Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wineglass Marathon in 8 Days...

Sometime in July, I registered for the Wineglass Marathon in New York. I had been planning to go back East to see my grandparents and while Corning, NY is more than 6 hours from my hometown, it's only about 3.5 hours from my husband's hometown. And I have a real soft spot for roadtripping. Even if it involves some initial flying. I can already see myself being retired with an RV. So long as by the time I'm retired, we've improved fuel efficiency because I cringe at the thought of less than 20 MPG.

Anyway, it's a flat course. 269 feet of climbing (whoop dee do, I do more than that on my usual 4 mile route from my house) and 469 feet if descent. So, 200 feet of loss over 26 miles. Not sure you can find an easier course (well, Ojai 2 Ocean or St. George might be easier, if you're quads are up for some pounding).

Then I worked myself too hard into this shin problem which I have self-diagnosed as some kind of compartment-syndrome type thing. Especially considering when I wore flats last week on an off-running day my shin muscles (both legs) were ridiculously angry. The next day I ran 6 miles and wore heels to work (which I haven't done in months) and my shin muscles were happy/unstressed.

The last 20+ run I did was 26.2 on 8/4. Yeah. We're talking 8 weeks from race day. I took 6 days off at the end of August at the end of a 50K taper which left me with only 5 weeks to race day to attempt to ramp back up as close to 20 miles as I could safely get. I was left with the choice of ramping up too fast (bad idea with a questionable shin), compromising to less then 20, and/or taking a shorter taper. I compromised with 18 miles and a 2 week taper.

The last month has looked like this:

Nice contrast from July to August, right? Sigh. 50 flipping miles. The plan was to be around 160 again but, hey, I had a nice run of it. I did 18 last weekend with Nicole starting before the sun rose at 5:45am, completing it at 9:00 pace (nearly on the dot - a fraction of a second under). And then into taper. 6 miles twice last week and 10 miles this morning @ 8:47 pace. My plan is to do 4-5 on Monday, and then 4 on Wednesday. Then we leave for Pennsylvania (well, we land at Reagan and drive into po-dunk central PA).

I honestly don't know what to expect. I have dropped a pound or two with all the spinning - I think it's actually been harder/tougher in some ways than running. I have only been taking 1-2 days off. But I just don't know if substituting cycle for running 2-3 days a week is enough to allow me to run well. I kind of don't think so, but, really, I have no idea. I haven't run a marathon on such low mileage in a long time (specifically June 2003 at SD RnR and it didn't go well. PW for that one at 4:30:15).

I know I'm going to have fun because even at SD RnR when I was hurting, I still enjoyed it. The marathon experience is really fun for me. It's like it still feels "new" -- like a big accomplishment even though I've done it 6 times before. But the fact that the course is a PR course and I'm not in the shape I'd like to be, just seems like a wasted opportunity. I've done the best I could with the situation, and my leg is feeling pretty good, so, I think I should consider it a successful salvage of what could have been another DNF.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So How’s The Shin…

Well, I’m fairly certain now it’s is muscular rather than an sfx, otherwise, running 16 miles without pain would probably not be doable. However it’s still a cranky asshole the 24 hours following a run, making it difficult to run two days in a row without paranoia that I’ll injure myself for real. Likely, I can run two days in a row without pain, but I don’t like the idea of starting a run if I can push the spot on my shin and it’s tender. So it’s left me in a situation where I’m running 3 days a week.

I took 6 full days off at the end of August. I am now 2 weeks post run-break and last week looked like this:

Monday (Labor Day): Worst spin class in the history of the world. We essentially got yelled at us for an hour (not exaggerating, another woman moved to the bike next to me about 30 minutes in trying to get away from the loudness) and told to add tension without any real direction, instruction, or explanation. I basically ignored her. At the end, she gave us some spiel about “you get what you put into it” in a condescending manner (which, not to be too snarky, but it’s not like she was Bob Harper, in super fit shape doling out a scolding). I wanted to tell her that I had run 12 miles the day before so I was going to put in the effort I felt was appropriate for me. Instead I just left and decided to never go to her class again.

Tuesday: Hottest spin class in the history of the world. Apparently the Kearney Mesa LA Fitness does not have good AC going on in their cycle room. But the teacher was excellent (I got my ass kicked pretty well with good instruction and appropriate periods of rest in between songs). And the bikes were also not from 1990 like my regular location.

Wednesday: 8 hot miles after work around Lake Miramar in my Mizuno Elixirs.

Thursday: 5:30am spin class on old ass bikes (I can’t wait for them to upgrade that location)

Friday: 8.3 miles in the neighborhood in my Brooks Launches. Loving these shoes and extremely bent that Brooks is discontinuing them.

Saturday: Yoga at Lululemon with Nicole wherein I also bought a pair of Speed Shorts (yes, I can’t believe I did that either. $54 for shorts. The fit is great, though).

Sunday: 16 miles with Nicole (who did 20+ total with hills from her house. Badass) in roughly 2:26 (haven’t downloaded the Garmin data). It was toasty out there. We stopped twice to refill at fountains after draining 30 ounces from our belts. I think I went through 50-60 ounces for 16 miles. I have since peed only twice and it’s 3+ hours since I finished. Sweaty and hot. It had better not be this sweaty and hot for Wineglass.

Forgot to mention that little tidbit – that I’m running marathon in 3 weeks. So, normally, I would probably not be running 16 miles if I was trying to completely rehab my leg, however, I have a marathon scheduled. It’s definitely NOT going to be a PR effort. However, it’s back East and the plan is to visit my husband’s granny in PA and then drive on over the MA to visit my grandparents. And the race sounds like fun one, so I don’t want to miss it. So, it’ll just be an “eh” effort marathon. Whatever. I will do 18-ish next weekend with a two week taper and that will have to do.

The 16 miles today felt totally fine. Granted, I was starting to feel pretty pooped towards the end but I think the weather had partly to do with that. It definitely is not ideal to be only running 3 times a week; but it’s keeping my leg happy, and cycle class has proven, again, to be an awesome alternative.