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October 9, 2011 / fionarwbl

On Long Runs and Long Weeks

Yesterday was my second to last ever training run. In many ways, I am going to miss marathon training. I naturally love structure. I love knowing what I am going to do, and why I am doing it. I love seeing the progress that my effort makes. And marathon training has really give me that. I have become a sub 2hr half marathoner, run a mile in 6:55, and able to turn in 4 miles in 8:15. These are numbers which were almost completely alien to me at the start of training. So, while at times I have cursed having to spend 3.5 hours running on a Saturday morning, or 5m tempo runs that have made me completely doubt my ability to keep going at all, I’ll be eternally grateful that this marathon has enabled me to become stronger, fitter, and faster.

This week was the toughest week in my marathon training schedule, with 36 miles on my schedule. That might not be a lot for most of you, but for this little runner on her 3 times a week schedule, it was a hefty amount. It broke down to:

  • 10 easy miles
  • 8m with 5m tempo at 8:45 (I ended up running at around 8:30 for these which felt deliciously strong 🙂 )
  • 20 miles
Couple this with starting a new job, and you have a recipe for exhaustion.
Just a quick word about my new job. I’m now a consultant for a firm who is notorious for working hard, playing hard, being a great organization to work for, but not always having a great work/life balance. I’ll be traveling a lot for work. I’ll be writing about running and keeping fit on the road as I figure it out. I am extremely excited, but in the first work I ended up staying at the office until 8.30 one evening, and 6.30 on Friday, after being assigned a project at 5pm. Oh, and getting in every day at 8am. For someone who is used to a very regular 9-5 role, this is a big challenge – a little scary, but exciting too. But yes, one of my biggest challenges is how on earth I’ll get my running and yoga in. I have not made it to the yoga studio all week. There’s a reason why this blog has “work” in the title.
Anyway, back to the running.
I ended up not getting my long run on until 10.40 on Saturday morning. That is way too late for me, and too late for a day that ended up being in the 80s! It was hot and sunny, and the longer I ran, the more the running path thinned out as normal people (normal people to me means other people training, not, you know, actual normal people) finished up their long runs and got to start their weekends. I’m still struggling with my Garmin. Yes, I know, this is embarrassing. Actually maybe a little crowd-sourcing help. How do I get it to show the time elapsed as well as the lap pace and the total distance? And is there a way to show the overall pace as well on another screen? And why does it sometimes tell me I’m behind? Behind who??
I listened to a cool This American Life show on patents. Yes, that sentence totally just made me sound like the worst tech geek ever. Seriously, NPR has saved my marathon runner. 3 plus hours of my own music makes me want to throw my iPhone into the reservoir, but starting off with an hour of documentary mixed in with comedy has made those long runs so much more bearable. At some point I’m going to have to make a marathon playlist, which I will really struggle with. Yes, I get that music is really motivating, but with the exception of the odd Katy Perry and Girl Talk track, my iPod has stayed stuck in 2005. For real. I need inspiration!
A couple of things I learnt on this long run:
  • Clif Shot Gel in Citrus is disgusting. Like, nearly throwing up disgusting.
  • Living on 86th street means that the end of every counter-clockwise loop of Central Park results in 1.5 miles of hills. This sucks. Especially when you’ve run 17 miles.
  • I nearly always get a little burst of speed around miles 13 and 14.
  • Running is not conducive to talking your husband through the potato choices at Whole Foods.
  • That while I probably should take an ice bath afterwards, I don’t have any pain the next day if I don’t.
The rest of the day was spent prepping for a dinner with friends (sea bass on a bed of roasted potatoes and mushrooms, challah ice cream cake), and cleaning the apartment.
How was your weekend? Can you make me some recommendations for my marathon playlist? And can anyone help me solve my Garmin challenges?
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2 Comments

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  1. Amber / Oct 10 2011 12:16 am

    So never mind the fact that your training blows anything I have ever done out of the water…where are you working now? Sounds suspiciously like my old firm. Drop me a line if you don’t want to say on here..;ust curious!

  2. ellen / Oct 11 2011 1:04 am

    nice job! my job is also pretty demanding – i’m totally impressed that you actually squeezed all your runs in! (especially in your first week!) unfortunately, my mileage took a hit in september. you’re doing great! almost taper time…

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