUS a $125 gift certificate!

The race is in Louisville, CO, on June 14, but if you’re not a Coloradoan, don’t despair: there’s also a virtual option, so you can join the Skirt Sports fun wherever you are!

Disclaimer: Skirt Sports also gave me a race entry and gift certificate. And look at the fun things I got!

I'm kind of in love with this top.
I’m kind of in love with this entire outfit.
Fun fact: This top is reversible!
Fun fact: This top is reversible! Awkward pose and face not included.

I’ve never done this race before, but it looks like a ton of fun: a finisher skirt instead of a shirt, cake at the finish, and raffles! I’m excited to participate, and I hope some of my readers will, too!

Ready to enter? Click here to head to a Rafflecopter with several entry options! The giveaway is open until April 30 at 11:59 p.m.

 

Lincoln Marathon Training: Week 16 (Taper, Week 1)

And so it begins: Taper. The first week is not bad; I still ran 57 miles this week, so my sanity is okay. This coming week and the following will be a different story. But the good (?) news is that I’ll have lots of grading this week to keep me busy.

Here’s how the first week of taper went:

Monday: 

7 miles of fartleks in the wind.
photo 3 (5)
The trees were pretty, anyway. I did some core work when I got home.

Tuesday: 

AM: Bodyweight/dumbell strength workout in the basement. I said goodbye to the (relatively)heavy weights until after the race.

PM: 8 miles easy

Wednesday: 

I had 10 miles at goal pace on the schedule, and the wind was blowing a steady 35 mph and gusting up to 50. I knew I couldn’t even come close to goal pace in that, and I needed the confidence boost that would come from holding the pace, so I did it on the treadmill (plus a mile warm-up). I kept the incline between 1-2% in hopes that it would closely enough mimic outside.

Thursday: 

AM: More bodyweight work in the basement

PM: 8 miles easy, again on the treadmill, this time because my insides were acting up and I was scared to venture out too far.

Friday: 

7 easy miles on the treadmill. My stomach was still upset, but I wouldn’t have gone outside anyway.
photo 2 (7)
I’ll run in rain (though I don’t like it), but when it’s accompanied by thunder, lightning, and tornado watches? Heck no.

I also did some core work.

Saturday: 

16-mile fast-finish long run. It sucked. A lot. My guts were still on the unfriendly side, and my legs refused to move quickly. This was not what I was hoping for two weeks out from race day. At least I finally got to get back outside.
photo 1 (9)

On the intestinal front: I went back to the RD on Friday. She’s having me cut waaay back on fiber (max of 15 grams a day… which is really hard) until the race. Then, she wants me to get a test for bacterial overgrowth, but she said not to do it before the race. If that’s what it is, they’ll put me on antibiotics and a low-carb diet, which is, of course, the opposite of the diet I need to eat before a marathon.

I was really hoping this would be straightened out before the marathon, but as my mom pointed out this weekend, things could be worse. *End of pity party*

Sunday: 

Rest day. It was a busy weekend — my parents came over to Denver to celebrate my mom’s birthday, so we all got together at my brother’s house yesterday. Today was my best friend’s baby shower (one best friend just had a baby and the other is due in July, if you’re getting confused by all the baby news) and lots of errand-running. A rest day was perfect.

Total: 57 miles.

Let the taper madness begin!

If you’re a runner/athlete, how do you deal with the taper crazies?

What’s your favorite low-fiber food?

One of Those Virtual Coffee Date Posts

Since I’ve been MIA from the blog world for a bit, and when I do show up, all I write are training recaps, I figured it was time to do a little catching up. Because originality is not my strong suit, I’m writing one of those Virtual Coffee Date posts that all the cool bloggers do. Maybe it will make me a cool blogger. You know, one with readers.

If we were having coffee and catching up, here’s what I’d tell you:

photo 5

First, I’d tell you that yes, I am drinking tea instead of coffee, and no, it’s not really by choice. Coffee is one of the many things not allowed on this strict diet of mine. I miss it a lot. And then I’d tell you that no, the diet doesn’t seem to be working. I thought it was, and then… it wasn’t. I go back to the RD this week, and I think she’s going to send me back to a GI doc. If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I really don’t want to spend the money for that, and I’d go on a rant about the health care system. Since we’re virtually coffee-ing, though, I can better filter myself and spare you that rant.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I loved visiting Fort Collins last week. Because…
photo 2 (5)
And I’d probably tell you some stories from my college days. If you’ve been reading long, you’ve heard some of them, like this one, this one, and this one, so I’d tell some others, like the time my roommate and I were setting things in the apartment on fire for fun (we were weird… and really creative with how we procrastinated) and lit a packet of red pepper on fire… and all four of us roommates coughed for hours. And maybe I’d tell a few more that the Internet doesn’t get to know.

This was my 21st birthday. We were so young....
This was my 21st birthday. We were so young….

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that our sprinkling system is being installed this week — or it’s supposed to be, but the weather hasn’t cooperated. That means that soon, we will have grass! I can’t wait.

