RnR DC Training: Weeks 14-15

Woops!  Time got away from me.  I have also been battling some injury in my left foot/leg.  I think it was originally just from tying my shoe too tight but it started in the middle of my 12 miler and, of course, I kept going.  I wasn’t until it seriously impacted my second 20 miler (on a treadmill, no less) that I realized I should lay off a bit.

Week 14

Sunday: 12 miles, good except for the foot issue

Monday: rest and TKD

Tuesday: 5 miles with my morning group and it may have been a touch faster than I should have done…

Wednesday: 3 miles.  It should have been 5.

Thursday: rest

Friday: swim – a really good swim!

Saturday: 4 miles at pace

Total for the week: 24

Week 15

Sunday: 15 out of 20 and it hurt so bad that I couldn’t even take a step when I stopped


Sad runner :(

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 50 minutes on the bike trainer

Wednesday: 8 miles with a ton of KT Tape! No pain. TKD

Happy runner :)

Happy runner :)

Thursday: TKD

Friday: swim on my own since the coach was gone

Saturday: 4 pace miles with no problem.

Total for the week: 27

Total training miles: 417.4

Miles for the year: 220.5

I don’t know about my foot and shin.  I think part of the problem is the treadmill.  Meanwhile, this is freaking me out a bit…

This had better be gone in 3 weeks!

This had better be gone in 3 weeks!

What to say to an injured runner

A. Missing some training this close to your race isn’t a big deal.
B. Clearly it’s a sign your body needs some rest.
C. Time for some cross-training!
D. That’s not as bad as when I got injured and blah, blah, blah…
E. Nothing

The correct answer is E! That’s the only one that doesn’t carry a high risk of being strangled by a pair of compression sleeves. Just throw a bag of Oreos at said runner and back slowly out of the room, avoiding eye contact. If the runner makes a lunge for you, don’t worry too much because they’re injured and can’t go very far or fast! They can swear a blue streak, however, so you may need to avoid all contact if your sensibilities are easily offended.

RnR DC Training: Week 13

Sunday My first 20 miler was amazing!  I was really worried about it, to say the least.  I thought my training had me on pace to hit my goal time at RnR but, until doing a longer distance run, it’s almost impossible to tell.  The day started with an early 6 AM meet-up with one of my runner friends.  She paced me through my first 6 miles.  Usually that loop feels like a slog but it was over before I knew it!

First 6 done!

First 6 done!

I then ran over to meet up with my second group for 7 miles around one of the local lakes.  Normally my time on this trail is very slow but I managed stay pretty on pace.  My last leg I had solo.  It was also super, super hilly (actually, this whole day was super hilly).  To give myself a carrot, I asked my husband and LR to meet me at the top of one of the hills.  They were happy to oblige!



DSCF7416 Then a quick 3 miles back to my car and I was DONE!  And, right on pace!!

Woot!  Race pace is 11:25

Woot! Race pace is 11:25

Monday – Rest!  My legs feel fine but I’m just tired!

Tuesday – 5 early morning miles with my running group and then a semi-private taekwondo lesson in the evening, with only 3 students.  I have been working hard to pass my proficiency for blocks and kicks and have been struggling with the kicks.  The instructor was like “you WILL pass this tonight!” and he rode my butt the entire evening.  But, I did pass!  I also paid for it – oh, my aching hips!  One kick combo is a roundhouse and then back kick and my hips do not like the turnover, especially after Sunday!

Wednesday – I finally got in my morning 8 miler – the last two were stymied by weather and illness.  I was glad to get it done before work rather than know it was waiting for me all day!  LR and I also attended another TKD class where we had sparring.  I managed to kick another adult in the knee and nicely sprained my big toe.  Brilliant.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Swim!  At lot of endurance work but I managed to take 20 seconds off my 200 yd time.

Saturday – I ran with a friend who was attempting her first 14 miler.  I paced her through the first four before handing her off to leg 2 and I finished off my run solo.  The plan called for 8 but I only had time for 6.5 due to a mid-morning birthday party.

All in all, a good week!  I’m so thankful for my running community!  They have made the world of difference in this training cycle!

Miles for the week: 39.5
Total training miles: 366.4

Miles for the year: 169.5

Fuel options

I mentioned the other week that I was trying Generation UCAN on my longer runs.  The idea is to take a serving 30 minutes before the run and then another mid-run, if longer than two hours, and a third (one of the protein mixes) when you finish.  I chose the Tropical Orange.  I drank a glass before my long runs (including both my successful 17 miler and my failure of an 18 miler). I also made a super concentrated mix (with 3 oz of water) and bagged it up so I could take it mid-run.  I’ll be honest, the flavor and texture is rough.  Using very cold water helped but I can see that being a problem for a lot of people.  On the plus side, I did not get an upset stomach from it, not even cramps.  My stomach was growling towards the end of my run but I didn’t feel like I was flagging too much.  I felt like I got a little boost of energy right after I took it but didn’t really notice a major change during the run.  It wasn’t really bad but I’m not sure it was worth the $2 per service price.

