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June 20, 2012 / fionarwbl

My Marathon Goals, and a Sweaty Tempo

This somehow makes my tempo look competent. It was far from it. Ugly, sweating, heaving mess.

Let’s get the ugly out of the way first. This morning I ran an ugly tempo run. It was 83% humidity and already 72 degrees when I headed out the door. I had to stop every mile to catch my breath and stop myself from feeling nauseous. Technically, my tempo pace was my strongest yet (7:54/mile for 4 miles), but since my app stops when I do, it was more likely closer to 8:15 or 8:20. All in all, an exercise in failed pacing. I did work up an impressive sweat though. This is how showers go down in the Carmel household.

Mmm, sweaty knee snack. My favorite.

Yesterday I wrote about my marathon training plan, which is all very color-coded and data-centric. Today, I’m writing about the more qualitative stuff; the how of marathon training season. Yeah, that’s right, there are two sides to this whole marathon malarkey. You thought it was just about putting shoes on and running for a long time, didn’t you?

Marathon training is very much about hitting the numbers. Run this many miles. Run this fast. Run at Marathon Goal Pace. Run at Half Marathon Goal Pace. Run slow. But hitting the numbers is going to be impossible if I don’t think about marathon training holistically. I know I’m going to run a lot, so how am I going to do that? Here are my goals to get me to the finish line on November 4th.

Don’t get injured. This is my number one concern, especially since I’m adding more miles on that I’ve ever run before. I’ve been pretty lucky with injuries so far (fingers crossed!), but I still know I have to be careful. Listen to my body and be prepared to back off if necessary

  1. Hi guys! I’m going to be running with you! Lots!!

Run With Friends. This is huge for me. Last year I only knew a few people doing marathon training, and my runs were mostly solo affairs. This year, between blogging and running friends and Ori, I’m sure to have company on lots of runs. Running with friends is by far the best way to make the miles fly by, or at least trundle slightly faster. I’m really, really excited about running with people this year, both on weekend long runs and even a few sneaky mid-week mornings

Stretch. I go to yoga weekly, and every week my hamstrings and calves yell at me because they are so tight. I am probably the only person in the room bending her knees doing downward dog. My standing split is more like a flailing tree. Yoga will have to keep happening. I would love to say that I’ll go 4 times a week, but I won’t. Once is committable, twice or more is gold star worthy.

Strength. Every time I go to Refine Method, it kicks my ass. However, every time I run long I’m glad I can feel my core muscles kicking in and keeping me in line. Strong core, back, quads, glutes = less injury. The triceps and biceps are good for all that tank top running and race photos. Weekly strength training is most definitely on the menu.
Foam and Stick Rolling. I’m not going to lie – the foam roller and I do not have a good relationship, mostly because my chronically tight IT bands mean time spent on the foam rolling literally brings tears to my eyes. After I’ve done it, I know it was a good decision, but man, actually rolling is agony. I love, love my Stick for rolling my calves out, where I tend to get extremely tight, resulting in sore Achilles. But again, I’m not really rolling on an regular basis, which I should be. Need to give some more love to The Stick.

How could I ever say no to this masterpiece?

Eat better. Like, eating dinner instead of beer the night before a long run. Figuring out what to eat in general after a long run. I’m not going to go crazy and give up the nutella or chips and salsa. Not altogether, of course. I had nutella before last year’s marathon and it worked a treat for fuel, actually. Nutella as fuel. Yum.
Race once a month. I love racing. Even though, recently, it feels like I suck at it. Last year I raced a lot at the start of marathon training, and it made me tired. Once I stopped, my pace picked up. So, too much racing doesn’t work for me. Having said that, months of training without the adrenaline of a race will send me crazy bored. A race a month-ish will keep me entertained, help me track my progress, but not tax me too much physically.
Slow down. It’s so tempting to run my long runs at a 9 min/mile pace. It gets them done faster, and it makes me feel stronger. But all it’s doing is tiring me out.

Empty Brooklyn Bridge. At 6.30am on a Saturday.

Vary my route. I live 0.6 miles from Central Park and 0.2 miles from Riverside Park. Therefore running loops in Central Park and up and down the West Side Highway are familiar routes. Too familiar. If I run endless laps of the loop there is a high risk of runner burn out, as I go mad running up and down Cat Hill. Don’t get me wrong – Central Park is an amazing place to run and I am so lucky to have it so close. But I also need to run other places. I’ll definitely be spending some quality time on Queensboro Bridge making it my bitch, as well and running  multiple bridges running routes. If I can run in other parks, boroughs, cities, states, that would all be welcome. Anything that keeps a long run sane.

Run with music. All my current music is so lame and drives me crazy. My lovely sister created a playlist of cool stuff which I want to get into. Christine at These Happy Miles makes awesome playlists I want to take advantage of. I can use my running time to get to know some music that was made after 2007. Awesome.

Run without music. I do this a lot now, but I still think it’s worth making a point to do, especially for long runs. Last year I ran 21 miles in the pouring rain without any music as my headphones broke. (Headphones breaking is a common theme in my life. Or going missing.) It sucked, but I was glad it happened, because I knew that I wasn’t reliant on my music for energy. I’ll definitely do at least two long runs with no music at all.

Have you thought about how you do your training, or any goals aside from the numbers? I’d like to know your suggestions!



Leave a Comment
  1. Jocelyn / Jun 21 2012 12:59 pm

    Question: What app are you using to track your splits??

    • fionarwbl / Jun 21 2012 1:04 pm

      I use iSmoothRun which I love. You can program all kinds of workouts and it gives you voiceovers if you ar e running too fast or too slow. only thing that it doesn’t do is have a web interface, but it can connect to dailymile and garmin connect to upload your runs.

  2. Liz / Jun 22 2012 5:44 pm

    Pandora has saved my runs! I love not knowing what I’m going to hear next.

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