Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Seven and Eight - Run and Work

The past two weeks have been quite busy for me.  After getting back from Orlando, I have had work every day.  I had an eight day work week before visiting my hometown of Beaufort, SC to see family there this past weekend.  My days were long and consisted of running, working, eating, and watching the Olympics.  

Week Seven:
Monday: 60 minute Easy Run - 4.3 miles
Tuesday: 45 Minute Cross Training - Water Aerobics Class
Wednesday: Tempo B & Four Stride Drills - 3.93 miles
Thursday: REST
Friday: 30 Minute Cross Training - Yoga Meltdown L1
Saturday: 6 Mile Long Run
Sunday: REST

I was still in Orlando Monday so I woke up early to try and beat the heat.  I went on one of my old routes around our neighborhood.  This run was much better than the long run the day before.  

Tuesday, mom and I decided to check out a water aerobics class at the local YMCA.  I first took a water aerobics class in college, when I had some issues with my knees and this class was pretty similar.  We used water weights and a belt throughout the class.  It involved lots of pool running and skiing, jumping jacks, high knees, and then kicking work near the end.  The ladies in the class were mostly there to gossip and weren't really working that hard.  I think mom and I were the most dedicated to working hard.  You can definitely get a good workout from the moves, but it just wasn't as intense as it could have been.  It was a nice change of pace for a cross training workout though.  

By Wednesday I was back in Chicago and did a new Tempo workout.  This time I ran easy ten minutes, tempo ten minutes, two minute walk, ten minutes tempo, and ten minutes easy.  This workout was a bit of challenge.  I also messed up my timing on the second ten at tempo and ended up running eight instead of ten, but my "easy" final ten, weren't really easy.  I was pretty close to tempo for at least five more minutes.  

Friday I went back to my standard Yoga Meltdown DVD.  I like this workout, because it is short, intense, and effective.  I feel like I am in a bit of a cross training rut and need to try some different things.
Saturday I woke up early to find it was a nice, cool morning outside.  I ran from my apartment down inner Lakeshore Drive to the Green City Market.
I fueled with a mini clif bar before the run and ate a few Honey Stingers halfway through.  It was a pretty day and I felt good through the run. 

Week Eight: 
Monday: 60 Minute Easy Run - 4.12 mi
Tuesday: 30 Minutes Cross Training - Yoga Meltdown L1
Wednesday: 40 minute Run with Four Stride Drills - 3.64 mi
Thursday: 45 Minute Run - 3.21 mi
Friday: 30 Minute Cross Training - easy swim at beach and pool
Saturday: 14 Mile Long Run
Sunday: REST

Monday was just an easy run up and down a neighborhood street.  I was tired at first, but felt better as I went along.  Listening to my current book really helps during these kind of runs.  I recently started World Without End by Ken Follett, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, which I listened to when training for my first half. 

Tuesday I was supposed to do 40 minutes of cross training, but I had the closing shift the night before and had early shift this morning so I shortened it.  I have done this DVD so many times that I skipped all of the set up and explanations of the moves to make it quicker.  

Wednesday I was still tired, but this was a better run than Monday's.  Wednesday's are the faster runs and I ended up keeping a pretty decent pace.  My four stride drills weren't the best, but no big deal.  

I got up around 4:30am Thursday morning to fit in this run before my flight to South Carolina to visit my family.  It was dark when I started so I ran down well lit streets and ran without my iPod for the first two miles to be safe.  I was tired to start, but felt good when I finished.  

Friday I was in Beaufort.  My brother, sister, and I went to the beach and pool that day.  I took it pretty easy as far as cross training, but I did swim in the both the ocean and pool for a light workout.  

My plan for Saturday was to get up around 5:30am so I could get an early start and beat the heat.  I set my alarm, but slept through it and didn't wake up until 7:30am.  I jumped out of bed as soon as I realized what time it was and quickly got ready to head outside.  I had a big glass of water and Black Cherry Almond Clif bar for my pre run fuel.  
I was mad at myself for sleeping in because it was already over 85 degrees when I finally ended up getting outside.  I brought my two mini bottles of G2 and my handheld bottle of water with me to stay hydrated.  Beaufort is a pretty small town and my route of 14 miles almost took me all around the perimeter.  
Long runs are supposed to be slow, but this was really slow.  The heat and humidity really got to me.  It was worse than my 12 miler in Florida the other week.  My heart rate was higher than the range it is supposed to be in for these long runs.  It was difficult to stay in that range.  I ended up walking many times to refuel with Honey Stinger chews, water, or just to bring my heart rate down.  
My route took me across the big bridge which goes over the river.  It is about a mile and a half long and pretty tall so sailboats can go under it.  
I stopped at CVS around mile five to cool off for a minute and top off my water bottle.  I tried to find shade wherever I could to stay away from the heat of the sun.  I ran through a few of my childhood neighborhoods and by some of the houses we used to live in.  Halfway through mile nine I stopped at Piggly Wiggly to refill my bottle with ice cold water which was so good.  I then made my way through historic downtown Beaufort before crossing the drawbridge.  
My dad was nice enough to pass by me twice while he was out and about at work.  There were even a few other people who honked or waved at me as I was running which was nice encouragement.
This run was so hard.  I was tired and hot and got side cramps a few times.  I wanted to cut the run short a few times, but knew that I could finish it and would be glad when I did.  I wish I had gotten up sooner so that I could have beat more of the heat because I think that was the most difficult part of the run.  I finished near Publix and picked up a chocolate milk and stretched before my sister picked me up.   
Even after drinking all that water on my run I was a bit dehydrated and had a headache so I made sure to drink lots of water and the rest of the bottle of G2 I had.  Although it was difficult I was so glad when I finished those 14 miles.  That is a new personal distance for me, as the longest I have ever run is a half marathon.  It took me about three and half hours to complete, but I did it.  

Things have calmed down with work and travel this week, but training is definitely picking up.  I am really in the thick of marathon training now.  

What are your favorite cross training workouts? How do you get through tough workouts?