Dopey week eight.

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This week felt a little bit better… not any faster but the lead-leg feeling seems to have gone away so I will take what I can get!  I also keep meaning to go to the gym but I hadn’t been able to force myself inside just yet.  But then it POURED on Wednesday so I got to remember how much I love (sarcasm) running on treadmills!

Monday: Second to last swimming lesson of this session.  It was a good night and I felt like I could do things.  It’s so hit or miss for me on whether I feel like I’m drowning or flying through the water.  I still have massive doubts on swimming longer distances… maybe this weekend I will venture to the gym and try a longer distance swim, just to see.

Tuesday: 3 mile run in the morning.  No lead-leg feelings but no speed-demon feelings either.  Just a pretty basic (warm!) run.

Evening: 15-20 minutes of upper body weight lifting so I can do better at carrying my SUPERHEAVY water bottle.

Wednesday: 6 mile pace run on the treadmill.  Slow mile warm up and slow cool down with 4 miles at about 9:30 in between.  9:30 on the treadmill does not feel hard so WHY does 11:00 feel difficult on the sidewalk… (that’s rhetorical)

Thursday: 3 mile run.  Little faster than Tuesday’s 3-miler so that always seems good after a 3-day running streak!

Evening: Swimming that was challenging and left me feeling like I was going to pass out?! Not sure what that was about.  Probably trying to hold my breath too long :)  I had to have swum about a mile this night because we did a ton of 50 meter repeats plus about 800 meters for the warmup alone!

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: 9 mile run in the rain!  It’s been quite some time since I had to run in the rain and I forgot how really not fun that is… I was no where near fast but I felt good when I was done with this run but it’s still disappointing to think my pace will likely slow down even more once I get into the really long runs.  I still don’t know what happened unless my legs just got really good at holding back during training runs to run fast in races?  But I am doubtful that is the case.

Capture

Sunday: Rest.  Because I was too lazy to ride my bike like I was supposed to.  Oops!

Total mileage: 21 miles

Next weekend I have a half marathon (my last for 2014) and another 3 miles to run before that so that should be interesting.  Hopefully the weather cooperates a little more than it did this Saturday!  I also don’t want to overdo it at the half so I am not really sure what pace to target but I guess I will just see how I feel next weekend.  I can’t believe it’s only 12 more weeks until Dopey!!  This training cycle is flying by!

I will fight through this.

So a strange thing happened the other day.  I looked back through my last marathon/half marathon training posts and found an interesting re-occurrence… I like to whine and complain about how horrible it is and then just quit training when it gets hard but then still run the race (painfully).  Hmmmm, that sounds nothing like my last few posts AT ALL!  So I have decided I need to keep pushing myself forward in my Dopey training and just make myself keep getting out there and hope that soon I start to feel like I can actually do this thing.

I am also wondering if part of my dead-legs problem is swimming?  The swim workouts I do are very challenging and I am not used to swimming so maybe it is just wearing my legs out more than I realize.  I have also been still trying to lift weights and do squats, etc. but maybe I should take a break from that to see if I can get rid of this feeling.  It’s worth a shot I guess!

I really, really, really don’t want to have another marathon experience like Disney in 2013 and I think part of what is holding me back is fear of a repeat of that run.  So painful and felt like it took 6,000 years.  It is by far the longest six hours of my life and I REALLY don’t want this marathon in January to take anything close to six hours to complete.

Never. Running. Again.

Never. Running. Again.

So I will keep doing my runs as long as nothing hurts and maybe stop wearing my watch/looking at my pace.  It really doesn’t matter what pace I keep if I can finish 48.6 miles but right now I am too used to my faster races over the summer and wanting that to keep going.  But it’s time to shift my focus and just STOP complaining and just run.

Dopey will be here before I know and I am sure by the time it’s done, I will be wanting to sign up for another marathon within a week :)

Dopey Week 7.

Another awful mediocre week of training and one that really has me considering just calling it quits on marathon training… maybe just run the 5k, 10k and half marathon or something like that.  Or maybe just skip them all! (No, I won’t really do this, just much dramatic)

Monday: Swimming lessons.  I actually felt a little faster than normal this night because I had a full rest weekend the days before so my legs were fresher than normal!  I also didn’t get another calf cramp so that’s good news!…

Tuesday: The bad news is running sucks.  I couldn’t sleep Monday night so I skipped morning running in favor of running after work and that was a horrible choice.  I made it about 1/2 mile before I wanted to turn around and never run again.  I slogged through three miles, hating every single one.

