Paris Marathon Training Log: Long Run, January 7 2018

I had an awful 13-mi run today. It went the complete opposite of how it should have gone because I did the complete opposite of what I needed to be successful. I went to bed late last night after drinking wine with the girls. I ate a plate of spaghetti an hour before heading out. I didn’t drink water every half mile like I usually do. And, I started out WAY too fast in the first four miles, averaging between 9:30-9:50 min/mi when I normally warm up at 10:30 min/mi on long runs.

The wind didn’t help. It was blowing around 20 knots from miles 5 through 11 and I had to run against it. Nevertheless, as I sit here drinking my recovery concoction (a blend of Isopure protein, collagen, banana, peanut butter and almond milk), I know my overall lack of performance was my fault and I am disappointed. I’m particularly bummed because today’s run was the litmus test for the Miami half-marathon where I am vying to PR with an under 2 hour finish time. It is a real possibility I’m not ready.

The good news is I messed up in training and not during the race. Also, I’m proud that I finished. For a minute while I was on the MacArthur I was teetering on the edge of ending early and walking home, but instead I sucked it up, turned up the music and pushed one foot in front of the other. I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed running through my neighborhood, especially after being away on vacation for so long. Miami Beach is really at its prime on Sunday afternoons!

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The stunning view on my run during mile 7 on the MacArthur Causeway.

This run was overflowing with lessons, but also some questions with which I will leave you. If you have any guidance on the three questions below, please leave it in the comments below or send me a tweet @margaritaruns. Thank you and goodnight.

1. What tricks help you get past a mental hump or when you hit a wall?

2. Do you have a good pair of socks or other trick you can recommend for foot pain? My metatarsals have been hurting the last few runs once they’ve been pounding the pavement for about an hour or so.

3. If you wear a heart rate monitor, has it ever chafed you? My Garmin heart rate monitor has started to rub off the skin where it sits the last few runs. Is it time to get a new one or is there a product I can use to reduce chafing without damaging it?

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Paris Marathon Training Log: Long Run, December 25 2017

Remember those “non-negotiable” twelve miles I was due on Saturday morning? The universe had a different plan. On Friday afternoon I got a kidney infection and was rushed out of Disney. Not only did I miss Mickey’s Christmas Party, but I was also in no shape to run the next day.

Not one to give up, I finally got them in this morning. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to make it because my legs were stiff as rocks when I got out of bed. Three consecutive days of walking around Disney parks—I logged nearly 45,000 steps on these thirty-year-old legs—will do that to you. I moved like molasses and clocked the first half mile at 13 min/mi. But as faja reminded me, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”

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Once my legs warmed up around mile four, it was smooth sailing. I managed a perfect “predator run” (a Roy-ism for a run where each mile is slightly faster than the previous one), ending with a 9:37 min/mi pace on mile 12. I made my way to the car dancing to “16 Shots” à la this Tim Milgram video as my dad watched in awe. A few hours later, I’m resting on the couch, watching my family unwrap their Christmas gifts and reminiscing about a time when I wasn’t completely immobilized:

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Before I go, I came upon another interesting conundrum during today’s run so I posted a poll. Leave your answer in the comments below or submit it via Twitter. Also, you can now follow me on Strava if you’re into that sorta thing. Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

Paris Marathon Training Log: Tempo Run, December 19 2017

I was due for a tempo run yesterday…then work got in the way. (Why is it every week before I take vacation the sky starts falling?) Luckily, last night I went out for a drink with my friend Joah who is in town and because he’s a runner, we decided to meet up this morning for a sunrise 6-miler.

If it hadn’t been for Joah, I would not have gotten up at 6 a.m. Even on weekend long run days, I have a really hard time getting out of bed early to go running because my cozy bed is so much more appealing. It was definitely the case this morning, but I got up because I knew Joah was waiting downstairs. Three cheers to him for keeping me accountable!

Our run wasn’t the fastest. It took us about three miles to find our groove as running partners, averaging between 11 minutes to 10 minutes per mile. It didn’t help that the Venetian Causeway bridges are Kate Moss thin and hard to navigate with two people. Nevertheless, we were able to pick it up at mile 4 and we finished mile 6 at an 8:50 min/mi pace. Either way, the run was a win: 1. Because we showed up, 2. Because the company was great, and 3. Because we caught a killer sunrise. (How stunning is the photo Joah took on the Venetian Causeway on the way back?)

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Paris Marathon Training Log: Long Run, December 16 2017

I’m sure it comes to no one’s surprise that I didn’t wake up at 7 a.m. Not even close. I snoozed my alarm every 30 minutes until 9:30 a.m. Training lesson #1: Don’t stay up until 2 a.m. launching a blog before an early morning long run.

I did everything else right. I ate a well-balanced (ish) meal of carbs and protein for dinner. I got into bed early, instead of staying out with friends. I hydrated profusely. Nevertheless, the self-induced lack of sleep and/or noticeably hotter time at which I started my run made today’s 11-miler absolutely brutal.

The run started okay, kicking off on West Avenue in the direction of the beachwalk via Lincoln Road. My legs—primarily my ankles—felt tight so I began at a 10:30 min/mi pace. Around mile 4, they started to loosen up and I got into a groove as I made it onto the eastbound shoulder of the MacArthur Causeway.

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Then, as I was closing in on mile 7, I hit the MacArthur Causeway bridge on the way back and hit a wall. The rest of the run I looked like I was being tortured. I’m usually a very animated runner that dances, plays the air drums, sings to passing cars, and even raps. During the second half of todays run, every movement was carefully calculated. Even the deep frown on my face was crafted so as to require minimum energy expenditure.

I finished by breaking the remaining route into smaller segments and celebrating as I finished each one. It’s a mental trick that really works for me. Another strategy that helped was reminding myself that I have run 11 miles before with ease. Alas, I completed today’s long run training in 1 hour and 50 minutes.

According to Roy, “sometimes hitting the wall is a good thing” because your body adapts to suffering and it makes you stronger for the next run. Here’s to hoping he’s right. (He’s been right about most everything else so the odds are in his favor.) I’m definitely keeping it in mind as I go into a new week of training.

P.S. I came upon an interesting conundrum during today’s run and am polling runners on what they would do. Leave your answer in the comments below or submit it via Twitter.