20 December, 2010

I Have to Run MORE Than That on Race Day?!?!

Let the taper BEGIN!!!

This week has officially been one of the hardest weeks of training for me, mentally and physically.  Not sure if it's because I know the end is near or what but my motivation was at an all time low.  I didn't even have any excuse like school or anything!  Hopefully the post isn't too much of a downer...but I promise I'm happy at the end of it all!

This week I was scheduled for 5mi of intervals, 10mi of a steady run, and the dreaded 22.

12/14/10:  5mi of interals 3.5mi of intervals... It was cold and miserable outside so I decided to do this run on the treadmill.  From that morning though I had no motivation to go to the gym.  Christina (my bff running the half!) finally convinced us both to get our butts into the gym and I hopped on a treadmill.  By mile 1 I knew this would be a struggle.  Finally after a mile I decided to just up the speed, do at least 3 miles, and get this over with as quickly as possible.

12/17/10:  10 miles steady 5.35 miles steady (Garmin Data) ...I worked from home today and had every intention of heading to the park during lunch and getting the 10 done.  Laziness and some last minute work got in the way and I didn't end up on the roads until 3:30 or 3:45, def not enough time to get to the park and do 10 miles before the sun set.  Ran around the streets by my house instead but just felt like I was dragging.  I was going the slowest I've gone in a long time for this distance that it was discouraging.  Add to that the crazy cars in the street and I decided to just turn around and call it a day at a little over 5.

12/19/10:  22 Miles (Garmin Data) ... This was IT! The last HUGE run of training. 

The night before though, I had three (yes...3!) holiday parties to go to.  I didn't drink at any of them and tried to eat sensibly, which was near impossible.  Each party consisted of hummus & veggies, Swedish meatballs, sausage bread, spinach dip, nacho dip, cookies, candy, and cake.  That was seriously the menu at almost each one....so not too many 'healthy' choices.

Went to bed around midnight with the intention of starting our run at 9am.  Around 4am I woke up with the worst stomach cramps ever.  I was just miserable and stayed up for at least another hour or two.  Woke up again around 7 with the same tummy issues.  Ugh...I already knew this run would be interesting...I didn't need to throw in GI issues too!

Luckily Christina was dragging as well in the morning so we pushed the run to 10am.  We met up in the park (she was scheduled for 11 or 12 for the half training), chatted a bit, wished each other well...and were off.

The little lake at the start/finish of my run

The first 3 miles were slow going for me and I just couldn't get into a groove.  A quick pit stop at the restroom and I felt much better.  Was going great and feeling fine until about mile 15.5 where I had to quickly stop off again.  *sigh* After that?  Pretty much all a struggle.  It didn't start to get really bad until about mile 19.  Something in my knee started to twinge, and it wasn't my IT band.  It came and went every so often and I was able to run through it but it worried me.  Then it just felt like I had cement blocks for feet.

By mile 20?  I was starting to get nauseous and hot so I pulled off my hood of my running shirt to cool off, chomped on some twizzlers for sugar, sipped on Gatorade and felt a little better.  Mile 21? UGH.  It took every once of being in my body to not walk that final mile.  I even stopped a few times and stood there trying to figure out what to do.  Seriously.  I needed to use the restroom again and running was making it worse but walking would have taken longer!  I decided on a nice slow 'shuffle' instead.  It's times like this I'm glad I run in a park off the streets and only walkers/runners/bikers can see me!  Oh, and seeing one of my coworkers at mile 21.5 walking with his wife?  NOT fun!  I could barely say hi...I have to remember to tell him sorry for ignoring him, haha!

Done! Don't I look THRILLED?

When the Garmin beeped at 22mi, I seriously wanted to stop and kiss the ground.  I ripped off my water belt and before stretching I started walking slowly to cool down and called Christina to vent about the crappy run.  Luckily hers went fairly well! After stretching I went back to my car and just sat there to relax in the heat for a bit.  Drank some HoneyMilk recovery drink, tweeted a bit, and then hit the road to my dads to take a cold bath for my legs, a hot shower, and do laundry.

Christina did manage to cheer me up even though she was long gone from her run.  When I got to my car, I found this fabulous note on my windshield... :)


When I got to my dads, I decided to try the cold bath thing again.  This time I followed my twitter friend Stephanie's advice!  She suggested putting on a sweatshirt and drinking a warm drink while soaking in the tub and honestly?  It totally worked!  My dad and stepmom totally thought I was a freak though after I told them why I was bringing the tea up into the bathroom....

I think the mug was needed as motivation, right?

