Thursday, August 19, 2010

Completed; Week 10 of Chicago Marathon training

I am obviously behind on updating my weekly work outs. Unfortunately, I am almost embarrassed to document my times. I am not sure what is going on with me, but I feel like I am stuck in a rut that I can't seem to get out of. My pace has been so slow and it's really taking a toll on my mentally. I am not sure what I can do differently to A. make my long runs faster and B. stop the pity party and start telling myself I can do this. Any advice would be appreciated.

Here is how last weeks training went.

Monday Scheduled: 4 mile run
Monday Actual: 4.5 mile run 35:48 7:57 pace, P90X Core Synergesistics & Ab Ripper

Tuesday Scheduled: 8 mile run
Tuesday Actual: 8.06 mile run 1:05:34 8:06 pace

Wednesday Scheduled: 4 mile run
Wednesday Actual: 4 mile run 32:45 8:11 pace, P90X shoulders/chest/triceps

Thursday Scheduled: Rest
Thursday Actual: 8.07 mile run 1:07:42 8:23 pace - an awful run; heavy legs and stomach issues

Friday Scheduled: 8 mile pace run
Friday Actual: Rest

Saturday Scheduled: 17 mile run
Saturday Actual: 17 mile run 2:28:06 8:43 pace - again, another awful run. it was slow and painful and I lost my fuel belt gel flask :-( It's paces like this that I really getting me down.

Sunday Scheduled: cross train
Sunday Actual: lots of walking and stair climbing at the Nascar race

Scheduled Mileage: 41 miles
Actual Mileage: 41.67 miles
Weight: 121lbs


  1. My advice is that I think you're running too fast, actually!

    Well, sort of. I don't think you're varying your pace enough. You're running everything at 8-minute pace (or attempting to, it seems). What's your goal marathon pace? Just asking because I think we have similar goals and my GMP is right around 8 minutes. You really shouldn't be running all of your runs at that pace - no wonder you're feeling fried!

    From what I understand, long runs should be about a minute slower (some say even 90 seconds) per mile than your goal marathon pace. So your long run at 8:43 is just fine, and could even be a little slower.

    Recovery/easy runs should be slow. Tempo runs should be fast. Take that 4.5-miler than you did in 7:57 and make it a true tempo run and shoot for 7:30s. Then recover with 9-minute miles the next day. Don't become a one-pace pony!

    Just my advice. :) And I suck at taking my own advice sometimes...I know it's hard, especially on long runs, to build up the confidence you need to hit your goal time. I always want to go too fast, and I actually kind of regret pushing as hard as I did during my last 20-miler because my legs were dead for several days. This weekend I am shooting for 8:45 pace and not a second faster!

    Just a few weeks to go! Eeek! :)

  2. Great advice above... I don't know that I can give anything better. But since the focus was on pace above, let's see if I can offer something different.

    Do you listen to music? If not, give it a try. If you do, then switch up your playlist. Try something new or more uptempo. Heck, try something less uptempo. A friend of mine (who runs incrdibly fast) listens to the Carpenters and says it puts him at ease while running.

    Second, maybe try new terrain. I'm assuming you have a garmin. Don't map anything out, just run and make random turns on streets (that you know are safe). One of the best training runs I had was where I picked a spot two (small) cities away from my house and ran there. I told someone to pick me up in a few hours and that I would call them when I was 20-30 mins away from where I would stop. It was pretty fun just focussing on getting to a particular location without an out-and-back mentallity.

    Hope that helps. You are an amazingly strong runner and we all get in "ruts." It's expected. But you get through it and get stronger. Cheers.

  3. First of all, thank you both for your advice.

    Shelby- I guess I never really sat back and looked at how close my paces are. Ideally I'd like to have my GMP to be around 8 minutes. I didn't take into consideration at how I should be pushing more on my shorter runs and slowing down on my long runs. I have 7 weeks and I plan to use your advice! I definitely do NOT want to become a one pace pony. That is what I am trying to change. As of now, that is what I am and I do not like it!

    Pavement- I do listen to music and switch it up, but not as often as I should. If something slower comes on while I have it set to shuffle, I skip it. I will make the effort to enjoy the slower music. I do have a Garmin but I have also been mapping my routes. I have 18 miles Saturday morning that I have mapped, but I will trash that and go with your advice.

    Thanks again!! Hopefully I can get out of this rut and start to feel that excitement I once felt when I first start training for the marathon.

  4. My local marathoning guru gave me the same advice as Shelby just gave you. He said to run the long runs 60-90 seconds slower than goal pace so my energy level for my other runs isn't completely crushed and so that I recover from the long runs better.

    Whether you agree with that advice or not, I feel bad that you're having a rough time with your training right now. I hope your long run tomorrow goes well and that you can get out of your funk.

    Good luck! I'm rooting for you to BQ!

    - Brit

  5. Steph- You know personally I am no expert, but with my hubby chasing the sub 3 dream and the experts I do have around me I think your friends hit the nail on the head.

    Coach tells me to run my easy runs easy so I can run my hard runs hard. Your paces are SO close together I don't think you are getting any recovery or easy runs in. The rule above about long runs is great.

    One question is do you have any run in the week that is suppose to be a workout a tempo or say 12x800's? If not I would pick say Wed and Thurs and make that run a progression or tempo. Since you run 5 days a week you can make one a tempo pace and the other a progression. I would do the other week day run at easy pace, and then long run at the suggested 60-90 seconds slower then race pace, and then the day after the long run at recovery pace. That should give you the energy you need to do you workout runs hard and get through the long runs.

    Also, stop posting your paces. I don't care to look at them, and you don't need them to hold you accountable. I think all it is doing is makign you push way to hard.

    Just for your benefit though here are some paces my hubby runs at (and he may not be sub 3 yet but he still is sub 3:10):

    6 mi 8:00

    15 mile long run total at 7:48 it was a progression workout.

    6 mi recovery 9:13 (yep you see that right NINE)

    10 mi 8:16 (and that even had a few track miles in it)

    7 mi recovery 9:16

    17 Long 7:41 ( I think his pace needs to be 6 min for sub 3)

    6 mi & 4 mi recovery 9:18ish

    That's just a sample of his last week. I'm struggling so much with seeing my low paces, but this time last year I was running half the mileage I am now....oh and the summer heat wasn't nearly as bad. I am sticking with running my miles by feel. I've really had a hard time getting my one tempo run in a week with the temps, so I have had to settle for just running the miles and trusting the speed will come from the endurance I gain.

    Hang in there and Oh have you ever used McMillian Running Calculator for training paces? If not check out the website. You plug in your latest race time and it tells you what paces you should be running and you can also see if you last races projects the finish time you are seeking in another distance (half marathons are best to use for training for a marathon.. the closer the race distance then more accurate the calculator).

    Hang in there Chicago will treat us well...I have to believe that. :-)

  6. Stevi & Brit- thanks for the support ladies! I appreciate it.

    Stevi- Wow! I never would have guess that your husband would be running those paces. Especially when I know how fast he runs a marathon. It bums me out that I have been training all wrong for 11 weeks now! I really wish I had spoke up sooner because then maybe I would have been doing things right.

    None of my work outs have me doing a tempo or 12x800 (or any other #x#). My half training had me doing that though, so early on this year I was training with tempo runs, speed work, etc...

    I am going to take all this knowledge each of you have blessed me with and change the style of my training for the remaining weeks to come.

    Also, I discussed this with my dad last night and he said everything you all said. I am kicking myself for not speaking up or asking for advice sooner.