*Weekly mileage~Sept. 19-25*

Mileage for the week of September 19th – September 25th

Total weekly mileage: 44.75

Total September mileage: 182.75

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,065.25

Week in review:

9/19     No run/rest day

9/20     44:50 min./5.25 mi./8:32 pace

9/21     39:46 min./4.75 mi./8:22 pace

9/22     55:53 min./7 mi./7:58 pace

9/23     1:15:23 min./8.5 mi./8:52 pace

9/24     44:13 min./5.25 mi./8:25 pace

9/25     2:01:19 min./14 mi./8:40 pace

Another solid week is in the books. I’d like to think of it as the transition week before the real transition week!

My focus now, based on the guidance I’m following from this Runner’s World article, is to cut my mileage back by roughly 15 miles and drop my pace back on all runs, except for two miles at my goal race pace during one of my weekday runs. It is sooooo hard for me to drop my pace by 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per mile so I doubt that will realistically happen but I will aim for something near the 9 minute mile mark.

Nutrition wise, I’m aiming to keep my protein high, fat and carbs moderate. Lots and lots of water and not go crazy on either coffee or wine. A little is okay. A lot is not okay.

13 days to go but taking it all one day at a time.

Have a great week!

*Taper makin’ me cray*

Happy autumn!

As I write this I’m sitting next to the AC unit, the ceiling fan is on high overhead, and I have a pumpkin scented candle burning. It was 99° today and tomorrow is forecast to be 101°. This Pacific Northwest girl, who loves the changes of the seasons, ESPECIALLY fall, is a bit confused.

The good news is that in a little over a week, I get to head home to Oregon to reunite with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and our daughter, visit family and friends, and soak up some much-needed green and cooler temps. Oh, yeah. And run a marathon!!!

I’m officially two weeks out from marathon #9. While I’ve been tapering (sort of) for the past week, this coming week is when things really begin to shift. Last week was taper “light”, basically. I ran most of my runs easy but still managed a good chunk of mileage. Only 4.5 miles less than the previous week in fact. This coming week will see a slightly bigger drop in mileage and slower paces. More rest and stretching are on deck too.

I’ve come to realize that, and I’ve probably been thinking about this waaaay too much, but the taper is going to be the deciding factor on how race day goes. Yes, I’ve put in the miles but every one seemed to be a struggle during this training cycle. I really had a hard time with pacing and staying mentally strong when my body started to bitch. I’m trying to not let it totally get to my head but honestly, I’m a wee bit worried about the outcome on race day. To counter it, I’m committing myself to hard-core taper self-care these next two weeks.

Even with 8 marathons under my belt, I still struggle with finding confidence in my training, my body’s innate ability to perform and recover, and that I won’t lose my mind during the taper process. I’m already feeling like this taper is makin’ me cray!

With that, I’m off to shoot some vitamin C, chug some water, have a turmeric nightcap, stretch, and hit the hay!

*Nuun Life*

What is Nuun Life exactly?

It is a culture. A community. It’s bigger than the amazing little flavored tabs that help hydrate and replenish athletes so that they can keep giving 110% to everything they do whether it’s training for the Olympics, the Boston Marathon, Ironman, or a hometown 5k. Nuun Life, at its core, is a group of passionate people striving to achieve greater athletic performance, optimal health, and a cleaner planet by way of revolutionary hydration products while inspiring others in the process.

It has been an incredible honor over the past few years to be a part of Team Nuun and witness the company’s evolution while staying true to their mission.

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In the spirit of constantly striving to move forward, Nuun has revamped their website and can now be found at www.nuunlife.com. And, they’ve give me and my fellow teammates permission to offer a special friends and family discount to YOU! Check out their new website, maybe swing by my athlete profile (which is slightly outdated), and use the code fallhydration at checkout to save 30% off your order! The offer is good through September 30th.

Happy autumn and hydrating!

