*Marathon training update*

Apparently, there is a *first* for everything. After two-and-a-half years, and 7 marathons in which I was either trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, better my qualifying time, or actually running Boston, I’m going to run a marathon for fun.

Umm….

Is that an oxymoron? Run a marathon for fun?!

Marathon #8 is not about me at all… Not about some crazy, obsessive drive to push myself to see what I’m made of, set a new personal record, or seek out the elusive sub-3:30 marathon. There is a sweeter sentiment to my intention. On Sunday, October 4th, my good friend is running the Portland Marathon, which is her first marathon! Throughout some personal struggles, she has met the demands of training and has triumphed every time. It is such an honor to not only witness her journey, but to get to accompany her on the final stages of it as she tackles 26.2.

As for me, it feels good to have clear direction. And let’s be honest. Less pressure to perform!

The icing on the cake is that since I’m an ambassador for the Portland Marathon, I get to experience it both as a participant and a representative.

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My current long-run mileage is at 16 with 17 miles coming up this weekend. The timing… taking this marathon easy.. couldn’t be better since I’m finding my groove again after a few rough months following the Boston Marathon.

If your interested in running the Portland Marathon, whether it be competitively… or for fun, you can use the code HYLA10 to save $10 off your registration.

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Throwback to the Portland Marathon expo and packet pick-up in 2013.

I’m curious. When it comes to running marathons (or any distance for that matter), are you driven by a competitive desire to perform your absolute best or just out for a good time with your friends and fellow runners?

 

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 17-23*

Mileage for the week of August 17th – 23rd

Total weekly mileage: 40.25

Total August mileage (to-date): 114

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,356.5

Run review:

8/17          No run/rest day

8/18          46:20 min./5 mi./9:16 pace

8/19          1:15:51 min./8 mi./9:28 pace

8/20          42:07 min./5 mi./8:26 pace

8/21          24:59 min./3 mi./8:20 pace

8/22          29:01 min./3.32 mi./8:45 pace

8/23          1:56:29 min./12 mi./9:42 pace

36:41 min./4 mi./9:10 pace

I have no excuse for my absence here last week. There is a grand plan… a restructuring of things in my world so I can create more space and time for the things I love… but it’s a work in progress and the “lazy” days of summer have been filled with magical little journeys and tons of fun so I won’t beat myself up too much. I essentially have one week of summer left before cross-country season starts so I may be a bit absent this week too. ; )

At any rate, my mileage is up closer to where I like it. (Speed-wise, not so much. But that too, is a work in progress.) I finally feel like I’m really training for a marathon and I’m hopeful that I can share that process with you in a future post.

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 10-16*

Mileage for the week of August 10th – 16th

Total weekly mileage: 32.75

Total August mileage (to-date): 73.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,316.25

Run review:

8/10          No run/rest day

8/11          26:09 min./3 mi./8:41 pace

23:44 min./2.5 mi./9:30 pace

8/12          1:16:28 min./8.12 mi./9:24 pace

8/13          44:07 min./5.25 mi./8:24 pace

8/14          2:05:04 min./14 mi./8:56 pace

8/15          No run (backpacking)

8/16          No run (backpacking)

I’m still riding the high that made last week pretty dang awesome! (Minus getting harassed on one of my runs by a crazy lady! True story!) First, some quality runs! I only ran four days last week but pulled off more than 30 miles and brought my year-to-date total to a little over 1,300 for the year!

On Wednesday, my oldest baby turned 18. While I wasn’t able to run 18 miles in her honor, a friend joined me to commemorate her birthday with 8.12 miles on 8/12. (Thank you, Kelcie!)

Then on Friday, I ran my longest run since the Boston Marathon. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking joined me for 14 wet, hilly miles. After several weeks of struggling to get my marathon training act together, I was grateful to know I’m still capable of running distance. I just need to keep building on that!

I took the weekend off from running to pursue one of my other greatest passions. What was going to be a two-day backpacking trip turned into a one-night adventure with the second night spent at a sweet little mountain inn. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it, right?! ; )

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Ready to hit the trail!

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t share much of my experience at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon because I was on assignment for Run Oregon. While it’s not “my” race experience per se, it does highlight some of the features of the event that makes it a truly great race! You can read more about it HERE.

Alrighty. Short and sweet! Back at it this week as I continue to rebuild my base and my mileage in preparation for the Portland Marathon. Speaking of… you can see my little ambassador profile on the Portland Marathon website HERE.

I hope your week is off to a fantastic start!

*Weekly mileage ~ August 3-9*

Mileage for the week of August 3rd – 9th

Total weekly mileage: 38

Total August mileage (to-date): 41

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,283.5

Run review:

8/3          No run/rest day

8/4          42:10 min./5 mi./8:25 pace

8/5          50:50 min./6 mi./8:28 pace

8/6          43:11 min./5 mi./8:37 pace

8/7          27:22 min./3 mi./9:06 pace

8/8          1:56:49 min./13.1 mi./8:55 pace (Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon)

8/9          53:26 min./6 mi./8:54 pace

This is me “easing back into it”. Ha! After a week off, 38 miles and a half marathon ain’t too shabby!

*From burnout to rebuilding*

Guys. If you don’t subscribe to Runner’s World, do yourself a favor and pick up the current issue. I’ve connected with several of you that have recently experienced some of the same things I have been… basically burnout… and there is a lot of good info in this months issue.

Intuitively, I sensed I was heading for trouble a couple of weeks ago. I found some comfort in seeing this:

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I was suffering from 5 out of 6 of these red flags!

