A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Lack of Heart

Even though I raced on Saturday, I'm still in the midst of marathon training and that means getting in those long runs. This weekend's distance? Eleven miles.

So, once again, I was up before the sun on Sunday in order to try and beat the 90o heat they were forecasting. I ate about 3/4 of a bagel with peanut butter and then drove out to the bike path where Jason and I had ridden our bikes on Friday. I started running shortly before 7AM with the hope of hitting a 10:20 pace.

Just like the race the day before, my pace goals were not to be. Although, admittedly, several of the middle miles were close, my overall pace was not so hot. I just couldn't get into the groove. I stopped to walk for a bit during mile 3 and, of course, I stopped to walk at the halfway point so I could eat my Clif Shot Blocks. And I'm not sure what happened towards the end. I didn't walk but I sure did slow down. This run felt like a total slog fest. My plan wasn't to match my pace to my distance, but that's what ended up happening.

And then last night I decided to join the running club for our usual Monday night run. Baaaaad idea. I very rarely run three days in a row and now I know why. Burn out, baby. My marathon training plan had me running 5.5 miles at a 9:05 pace. Have I done that before? Yes, but not since mid-May. Did I do that last night? Not even close.

I stuck to pace for the first two miles and then had to drop back during mile 3. And then something happened. I don't know what, but I just didn't want to run anymore. I slowed to a walk and was actually enjoying just walking. I walked for close to half a mile before I decided I'd better start running if I wanted to get done in a reasonable amount of time. So, yes, I finished the 5.5 (well, more like 5.4) miles but with a pace of 9:54 instead of 9:05.

As I told Kim in an email this weekend, I just don't feel like I'm in as good of shape as I was in May. Is it the heat? Is it the fact that I've been running harder and longer? Is it burn out? Is it the fact that my right hip/glute area is STILL bothering me (especially today after running three days in a row)? I admit I'm getting a little worried about marathon training. According to the training plan I'm using,

Pacing is a crucial component to this training program. From our running experience and previous research, it appears that training intensity is the most important factor for improving the physiological processes that determine running performance.

I don't think I've hit any of my paces so far on my tempo or my long runs and I'm not sure why. How will this affect my marathon? Will I crash and burn and not be able to finish? Do I need to be running more to make up for the lack of "intensity"? Do I need to figure out why I can't seem to get my head and heart in the game? All I know is that I'd better have a good run soon or I might go off the deep end.


Route:--Elev. Avg:623 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:07/04/10Up/Downhill: [+334/-331]
Time:06:49 AMDifficulty:3.0 / 5.0

Distance: 11.00 miles
Speed:5.4 mph
Pace:11' 01 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 45-0' 165.6+0.1-7 ft
210' 58-0' 035.5+0.0+10 ft
311' 50+0' 495.1-0.4+7 ft
410' 25-0' 365.8+0.3-7 ft
510' 15-0' 465.8+0.4+3 ft
611' 58+0' 575.0-0.4+4 ft
710' 18-0' 435.8+0.4-6 ft
810' 22-0' 395.8+0.3+6 ft
910' 36-0' 255.7+0.2-10 ft
1011' 41+0' 405.1-0.3-6 ft
1111' 06+0' 055.4-0.0+3 ft
end11' 28+0' 275.2-0.2+3 ft
Versus average of 11' 01 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:07/05/10Up/Downhill: [+22/-19]
Time:06:33 PMDifficulty:2.0 / 5.0

Distance: 5.41 miles
Speed:6.1 mph
Pace:9' 54 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 05-0' 496.6+0.50 ft
29' 02-0' 526.6+0.6-9 ft
39' 41-0' 136.2+0.1+3 ft
411' 51+1' 575.1-1.0+7 ft
59' 52-0' 026.1+0.00 ft
end9' 33-0' 216.3+0.2+3 ft
Versus average of 9' 54 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Lindsay said...

Please keep in mind that this is your first marathon training. Do not plan on training for pace. Do your training based on mileage instead. I know you've been running for years and you have time goals for your shorter races but marathon training is a completely different beast.

Just enjoy the experience and thrill of getting to the longer distances, ones that you've never ran before and don't worry so much about the pace. You can do that on your second marathon. ;-)

lifestudent said...

This heat sucks! I cant even walk to Starbucks without getting all hot and crabby. I think its possibly part of the problem. It wasnt like this at all last summer so we are a bit in shock I think :)

Anne said...

I'm sure the heat is not helping...it makes running so much harder!
What's your overall goal time for your marathon?

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

I cannot believe you're still running in this heat. Morning is the best time though. I HATE HATE HATE this heat, seriously I cannot take it.

Anonymous said...

Don't beat yourself up too much, Erin! First, the heat is a HUGE factor. And humidity (I'm assuming it's humid up there, too?). Then with running days in a row AND racing just this weekend, and I think anyone's legs would be bogged down. Maybe see if taking a rest day the day before your long runs helps? I did that each and every day before my long runs and I swore by it. But in the end, you still did 11 miles - in the summer time - which is amazing!

kilax said...

What do they mean by "intensity"? Sure, you want to try to hit pace, but shouldn't you just get the miles in, the best you can, considering the conditions (awful heat/humidity)?

I would totally be walking by my third run if I was running three days in a row too. That is a lot!

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