For comparison, I ran my long run with my “old standby”.  I had my pumpkin porridge (recipe below) and a cup of coffee about an hour before my run.  I then ate 1/4 of a Bonk Breaker every so often after mile 8.  I had raisins with me but didn’t use them.  I forgot my raw honey (Trader Joe’s raw honey is super thick. I usually just spoon it into a snack size baggie and then bite the corner off when I need it. It’s especially helpful if I start coughing or my throat is bothering me during a run).  I had a banana and packet of Justin’s Honey Almond butter waiting at the finish.  I also took two Endurolyte tabs from Hammer Nutrition about half way through. I would have taken more if it had been warmer.  I drank plain water.  Bottom line, I felt great!  I had no energy problems.  I had no stomach problems. I did not have a headache at the end.  I was hungry when I finished but my stomach wasn’t growling mid-way through.

For cost, taste, and convenience sake, I’m sticking with my tried and true method.  I might use UCAN on long bike rides but for runs, I definitely prefer real food.

Pumpkin Porridge (serves 3)

1 can of plain pumpkin

3 ripe bananas

3 eggs

2 Tbsp crunchy almond butter

1 tsp Pumpkin pie seasoning or cinnamon and nutmeg

Mash it all together and cook over low heat until it is thick. The consistency will depend on how much almond butter you use.

Top with nuts and dried fruit (I like walnuts and golden raisins, sometimes shredded coconut).

RnR DC Training: Week 12

Meh.  I ran.  Mostly on the treadmill. The most exciting part is that Month 3 is done!  Only 6 more weeks to go!

Sunday: 13 miles of two loops with various members of my running group.  These “takes a village” runs are freakin’ genius!

Monday: nada

Tuesday: 3 horrible treadmill miles

Wednesday: 5 great treadmill miles

Thursday: rest, again

Friday: Swim!  2100 yards of endurance work and I didn’t die!  I wasn’t able to complete the entire workout but only because we ran out of time.  I was very happy to not have to modify due to my breathing problems.  Also, my form is definitely improving and I’m not slapping the water as much.

Saturday: 5 easy treadmill miles at race pace. I love my race pace.

Miles for the week: 26
Total training miles: 326.9

Miles for the year: 130

My next report will be better :)

Weight for it

I have been having some interesting conversations lately with various individuals about weight.  One friend was surprised to learn that not everyone can use a scale as a tool to keep them on track.  For some of us, it is a club with which we beat ourselves to a pulp.

I have been trying to lose weight for almost all of my life.  When I was in junior high, my father offered me $100 if lost x amount of weight. I did, got the money, gained it back.  Since then, I have tried every diet, including severe calorie restriction.  I always gain it back, plus some.  The only time I really lost weight was when I was on the pre-surgery prep for the Lap Band (which is another horror story and, thankfully, was removed almost 3 years ago).  I can’t tell you how many hundreds of pounds I have lost and gained over the years.  My poor body.

I became so obsessed with the number on the scale that I would get up and weigh myself in the middle of the night, to see when when I am “lightest” (it’s 2 am, by the way).  A few years ago, I had my husband hide it and I only weighed myself at authorized times.  Finally, even that was too much, so I threw it away.  Freedom!

I was doing great!  I only weighted myself at the doctor’s office and infrequently at the gym (only before swimming and only if others weren’t in the locker room).  But, lately, I’ve been obsessing again.  “Am I losing weight?  Am I any lighter? Will I reach my goal weight before the marathon?” It got to the point that I was thinking of driving to the gym, just to weigh myself.  So, I decided to buy a new scale. Surely, I can handle it now.


I should have realized that this was not a good idea when I almost had a panic attack in Target while trying to pick one out.  I literally circled the aisle three times and then carefully chose a cashier who I didn’t think would “judge me” (WT everloving F?) I finally got it home. My husband tried it out and noted that it is about a pound heavier than the one at the gym. So I tried it.  Wearing shoes, jeans, and a hoodie.  And promptly called myself a “lard ass”.  What is wrong with me?!

My clothes fit well, and some are too loose again.  I’m clearly losing inches.weight

I’m strong.  I am completing my workouts in good shape.  Why does that number hold such sway over me?  I honestly don’t know.

So, what to do with the scale?  I don’t know that, either.  I think it needs to go back into hiding or into the dump.  I can’t allow that number to keep such a strangle hold on me.beauty

RnR DC Training: Week 11

Sunday:  Oh thank goodness!  A rest day!  My everything hurts.

Monday: A day off means a rare sunlight run!  I busted out 8 hilly miles with as strong finish with my last half mile at 8:40 pace!  Not bad considering I wasn’t sure if I could walk this morning!  All of the muscles in my back are still sore from Saturday’s slip-and-slide.

I also attended taekwondo with Little Runner and was privileged to witness his belt ceremony for the first time.  He is now a blue belt, which is the half-way point to black belt at his school.  I’m so proud of him!

