I kicked my own butt yesterday, and my legs are yelling at me for it! Seriously, they are so sore and achy I had trouble sleeping last night. But it’s only making me stronger, right?
I started out the morning with an easy 3 mile shakeout. I used to find that these runs helped loosen me up the morning of an evening workout/race. This may or may not have been the case yesterday, as my legs were still feeling a bit heavy from the previous day’s 10 miles. I decided to do the workout from my office, so I ran the 1.5 miles up to Central Park and added on a little to make 2 miles warmup. It was more humid than I thought, my legs were not feeling springy, and I had a 5.1 mile tempo run ahead of me. I thought about quitting…running back to the office and calling it a day. Or just running easy and at least getting some miles in. But NO, I had a job to do. So I set off.
I planned to do 3 lower loops of Central Park, each 1.7 miles so I would know some approximate split/pace. I planned for 7 minute mile pace and wrote the time I should be at each loop for that pace…ditching the Nike+ sportband in favor of a good old watch that takes splits, so there are no more “maybes” like my last tempo. The first loop was a bit faster than I thought, 11:36 (6:49 pace)…but it’s so hard to determine pace when there are rolling inclines and people to dodge and bikers playing cat and mouse with you! I figured I’d settle into a pace the 2nd loop…which turned out to be 11:43 (6:53 pace).
I was really hurting towards the end of that loop, and I contemplated stopping right there. “Hey, 2 loops is pretty good. Still 3.4 miles isn’t a bad effort…and my legs are heavy and I’m probably going to die this last loop anyway…” said the voice in my head. But then I toughened up. “Come on, this is probably what you’ll feel like in the Marathon. There is zero chance your legs will feel great the entire time while running 26 miles, but you still have to keep on going!” So on I went to another loop. I really thought I was dogging this one, my legs killed on the uphill and I thought I was going to throw up (note to self- don’t eat an entire orange and a fun size snickers an hour before a tempo) but I finished in 11:48, 6:56 pace.
Okay, so my total time was 35:07 for 5.1 miles. 6:53 pace. Not bad, a solo effort on a heavy legs day in the humidity. Better than I set out to do. But then I compare it to my half-marathon, where I ran 6:50 pace for the entire 13.1 miles! I know races are different and bring out the adrenaline, but I have NO idea how I expect to run 7:15 pace for a Marathon. Is this goal realistic? It seems to be based off of my half time, I just hope I’m training myself correctly. Since I don’t have the liberty of a college coach to plan all my workouts and mileage, I am kinda making it up. I guess I did for my training of the half, too, but that was a more familiar distance…treated it as a longer tempo. The Marathon is going to be a whole new beast.
I cooled down the 1.5 miles back to the office, literally still dripping in sweat when I got back to grab my stuff. It felt great to change, and then I headed out to Trader Joe’s in Chelsea for some delish groceries! I can’t wait till it opens up on the UWS Sept. 20th. When I got home, I made some lunch for the next 2 days. Shrimp/chicken with taco seasoning, onion, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro to put into a tortilla with enchilada sauce and beans…yay for healthy mexican! Only, I had to get brown rice tortillas because Trader Joe’s was very low on inventory and thus out of whole wheat. Not sure how I’ll feel about these but worth a try!
Lately (okay, the past 2 mornings….) I’ve been making Green Monsters in my ongoing quest to eat healthier. What’s a Green Monster you ask? Check it out! I made mine with spinach, banana, skim milk, protein powder and frozen strawberries and blueberries. I may or may not have added in a touch of splenda to sweeten it up. Yum! You can barely taste the spinach, it just serves as a base really….quite delicious and an easy way to get in some fiber and IRON! I’ve mentioned my low iron problems previously, and need to make sure they don’t creep up on me again during training.
Today I did an easy 5 mile run…it was slow. VERY slow. As I mentioned, my legs feel like monsters and those 5 miles felt almost just as hard as the 5 mile tempo. But I needed to get out that yucky lactic acid and keep them fresh before tomorrow’s 16 miler! Similar to last week, I’ll look to run from home straight to the office. Will probably take a similar route around Manhattan, but might add in a mile or two so I don’t have to add on as much at the end. Stay tuned!!