Another article in the same issue has me fired up about making some revisions to my training plan! I’m taking it slow as I ease my way back, focusing first on building up my mileage before I work on getting some of my lost speed back, so with that in mind, I’m also revisiting Matt Fitzgerald’s book 80/20 Running. It feels like a good fit for where I’m at right now.

Yesterday, I ran my 12th half marathon. I did not “race” it but rather used it as a training run since I’m feeling a bit behind schedule in my training for the Portland Marathon. Honestly, it was pretty slow and the competitive spirit within me was feeling deflated. But on the plus side, I felt good for the most part, only having a few SI joint flare-ups the last half, and I have to give myself a little credit for knocking out 13 miles after a few rough months and a week off.

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How to achieve what you desire.

At any rate, I’m going to embrace this rebuilding phase. I’m plotting out what it is that I want and how I’m going to get there. And then I’m going to get to work!

*On the rocks*

My relationship with running has been a little rocky lately. Well truthfully, not just lately. More like the last three months. To be even more specific, since Boston.

I wrote about it in depth a few weeks ago, which you can read here. Instead of training, I’ve been maintaining and often times doing the bare minimum just to keep some semblance of the runner I was a few months ago. I lowered the bar. Like really looooowwwww.

After taking 9 days off, I felt physically and mentally ready to dive back in. My first run felt great. The second, third, and fourth ones… they were a struggle. The ailments that have plagued me for months returned with my first stride. The negative thoughts I’ve desperately tried to push aside have started to creep back in. I’ve considered giving up more times than I’d like to admit.

But here’s the funny thing. My heart won’t let me.

I stumbled upon this great quote this morning that put things into perspective for me:

“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”                    ~ Ralph Marston                 

I’ve been lowering my expectations. Not only physically, but mentally. And I’ve been meeting them, sadly.

So, new game plan! Of course there are a few things that I need to take into consideration and I need to be realistic. You have to start where you are, with what you have, and move forward from there, right?

First and foremost, better self-care practices are in order. I’ve been slacking and I know it. For me, they include:

  • Consistent yoga and stretching
  • Regular baths, both hot and cold (hot tubs whenever an option)
  • Massage
  • Foam rolling
  • Continue to eat an anti-inflammatory diet (Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet most closely resembles how I regularly eat.) and incorporate more foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ibuprofen. I list this because I typically avoid taking it unless I’ve lost hope and am desperate. I guess this is me with no hope and desperate. I’m prescribing myself a regular (albeit temporary) dose of Ibuprofen to hopefully assist with easing the inflammation and soreness I’m feeling while I implement the other strategies.

Aside from self-care, there is the running part. I’ve got a training schedule written out for the next 8 weeks but I’m allowing myself to ease back into it. I will take it somewhat light the rest of this week and not push myself with some unrealistic goal at my race this weekend. It is strictly a training run with a nice medal and finishers shirt at the end. Next week I will begin to ramp it up a bit more.

It’s interesting what a little clarity and shift in mindset can do. This morning I was literally in tears from frustration. (I also had a bad dream in which I had to crawl across a race finish line!) This evening, well, I’m going to make a mojito with those “rocks” and take a bath!

How do you bounce back after a setback, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, when it comes to running?

*Goodbye, July*

July Review:

Total miles: 119

Longest run: 10

Total days running: 22

YTD mileage: 1,242.5

Some of my favorite July moments included:

  • My family’s first official 5k. We ran the Red, White, and Blues together on Sunday, July 5th following a mellow, fun 4th with family and friends.
  • Spending a few days in Central Oregon. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking’s family has a long-tradition of playing in, and now organizing, a golf tournament. I’ve been going for 20 years and we look forward to it every summer.
  • Taking my son and his buddy hiking at Smith Rock State Park. It gives me a lot of joy to share the things I love with the people who I love!
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I think hiking is growing on him!

  • An early morning trail run at Forest Park. Trail runs are far and few in between so I savor those opportunities when they arise!
  • An amazing evening celebrating Mr. WJTWT’s birthday made complete with a bottle of prosecco, his and her’s pedicures, happy hour, takeout of one of his favorite dishes from Portland-area, cult-fave, Pok Pok, and a picnic in the park with live music and an outdoor movie. SO. MUCH. FUN!
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This guy lights up my life! (This was not part of his birthday outing… Central Oregon shenanigans while working at the Cascade Lakes Relay.)

  • Hiking Forest Park with the whole family. (Portlanders are seriously blessed with such an amazing urban park right in our backyard!) This outing was especially meaningful as we were counting down the days until our daughter departed for basic training.
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My peeps. Life isn’t the same with her gone. ; (

  • The arrival of my sister-in-law and nephew. It was a welcome distraction with all the other activities going on!
  • A small, sweet family and friend gathering to wish my daughter well as she prepared to depart for basic training.
  • Not a favorite moment, per se, but within the mix of emotions I was feeling as I watched my daughter pass through security and down the concourse at the airport, I felt so much pride. I’m really excited for her to begin having her own life experiences as a young adult. My mama heart has been pretty tender but I know great things are in store for her.
  • Another trip to Central Oregon! While it was technically a work trip for Mr. WJTWT, we were able to get in two great hikes, soak up some sun, enjoy some time in the pool, sleep outside under the stars, and regroup after a busy, busy month!
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If you haven’t noticed, I’m REALLY fond of Central Oregon! But look at this! It’s gorgeous there, no?

I can’t help but feel a little sad that summer is passing so quickly. Cross country starts in four weeks and the school year not long after that. Our autumn season is looking to be a busy one so I want to savor every single second August gives us! More adventures happening soon!

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Me in my element.

I hope you are having an amazing summer too!!