Tuesday: Five early morning miles with my running group.  I switched my early morning at work just so I could attend :)

Wednesday: Little Runner is sick so no 8 miler for me :(  So far, I haven’t completed any of my Wednesday Eights.  I have two more left on the schedule.

Thursday:LR is still sick but improving so I was able to complete my five miles on the treadmill.

Friday: Swim!  I set a distance PR!  I first thought it was 1800 yds but then realized that I can’t count.  I now think it was 2250!  Whatever.  I was just glad it was stroke work with paddles and pull buoys rather than endurance!

Saturday: The weather was looking dicey so I decided to stay inside.  I had a great 8 mile run on the treadmill while watching the second Hunger Games movie.  The fact that I had to do it at pace so it wasn’t a butt-kicker helped the enjoyment factor :)

Miles for the week: 26
Total training miles: 300.9 <– woot!

Friday fears

Tomorrow I will be running 18 miles in 3 chunks. I will run a 5K at 9, a 20K at 10, and then I’ll run the remaining 2.5 miles at the end. This is either brilliant or a recipe for disaster!

I need to make sure I don’t go out too fast in the 5K. I need to stay warm in the break at 9:30 (and remember dry gloves). I’ll need to force myself to finish the last few miles at the end.

I’m also worried about the drive home at the end. When I finished my 17 miles on Sunday, my legs were cramping so bad that I had to lay down on the bed and pull them into my chest for a bit. I need to remember my Stick and take the time to stretch at the end!

The course is very flat gravel up and down a towpath along the C&O Canal. It will likely be muddy and messy but I haven’t gone this long in my trail shoes so I’ll stick to the road shoes.

Wow, I’m more nervous than I thought! After this, I will have 2 20-milers and then I’ll begin my taper. How did this happen so fast??? I hope I’ll be ready in time!

Surviving Winter

I had my longest run to date, 17 miles, on Sunday.  The region was just coming off from a “polar vortex” so it was 17 degrees when I started and there was still ice and snow in many areas, especially on the trail around the lake.  But, there was no wind and it was sunny!

So, this is what I wore:532955_402466669900933_8475123495248727979_n* Loosely knit hat with fleece edging on the inside from Dick’s Sporting Goods

* “Buff” type wrap that I could wear over my mouth but I was actually plenty warm so I just pushed it down to around my neck

* Tight fitting wicking shirt as base layer (from Target)

* Nike Women’s Pro Hyperwarm Nordic top (it has a funnel neck)

* Lands End ThermaCheck fleece gloves

* Sugoi MidZero Tights

* Wool socks

* I wore my regular running shoes but I wish I had worn my trail shoes for the ice and snow – but that wasn’t too horrible.

And I was absolutely comfortable during my whole run!  The only problem was my fleece gloves became very wet and when I took them off at the midway point to refuel, they were cold and gross.  Next time I will stick another pair in my CamelBak.

If it has been windy, I would have worn a windproof layer between my top layer and my outer.  I would have also wrapped my feet in saran wrap (over my socks).  I don’t have wind pants but I might have worn a pair of looser pants over the tights. I want a winter running skirt (to keep my butt warmer!) but I hate things shifting around so I probably won’t go that route.

For skin protection, I put on a layer of very thick hand cream on my hands right before I left and I used Body Glide around my eyes to help with the salt.  If it had been windier, I would have used cream on my face, too.

I also had my CamelBak with me.  I was worried about the line freezing and I don’t have an insulated cover so I filled it with very warm water right before I left and I blew out the tube after every drink.  The line stayed clear until mile 14 or so and I think the only reason it froze then was that I wasn’t drinking often enough.

Running in the cold is actually pretty nice and, honestly, I prefer this to 80 degrees!  However, I could do without the ice :)

RnR DC Training: Week 10

Sunday: “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to far, go with friends”. That totally sums up my “it takes a village” long run! I had two women from my running group show up at 7:00 on a very cold morning to help me through my first 8 miles where they passed me off to two other runners. These two saw me through my second and third legs. Even though I was hurting at the end, I was very happy with 17 miles at an 11:40 pace :) Perfect!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: An early four miles with some of my running group. I love getting the miles done early!

Wednesday: 8 miles in the treadmill since Little Runner’s school was closed.
We also attended our taekwondo class and I’ve almost passed my sparring requirement! (Not my favorite).

2015/01/img_0060.jpg Yeah, Virginia…

Thursday: Intentional rest day.

Friday: Swim. I had to modify like crazy but I was able to complete the full hour. My breathing is all kinds of sucky right now!

Saturday: Second long run. I ran 1 mile, then the 5K race, then another 1/2 mile. Stopped to gear up with fresh gloves and my CamelBak. Headed out for the 20K + 1 … and promptly died. The course had a LOT more ice than I expected and I took a good slip and basically limped my way to the finish. Needless to say, I did not get my last mile in!


2015/01/img_0062.jpg it was cold enough for people to play hockey on the canal!

Eh, it ended out not the best. But I still have my “swagger” :)


Miles for the week: 45.1
Total training miles: 274.9