*Weekly mileage ~ Sept. 12-18*

Mileage for the week of September 12th – September 18th

Total weekly mileage: 49.25

Total September mileage: 138

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,020.5

Run review:

9/12     No run/rest day

9/13     44:41 min./5.25 mi./8:31 pace

9/14     33:05 min./4 mi./8:16 pace

9/15     45:15 min./5.5 mi./8:13 pace

9/16     1:14:16 min./8.5 mi./8:44 pace

9/17     41:41 min./5 mi./8:20 pace

9/18     3:01:15 min./21 mi./8:38 pace

Peak week. Even though my mileage was about 20 miles higher the previous week, I ran my longest training run yesterday so I guess I made it to the top of my training plan. There isn’t really much difference this week other than my long run is only going to be 14 miles. I still plan to do one tempo run and a moderately longer (8-10 miles) later in the week. Next week will be a whole other ball game!

As I referenced in my last post, I’m following a three-week taper plan prescribed by Runner’s World. I’m working to keep my protein intake high to repair damaged muscle tissue and increasing my vitamin C intake to help boost my immune system to stay healthy. Sleep and extra rest, whenever possible, are a HUGE priority too.

I officially booked my flight today so reality is starting to set in! Marathon #9 is just 20 days away!

*You’re doing it wrong*

Adaptation

ad·ap·ta·tion / ˌadapˈtāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the action or process of adapting or being adapted.
  2. a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been a little bit of a mental mess when it has come to my marathon training. My intentions have been good but I sort of feel like I’ve been doing the whole thing wrong. For various reasons, each week has found me making adaptations to my training plan… which honestly, I’m starting to think it was never very solid to begin with.

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It’s all “fun and games” BEFORE you run 21 miles.

I’ve skipped long runs (due to an injury of sorts). I’ve run two long runs in a 7 day period. I’ve increased my totally weekly mileage by more than 20 miles in a single week. I’ve bumped my long run mileage from 15 to 18 miles in a single run. And then again from 18 to 20 miles. I’ve beat myself up over the *slow* pace of my long runs when in fact, they are supposed to be run slower. I’ve been comparing myself to other runners and their training plans, mileage, paces, etc. (A BIG no-no!) I’ve allowed myself to think that I’m not fit or fast enough, nor have I worked hard enough, to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.

Before I continue, I should note that I realize that I’ve done a few things right too. I’ve been trying really hard to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night and naps on the weekend. My nutrition plan has been on target. I’m consuming close to four liters of water each day. My post-run recovery routine has been going well and I’ve been taking one day off completely each week. Also, because early on this week I noticed that I was feeling extra rundown, I backed off my mileage and effort. I skipped my tempo run and opted for a shorter, easy run instead of pushing myself.

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Fueling/refueling like a boss!

I was planning to keep my mileage high… maybe even increase it… for another week before tapering. However, due to how I’ve been feeling during the latter part of my long runs… essentially my body screaming “uncle”… I’ve decided to make another adaptation and am going to call training good. As in, DONE! (I will also note that I believe one of the reasons I’m struggling during my long runs is because I’m running through the city and have to stop numerous times for traffic lights. I lose momentum and I begin stiffening up the moment I stop which makes it hard to get moving again.)

I’ve never tapered for three weeks before. During past training cycles, I’ve run my longest, or close to longest, training run two weeks before the race. I think it’s time to try something new. I’m planning to follow this guide that I found online from Runner’s World. And more important, I’m trying to reframe the messy mental chatter that I’ve been doing it all wrong. Instead, I need to see those adaptations over the preceding weeks as opportunities to become better suited to my environment. I got the mileage in despite the challenges thrown at me. Now, I need to find trust in the final portion of the training process. (And let my body rest!) (And also, you’d think I’ve never trained for a marathon before!)

So, with the Portland Marathon officially three weeks from today, I say, “BRING ON THE TAPER!”

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Ice bath alternative.