I'm sure there's a lot that I'm leaving out but I think I'm already trying to block this run from my memory.  I know I shouldn't doubt myself about the full 26.2 but I honestly am.  I can not for the life of me figure out how I would add 4.2 more miles to that, especially after knowing how I felt during miles 20-22.  I can't help but think that this is why most training plans only have you go to 20 miles.  They don't WANT you to feel this way until actual race day? ;) *sigh*

Definitely thrilled that it's taper time from here on out though!  It'll give me time to relax, finish writing my Disney Running 101 posts, and get things in order for the trip....only 17 days until we fly down!! 20 days until the race!! YIKES!

Happy Running everyone!  I hope everyone else's long run went much better than mine! :)

Oh and sorry for the quality of the photos...they're all from my Blackberry :(

Just got my new issue of Runner's World in the mail as I was typing this up.  Time to go read...the cover stories include:  Learn to Love the Treadmill, Mental Tricks to Push Past the Pain, and the 2011 Marathon Guide.... this is coming just at the right time! :)


  1. So fabulous you inspiring me to take up some kind of exersise in the new year!

  2. My run didn't go much better...I totally feel your pain. I was definitely dragging around mile 18 or so. Ugh. I think that mile 18 is going to be the worst for the Full too because there's a bunch of nothing at that point from what the map shows. Hopefully Mickey or Goofy or ANYONE will be out there rooting us on (not like last year with miles of no one or nothing for the Half...). WE so got this, though...no worries!! Disney...Eeek! Here we come!!!! :0)

  3. You have this!!! I will be there rooting you on!!! :)

  4. And now its on to taper madness ;) Your gonna rock this marathon

  5. That's so nice of your friend to leave you a little note! I wasn't mentally doing so hot on my last run and then my step-dad and dog drove by on their way into town. Seeing that little furry face smiling and tale wagging was just the boost I needed!

  6. @Mix-it... Thank you! I started out with just a little exercise about 5 or 6 years ago and I've become slightly addicted. Good luck with your goals next year. :)

    @Karen...I'm worried about mile 18 as well. I found a turn by turn description of the race course that I want to post on here but I have to get the authors permission first. That part of the race seems dreadful! There BETTER be something entertaining around there! :)

    @Stina... yayyyyy!!! And you'll be rocking the half! :) 16 days until our flight! <3 ya!

    @Courtney... thank ya! SO excited for tapering it's NOT even funny. :)

    @FruitFly... She's awesome! Can't wait to root her on for her race too. Aren't familiar faces while running the best? :)

  7. Wow 22!! That is awesome! I will not do 22 until race day- maybe it's better that way. ;) Wish I had found your blog sooner. Enjoy your taper and thanks for the tips about eating.

  8. I'm so excited for you!! This will be me this time next year training for the 2012 Mickey!!

    Where do you do your 20-22 mile runs? The trail I usually run is 2.2 miles so I could do that 10 times. But it does sound boring. But the idea of running on the roads - no sidewalks near me - is scary!! Any suggestions?

  9. Congrats on the 22 miler. Sorry it wasn't perfect, but that just means the race will be!

    A tip I learned about ice baths....get into the cold water, then add the ice once you're in. Makes the shock more bearable. Also, if you can leave your toes above the water line, it will keep you warmer.

    I hope you get permission to post the turn-by-turn! It's hard for me to run a race course that I've not driven first. So that would be awesome!

  10. @Courtney...Thank you :) I'll have to try the 'toes above the water line' tip after the marathon. NOT looking forward to that ice bath! And good news! I just got permission to post the turn-by-turn. Hoping to get it up by this weekend!

  11. I just found your blog and if it's any consolation, I felt exactly the same way after my first 20 miler. But, my 22 miler went better. I think it was mental for me.

    Disney is my first marathon, too. Good luck!!

  12. @Victoria...thank you! Just went and read your race recap and sounds like you had an amazing race as well!

  13. Jenn, I have been following your blogs. The info is great. I am 11 days away from my first half. I am glad I read this report. I have been feeling like I should be doing more. I did my last long run (12 miles) on Saturday. I will do my best to take it easy on my runs. It is hard not to try to cram more workouts in, but I am going to trust my training.
    I am running the wine and dine half in October as well.
    Thanks again Bill

  14. @bill... thank you! How did your first half go? I always had the feeling that I needed to do more but in the end, everything I did was definitely sufficient! Hope to see you at Wine & Dine!

  15. Jenn, My race is Sunday May 1. I feel ready I will let you know how I did.

    I will look for you at Disney in October.

  16. Jenn, The race went well. I ended up a little over my goal of 2 hours at 2:05:13, but I am happy considering it was my first half. I will be better at the Wine and Dine. I think I am going to register for the rock and roll half in Providence RI (August).

    Have a good week. Bill

  17. @Bill... that's amazing, congrats! I'm hoping that one day soon I can hit the 2:05 mark. Hasn't happened yet though. Good luck with Rock and Roll, I hear that all of their races are amazing!