Monday, July 30, 2012

Marathon Madness Monday: Week 6

Wow, I'm 1/3 of the way through training!  I know that the next 2/3 will fly by as well!  October 21st still seems far off, but I know it will come fast.

Today I thought I'd talk about what is working well this training cycle and what I'm struggling with.  I have been really positive in these marathon training recap posts, but trust me - not every run is awesome for me...

What's Working:  My long runs are going really, really well.  Like better than any other marathon training cycle.  I think this is due to the fact that I came into marathon training with a very nice base amount of miles.  Actually, I looked back on my training and was surprised to find that I ran more miles in the months of April and May than I did in the month of July last year when I was training hard for my half marathon.  So clearly all those miles I put in between March-May are helping me now.  I've increased my long runs a little faster than a Hal Higdon schedule would call for, but I'm listening to my body and my coaches, and I know I've made good decisions so far.

Also, this is the first training cycle where I have ran with others and clearly having some company out there on the trails makes a big difference.  I have become known as the quiet runner who doesn't really like to engage in non-stop conversation, but I like having someone else out there with me.

I have ran enough marathons to know that I have some bad long runs ahead of me - it's inevitable.  But I am enjoying these great long runs while they last!

What I'm Struggling With: Pace work is REALLY hard for me.  Like really hard.  We did a run this week where we did 1 mile at marathon pace and then 4 x 1200m at half marathon pace.  I hit my pace for the 1 mile and 2 of the 4 1200, but the last 2 1200s were ugly.  Part of it is the extreme humidity we've had lately.  It's like running through stream.  I got really frustrated on Wednesday as I was running those last 2 1200s at a slower pace than I ran my half marathon last fall...  and I was working REALLY hard (i.e. panting and wanting to die) but when I was not all that winded when I ran my half last fall.  Yes it was work, but not THAT much work.

BUT - it was also about 40 degrees cooler when I ran my half last fall and there was no humidity.  And I know I went through this frustrating phase last summer.  It's just part of the process. I had a great run on Thursday in cooler, less humid temps, though, which restored some of my confidence.

My challenge is to not give up on myself and to not mentally kick the crap out of myself after these tough runs as I am prone to do... 

Here is how the training broke out for the week:

Monday:  7.25 miles of hills at a 9:43 pace.  This was a tough run as it was very humid that night. 

Tuesday: Biked 8 miles on the stationary bike before work.

Wednesday:  7 mile run w/ an overall pace of 9:42.  Pace work:  1 mile @ 8:55, 4 x 1200m repeats @ 8:40, 8:50, 8:54, 9:02 (ugly, ugly run for me). 

Thursday:  4 miles @ 8:52 pace.  This was an awesome run for me and showed me how the humidity had been impacting my runs as it was only 82 this day and not humid, and the run went great.

Friday:  Rest

Saturday:  12 miles @ 9:48 pace.  This run went awesome.  I felt strong the whole time and was very consistent with my pace.

Sunday:  Rest

Training Tally:

Week 6:  30.75 miles
Training to date:  165.75 miles

How has the weather been where you are?  Has it impacted your training?  I am trying to remind myself that this heat and humidity will make me a strong runner come fall when the temps cool and the humidity eases.  But right now, moving to Seattle sounds awfully tempting....

18 comments:

Becky said...

Your marathon WILL be here before you know it - October is right around the corner! I'm glad your long runs are going well - and I hope the humidity dies off soon!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I agree Seattle weather was SO much better for running. We've had a lot of humidity here too, although today seems to be nice and I SHOULD be out running right now but I just got back from tutoring and wanted a quick blogging reading break :)

Glad your long runs are going well!

Carolina John said...

It's been to hot here to do anything outside. absurd. Good job getting the miles in! The speedwork will come, I found it gets easier the more you do it. Also I love doing speedwork on the treadmill because it keeps the pace for you. You just have to keep up.

Caroline said...

I love reflecting on what's working and what's not! I think a base going into training is so helpful!
The humidity is killing me on the subway so I can only imagine what it's like to run in this. I remember facing similar issues last year when I was training and I honestly felt like it made me so much stronger come the big day. Plus, it turned out to be like high 80s in October so training in the heat helped more than I could have ever expected! haha

abbi said...

The humidity is what gets to me. I still can't believe how sweaty I was after this weekend's run. I've never been able to wring the sweat out of my shorts, so gross!

missris said...

The weather in Pittsburgh has been SO muggy and humid lately, and HOT. So I've been running very early in the mornings...or hitting the pool instead :)

qwerkyqook said...

This humidity has got to let up! My runs have been incredibly lame. Frequent water and walk stops. I can't tell why, my legs don't feel all that tired, but for some reason I just HAVE to stop! You are right, feels like running under water. I was a gross sweaty mess even at 530 am today, 90% humidity :(

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

The weather has been HOT!! I am not training for anything, but the weather does make me want to stay inside my air conditioned home :-(

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Ugh it sucks that the hot and humid weather is making the runs suck NOW but it will totally make you a stronger runner when race day comes, just like last year!

I am basically not running at all now. I did 3 miles last week and tentatively planned to get out one or two more times and just didn't. I haven't been in a running rut like this...ever, I think. Probably because I always had a race on the horizon. I am going to crossfit and yoga though so I guess I'll just roll with it for now!

Kyla Roma said...

I'm so impressed by all your hard work! Watching Jesse train in this weather has been wild- and pace work is the hardest for him too, so you guys would have lots to talk about! Keep up the amazing work and stay positive, you'll do fabulously in October :)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Oh boy, you know how the humidity has been here. It's been out of control HOT! Running in the humidity is so daunting and I have avoided it like the plague. I am sure it will make you stronger though!

I have a feeling the weather in October will be perfect. Just keep your fingers crossed for no snow! According to the Farmer's Almanac we are supposed to have another winter like last year...

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Nice work, Lisa, and way to fit in the biking too! Cross training really does make a great difference, in addition to having company on some of your runs.

Last Wed I did a tough hill workout in 89 deg temps and it made me kind of sick. A few of the final hills (3 min long each) were just a bit much, but I made it. It can be tough to remind ourselves that every run doesn't have to be great. This week I'm going to try to take it a bit easier overall. Nice work on the training!!

Marisa A. said...

Dang, you are wayyyy faster than me. Just remember that when you get flustered ;) I totally know how you feel though, the heat and humidity can really get you down. And take a toll on your pace. I really need to get better on my weekday runs. I know it's starting to hurt my long runs because even though I still get through them, I know they're not as strong as they could be because I slacked too much during the week.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

The weather plays a huge part in my runs! I think you are doing really well in the heat. I have been having trouble with runs in general; I don't know how you do it with that heat. I am glad you talked a little about some of the things that are not working as well, as sometimes when we read other runner's blogs, it seems like everyone else has it easy and we are the only ones struggling. It's nice to know that it's not easy peasy for everyone! Pace and speed work are hard. You really have to push yourself hard and when the weather is not cooperating, it sucks!

Jeanie said...

You'll do it, Lisa -- and you'll rock!

Jeanie said...

You'll do it, Lisa -- and you'll rock!

Leigh said...

Another great training week for you! October will definitely come fast considering we are almost into August! Craziness. The weather has either been raining or hot (but not as hot as you) here lately

Abby said...

Glad your training is going so well! Pace work is a killer, but it's actually my favorite -- that's what I have to do in order to get through a run. It makes me set little goals throughout the run and makes the time pass quicker.

I hope the weather in Oct is great for you. Hot runs = torture.