Wednesday: Another craptastic run, 11 minutes miles, WHY!?!?!?!?! This is not OK. 5 miles should not take me over 55 minutes, no, no, no.  I don’t like every run taking me a good 5 minutes or more longer than it was this spring.  It feels like I am perpetually running at 8,000 feet in elevation with bricks strapped to my legs.  Such an awesome feeling.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Painfully slow five miler but the scenery was really pretty!! I do like the views of running in autumn!

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Sunday: The first real long run of marathon training and… I survived.  I wouldn’t say it was easy and I am still scared about doing another 11 miles past this but I do feel like this was a large hurdle I am now on the other side of.  From here on out, it’s just one more mile and one more mile until 20 miles and then race day.  I was slow again (shocker) but actually kept a faster pace than my five miler earlier in the week so I guess that’s progress.  My legs did feel incredibly tired after running and I thought my arms were going to fall off from holding my phone and water bottle.  My forearms are STILL SORE TODAY!?

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I am glad I am now in the marathon training routine that will follow me the next 13 or something weeks of double long run weekend, weekend off, repeat.  I think it will help to not have so much time off between long runs going forward.

And just because.

And just because.

Fall Race Binge.

When I want to sign up for a race, I never sign up for just one.  It’s like RUN ALL THE RACES RIGHT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW.

I thought I was going to be good and not sign up for many fall races because I am kind of hating running right now but… (bahahhhhhahahahahahaha) of course I still signed up because I apparently enjoy making myself miserable.

The medal looks cool!

The medal looks cool!

First up: Skeleton Skamper Half Marathon.  I need to run 16 miles this day so I will be able to tag a few extra on before or after to get me there.  This will also be my FIFTH half marathon this year – yikes.  I am still on the fence about a costume or no costume.

President’s Run.  I ran this one (not very well) back in 2010 or something like that but I am hoping to finish slightly faster this time ;)  However, that could be overly optimistic.  I like running in this area so I will get to run around my old school grounds and see how things have changed (spoiler alert, they changed a lot – there is now a baseball stadium on the grounds).

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Festival Foods Turkey Trot.  This will be my third time doing this race.  I think I am going with the 5 mile option but I am a little tempted to do the dog jog one again so I can run with my little guy :)  Too bad the 2 mile is not late enough I could do both!  I set my 5 mile PR at this race in 2011 so I know it’s a good course, just a matter of what my legs are capable come November.

santa hustle

Santa Hustle.  One of my co-workers talked me into this one.  I get to dress up like a Santa and run around.  That sounds pretty fun :)  I think I need to run like 9 miles this day so I will doing a nice long warm up before it I guess!

Despite not being super excited by running at the moment, I am looking forward to these races!! Holiday-themed races are always my very favorite :)

Dopey Week 6.

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Even though it’s been six weeks now, I still don’t actually feel like I have been doing any training at all.  It was tapering for Fox Cities, then a rest week and then last weekend I missed a run because I got an awful calf cramp from swimming that took FOUR DAYS TO GO AWAY.  I swear I have some sort of marathon running curse.  I just don’t understand why it’s so difficult for me to get my shit together to train.  But it is.  I feel like last week was a total bust but I am blogging it anyway so I can look back and see either a) why things go poorly in January or b) that everything doesn’t have to go well along the way for it to turn out OK in the end.

Monday: Swimming lessons that included more video taping in and out of the pool.  Shudder.  I think I get swimming anxiety when I know I am going to have to watch myself and just do all the things wrong.

Tuesday: 3 miles at a snail pace.  Why is 11 minutes my new training pace?  Overtraining only happens when one can actually run a few weeks in a row so I’m guessing that’s probably not my issue at this point but I really don’t know what is.  Also threw in about 15 minutes of weights.

Wednesday: 5 miles a little faster average than Tuesday, probably about 10 minute pace on average. I just really, really, really am hating running in the dark though and it’s not getting any better.  So I guess I need to start dragging my butt to the gym in the mornings but it’s just SO early and I am such a whiner. It also didn’t help that the 5 mile route that I like was off limits because I knew there was a dead skunk along the way – ewwwwww! I couldn’t even drive that way, let alone run past it!

Thursday: 3 miles.  Slow AGAIN. Blah, blah, blah.

Swimming in the evening that turned into more whining because I got the WORST CALF CRAMP EVER. I pretty much spent 15 minutes walking around trying to get it to go away and then the rest of the time swimming with one leg or no legs.  That worked really well.

Friday: Rest and hobble all day because my leg still hurt.

