Week two of marathon training complete and I am so amazed by how my body is responding to my training and nutrition plan! It's so clear to me that every fiber of my being is in sync like this swag surf.
This week I saw significant improvement during my pace runs (two four-mile runs, and one five-mile run) with times reducing by two minutes per mile on some runs - that's huge! Hitting the trail and pavement everyday is teaching me how to confidently run into the wind and up hills by bringing my knees higher and exploding from my calves, rather than doing the pissed off shuffle. During each run, I focused on keeping my head up and fixing my gaze ahead of me which created the conditions for good running posture and consequently, faster times. And because I'm hyper-competitive with myself, I was determined to run each mile faster than the previous, leading to some pretty awesome splits this week. I was a very happy duck.
On Saturday, I ran my twelve mile endurance run. After a popular running gel gave me a stomachache almost immediately after consumption last week (#RunnerTrotsAreReal), I decided that this week's long run would need to be fueled in a different way. For hydration, I made a mix of water and coconut water. I added the coconut water to naturally replace the electrolytes being sweat out instead of leaning on a sugary sports drink or creepy powder. To replace the bubble-gut causing gel, I took an organic, naturally sweetened applesauce pouch for a quick, portable source of energy that I enjoyed at mile six. Guess what - no stomachache, no hunger, and no thirst.
I consciously held back in an effort to wisely disperse my energy for the next couple of hours. As always, my goal is to just keep running - no matter how slow that may be. I am determined to not take walk breaks during my training or the race because it teaches your body to quit. Multiple studies have proven that your brain tells your muscles to stop, even when they still have some umpf left in them. I had equal parts positive (I sped up) and negative (I slowed down) splits during this run, but I am proud to say that I did not take a single walk break and I ran nine seconds per mile faster than I did during last week's long run. Its amazing how your mind and body work in concert. I made an effort to keep my thoughts positive and focused on my run - how steady my breathing was, how light my feet felt, how awesome it is to be training for a marathon and I know that my body responded accordingly, in-kind.
Just like last week, my crummiest run happened on Sunday - you know, the deceptively short (three-mile) run after the endurance run. I am still trying to figure out how this three-mile run continues to wear me out. I even ran it 14 seconds per mile slower than I did last week. Shouldn't this be easy? I mean, what is three miles compared to twelve? This could be because I did it in 28 degree weather versus last week's 60 degrees, but my suspicion is that I'm not nailing my post-endurance run nutrition and my body simply is out of gas. Next week, I will try to eat more carbs and protein after the long run which is truly a challenge because I have zero appetite after logging that many miles. Weird, I know.
Active recovery days were spent doing yoga to open up tight hips, calves, and hamstrings and on the elliptical machine for a low-impact workout designed to force me to focus on form. Given my gains this week, I think that both paid off. Also, I am loving all of the love and encouragement that I am receiving in my DMs - thank you so much, it truly motivates me to lace up my shoes.
Two weeks down, fourteen to go.
THIS WEEK'S STATS:
Total Run Days: 5
Total Miles Logged: 28.04
Average Pace per Mile: 10:13 (20 seconds faster than last week)
Best Mile Time: 9:20 (24 seconds faster than last week)
Best split: +0:34 (to be expected given my significant average pace per mile improvement)
THREE PRODUCTS THAT GOT ME THROUGH THIS WEEK:
Nathan Intensity Race Hydration Vest
GoGo Squeeze Applesauce
Vita Coconut Water
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