If were having coffee, I’d show you this picture and tell you that this juxtaposition made me laugh out loud in Barnes and Noble.
photo 1 (7)

Then, since we’d be looking through my phone anyway, I’d show you this picture:
photo (1)
My best friend (whom you’d already know about because of the college stories) had a baby. A really, really cute baby. I intend to spoil her for-ev-er.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m not ready for the school year to end. You’d probably roll your eyes and not believe me, but it’s true. We’ve only got 4.5 weeks left, and I feel … incomplete about this year.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you’d read any good books lately. I’m working on two right now: Bad Feminist,

which makes me think and makes me want to write (that’s a good thing… now, to make the time for writing) and Remember Me Like This,

the story of a boy who was abducted and returned to his family after four years. It’s heart-wrenching, but I like it so far.

Even if we were having real life, face-to-face coffee, I’d tell you to make sure to read my blog next Wednesday, because I have a really cool giveaway coming up. It’s my first giveaway, and it’s a great one! (Hint: race registration and running clothes). I’m super excited!

If we were having coffee, of course I wouldn’t do all the talking. I’d ask you what’s new with you, too. So, tell me: if we were having coffee, what would you tell me?

Lincoln Marathon Training: Weeks 15-16

Last time I posted (two weeks ago), I wrote about how I was going to get better at blogging and that Spring Break would give me so much time to write. I’m a liar sometimes. Sorry. BUT I do actually have a post written and ready to go up Wednesday, and I have a REALLY EXCITING (so exciting it deserves capslock) giveaway coming up next week, so please don’t leave me.

Wednesday’s post is a catching-up-on-life kind of post, so tonight, I’ll catch you up on training the last two weeks. I got a little overzealous in clearing pictures off my phone, so I have nothing from last week. Oops.

Monday 3/30

AM: 45 minutes strength training

PM: 7.6 miles of fartleks

Tuesday 3/31:

5.3 recovery miles, then some core work

Wednesday 4/1:

Yasso 800s for a total of 10.5 miles. I did them on the treadmill, which is kind of cheating on Yassos because it sets the pace for you, but I had meetings in the evening, so I had to do a morning workout. I felt good, so that’s a good sign.

Thursday 4/2:

AM: 45 minutes strength. The only thing that got me to the gym was knowing that this was the last early-morning wake-up for over a week.

PM: 5.4 easy miles

Friday 4/3: 

5.2 easy miles to celebrate the start of spring break, then some core work

Saturday 4/4: 

18-mile fast-finish long run. You probably know that fast-finish runs are my nemesis, but I nailed this one. I felt really, really good about it.

Sunday 4/5:

Rest. I did 30 minutes of yoga.

Total: 52 miles

Monday 4/6: 

I rolled out of bed before 7:00 because that’s sleeping in when you’re an old lady, and I hit the gym to lift. It was delightfully empty. Later, I ran 12.5 miles easy, in the middle of the day because it was spring break and I could.

Tuesday 4/7: 

9.1 miles easy and core work

Wednesday 4/8:

J and I went to the Capitol to gripe to our legislators about students being overtested and underfunded, and then we headed up to Fort Collins for the State Science Fair (J had a kid competing. I had a desire to mooch his hotel room and play in Fort Collins). When we got there, I headed out for 10.2 miles with 7 at tempo — the best tempo run I’ve had this whole training cycle. It was encouraging, to say the least.

I love Fort Collins and its ubiquitous bike paths. It makes running so nice.
I love Fort Collins and its ubiquitous bike paths. They make running so nice.

Thursday 4/9:

Funny story: I’d e-mailed Heidi and Logan, who both live in Fort Collins, to see if we could get together for a run. Heidi and I planned to meet at 5:30 on Thursday, so I got up all early, got ready… and waited in the lobby for quite a while. Turns out, Heidi meant 5:30 P.M. For whatever reason, I just assumed she meant A.M. So I got up early for no reason. Communicating is hard. I lifted in the highly mediocre hotel gym until it got light, then headed out for 9.1 miles, again enjoying the heck out of Fort Collins.

Friday: 

On Thursday, I bought trail shoes, so I was dying to try them out on Friday. Logan and Heidi had suggested a certain natural area, so I went out there. I’d run/hiked those trails a bunch of times in college, and had no idea they were part of that natural area. I am smart. I’m also not in good trail shape. It was hard, and I was secretly glad that neither of the other gals could meet me, because I would’ve been quite embarrassed by my lack of trail fitness. Funny how I can run 70 miles a week and still feel out of shape. But look, pretty.
photo 2 (6)

I turned around once I hit Horsetooth Reservoir. So many swims I took here (where you’re not supposed to swim) back in the day.
photo 3 (4)

I went 8.5 miles, and decided that after this marathon, I’m doing hill repeats like crazy so that I can at least kind-of handle hills next time I make it to a trail.

Saturday: 

As tempted as I was to run more trails, I didn’t think my flatlander legs were ready for a long run on them — especially since I’m three weeks out from a flat road race. So I headed back to the bike paths for 22 miles. It felt harder than usual, but I enjoyed myself as I ran through my old stomping grounds.

These were new... art that's waving and offering high fives as you run by. It was very encouraging.
These were new… art that’s waving and offering high fives as you run by. It was very encouraging.

Sunday 4/12: 

45 minutes of yoga, then some foam rolling.

Total: 71.4 miles

Now, I’m technically tapering, though this week will actually probably be higher mileage than the week before last. Three weeks ’til race day! And… back to work tomorrow. I have a hunch that these last few weeks of school are going to FLY.

Anybody have any races/events coming up?

What activity are you not in shape for? I can’t even imagine how I’d do swimming…