Saturday: I was supposed to run 8 miles but since I still could not even walk, I pushed that off for Sunday and rode my bike on the trainer for 45ish minutes.  I need to find a way to get a book set up for reading while I do this because my system I have right now is pretty special.

Sunday: Still couldn’t walk right and now had no motivation to run so I skipped it and instead spent the time re-doing my training plan and questioning whether I should even attempt marathon training or not.  I did finally force myself to do a weight DVD that evening but eh, my heart is just not into running/working out right now.

Total mileage was a pathetic 11 miles.  You need to run more than that to train for a 5k…. arg. Must. shake. off. this. funk.

This coming weekend is the true test because Saturday is a 5 mile run and Sunday is 15!!!!! I haven’t run more than 11 miles in a training run in 2 years so yeah, not feeling super confident in this whole thing at the moment.

It’s going to get better from here on out, right?????

Dopey Week 4 and 5.

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This race keeps getting closer and closer and I keep feeling less and less ready for the pesky marathon bit.

Side note: HP World should have a DOBBY CHALLENGE! I’d be all over that too ;)

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I was a slacker and never posted anything last week but I also didn’t do any workouts last week so there would be little to recap about that so let’s just combine everything together and I will be caught up.

Week of 9/15

Monday: Swim lessons are BACK! It was not a great workout lessons as it was the first week again and I am still in the novice bit instead of the intermediate because I am not quite ready to make that jump.  Hopefully in the future weeks this gets better and more challenging.  There were also way too many people there tonight, FOUR IN EACH LANE!

Tuesday: 3 miles slow and weights circuit in the basement.  I didn’t actually use weights but did a circuit of wall sits, pushups and planks and that hurt!

Wednesday: 5 mile run that was so dark and I got super creeped out on multiple occasions on this run.  I either have to run on roads with cars or run all alone in a park/on the trail and it’s pretty much picking the lesser of two evils…

Thursday: 4 mile run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Week of 9/22

Monday was swim lessons and Thursday was Masters swim practice but other than that, I was so lazy this week and didn’t even go on walks or anything.  I guess it was recovery from my big PR in Fox Cities :)

And now it’s time to really get my butt in gear and start doing my Dopey training.  I am already dreading the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 miles runs.  Uh oh…

Race Recap: Fox Cities Half Marathon 2014

I don’t think this is the official name for this half marathon but I never really know what to call it. I think it’s actually like the Thedacare Half Marathon sponsored by blah, blah, blah… I don’t know but in my head, it’s always the Fox Cities Half Marathon!  In year’s past, this has always been a perfect weather weekend and one of the best weekends of the year for me but for some reason, this year, the weather was complete crap and I just was not that excited to run for once.

We headed to Appleton on Saturday afternoon to go to the expo and get my bib but I failed to notice that last year, when I did not do the race, they switched the race expo location… oops.  So we drove out to the Fox Valley Technical College campus only to realize it was actually at the UW-Fox Valley campus.  So we drove across town and then got where we needed to go.

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I got my bib picked up and spent way too much money on some new medal holders before we called it quits at the expo.

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Awesome!

We went for dinner at GingerRootz which is where we went two years ago when we did this race.  I really like this place and they have such good food!

SUSHI!

SUSHI!

I had sushi and wine plus the most delicious mochi ice cream balls for dessert!

SUGAR!

SUGAR!

I had a really hard time falling asleep on Saturday night because I was kind of dreading running in the morning… I didn’t think things were going to turn out too well and I also was not looking forward to the rain.  I finally fell asleep and then my alarm went off way too early and it was time to get ready to run 13.1.

Totally not ready for this

Totally not ready for this

I wanted to get to the start line early to have time to run one extra mile (per my Dopey plan) and also have time to find my friend running with My Team Triumph but the traffic for this race was HORRIBLE this year… I never remember having any traffic problems but this year was a mess from the get-g0.  We finally got parked and it was already after 6:30 which gave me just enough time to run my .9 miles and wait in the long porto-potty line.  Yikes!

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Oh, just a small rain cloud, you see…

Right at 7am the gun went off and we were off.  But not too quickly because Mile 1 was SO CROWDED!  I probably also started back a little too far in my corral but I don’t remember ever having such a problem running this first mile.  I don’t know why it was such a hot mess this year but it felt so packed!

Mile 2 I was still feeling zero interest in running fast and was having a hard time getting around people.  We had like a four lane road but still felt totally packed in and it was feeling hot because of all the body heat in such a small area.  I took a clif block at mile 2 and kept moving along.

