In less than two weeks, I’ll be toeing the starting line of the Wineglass Half Marathon. It’s hard to believe that it’s that close, and I seem to be pin-balling back and forth between excitement and anxiety over race day.
This week’s training update is coming on Monday instead of Sunday because I made a last-minute decision Sunday morning to skip my 11-mile long run. Brooke has been waking up early – very early – every morning for the past several weeks, and the lack of sleep is finally starting to catch up with me. Sunday morning, I heard her start babbling in her crib just before 4AM, and after listening to her babble for a bit, attempting to get her to go back to sleep, and finally giving her a bottle, I didn’t get back to bed until about 5:30AM…which happened to be the same time I’d planned to wake up for my run.
I just couldn’t do it.
I laid in bed for awhile debating whether or not I should just get up and run (which seemed somewhat reasonable considering I was already awake), skip the run, push it back, or break it up somehow by doing part of the run Sunday and the rest on Monday. I finally decided to skip it, at least for that morning, and figure out later how I would make it up.
The upshot of deciding to skip the run was that I got to spend most of Sunday morning riding bikes with Trace, who had just learned to ride a bike earlier this week. It was a beautiful morning, and we had a wonderful time exploring the different neighborhoods near our house and just shooting the breeze 🙂
This Week’s Workouts
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 3 miles, 9:02 average pace
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 5 miles, 9:04 average pace
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 3 miles, 8:57 average pace
Sunday: Rest/Biking Day
Monday: 11 miles, 10:06 average pace
This week’s workouts have definitely had some very positive aspects, but have given me quite a few learning-the-hard-way experiences, too. I was very happy with my two 3-mile runs; despite the average paces in the nine-minute range, most of my miles were in the eight-minute range, which is where I’d like to be for most of my miles in any run (though I’m learning to accept that it will take some time to get there). I’m a bit disappointed in my five-miler. I had wanted to run this as a tempo run for the middle three miles, but went out way too hard in mile two and basically had to hold on for dear life just to get through the rest of the run without stopping.
My long run was the most disappointing run for me this week. Coming off a strong 10-miler last weekend, and having the extra rest day as a result of pushing this run until today, I thought (and hoped) for a strong long run, especially considering I only have two long runs left before the Wineglass Half. Throughout this entire training cycle, my long runs have been very hit-or-miss, and it’s definitely shown me that I have to completely re-learn how to pace and fuel myself on long runs.
The weather today wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t terrible: overcast skies, temperatures in the low 70s, a little bit of wind, and somewhat high dew point and humidity. I think I started out on this run a bit too hard and burned myself out by mile seven or eight. My splits definitely seem to support this theory, and I know I was really struggling by that point in the run.
At 9.7 miles, I finally hit the wall, and had to walk until mile 10. I was able to run the final mile, but it was a struggle just to do that as everything was hurting, I felt incredibly thirsty and tired, and my motivation was completely shot.
Hitting the wall on your second to last long run in a training cycle isn’t much of a confidence booster, but I’m trying to learn from this so that next week’s long run can be a lot stronger and fully prepare me for Race Day. Two things that I’ll be focusing on for next week’s long run are proper pacing and proper fueling. I have never quite figured out what works best for me as far as race fueling goes – I’ve tried lots of different products and practices, including various sports drinks, gels, beans, “natural” fuel like dried fruit, and I tend to end up with an upset or “heavy” stomach. So this will likely be something I focus on not just next week, but throughout the off-season as well.
In Other News…
Matt and I are not the best at getting things done around the house on the weekends. We tend to prefer to use weekends to go do fun stuff with the kids (since weekdays are always a whirlwind of work, daycare/school, dinner, homework, bedtime routine, etc.), and to run errands (the grocery shopping with two kids just. never. ends.) rather than work on home projects. However, this past weekend, we managed to complete an actual home project that we’ve been meaning to do since we moved into our house over a year ago: we painted our front door and installed new hardware!
Pardon my excitement over this. It’s exciting to me that we actually completed a home project to begin with, but it’s even more exciting that we don’t have an ugly teal door anymore! Though our door seems to have been something of a landmark in the small community where we live (people have actually asked to take a picture in front of it), I have hated the color from the day we moved in – I actually almost didn’t even want to tour our house because I thought the front door was so awful (fortunately, the rest of the house made up for the door 🙂 ). So, one project down….about a hundred more to go!
How do you fuel for a long run? What works best for you? Have you hit the wall on a long run? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Happy Running! ~Sara