Friday, September 19, 2014

Taper Time and Other Stupid House Crap

So, as I'm sitting here contemplating an early escape from work, I get a text from my husband that the neighbors have tented their house. We have Corky's coming tomorrow so you know what that means. Our house will probably get the "you need to tent" verdict as well. I fucking hate tenting. Yes, it deserves that level of curse word.

When you have two dogs, and now a baby, tenting is a giant inconvenience. Like, Massive Pain in the Ass because you have to clear out of your house for I think 72 hours. I remember last time we did it, it was Friday to Monday. Nevermind it's a couple thousand bucks, but you need to put yourself up somewhere, then you need to also put your dogs somewhere. So then you have to get your dogs all their shots (I always keep up on rabies, but with my 11 year old female, it's fairly unlikely that she suddenly is no longer immune to Distemper/Parvo/etc when she's been vaccinated a bajillion times in her life. After a while it does more harm than good - read up on Hemolytic Anemia and canine vaccines if you are interested).

Most of my frustration all stems from the original butt holes (Terminix) who gave my house the "all clear" when we were in escrow. Not one week after we moved in, we found frass on the back stoop of our master bedroom. Not just a "tiny bit" like "oh they just moved in like us," but that they have been fully settled in with a large extended family. Again, Terminix does a crap-tastic job. This is par for the course with them. And the previous owners had a subscription-like contract with them where they would come check yearly or more often, and then also treat. So, it's not even like the screwed up once. They screwed up over a period of years. They're only in it for the money, clearly.

Anywho, so this week I went into taper. 52 miles, down to 28. Sunday, I ran 20 miles with my buddy and we started at 6am before the sun was even up because it's been so freaking hot here. Like miserably hot and humid. This week it was 99F at my house and felt like 104F because of humidity. I live 1 mile from the bay, and about 3 miles from the ocean. It's not normal and it has made training for this marathon mentally challenging for me because the heat makes it more difficult to hit paces or when those paces are run, it feels harder. Just starting the 20 miler an hour early this last time, it felt 100% better than the previous weekend. But it still was tough with 81F at 9:30am literally on the beach. I just hope I can pull it through on race day. That and we don't get crazy headwind and/or hot weather. If I fail, I don't want that excuse. I want no reason other than myself and my own performance as to why I didn't make it under 3:40.

Time to go home!

Friday, September 12, 2014

St George Marathon: Long, Overdue Update

Looks like the last time I wrote a post was a recap of training week 7 & 8. Man do I suck. I am 2 days away from completing my peak week of 53 miles, including the fifth and final 20 miler. 

Where did 20 miler #6 go? 

There have been some small hiccups over the last 18 weeks. Specifically two missed or altered workouts. 20 miler #3 came at the end of week 11, where it went 20, then 16, then 20. Which, for me, is rough. I had gotten about 2-3 hours of sleep the night before and woke up feeling very much off, but I still went out there. Well, as I was getting through the first 11 mile loop, each mile got slower and slower. Around mile 6 I decided to just try to make to 16 miles. It felt like the last leg of Ragnar Ultra 2012. My body did not want to go. I wanted to lay down on the bike path in Mission Beach, and just sleep there. I finished up the first loop of 11.25 miles and called it. 30 minutes later we had the craziest thunderstorm downpour. In Venice Beach (up in LA) some dude got struck by lighting and died. So yeah. Probably good my body told me to stop that day.

The other workout I missed was somewhere in the last 4 weeks, I felt that I was teetering on the edge of injury (my back was very unhappy likely from hamstring and IT band tightness). Speed work was not going to work well, so just did regular easy miles. 

And crap. I just plugged today’s lunch-break miles into my spreadsheet and apparently my math didn’t add up right because I am short exactly one mile. So I could run a mile tomorrow, or just call it at 52 miles. FAIL. 

I don’t think a mile is going to drastically change the outcome of the race. If it does, then I’m done with marathoning because that’s dumb and arbitrary.

So 3 hiccups then. 

Can you tell I’m annoyed with myself? Feh.

Now, I know it’s summer and all, but holy shit, this has been the sweatiest armpit of a summer ever in San Diego. We have had humidity like I’m back in Massachusetts or something. Any run done outside results in my clothing being entirely soaked through where it takes 8+ hours hanging in my bathroom to dry. For the last 20 miler I did, I went through 70 ounces of fluid (more than 2 liters. Not Liter Cola) and ran out in the last mile. Putting that into perspective, in the past I would run 20 milers with a 28 ounce Fuel Belt and have never had to refill it during the run. I feel like I need to start wearing 80’s terry cloth headbands in addition to my running hat because the hat is not keeping the sweat out of my eyes. And I don’t “do” my eyebrows - they are full-on unplucked and bushy. And they can’t even keep the sweat out of my eyes with a hat.

It’s been like this since July (hello, down pour thunderstorm in July? Also abnormal). So you can imagine I’m am very much ready to be done with this marathon training. 

The stats.

As of July 1st, I had run one 20, two 16s, and an 18. 

July: Mileage on the Upswing

Long runs: 20 x 1, 16 x 1
Tempos: usually 5 miles long (excluding warm up/down) ~ 7:55
Mile Repeats: 4 @ 7:27
Total Miles: 173 miles

August: Wherein It Got Real

Long runs: 20 x 1, 16 x 2
Tempos: 6 miles long ~ 7:55
Mile Repeats: 4 x 7:17
Total Miles: 195 miles

I have never run 195 miles in a month. I think that the 173 miles in July might have been pretty close to the highest monthly mileage I have ever posted. 

In case anyone cares about my walking moo-cow status, I am still nursing, still pumping at work. Is it getting old? Yes. Not the nursing part but more the pumping part. It’s a pain in the ass to have to tack on an extra 30 minutes of time (~20 minutes pumping, and then 5-ish minutes of setup/breakdown/etc) to pump before I can go out for my long run. It’s also a pain in the ass to know that I can’t just get up and run really early in the morning before everyone gets up because I would have to pump. And then I would not be able to feed Elise before I left for work unless it was with a bottle. Another pain in the ass. 

It’s not all bad, though. I can mow through any and all food I care to eat and I still am barely taking in all that I am burning (as evidenced by the fact that I am a pound or two down from pre-baby weight and my boobs for sure weigh more even in “empty” state). I am almost worried that once she weans, I will have to actually pay attention to all that I am shoveling into my face.

But the big question. Is this all going to pay off? 

I don’t know. I hope so. I haven’t been able to race much. Or at all really. So it’s hard to know where I’m at. I do know that a 6 mile tempo (yes on the treadmill, but still) at 7:50 felt like cake. Like NBD. So I feel like I am probably close to where I was at when I ran my half marathon PR (1:41:02) last January. And I know I was damn close to BQ shape then, if not there with proper rest (since it was pretty dumb to attempt to BQ 3 weeks after running a hard effort at Carlsbad). 

So, I’m feeling cautiously positive. But there are a lot of factors. Will my legs be able to handle the downhill without explicitly training for it? I hope so, I don’t have these big ass quads and hamstrings for nothing. Or maybe they are just for show (weird, because no thigh gap, so not much of a "show"). What if it’s hotter than a monkey’s crotch on race day? I’ve been training in the hottest summer I’ve ever experienced ,but that may not be enough/the same as hot desert heat.

Well... if it all goes to shit, then there’s always Houston for attempt #2. 

Whatever, in 3 days I get to taper! After 18 weeks I am really looking forward to 28 miles total next week.