Last week I got in only a single training run before the long run on Saturday. I made it through all 18 miles; but I felt the difference of going into a long run well trained vs NOT. Because Chicago Marathon is next month, September is the most important month of training and I plan to do my best to be a “model” trainee and stick to the schedule!
Of course if it were that easy I would have been doing that all along. I’ve been pretty good but by no stretch have I been perfect when it comes to sticking to the schedule and doing what I should be doing as a non-professional athlete. Some of my lessons learned so far are:
I am not a professional runner, I have a career and I have a life neither of which evolved around running. Tuesday mornings are a mid-week long run (this week 9 and next week 10 miles), I cannot fit that in before work without being late or depriving myself of sleep (I’m already up at 4). Last week I ran for as long as I could, this week I took advantage of the holiday and ran that run Monday, next week I’ll go back to doing what I can. I think that taking a sensible approach that does not completely let me off the hook is the right way to go. I KNOW that I can finish the marathon in under 6.5 hours, my goal is to do so with the ability to move the next day ;)
I have not been working my core the way I should and now that the miles are getting up there I’m kinda feeling it but I’m also a little miffed that I ran 18 miles but don’t have the definition that I want around my mid-section. Running has toned my arms and my core is stronger but when fatigue sets in form gets sloppy. A strong core and hips will help me to not maintain proper form and not hurt myself. There really are no valid excuses here “if you have a floor, you must work your core” . . . I hear you Coach Mark.
I am a salty sweater. I read somewhere that people who don’t eat much salt and drink a lot of water tend to be salty sweaters. go figure. Because I am loosing so much salt when I run I need to work to get more in. Typically I don’t care for salty foods, I have a few indulgences but they are not necessarily the healthiest of choices. My solution will be two-fold: instead of carrying water with me I will carry a sports drink (nuun) and I may give salt tabs a try. OR . . . I can just have a delicious cheeseburger and fries from Portillo’s the night before a big run ;) this one might be a definite.
On Monday something terrible happened, chaffing. I have Body Glide that I use on my feet to prevent blisters (my one true injury to date) and sometimes I put it on my legs when I run in shorts, Monday I did not. Monday was relatively humid and my run was long. I suffered the consequences of not being prepared. I stopped to try and use my lip balm a few miles from the end of the run . . . . . I doubt it made matters worse but I would not jump to the conclusion that it worked. I give myself credit for the creativity. Aloe gel burned, A&D ointment seems to have had the most soothing and healing outcome.
The decision has been made to run the marathon in my favorite running capris ;)
A few weeks ago I was having a great run but when I stopped to get water I noticed that I suddenly felt dizzy. Passing out is a fear of mine, I’ve joked about it long before I started running but it’s still a fear. I took my drink of water and walked the last mile. Later that day I started researching what happened, I had been feeling just fine, I was hydrated and fueled, I had a comfortable pace going . . . it turns out that my mistake was rooted in a bad habit. I ran to the water fountain took my place in line, and stood there.
What I didn’t realize is that my heart alone does not pump blood, all of the muscles in our bodies “pulse” to help our hearts circulate our blood. When I stopped running those muscles stopped helping, but my heart was still expecting the assistance so in that moment my blood pressure dropped and I became dizzy. What I SHOULD have done and now do is that I begin walking as I approach the water fountain and as I wait I continue to move around.
If anyone has ever wondered why the chute is so long after the marathon it is in part to keep runners walking and to get their hearts a chance to adjust to not running so that fewer faint.
I also tend to experience a (seemingly) dramatic drop in body temperature after I stop running, I will be donning a silver cape (heat sheet) after my marathon and will probably have warm clothes checked in my bag. This too is normal . . .
With a month left I am also facing the reality that I need to make a push in fundraising. I would have a hard time asking a coworker to spot me for lunch because I left my wallet at home but I haven’t had a problem asking my friends to join me in supporting a worthy cause, I just haven’t done it with as much frequency as I would like to (time getting away from me, busy life, yadda yadda, yadda). It is time for me to be “that guy/chic” who wants to do something good and get everyone else around her to do it too. I don’t expect you to run, though I would have recruited you if you showed any inkling; but I am asking everyone that will listen to donate to my fundraiser because it means that much to me. Be “that guy” as often as you can, there is no shame in being passionate about something worth while. (link below in this post and above on the “donate” page.
This has been a long winded post about a lot of different things that relate to marathon training and I’ll close it out with saying to listen. Listen to your body when it tells you that you need (not want) something and listen to your soul when it wants to answer to a calling. There is a reason you are getting that message.