All THE PRE-RACE FEELS
Two weeks ago I told my PT "I'm doing my last long run this weekend!" in which he quickly replied "well technically you still have have your longest left after that..."
So, this weekend is officially my LAST long run (just at a much more ramped up effort than all my previous long runs) and these are the top level thoughts running (pun intended) through my mind.
You're zen. Totally zen. You've done the work.
Don't you dare go out at 6 minute pace though.
Try to get at least some of the water in your mouth.
My two biggest fans are coming! Hogan AND my best friend Sarah (my college teammate, roommate, hundreds-of-miles-together-wing-woman) and I'm pretty positive they'll look just like this when I see them.
Remember all those gnarly workouts you finished. Keep it rollin'.
PLUS cowbell corner! That will definitely be my second wind.
When the finish seems really far away and it starts to feel insanely hard, just casually play it off. Hard? What's hard? You're a boss.
Finisher Medal, Grammy... It's all one in the same.
See you all on the other side!
HALFWAY CHECK POINT
Dude, you’re already halfway through your training! How’s it going?
Oh man… I’m tired. But not a defeated kind of tired ya know? More like a ride the high of my morning run and then crash hard in the afternoon, kind of tired. But it’s good! And also hard… my hair is always in a sweaty bun and I can’t remember the last time I wore jeans, but there’s something really special about just focusing on running.
So I imagine you’re still using the PCC egg sandwich as your pick-me-up?
Haha I sure am. Now you get the full picture of me hunkered down at my desk trying to mask my nasty hair with dry shampoo, wrapped in a Queen Jacket pretending it’s a blanket, while stuffing my face with cheesy egg greatness. It’s the life.
How long is the long run nowadays?
I have 20 on deck this weekend! Honestly, Seattle is having some pretty stellar weather. It's been in the 60’s with pure sunshine so I’ll take all the outside time I can get before things start to go downhill…
Anyone who has trained for a marathon says it’s hard – what’s been the “hard” part for you the past few weeks?
Last week I couldn’t escape the heavy leg feeling. Each run felt like the effort of going 30 seconds faster than the pace I was actually running. I had to alter one of my workouts which is never an ideal option, and I was stressing myself out thinking about how tired I was while wondering how I was going to be able to race on Sunday. My Believe Journal actually had the question of “what pain are you willing to endure?” and I wrote “not feeling fresh” because I had this moment where I was like how am I going to feel in the second half of a marathon? Tired. How am I going to feel in the final 400m of a 5k? Tired. How am I going to feel in the second to last rep of a workout? Tired. It’s a feeling I shouldn’t be afraid of - it’s an inevitable result of trying to push myself. If there was a part of my training cycle where it’s okay to feel tired it’s now. I’ll get that taper when it’s necessary for me to be fresh.
Since you mentioned it… your race! How’d it go? Despite the tired legs and all?
That race was a wild one! There was a small mishap with a volunteer who led the lead half marathoners onto the full marathon course. Myself, the other lead woman, and lead guy figured out around 2 miles that we were on the wrong section. After some mid-race conversation me and the lead woman figured out we were both preparing for our full marathon so we decided no matter what we would put out a solid effort for 13.1, not cross the finish line until we hit that distance, and then tell the race director we went off course so our times wouldn’t be legit. Being led off course is actually my pre-race stress nightmare, so it was kind of funny that it happened in my actual race. Overall, I’m more proud of my composure and focus during that race than the PR listed on my watch.
Despite the confusion, I stayed consistent averaging between 6:05-6:15 and I kept telling myself “maybe it’s not a race now, but it’s one hell of a workout”.
WEEK 1 // WEEK 2
Oh hello there!
Don’t mind me, I went off the grid for a little while I was doing all the maintenance work like PT and recovery, running for ten minutes, then twenty minutes, thirty, and now back to the full load! (I thought I should spare everyone from reading a training journal that talks about which part of my glute a lacrosse ball terrorized for the day).
So here I am two weeks into my “official” marathon training! Which was a little bit of a later start than I had hoped for, but I keep telling myself “it’s cool. It’s all good. Don’t panic” But then sometimes I want to panic because it’s not like I know what I’m doing when it comes to marathon training.
That’s where I insert Allie Kieffer. Allie already had this nicely timed Fall Marathon Coaching Plan (10/10 recommend if you’re looking for a marathon coach) and having someone else write my training takes away my second guessing and doubting if I’m doing things right. Instead I just trust my coach, do the work, then communicate how it went. It’s a nice little cycle that keeps me honest with myself and helps Allie plan my future workouts.
