Week Two: done.

Yup, Week Two of marathon training is in the books. Week Three begins today with some much-needed rest; I feel like I need to pin a sign on my back that says “I’m taking the elevator because I’m taking ‘rest day’ to an extreme”. Yes, I have elevator guilt, but I also have aching leg muscles that need massaging and time to repair themselves, so the big electricity-eating box it is for me. I also, um, may have tweaked a hamstring moving a chair on Saturday, so I need to be careful with that- I’m really starting to think that yoga should become my Sunday cross-training default. (This is what happens when you decide I can move this recliner all by myself! Look at me go, I’m so str- OW what the hell was that in the back of my leg. OW OW OW put the chair down, stupid. So, um, oops. Adding that hammy to the list of things that need to be stretched and massaged at night!)

So Week One I sort of ‘cheated’ in that I swapped out a 5-mile pace run for a 5-mile easy run. If Week Two was any indication, this marathon training is not going to have a single week that goes according to the scheduled plan, though I know that two occurrences does not a pattern make. (I’m looking at Week Three thinking, Okay, this is IMPOSSIBLE to mess up: 3-mile run, 5-mile pace run, 3-mile run, 6-mile ‘long’ run. What could possibly go wrong? But then, I also thought it was impossible for the Nats to blow a 9-run lead against the Braves on Friday night, and well, look how that turned out. [They lost 11-10, in case you’re wondering.]) The weekday runs went as scheduled, but the long run did not. I was supposed to do a 9-mile long run, and I was running in not-my-hometown, so I mapped out what I thought was an absurdly simple out-and-back for myself that involved a total of 4 turns: three right, one left, the rest is just straightaways.

And yet. AND YET – I managed to get lost. I missed the second right turn because in mapping my run I failed to note that the name of the road I was supposed to turn onto was not actually the name of that road for another 500 feet; I was looking for a Glenside when it was still Horsepen, so when I saw Horsepen I kept going. At the next three intersections, there was no Glenside and I was starting to thank myself for bringing along a few Shot Bloks as a just-in-case, because I was definitely lost. I didn’t panic, because I figured that if I just made another right turn somewhere and headed east/south, I’d get back to sort of where I meant to be going, and if all else failed, I was prepared to stop and ask a car for help. As it turns out, I was correct, and managed to get myself reasonably back on track, and eventually back on the loop I’d originally planned out. But I was hurting; all told I went about 11.2 miles, which is not a problem for me per se, but I wasn’t supposed to do a double-digit long run for another two weeks. So it’s no surprise that my hips, IT band, angry tendon, and calves were all pretty pissed at me when I was finished. (They’ve been getting lots and lots of ice and attention and massaging and love and rest, though, erm, I did spend 4 hours on my feet in the kitchen yesterday making food for the week, BUT I contend that that was necessary for me to break in my new shoes, so I’ll take the tradeoff.) I also had the lovely experience of being aware that my blood was not going to my brain but to my muscles instead, and I was starting to feel the sort of wacky delirium that my roommate (who has run a marathon before and warned me of this) describes as “total air-headedness and slack-jawed stupidity”. One can argue that I have those moments enough as it is without the help of running, but there were definitely a couple of moments in my long run when I was very aware that I was in the correct mental state to get hit by a car. At least it seems that some part of my brain is trying to get me to survive this process…

In any event, I feel like the events of this week justify my adjustment of my schedule to swap my 11-mile run and my 9-mile run, which is supposed to happen the weekend after this coming 6-mile run. I’ll be in D.C. that weekend, so I might seriously just do laps around the National Mall until I’ve run 9 miles, since I got lost the last time I ran there even with a folded-up piece of paper with explicit directions and contingency plans in my butt pocket. See, this is why you should all be reading this blog even if you have no interest in running: marathon training is anything but boring!

I mentioned “new shoes” a few sentences ago, and yes, I am finally starting to break in the new shoes. I need to go back and re-calculate the mileage for my old pair (heh, “old” – I bought them in March!), but I do believe that the swap needs to be made soon, if the associated aches and twinges are any indication that the old pair needs to go. Putting on new shoes is fun, in a nerdy way – they’re so shiny-white and comfortable that it’s tempting to take them out tomorrow for their first run. I’m thinking Thursday, but we’ll see.

The weather continues to be horrible. I’ve discovered that 5am isn’t really the best time to run in terms of humidity, because even though the sun is not up, the moisture in the air can reach 90-95%, and it can make breathing a little hard. But, I’m sticking with it, mostly because my work schedule dictates that it be so. Once I’m done teaching for the summer (late next week, actually – eek!), it remains to be seen whether or not I continue the 5am runs. I kind of like them a lot, but with play rehearsals ramping up, pulling these consecutive 19- to 20-hour days is eventually not going to be good for me. I haven’t written in a while because last week was insane: running from job to job to job to play rehearsal or some other such function often had me getting home at 9pm and trying frantically to catch up with a day’s work when I’d have to be up at 3am the next day. I was totally, magnificently beat by the time Friday rolled around; this week I’ll get a bit of a reprieve from the madness, but next week and the couple thereafter it’s back to the 4-days-per-week rehearsal grind. Wheee!

