Ginger’s Training Log – 8.28.16

This will be my last log before Erie. The next two weeks will be pretty boring but I’m actually looking forward to that. Tapering does induce some anxiety since our bodies are so used to moving a lot during training but I’m trying to view the rest as a time for my body to prepare for a big performance. The legs will get fresher. The energy will increase. And I’ll have some extra time to work on my visualizations and affirmations.

Some down time means diving into Shalane and Elyse's new cookbook.
Some down time also means diving into Shalane and Elyse’s new cookbook.

My training this cycle has been going well but it hasn’t been without some mishaps. I recently discovered that it is helpful to see a race as either going really well or you will learn some (maybe lots of) lessons. Combine this with the idea that it’s ok to “fail” and I feel armed to mentally have a good time come September 11th, 2016. The weather has been very warm this summer season so there is a chance Erie will continue with that trend. If that’s the case, I’m willing to run entirely by feel, meaning I’ll go out pretty conservative. However, if the weather ends up being ideal, I’m going for it, it being running a Boston qualifying time.

My plan is to run with the 3:35 pace group through the halfway point. This should feel relatively easy given my training and experience at a recent half marathon. Then at 13, I’ll break the next 7 miles into 2 mile segments. I’ve done a lot of 4 x 2 mile workouts this cycle so I will channel them during this time when I may start to hurt. At the start of each segment, I will assess. If I feel I can keep hanging with the group, I will. And then reassess after another two miles and so on. When I get to 20, I plan to make a move. I’ll need to run faster than 3:35 to actually be able to get into Boston so if I’m ready and able, I’ll pick things up, relying on the feel of the pace (I don’t race with a watch). This is the point in which I hope it will feel like releasing the chains of a caged animal but I’m realistic that it could actually be the exact opposite. But if you know you may excel or learn a lesson, isn’t it more rewarding to take a risk?

I’ve been focused on envisioning these segments on a lot of my runs and workouts as of late. Today I had my final big workout and it was helpful to feel quite shitty on my second set of 5 miles. I envisioned this being the final miles of the marathon, practicing slowing down at points and then speeding back up. The main thing I’ll try to remember for the entire race is that it’s ok if I have to slow down, even if it’s early in the game. Slowing down doesn’t necessarily mean the day is over. I could potentially feel better in the next mile. And if I don’t, that’s ok, too. It’s all about the lessons!

So, this has turned into a long log (for obvious reasons). Now you all know my plan. Ill try to follow it as best as I can! Here’s how the last week went:

Monday: 66 minutes at night with some on trails and with James.

Tuesday: Off/rest

Wednesday: 88 minutes with 3 x 2 miles in 16:27, 16:22, ย and 16:07 (one minute rest in btw each). My foot was a bit sore from having some bad cramping after last week’s long run so I kept the workout conservative. Everything felt controlled.

Thursday: 68 minutes steady on the treadmill and lower body strength training.

Friday: Off/rest

Saturday: 78 minutes with half of the time on trails.

Sunday: 2 hours, 27 minutes (16 miles) with 2 x 5 miles at marathon pace (averaged 8:13s since treadmill didn’t have the exact pace). On the second set, I felt like I was straining a bit so I took a mile easy to recover and then went back to finish the remaining three miles on pace. It definitely helped to regroup and as I mentioned above, slowing down or even relaxing does not mean the race is blown. Upper body strength training after the run.

Total: 7 hours, 27 minutes running (about 46 miles)

I write about mindfulness, mental health, and the professional sport of running with the occasional poking fun at the sport. When I am not running, I'm either helping people as a counselor or trying to make them laugh as an amateur open mic comedian.

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  1. You are SO going to do awesome at Erie…I wouldn’t worry TOO much about the weather. You have a lot going for you with that course, the race starts early enough (it helps) and there is a lot of shaded areas and some areas you can have a breeze if it gets warm. The double loop course also means aid stations more often and able to see people easier- which in my opinion really helps if you need anything…even just a high five! I have enjoyed following along with your training for Erie and cannot wait to see how well you do- I love that you are mentally preparing (not that I’m surprised!), you seem like you have a great plan for race day!!

    1. Thanks, Barley! Like I mentioned on today’s post, your progress and experiences have been inspiring to me. In particular, I’ve trained this entire cycle on 5 days a week. This has helped from keeping me feeling overwhelmed. And toward the end, I even thought about adding a 6th day in the next cycle because I was enjoying much of the training! Thanks for the tips and your encouragement along the way. I am looking forward to running this course. The flatness will probably feel amazing compared to my last marathon!