Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Attempted 16 miler

I wanted to go ahead and document how my attempt at a 16 miler went this past weekend.  As most of you saw, I didn't finish.  Instead of doing 16, we only did about 11.5.  So here's what happened.

First of all, I had been stalking the weather and it lied to me!  It indicated that it would rain Saturday night but that the rain would be done by 6am on Sunday.  We weren't starting our run until 7, so perfect.  I don't know why but it didn't even cross my mind that I should be prepared in case that wasn't true.

And of course, it rained the whole time we were running.  I had on new leggings that I hadn't tested before, and socks I had never worn in the rain.  I thankfully had stuck a visor in my hydration pack so I at least had that.  Sadly, the reason I stuck it in there was in case it was sunny later.


We were running on the Rock Creek Trail.  It's a beautiful trail that is hilly but we'd done it before and just walked up the uphills when needed.

So the first part of the plan was that we would meet up at 7 and run north on the trail.  That's 3.5 miles so it would be a total of 7 miles out and back.  One of my friends was running late so the two of us started and did a 10 minute warm up while waiting.


This was a pretty section with the Fall leaves. It was also pretty peaceful with not a lot of other people around.  And at this point, I was still hoping that the rain would end soon.  The northern end of the trail ends at Lake Needwood which was beautiful and a nice pick me up before we turned around to run the 3.5 miles back to the parking lot we had started at.

We then ran south on the trail.  The plan was to just go 30 minutes south and then turn around to come back because that's when one friend was going to have to leave us.  This section seemed to have more tree coverage which meant more leaves on the ground.  And they were slippery!

In addition to the slippery leaves, this section also had a lot of puddles covering the trail.  We tried to walk around them in the grass initially but that just resulted in our feet sinking into the mud.  So we eventually just started walking through them which resulted in cold, wet feet and soaked socks.

We did our 30 minutes out and back to the parking lot and this had us at around 11 miles.  So 11.5 including the warm up.  The initial plan had been that two of us would keep going at that point to finish up the extra 4.5 miles.  And usually, I think that would have been fine.  But the weather just had taken it's toll and I had no more mental fortitude to keep going.  My friend already had a blister on her foot and I felt several hot spots so I could tell I wasn't too far from blisters either.

So we called it a day.  Thanks for all the reassurances that one bad long run with missed mileage won't kill my training.  I definitely think it was the right decision given where we were mentally and with the wet socks.  But here are some things I've learned for the future.

Lessons learned:

1. Adjust for last minute weather changes if needed - I should have checked the weather again in the morning so I could change my outfit and even maybe change the route to one that would be less slippery.

2. Set yourself up for success with the route - it was a mistake to structure the route so that we went by the car again with only 4 miles to go.  I should have had our friend join us for the last 11 miles, not the first 11 miles.   That way, we wouldn't have been back at our car so close to the end.

3. Work on the mental game - I think I could have physically done 4 more miles.  I just didn't feel like I could mentally deal with the rain for longer.  It just didn't feel worth it.  Which is fine for one training run, but I've got to work on that for the future.

I will most likely not have any blog posts until I'm back from vacation!  I hope that you all have a great couple weeks and if you want a sneak peek at how things are going, follow me on Instagram.  I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to post there from the Avengers race at Disneyland and then from Hawaii.

Monday, November 6, 2017

WDW Marathon Training Week 9

It was a bit of a mixed week on the training front.  On the plus side, I got all my workouts in.  But on the negative side, this was the first time I didn't hit the mileage I was supposed to for my long run.  But here are the details.

Monday - Rest day with recovery yoga

Tuesday - 4 mile easy run after work, and this took me to my first 100 mile month ever!  That was an exciting milestone :)

Wednesday - strength training

Thursday - Speed work with a 15 minute warm up, and then 5 intervals of 3 minutes speed/2 minutes recovery.  I was also supposed to do a 15 minute cool down but only got in a 5 minute cool down since I was running a little late.

Friday - 30 minute pilates video from You Tube

Saturday - 60 minute easy run in the morning including breaking in new shoes.

I also got a sports massage today.  Mike had bought me a Groupon for the massage and it was amazing.  The woman seemed to be able to work magic and any pains I had before were pretty much gone afterward.

Sunday - 11.5 miles.  This was supposed to be 16 miles but it just didn't work out that day.  I'll talk more about this run later but I think the rain and slippery conditions just took a toll and we weren't able to get it done with those conditions.  I'm hoping that this doesn't derail things too much.

After the run, Mike made brunch for my friend and me.  It was a delicious cheesy egg scramble with tater tots that I totally forgot to take a photo of.  And he had also recorded the NYC marathon coverage for me so I was able to watch it afterward while cuddling on the couch with Perry.  I almost cried when Shalane won, it was so emotional!  I'm glad I was able to watch it.

And after some errands, we went out to the Melting Pot for dinner with friends.  This was another deal through Groupon.  The food was amazing but there was so much of it!  I thought I might have to be rolled out of there.

So that was my week :)  I hope you all had a great week as well! 

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - 4 mile easy run
Tuesday - strength training
Wednesday - 4 mile progressive run
Thursday - rest day
Friday - Rest day with flying to LA and Avengers Half Marathon expo
Saturday - 10k!
Sunday - Half Marathon!