*Weekly mileage ~ Sept. 5-11*

Mileage for the week of September 5th – September 11th

Total weekly mileage: 68.25

Total September mileage: 88.75

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 971.25

Run review:

9/5     2:36:08 min./18 mi./8:41 pace

9/6     No run/rest day

9/7     39:49 min./5 mi./7:58 pace

9/8     55:32 min./7 mi./7:55 pace

9/9     1:13:23 min./8.5 mi./8:38 pace

9/10   30:44 min./3.75 mi./8:13 pace

25:42 min./3 mi./8:34 pace

25:15 min./3 mi./8:25 pace

9/11   2:57:07 min./20 mi./8:51 pace

Two long runs, spaced only 6 days apart, made my mileage leap into the upper 60-mile category last week. My legs and lower body staged a protest yesterday and didn’t really want to have anything to do with the run. Why is it that either you’re mentally in the game or physically in the game but both can’t cooperate and be in the game at the same time? Hmph. I also made a minor error in calculating the mileage of my route. What I intended to be a 19-mile run turned into 20. That’s not such a bad thing but leaves me with the new challenge of figuring out what to do the next two weeks. Run up to 21… 22… or drop back next weekend and run another 20-mile run the following week prior to taper? Decisions, decisions.

Also, I mentioned in my last update that I was going to play with my diet a little and adjust my macro nutrient intake. Essentially, carb cycle. If you’re unfamiliar with carb cycling, it’s basically a way to trick your body into burning stored body fat instead of using carbs. It’s a very popular method for cutting (a.k.a. getting lean) in the bodybuilding world. My experiment was pretty low-key. Basically, on the days that I ran more than an hour, I ate a moderate amount of carbs, as is normal for my diet. On the other days, I restricted my carb intake slightly and added more protein and fat.

I can’t say for sure if I really experienced any noticeable difference in performance or body weight (I don’t own a scale so I really had no way of tracking this except for by look and how my clothes fit… which seemed to me to be the same as usual). It did however, force me to try a few new meal/food combinations and I think breaking the norm can be beneficial since it keeps the body guessing.

This week, I’m back to my typical diet which works for me and that is the key to the whole diet thing in general. You need to figure out what works for you. Experimenting is the only way to know what works and what doesn’t but once you find a diet lifestyle you can live with, one that allows you to eat what you enjoy in moderation, provides your body with essential vitamins and nutrients, makes you feel good and fueled to be active or whatever it is that drives you, and does’t make you feel deprived, then you know you’re on the right path.

I should disclose that I’m by no means an expert or qualified to provide dietary guidance. I can only speak from my own experience and it is because I’ve done the work to figure out what foods fuel my body best.

Anywho… rest and recovery is also on the forefront of my training plan and my bed is calling.

Have a fantastic week!

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 29-Sept. 4*

Mileage for the week of August 29th – September 4th

Total weekly mileage: 41.25

Total August mileage: 175.5

Total September mileage: 20.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 903

Run review:

8/29     44:16 min./5 mi./8:51 pace

8/30     55:03 min./6 mi./9:11 pace

8/31     31:40 min./4 mi./7:55 pace

50:48 min./5.75 mi./8:49 pace

9/1     33:43 min./4 mi./8:26 pace

9/2     32:34 min./4 mi./8:07 pace

9/3     1:20:43 min./8.5 mi./9:30 pace

9/4     33:06 min./4 mi./8:15 pace

Due to some extra time off the previous week when my knee was acting up, on top of moving my long run for the week to today, I didn’t take any rest days last week. On three of the days I ran harder or a bit longer, including a couple of good hills in there too. The other days were shorter and run at an easy pace. Nicely balanced, I think.

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Updated training plan… taking it one week at a time.

I’ve reconfigured my plan for this week to accommodate a second long run next Sunday. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. (If I stick to said plan, I’ll hit 64 miles this week.) Rest and recovery is high priority so I will take a rest day tomorrow and aim to get as much extra sleep as I can each night.

Also, I’ve decided to play with my macros just a little bit and see what happens. I love nutrition and I love experimenting with my diet. Essentially, on days that I run longer than an hour, I’ll eat more carbs. On the other days, little carbs (including wine… sniff, sniff) and more protein and fat. I don’t want to over think it and I still aim to keep my food choices nutrient-dense but I’m curious to see how it will affect my body and my training since my objective is to lean out a little bit while maintaining muscle and endurance, of course. I’ll report back on that later.

Happy Labor Day, btw, and have a fantastic week!