Sunday, November 20, 2016

Reflecting Back….

Reflecting back on my first marathon and training experience, I have lots of things I am proud of and a handful of things I really regret. These are a few random musings. 

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!


Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

♦️ I wish when I stopped at the grocery store Friday night before my marathon, they had some bananas!  It is the reason I stopped.  All the bananas were super green and I ended up not buying any…
I regret not trying another grocery store. 
If only I could eaten a few race morning it may have changed the whole outcome of the day.

♦️ I wish I would have felt more motivated to cross train more! The last several weeks of training I just didn't have it in me to get on my bike, or strength train the way I should. I did really well until week 11 or 12 (I can’t remember exactly) and then I did minimal effort. I wish I would have done more.  


♦️ I did two steady runs and one run with intervals each week. I stuck to that formula most weeks, but I did mix things up a few times (intervals vs. steady runs) based on how my foot was feeling.

♦️ I feel very confident now that intervals build endurance well as steady runs. However, I do feel like muscle recovery is easier using intervals. Although, my legs didn't feel crazy sore after my 20 miler (just my foot) the week after was a tipping point for me. 



I admit, I questioned if intervals would make me feel as strong as steady running when I started this…but I ran 20 miles after doing the majority of long runs with intervals and did really well. If I had healthy feet I would have been okay! I would say to anyone worried about injury while training for the marathon distance, you should at least consider using intervals for long runs. 


♦️ As far as training goes, I think my one major snafu was the week after my 20 miler.  I misjudged how much recovery I needed for sure. 


I do not believe the 20 miler did me in. I was sore and fatigued, but not aching, I did bounce back …however, the two runs I pushed out after that shredded my legs in way I have never experienced. I was so sore and achy. Looking back, I wish I would have stuck to really easy runs the week after my 20.  If I had waited a week to do my last speed work session maybe my legs may have recovered and felt fresher for the race. This kills me everytime I think about it...

♦️ I have been feeling a twinge in my left shin since the race that makes me nervous, so I still have not really run. Just one mile last week. Since I've had a tibial stress fracture in the past, I can't help but worry
wouldn'describe the twinge as pain, just a pinch. I felt a pinch on one of my bike rides, I felt it walking at the grocery store, however, I did not feel a thing when I was on the arc machine, weight lifting, or walking.  The ache is very random...I am not sure if I am over thinking this. Maybe this is normal after a marathon ??? Maybe I just tweaked something that needs a little more recovery...I have no idea.


♦️ If I do have something brewing in that leg, my guess is it happened the week after my 20 miler. It would also totally explain why I could not generate any power in my legs for the race.  When I had the stress fracture a few years ago, I barely had pain. I struggled with my legs feeling heavy and my pace for almost a month, before I was diagnosed. 

♦️ I will do a post soon, with more details about how recovery is going. 

♦️ I’ll paste my training mileage at the end of the post for anyone curious. I did 8 weeks of base building and then started my 16 week plan. I cut my mileage quite a bit in the beginning weeks because of pain with my feet.  In the end, I don't feel like the miles I missed really hurt me. 

♦️ Even though I did miss a few runs and cut a few miles from time to time, my training was solid. Running three days a week worked! 


♦️ I tried to sneak in a fourth run a few times …because I love to run, …but honestly, I felt better with just three runs. I admit, it still makes me a bit sad I can’t lace up whenever the urge strikes.


Richmond Plan
WK 1




     Total
Actual
6.22
2
5

13.22
WK 2





Actual
7
bike
7

14
WK 3





Actual
8
6
7.26

21.26
WK 4





Actual
6
5.1
10

21.1
WK 5





Actual
6.2
7
13.1

26.3
WK 6





Actual
6.5
7.5
10.63
2.6
27.23
WK 7





Actual
7.26
6
13.11

26.37
WK 8





Actual
7.76
7.3
10

25.06
WK 9





Actual
6

16

22
WK 10





Actual
7.26
8
14
3.11
32.37
WK 11





Actual
8.8
9
18

35.8
WK 12





Actual
9.2
6.22
14.1
4
33.52
WK 13





Actual
9
7
20

36
WK 14





Actual
8.25
9
12

29.25
WK 15





Actual
7
7
9

23
WK 16





Actual
8
3
26.35
37.35

Have you lost sleep over decisions, or any one decision you made in training?! 
Do you reflect back to enjoy memories, or think about what you wish you could change? 
Any thoughts about intervals you want to share?  



35 comments:

  1. Nice reflections. I think intervals really help too. Hope your twinge goes away! I would take it easy too because of that.

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    1. Thank you! I hope the twinge goes :) Patience is not a virtue for me lol but I am trying...

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  2. I always do a reflection post after I run a marathon. It helps me to decide what worked, what didn't. But no regrets, Karen. You ran a marathon!

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  3. I think it can be helpful to look back on your training, but don't second-guess yourself too much! You still finished a marathon! As for bananas, I've heard that storing them in a paper bag can help speed ripening, although I don't know if it would work overnight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about the paper bag thing and wondered...but they were really green. I guess I should test that so I know!
      It is hard looking back, I am trying to just enjoy the accomplishment..but this little part of me still wishes...

      Delete
  4. Karen @ Frenchinspriation trains for her halfs with just 3 runs a week. And I've found doing
    Galloway (loosely) has been a huge plus for me.

    I think you are bound to learn something after your first, for sure. I'm still betting it's also not your last.

    20 miles is a lot of miles. Not only just on the muscles, but on your immune system, too. So yes, in hindsight, you should have run easy afterwards. Isn't hindsight such a wonderful thing? :( NOT!

