Category Archives: Running Log

Dopey promises…

12 miles, 1:59:47

Today’s long run marked the end of my first “official” week of Dopey Challenge training. I’m “roughly” following Hal Higdon’s Dopey Plan, with some adjustments to accommodate upcoming races and travel between now and the big weekend in January.

I’ve trained to run three other marathons (Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, St. George Marathon), mostly with the goal of just finishing. For St. George I wanted to finish under 5 hours, since I was over that mark for my other two marathons.

The problem is, I have a half marathon time that says I should be running a much faster marathon. My PR of 1:58 this year suggests a marathon time of roughly 4:06. But I have historically under-performed at the marathon distance. Five weeks before St. George, I finished the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2:04. That suggested a full marathon time of roughly 4:18, a far cry from the 4:50 I actually ran.

Now I know that the Dopey Challenge in and of itself does not present an ideal PR opportunity. Far from it. BUT, I would still like to finish in a time that is, well, faster than 4:50, and closer to 4:10. Really. I know, it’s crazy, but I’m shootin’ for the stars here. But to do this, I know I need to approach my training differently. Following Higdon’s plan is the first step (before I put together plans based on a mish-mosh of advice from running magazines, running websites, and other running resources). There are other things I plan to do different; these are my Dopey promises:

  1. I will stick with the plan to the best of my ability.
  2. I will adjust my pace when the plan calls for it – race pace means race pace.
  3. I will monitor my weight – and not gain weight! (I have gained weight during every other marathon training cycle.)
  4. I will eat clean, eat nutritious, and eat smart.
  5. I will log my meals; I will adjust my intake based on my caloric output, meaning some days I’ll eat more, some days I’ll eat less.
  6. I will take the damn ice bath after my long run.
  7. I will ice sore muscles immediately after a run if they suggest they might lead to an injury (lateral shin splints have been my nemesis recently).
  8. I will stretch every evening.
  9. I will foam roll every evening.
  10. I will rest when it is time to rest.

I may be adding to this list, things like a monthly sports massage or reflexology. I just want to make sure I am taking care of my whole self as a begin this truly crazy, Goofy, Dopey adventure!

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Filed under Disneyworld, Dopey Challenge, Running Log, The Path, Training Notes

August 20, 2013 – Thinking like a bad ass runner

4 miles, 36: 35

I had a bad-ass run this morning. I mean, it was just one of our mid-week 4-mile training runs, no speedwork or anything. But it felt fast, and I felt strong.

I remember going to bed last night thinking about the run, thinking that I wanted to really blast through it with some solid speed. My bedtime routine includes a 1-minute-ish plank, some stretching, goofy yoga poses and some foam rolling. Nothing too serious, usually the hubs and I are BS-ing about the day, or watching mindless T.V. Last night, as I was stretching and rolling, I thought about running fast. I thought about how good it would feel. I thought about how I could totally do it.

Cut to 4:30 a.m. I’ll never, ever honestly say I spring out of bed at 4:30 a.m with a smile. So whatever energy I’m feeling the night before typically doesn’t translate to the next morning. But this morning was different. Oh, I was tired, no doubt. But as I swung my legs out of bed, I remembered all that bad-ass chatter in my brain from the night before; I was going to feel strong, run strong, hit it hard, and so on. And as I got dressed and ready to go, the chatter picked right back up. By the time we hit the road, mentally, I was right back in the bad-ass running groove.

Is 36:35 my fastest 4 miles? Heck noooo. BUT. This morning was 82 degrees with 45% humidity; here in the desert that is very, very high humidity. So was that pretty darn fast given the time of day and weather conditions? F-ck yes!

It’s so easy to drop the positive mental chatter, but I find time and time again, that inner dialogue plays such a huge role, whether it be running, or dealing with difficult people, or a long day at work. I actually wrote an article about positive thinking once, many years ago; it worked at the time, but it’s so easy to forget to do. But I think if I keep in mind that becoming a runner didn’t come naturally; I had to force myself to stay with it, the same goes for any new habit, like cultivating a positive mental dialogue.

Day 6 of blog streak

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August 17, 2013 – When a long run sucks the life out of the rest of the day….

12 miserable, hot miles, 2:09:06.

Blog streak: Day 3

Summer is by no means over. At least not in the greater Vegas area. Yes, I’ll admit, I did not set my clock early enough today, so I could have made it easier on myself had I left the house about an hour and a half earlier. But ya know, sometimes you just gotta sleep in. For me, this meant waking up at 5:45 a.m. and getting out the door at, oh, 6:20 or so. It was already 82 when I stepped outside, running due east and into the blinding sun. And it only got hotter (and felt more humid) with each step. Even at the turn around, when I thought I might get some relief from having the sun in my face, the heat of the sun pounding down on my back grew more intense with each step.

Normally I try to convince myself to go faster, to get such misery over with. But this was day 3 of back-to-back-to-back workouts, so my legs were not feeling it as I tried to convince them to move faster. At mile 11 there is a park with a wonderfully freezing cold drinking fountain; I must have drank a gallon of water – it’s no small feat for me to gain a pound when I return from a run like this, but my scale registered a full pound heavier than yesterday.

The rest of today was pretty unproductive. I made myself presentable enough to get to a haircut I’d scheduled. But I’ve spent pretty much the rest of the day on the couch. And it’s strange, because mentally, I feel very energized and alert, but the rest of my body from about the neck down is wiped out. So it’s been me, Tony Soprano, and my couch. All. day. long.

Is there any way to prevent a long run from taking over the day? Whether it’s 12 in heat and humidity (I can do 12 miles in 60 degree weather and build a piece of furniture from Ikea after with no problem), or 18-20 in preparation for a marathon (this will be in my near future). I just don’t know.

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Filed under Blog Streak, Running Log, The Path, Training Notes