BBM Training: Week 2 Recap

My last marathon was Boston 2016, and my last marathon training run was waaaay before that. Then I took some time off from running. A lot of time off. After all that time had passed and I managed to survive a few runs around the block, I decided it was time for my next marathon. The Bellingham Bay Marathon caught my attention a while back because: 1) I have family in the area so it’ll be a good reason to visit, 2) family in the area also means very reasonably priced accommodations, 3) it’s at sea level, and 4) it promises some great views, so I signed up while they were still offering early bird pricing. Sunday, September 29th, I’m looking at you!

Because I had so much time off between marathons, I decided on a 20-week training plan to really build a solid base, recover from some injuries, and feel as prepared as possible when (if) I do make it to the starting line. It also gives me plenty of time to figure out whether I can actually make it to the starting line. I’m dealing with some major hip flexor issues, which occasionally causes major knee issues. I’ve been in physical therapy for almost 2 months, and it has made a world of difference in my day-to-day functioning. Marathon training will be the test of whether it makes a difference over long, sustained distances.

And with that context, I’d like to provide a brief recap of how week 2 of training went. (I know, I know, what about week 1? It was a week ago, that’s old news! You’ll just have to live with updates starting at week 2).

Goal mileage:

  • Midweek run: 4 miles
  • Midweek run: 4 miles
  • Midweek run: 4 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 12 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Midweek run: 5 miles
  • Midweek run: 4 miles
  • Midweek run: 3 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 12 miles on Saturday

Injury report: Some hip flexor pain in the latter part of my long run, and some knee and IT-band issues the day after. Super sore calves, but better than it’s been in the past.

Long run report: The projected high for the day was in the mid-90s, and the overnight low barely touched 71. So even with starting my run before the sun came up, the whole thing was hot, and it’s only going to get hotter and more humid from here. Additionally, I had morning plans, so I had to be home by 7am to stretch and shower, so that I could turn right around and leave again at 8am. The best way to be home by 7am is to plan your running route from home. I currently live in an apartment building and can string together a 1-mile loop around the parking lot and adjoining streets. So I started at 5am, ran 12 loops around the parking lot, and was showered and ready by 8am. (It’s not as bad as it sounds, the average track workout usually involves more loops around a track than I did around my parking lot). I drank almost 2 liters of water before I had to go to the bathroom.

Misc: I think I’m where I need to be in terms of muscle strength and endurance. I can make it through long runs and my legs still feel strong, my breathing is under control, and I feel able to keep going. (I don’t understand the approach to running where you run so hard you have nothing left at the end. That sounds miserable. I run for fun. I want to feel tired enough to know I gave it a solid effort, but also know that I could keep going a bit further if I have to). My problem at this point in training is that my digestion doesn’t seem to be properly prepared for long distance runs. During week 2, I got terrible heartburn around mile 9. Aside from making it that much harder to finish the remaining miles in my run, digestive issues from a run tend to linger for a few days. Note to self: leave more room in the budget for Zantac and Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew.

Adjustments for next week: I guess I’ll have to play around with nutrition and fueling, which might include changing my eating habits the night before a long run, playing around with nutrition during a long run, and, heaven forbid, maybe even eating breakfast before a long run. In the 4 marathons I’ve run, I can count the number of times I’ve eaten breakfast before a long run on one hand. It’s not part of my routine, and if a runner knows anything, it’s that you have to stick to the routine. Seeing as I’ve taken so much time off, though, can I even call it a routine at this point? Maybe it’s just time to try something new.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “BBM Training: Week 2 Recap

  1. Good job! Good luck with the marathon! Have you considered the question of whether you’re getting enough salt while running? I did a sweat test last summer and discovered that I was only taking in about 200mg of sodium per hour while I was actually sweating out something like 800mg/hour! Ever since I upped my salt intake to something closer to that I’ve found my digestion during endurance activities has been much better (and I don’t pass out at the end of 6 hour triathlons). Apparently everyone is different in how much they sweat out but I’ve been told that I’m not on the extremes of what they’ve seen. Anyway, I did my sweat test down at The Endurance Edge in Cary but there’s probably places in Chapel Hill that could do it too. Just a thought.

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