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Five - vacation fitness

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a good week.  It's Friday and that means it's time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  It's also a week until I leave for vacation!  So I figured I'd talk about 5 ways to stay fit on vacation.
Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1.  Races!  I don't combine all my vacations with races but it's nice when that works out :)  My plan for this particular vacation includes a stop in Disneyland to run the 10k and the half marathon for the Superheroes race weekend.

From my last Disney vacation race

2. Take advantage of the location you're in.  All vacation spots have something special about them.  It makes sense to combine the sights with activity whenever possible.  I know a lot of cities have running tours or cycling tours of the cities possible.  I'm going to be in Hawaii which is all about the ocean so I'm going to be sure to include some snorkeling and paddle boarding while I'm there.

The last time I went paddle boarding was on vacation in New Jersey

3.   And of course, a lot of vacation spots have natural beauty that can be explored on hikes . I've got several hikes bookmarked for while we're in Hawaii.  But whenever possible, using your own feet to see the area is a great way to combine sight seeing with fitness.

Glacier hiking in Iceland was definitely a workout!

4.  Take advantage of your hotel.  Most hotels these days have fitness centers available.  And many have pools.  I'll definitely be taking advantage of those.  But it's worth digging a bit deeper to see if they have other offerings too.  It turns out that the hotel we're staying at has complimentary fitness classes and I'm looking forward to some beach side yoga.

The view from poolside yoga I found at a Vegas hotel

5.  Relax!  Or course, vacation should include some relaxation too :)  And let's face it, fitness should include fitness for the soul as well as the body.  I'm planning on plenty of time to just relax by the water and re-center myself after a busy year.

So those are my plans for incorporating fitness into my vacation.  I find it always helps to incorporate it into the plans for the vacation from the beginning and to make it fun, and to include things you can't easily do at home!  It is a vacation after all :)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

15 Mile Long Run

I thought I'd share more details about my long run as I've been putting more thought into planning them now that the distance is more than half marathon distance.

So this week was supposed to be 15 miles.  And it was the first week my running buddy was back in town after several weeks away for work!  This was going to be the longest run ever for both of us and I wanted to make it fun.  I also wanted to avoid a lot of prolonged uphill.  I love the Capital Crescent Trail that runs from Maryland to DC but hate that it is mostly uphill on the way back.  So I decided on a point to point, starting in Maryland and ending in downtown DC.

Of course this meant working out some logistics in advance.  I made brunch reservations in downtown DC to include Mike and another good friend of ours.  This gave us a nice end goal to work towards :)  It also meant that Mike would meet us downtown with the car and be able to drive us back to Maryland.  It still would have worked without a driver, we just would have had to take the metro back to Maryland and that would have made the trip a bit longer.

So my friend and I met bright and early in Bethesda.  There was some unforeseen construction which meant she had problems finding parking but it worked out and we started just a little bit later then planned.  This first part was a nice, paved trail that's very popular with runners and bicyclists in the area.  It's beautiful and pretty shady as well.  There were some rolling hills but it's a net downhill.  The trail also has water fountains every couple miles or so.

We hadn't seen each other in a while so we spent most of this time catching up while running.  I didn't even have to turn on my headphones until mile 9 or so!  Company really makes long runs much more enjoyable.  So we were on the trail for about 7 miles or so and then we hit Georgetown.  It became much more crowded at this point but we were also running by the river, which was nice.  There was also less shade.

Yes, that is a bride and groom paddle boarding in their wedding attire!

We continued on by the river and passed the Kennedy Center.  We did get a little lost at one point and ended up trudging through some grass to try to find out way again.  I think this was one of the 17 minute splits we had.  Once we found our way, we went down Hains Point, which is a little peninsula.  This is still by the river and we meant to go the whole way around the peninsula but the pavement became a bit dodgy so we turned back early.

Then we found ourselves at the Jefferson Memorial and this ended up being a good time for a bathroom break.  We had to circle the building a bit to find the entrance to the bathroom so I think this was another 17+ minute split.  Once that was taken care of, we continued onto the national mall to run past the Smithsonian Museums, to the Capitol building, and back down the other side of the mall to the Washington Monument.  This section was on a dirt/and gravel type surface and the softer surface definitely felt good at this point.

After going past the Washington Monument, we turned north to go up 17th street.  This sadly meant that we were ending our run with some uphill sections but it was ok because it was leading us to brunch.  We went up the street for several blocks, turned right eventually to get to 14th street, and then going downhill for a couple blocks got us to the restaurant.  And I hit 15 miles right when I reached the block the restaurant was on!  Mike and our other friend were already seated and had big glasses of cold water ready for us :)  Mike had also brought us Shower Pills and clothes to change into so we were more comfortable during brunch as well.

So that was our 15 miler!  It was fun and definitely made the time seem to go by faster when there was so much to see.

Pros:  Varied surfaces felt good on our feet, interesting sights, mostly downhill or flat, shade for much of it, water fountains and bathrooms, easy to adjust mileage by doing more or less of the Mall.

Cons:  Logistics of working out a point to point run.