Monday, December 12, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 4

To aid in my quest to run a four hour marathon on March 18, 2012, I'll be writing training recaps each Monday, documenting the previous week. This is week four!

Last night, I went to bed at 8:30 and slept straight through to 7:30 this morning. I wasn't sick, I wasn't hungover, and I wasn't depressed. I was just really, really, really tired. I'm feeling much better now.

Lots of things - good and not-so-good - happened during this past week of training (turns out, 14 is an unluckier number than 13). I'll spare you the extensive prologue and jump right into the thick of things.

Monday: As you may recall, I didn't do a long run last week, deciding instead to push it to Monday of this week. I had planned to run 14 miles this morning, but at mile six I had to stop by the house to deal with some gastrointestinal issues. I ran one more mile after that, but it was clear that my stomach would not be silenced. I tried  to remember what I had for dinner the previous night and then remembered... half a bottle of wine, chocolate coconut bread, sweet potato fries, chips and guacamole, while hanging out at a birthday party. Not what I would consider top notch fuel. Decided to push this run back yet again. (7 miles = 1:12:24, or an average pace of 10:21.) 

Tuesday: I went to the 6:00 AM Ashtanga class at the YMCA again, and it was much different from last week's experience. This time, we did actual Ashtanga - the whole first series. It was tough and a good workout, but I don't know if I would enjoy a practice where we do the same thing every single class. I have mixed feelings about Ashtanga, but I'm grateful for the option.  

Wednesday:  I woke up sore all over from Ashtanga, but the weather was so beautiful I couldn't resist a short run before kettlebell class. Ran a four mile loop that ended at the YMCA, went to class, and then ran a slow mile back home for an even five. The run home was really hard, as kettlebell did a number on my legs, but I just imagined what the last mile of a marathon feels like and then it wasn't so bad.

Kettlebell was led by Christine, who is my favorite instructor. We swung and squatted for the first 15 minutes, and then did ab work for the last 15. I crunched and twisted until my abdominal muscles literally gave out. It was wonderful. 

Thursday: Ashtanga + Kettlebell = a very sore Chrissy. Rest day.  

Friday: Four mile run to the YMCA; Kettlebell; one mile run home. Same routine as Wednesday.

Saturday: Yoga at the YMCA. This class was taught by an older woman who used to be a ballerina. Slow and steady movements but a great stretch and definitely a challenge. I like this class a lot and the instructor was wonderful - clear, easy to follow, and radiating good energy. 

Sunday: This was my second attempt at the 14 miler, and it was going great until about mile ten. My IT band started to act up. I finished mile 12 right near my house (never a good idea) and rather than do another two mile loop I decided enough was enough. The perfectionist in me was disappointed to have fallen short of my goal, but the rational part of my brain said that two miles wouldn't make or break a training plan, that it's better to cut a run short than risk injury, and that 12 is still a decently long run. I ran 12 miles in 2:06:24, which works out to an average pace of 10:32.  

Total miles: 29! 

Final thoughts: I'm hoping the IT band issue will be resolved when I get new running shoes for Christmas. My current shoes are way past their prime (they literally have holes in them) but I've been too poor to replace them. In the meantime, I'm going to keep going to yoga (finally hit two classes this week!) and look up some additional stretches and strengthening exercises that will help soothe my poor legs. I know some of my readers have dealt with this issue before, so if you have any advice you're willing to share, please do!