If you’ve stuck with me this far, thanks, and don’t worry, I’m almost done: I said I’d try to write more about nutrition and the food I’m eating, and I’ve not really done that, so I’m going to record it for posterity in case I decide that I want to do this again. (oh, who am I kidding: I’m totally thinking fall marathon in 2013 or even winter/spring marathon in 2014: why not?) I’ve been really, really enjoying the heck out of summer produce these past several weeks, and I will be sad indeed when the stone fruits go away, and when the veggies start going away, because eating in season really is a fantastic thing, and not something I’m used to paying attention to. I tend to eat the same thing most days with some little variations thrown in, and I rarely get tired of eating the same foods, though I will go through phases with some things (for example, I had a month-long affair with edamame but it just didn’t work out, so now I’m working on eggplant and seeing where that gets me). Anyway, here’s a rough look at my Monday-Friday food:

Mon & Wed: 

Breakfast 1: banana, spinach/strawberry/blueberry salad (on Wed, this is just a salad and a Kashi bar)

Breakfast 2: 2 scrambled eggs, whole avocado

Snack 1: fruit of some sort (either a peach or a nectarine, was apricots until last week), Kashi bar (on Wednesday, this is a banana with almond butter that I have after my run; I have this before the eggs and avocado, and after that, I have a protein drink on my way to work)

Lunch: pre-made frozen vegetables with sauteed zucchini (I combine vegetables from a few different assortments that Kroger sells; mostly it’s green beans, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, and lima beans), usually a couple of pieces of dark chocolate to wash it down (on Wed, the fruit snack is sometimes eaten here)

Snack 2: apple & almonds

Dinner: This is where variety happens, as it’s sometimes chicken (as it will be tonight), sometimes not, but usually a sweet potato (plain) with either frozen vegetables or frozen spinach. 

Bedtime snack (depending on hunger level and/or bedtime): Greek yogurt with chia seeds and blueberries

Tues & Thurs:

Breakfast 1: before the gym, this is 1 cup of toasted wheat cereal

Breakfast 2: right after the gym, this is a low-sodium V8 and a Kashi bar, and when I get to work, it’s a banana and the spinach/fruit salad from Mon/Wed

Breakfast 3: on my way to work, Greek yogurt with chia seeds and blueberries

Snack 1: fruits of some sort

Lunch: same as Mon/Wed, as is Snack 2

Dinner: Lately, it’s been a Gardenburger (I’m not a vegetarian but by God do I love their mixed-vegetable-medley patties) with sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplants. Sometimes when I’m rushed to get to rehearsal I’ll just make the Gardenburger and mix it into 2 scrambled eggs and have the veggies when I get home – they’re pre-prepared and just need to be microwaved to be warmed up. Or eaten cold, since they’re good that way too.

Friday: is the same as Mon/Wed until Breakfast 2, which is eggs with a can of tuna mixed in, minus the avocado. Snack 1 stays the same, but Lunch is a sweet potato plus the avocado. Snack 2 is the same, and dinner is often a crapshoot since I’m either going out of town or planning dinner with the visiting Saint of a Boyfriend. More often than not dinner is out on Friday, since I don’t much feel like cooking by the time it rolls around.

Saturday and Sunday: Saturday is more of a cheat day than Sunday, since I feel that my long runs justify me eating whatever the heck I want. Pre-run is always 2 cups of toasted wheat cereal and a Kashi bar; post-run is always a banana, sometimes oatmeal with chia seeds and almond butter, almost always a Clif bar later on if it’s a run of 8 or more miles. Sunday I still attempt some semblance of a balanced day since I do cross-training, but I usually tend to stick to the fruits-yogurts-Kashi bars-veggies-yogurt template I follow throughout the week.

Oh yeah, drinks: Water, water, water, holy crap I drink a lot of water, 2 cups of coffee, black, per day (3 if I’m really dragging, but absolutely no caffeine after noon), maybe a beer or two during the week and on Sunday, and as many beers as I want on Saturday – after my run. Supplements: daily Centrum for women, iron; twice a week glucosamine and ibuprofen as needed for aching bits.

Right, so, that’s this week’s stupidly long post. And now I’m late for my date with eggs and avocado, so I’m off to make that and soldier on through the rest of Monday. Huzzah!

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3 Responses to Week Two: done.

  1. I always get lost when I run in a new city. 🙂

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