it’s just 5 weeks until the chicago marathon which means i just have a few more long runs before tapering down on the last 3 weeks before the race. my last three long runs have been 16 milers. i posted about one here and the rest i ran on vacation in maine. i’ll possibly maybe get around to posting about them if i have time. generally speaking they’ve gone alright for LSD ( long slow distance ) runs where the goal is to just make it through the run at about a mile or two per hour pace slower than your 10K speed ( usually when i get in trouble it’s because i try to outpace my LSD speed and start to run out of gas ).
so today was my 18 miler and i started it with my usual, favorite pre-run food, stonyfield oikos organic greek yogurt. it makes for a great post run snack but i’ve also found the extra protein and modest carbs make for an awesome, easily digestable pre-run snack that keeps giving the gift of energy along the way ( in addition to a mocha clif shot for longer runs ).
that’s all well and fine and the first 12 miles felt excellent, but then the gas ran out of the tank and the last 6 miles were a tortuous reminder why having a dinner of more than a couple of beers and pretzels ( and nothing else! ) is not a way to get prepared for longer long runs. one or two beers is fine as long as they’re not consumed on an emtpy stomach. 3 or 4 not so good. especially when only chased with pretzels.
while it was a fun going away party for a co-worker – lesson definitely learned. as powerful as stonyfield organic greek yogurt is, it’s not enough to counteract ill effects of even modest amounts of beer 🙂
phew! 16 miles on the long slow distance (LSD) run which averaged in the high 10 minute miles and i only stopped once! LSD runs are done at an “easy pace”, 1–3 minutes per mile slower than your 10k pace. so that’s about right -at this point i can just about keep a 9 minute mile pace over a 10K. so i’ve got 8 weeks to turn my 10K pace into my LSD pace if i have any hope of breaking the four hour chicago marathon running time.
it’s theoretically plausible to get to a 3:45 running time, but it’s going to come down the wire. not exactly record setting times, but i’ll take what i can get after a 9 year break.
i ran 14 miles that felt pretty good for the most part ( and 36 for the week ) though i have to admit thinking about the nice big glass of organic valley chocolate milk waiting for me at the end was about the only thing that pulled me through the last two miles 🙂
there’s lots of research supporting benefits of chocolate milk as an exercise recovery drink and some of the most research was specifically done on runners and evaluated protein turnover, muscle glycogen, and performance during recovery:
“The effects of consumption of MILK after endurance exercise on [ muscle protein fractional synthetic rate ] FSR, signaling molecules of skeletal muscle protein turnover, leucine kinetics, and performance measures suggest unique benefits of milk compared with a CHO-only beverage.”
also, this was the first run where i felt like consuming some “goo” would probably do me some good. i had a 90% organic mocha clif shot ( WITH 50MG OF CAFFEINE! ) and i must admit that it was pretty good. i don’t think they existed 10 years ago when i was training for marathons because i have the worst memories of chocking down nasty non-organic carb goos that would make me gag. so happy i don’t have to deal with that anymore. and they’re remarkably affordable on amazon.
just a mere ten weeks until the chicago marathon!
i got in a 12 miler today and 36 miles for the week. the long runs on the weekend are going to start to get serious over the next 4 to 6 weeks and i’ll regularly log half marathon and greater distances each week ( assuming i stay healthy, knock on wood ).
oh, and i just remembered i forgot to book a hotel for marathon weekend. d’oh!
wow. it’s hard to believe that it’s been slightly over 10 months since i started running again and five months since i decided to run the chicago marathon 9 years after running it for the first time!
i just tallied up my mileage and i’ve run 1,190 miles since starting up again. if memory serves that’s almost half the distance across the united states from coast to coast “as the crow flies”!
and now it’s just shy of 12 weeks until the chicago marathon which means i have to get serious about putting in a longer run each week and building up to about an 18 or 20 miles before the marathon.
i’ve been running 5-6 miles a day 7 days a week for many months now to get a solid base down, so i’ll have to come up with a plan that keeps the overall mileage about the same but throws in a long run on the weekend with a rest day – probably customized off one of the hal higdon routines.
here we goooooooooooo!
well, turning 40 had to happen sooner or later. i’m not one to think too much about “big birthdays”. time marches on and all that.
it is amusing to me that ten years ago, right before i turned 30 i started running and in that post i don’t say clearly what my motivation was – to do something at 30 years old that my 20 year old self would have thought was impossible. ten years ago i could barely run for 5 minutes and if my 30 year self could have had a conversation with my 20 year old self and said i was training for a marathon, my 20 year old self would have said i had gone batshit crazy. completely insane. and yet, i did it and went on to run a few marathons before completely falling off the wagon after odin was born.
and so, now that i’ve turned 40 i’m doing it again. trying to do something my 30 year old self would have never thought possible. not just running a marathon, but running it faster and stronger than i ever could have imagined at even 30 years old. then, i was just hoping to finish which was an incomprehensible feat for someone who couldn’t imagine running even a 5k. now, i’m hoping to finish in under 4 hours which means i have to average 9 minute miles for 26.2 miles.
to be honest, i’m not sure i can get to that pace by the time i run the chicago marathon. it seems impossible now.
but who knows, maybe i can prove my 40 year old self wrong while kicking my 30 year old self’s ass 🙂 it’s really a function of weight. i’ve lost 40 pounds since starting running again and i probably have to lose 30 more to have any hope of finishing under 4 hours.
i do know my 30 year old self would have never been able to run 6 miles without stopping while averaging 10 minute miles with 7 minute mile sprints. 7 days a week.
and i’d really like to know what my 50 year old self is going to come up with to kick my 40 year old self’s ass.
what do you got? an ultramarathon?? bring. it. on.
nine months after starting running again, four months after building up to 35 miles every week and three months after signing up for the chicago marathon, i just ran my first half marathon!
i didn’t intend to run 13.1 miles today, but i missed a few days of running while travelling ( though i did get in a 5 miles run at 5,000 feet ) and just decided to keep going.
the best part? finishing strong with 8 minute mile sprints.