Here are some quick facts to recap my first two weeks of training:
High and Low of the week:
High: I was surprised how well I maintained fitness even with a few down weeks/time off. My first Fartleks back I was still able to maintain 6:30ish for one Fartlek with moderate pace in-between reps, and 6:10-5:50 pace for one with a slow run inbetween reps. It reminded me of when my college coach used to jokingly use the term “permafit” to describe how after several years of running consistently your body gets in a state where you can bounce back from time off much quicker than expected. The Farteks made me feel “permafit” so that's a good sign.
Low: I had a long progression run and as you can see from my attempt to plan it on the page above – I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how far I could progress. My aggressive guess was a bad guess, butI have a feeling this one be my last time doing this workout so I'll have another go at it later down the road.
Post workout meal of choice:
PCC breakfast sandwich is life. That egg/biscuit combo makes me feel reborn after a long hard effort.
Spice of Life:
To all the women at Birdcamp who recommended acupuncture for my IT band, big thanks! I've had acupuncture three times now and it has really helped alleviate the pain, along with some dedicated PT time.
Other than that, it’s business as usual and hopefully I’ll be back in a few weeks with some progress made!
Have any questions or comments? Feel free to reach out in the comments below!
Here at Oiselle, we love to celebrate goals in our community. So, over the next few months we are going to follow our incredible Marketing Associate Hannah as she trains for her big scary goal: her very first ever marathon! Han has decided on the California International Marathon (CIM) and the fun starts NOW as she begins her first training cycle. Join us on this journey and SUPERFAN THE HAN! We'll be updating you monthly, so stay tuned!
Q + A’s with the Speedster:
Long run or speed session?
Long runs are basically a weekly one day pilgrimage and what’s cooler than that?
Ideal #flystyle for race day?
Portman Shorts, Stance Socks (crew length), Hi-Ten Bra, and Slate Singlet – I got that down to a science but there are some items coming in the near future that may be contenders for a race day spot. Also, I think I’ll run in a crop for the first time at CIM because big race means little clothing, everybody knows that.
What are you most excited about for the training process?
Oh man I can’t wait to find out how badass I actually am! Haha, but seriously, I remember when I first started running in college and I was like there’s no way I can run “x” distance or “x” pace and with each year I incrementally push myself past the limits I set for myself. It’s like a giant adventure to find out what I’m capable of.
What is your training plan going to look like?
Very generally speaking - hard! To be slightly more specific - my weekly schedule will be a variation of the following: one long run (could be a workout or a steady run depending on the week), one tempo or fartlek, one speed day, and some easy days and doubles sprinkled in. My peak mileage will be 85 because I’m a rookie who works full time.
What gets you through a long run?
Hogan (signicant other) has started this new tradition of making me apple cinnamon pancakes right after my long run (dreams do come true) Also, I’ve become really good at using my long runs to brainstorm work ideas, life ideas, or to visualize race day.
Music or no music?
No. Never. Heresy.
Preferred form of cross training?
Currently swimming but I’m a terrible swimmer. After 3 laps I feel like the lifeguard should keep a really close eye on me. But recently I started getting in the pool and I feel like it’s really helped me with my breathing. Kristina (Hauté Volée Vaulter) has also helped me in the weightroom a ton! She wrote me a training plan that has made my hips much stronger which has been a trouble area for me in the past. I am staying on top of it!
Motto for this race/training block?
Trust the process.
Rest day brags?
In the winter I ski every rest day. Runners avoid it like the plague because of injuries but I skied HARD last winter and then had a huge half PR in spring, coincidence? I think not. I’ll take my chances. In the summer I love using rest days to take an easy hike or walk with my dog Lenny.
Rose/Thorn of marathon training?
Rose: I feel like the training justifies buying myself massages.
Thorn: is there enough time in the day? Especially a Washington fall day when it gets dark by 5pm and the sun doesn’t rise till 7am...
Strangest thing that you’ve seen/has ever happened to you on a run?
One time a guy accidently spit on me because he didn’t realize I was coming up behind him… the timing was just really really unfortunate.
Favorite thing to hear when being cheered for?
I grew up playing basketball so I THRIVE with actual shouting. Like scream at me to get after it. Those of you that played AAU basketball… you know what I’m talking about.
Throw it out there! What is your main goal (or goals) for CIM?
I would love to run around 2:50 (ahhh that feels a little scary to tell the world) but if I go out and put myself in a position to succeed, stay mentally present, find joy in the race, but miss my goal time, I’ll still be happy.
Thanks for letting us love on ya, Han! We're stoked to be supporting and celebrating you this entire journey!
Head up, cowbells out!