Right before Mile 3 (I think?) the marathoners went straight when the half turned right and finally it started to feel like you had room to breathe again.  It was also around this time I saw a man with a Wicked umbrella!  I was super jealous of this and want one!

Mile 4 I was still not liking running very much and was wondering why I was even here today.  The rain was never super bad throughout my run but it would do this cold misty thing every once and awhile and it was just obnoxious.  I also started looking for my spectating crew in the spots they normally were but didn’t see them so I started to worry maybe my chip was not working and they thought I was having a horrible race but it turned out the traffic was just not working for them.

Mile 5 I took a Gu and that’s when things kind of started to come around in my head a little bit.  I was still feeling good about running (i.e. nothing hurt, just crappy in my head) but my paces were not horrible and I felt like I would at least finish today.

Mile 6 I finally saw the gang and that was nice but I didn’t take time to stop because I knew if I did, I would never start again…

Runners, they are so basic.

Runners, they are so basic.

Mile 7 I took another Clif shot block and drank some water and tried to just zone out.  I also was really wishing I had my music with me at this point.

Mile 8 I almost yelled at a lady on the side-lines who keps saying “You’re almost there!” Um, NO.  Not even almost.  The last FIVE miles are usually the hardest miles of any half marathon.  And five miles does not constitute “almost” to me, nope, not at all.

Mile 9 I almost got taken down by a lady darting for water right in front of me.  Come on people, check behind you before you dart backwards and sideways and all around!  I also took a Gu at this point and got it all over my hand but luckily there was a sprinkler set up so I got my hand wet and then wiped it off.  Why is all the Gu stuff so sticky!

Mile 10 I started to gain on the 2:00 pace “group” aka about three people by that point and thought about hanging with them but then I was actually feeling like their pace was not fast enough for what groove I was in.  It was at this point I started to realize that maybe, just maybe I was going to finish under two hours and freaked out a little bit.  It’s one thing to be with the pace team at mile three when anything can still happen but at mile ten, I felt like chances were much better I could make it.

Mile 11 I saw the cheer group again but my pup was so confused.  I don’t think his distance vision is very good anymore so I don’t think he could see me :(  Poor guy!  He still loves coming along with the family to watch races though!

Let's pretend this was mile 11 but I don't know if that's true...

Let’s pretend this was mile 11 but I don’t know if that’s true…

Mile 12 things started to feel really challenging!  And yet I knew I was almost there and had plenty of time to finish sub-2 and then this dude came up behind me and started SINGING OUT LOUD!  NO!  He had the most horrible voice as well, totally out of tune and off key.  No one wants to hear that!  And then he proceeded to start a serious of disgusting sounding belches.  Eww, get away.  I thought about running ahead of him but my legs were not having it so I let him get ahead of me because I knew I still had 13 ish minutes for this mile.

Mile 13 I turned that last corner in the park where I knew the finish line was close and I just kept trying to keep going!  It was really hard and I had zero gas left in the tank to sprint to the finish so I just tried to keep moving forward!  It was so hard though!

Mile 13.1 FINISH LINE!!!!  And as I am booking it to the finish and cross the line, someone stops completely right in front of me and almost takes me out again.  I think I might have hit her with my cheering arm, actually.  That was two close calls in 13 miles!? What the heck, people?

Don't worry about checking behind you before STOPPING at a race, you know...

Don’t worry about checking behind you before STOPPING at a race, you know…

After I crossed the finish line, I realized my spectators had MISSED IT!  NO!!!  I finished under two-hours and no one was there!  I later found out they got stuck waiting for a stupid drawbridge for 15 minutes – WHAT?!  I also didn’t run with my phone and realized I might never find them again in the crowd since I missed them at the finish but about 10 or so minutes later, I saw my sister and pup walking toward me.

He's not impressed.

He’s not impressed.

I still cannot believe I finished under two hours! 1:57:29 to be precise! I did have the realization that fast running is not as much fun though, because you have to try too hard – ha!!  But all in all, I am glad to have this goal completed and now I can just proceed to run halfs any old speed and just enjoy them :)

The deets.

The deets.

It still feels a little surreal.  I’ve been shooting for this goal for a few years and really didn’t think it was going to happen today until about mile 10.  Now I don’t even know if I bother running fast or just go back to running as slow as I please since I am not PRing anything during the Dopey ;)

The medals were SO much better this year.  The finisher shirts too!

The medals were SO much better this year. The finisher shirts too!

A few years of disappointment but FINALLY! SUB-2!