    Our USAFit group usually has 4 x week on the schedule, but after the longest runs it's only 3 x with no speedwork.

    Karen, you really killed your first marathon. No race (short or long) is ever perfect. And you've learned some really important lessons from it, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy! It is so hard to think about the few small things, like bananas and not have regrets, but in the end I feel good about the experience.
      I am not sure with my feet that I will ever train that much again...I know I was low mileage in comparison to a lot of plans, but that seemed to be really hard on my feet. I am still undecided...I for sure did not have the urge to sign up for another right away LOL
      Yes to the immune system! I ended up sick with a cold after the race, it does wear you down.

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  5. Hopefully an injury is not arising. I would continue to keep resting. I never eat bananas before nor post race. Do you really think it makes a difference? Maybe I need to start.

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    Replies
    1. Bananas do make me feel better and during the race having a few pieces gave me quite a boost! When I can't eat because i am nervous, I still can still get a banana down...I think i may have done better than running on an empty tummy, but who knows!?

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  6. I was so tired after the marathon, that I only lost sleep over getting up to eat a chocolate chip cookie that was on the table.... and waiting to brush my teeth.

    No regrets, you can't change the past. Like you have told me before... look at the positive, you finished the marathon!!

    The only regret I had for the marathon, was that I only wore 1 sports bra, instead of two. My boobs were flying all over the place and were sore for two days after.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, I am cracking up about your sports bra, but i know that is tough! I don't have enough bounce to have it be a huge issue lol
      I am trying to say no regrets, but i can't help but wish a few things lol

      Delete
  7. Now I know for sure that I don't want to train for a full marathon. I don't have it in me to run that much and follow a plan. I like to enjoy my runs so I just run 3-4 miles after work if and when I feel like it. I race on the weekend and run long again if I feel like it. I can't do that and run 26 miles.

    I so admire anyone who is that dedicated. You are amazing!!!! Don't doubt yourself. You'll drive yourself crazy.

    Savor the fact that you did something 99% of the population hasn't even tried to do.

    And I think your finish time was admirable <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed challenging myself to get up earlier for a long time, but the last few weeks I was feeling it! I tried to focus my runs on what I thought would help me race day...in the end, I missed it a bit but I was able to run that far, just not as fast as I hoped!
      Thanks :) I feel at peace with my finish time.

      Delete
  8. I think it is very good to go back and reflect on what we did. Both what we did well, and what we could have done differently. I wish I had cleaned up my diet more than I did on my first training cycle. But besides that, no regrets. And I had (have ?) some twinges too after NYC... I think it is completely normal. I think the body needs to rest and recover. Especially at my age ! I am not 20 anymore.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I guess that was good motivation, you did well with your diet on #2!
      I am trying to be patient and let the twinges go away before I try running too much. I learned from my 20 miler, even if I don't feel that sore, I need time to heal from something that strenuous.

      Delete
  9. I hope your twinge goes away and it's nothing. Baby, baby, baby it! Writing down your thoughts after a big race and training cycle is really beneficial. So just those two darn runs after your 20 and that banana! I usually regret doing too much, not too little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure if I will ever get another crack at this distance or not...but if I do I need to remember bananas and less is more.
      Those 2 runs were really my downfall, that is why I am trying to be patient now and wait to run. I can't deal with something that may take months off to heal. I would be way too sad.

      Delete
  10. Depending on the outcome I always have take a ways. If it's a bad run I usually groan and moan before I actually breakdown the race in a good frame of mind.

    Really hope your leg starts to feel better. Hate when runners are battling injuries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is still easy for me moan and groan over missing my goal but I do feel really happy when I think about that finish line!
      I hope this is just left over healing aches... I still have not run so hopefully still is healing up in there!

      Delete
  11. Honestly, I've not run a marathon with careful enough documentation of my training that I COULD look back at it. Starting to get better about that with half marathons, but still working on documenting not only mileage but how runs felt. And I think for me that will come with time.

    Don't over think things. So many small things lead to how a race pans out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LoL I am such a stats nerd. I keep detailed notes on temp in the summer and I do have everything logged in Garmin Connect. I can't help myself.
      I try to just let it go but really just a few decisions stood between me and my goal. I am not sure I'll ever use this info again...but never say never right

      Delete
  12. It's always fun post marathon for me - I go from "ugh, never doing that again" to making a list like yours of things I can do to improve next time! I wish I could have done more strength training for my glutes, but that was causing me issues, so I dropped it. I did a Hansons plan and the intervals were pretty intense I thought. But in a good way! So I might need to incorporate those in my next marathon training plan.

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    Replies
    1. haha, so far I am still going " i am not doing that again..." but who knows lol

      Delete
  13. I always reflect back on the race itself (and not so much on my training). It is SO frustrating to train so hard for several months...and have it all come down to a few (or several) hours on the race course. Did I start out too fast/slow? What if the weather was better? The course flatter? More sleep? pain meds before the race (as a precaution)? Ugh. SO much to process LOL

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm glad you feel like the intervals left you feeling as strong as steady runs. During the summer I trained using steady runs 90% of the time (some days were too hot and my heart beat was out of control so I would walk a bit to calm down).

    I've been back to using intervals since mid-August and I feel like they leave me feeling just as strong as well. There are many days that I don't want to use intervals or I get antsy when a runner passes me while I'm on a walking interval, but I just remind myself of Jeff :) You know he's out there using intervals too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do really enjoy intervals in the heat! It helped me survive so much better...
      you know i get antsy too lol but I always say your quote to myself when i do. If it is good enough for Jeff Galloway it is good enough for me :)

      Delete
  15. Really interesting analysis! I do 3 runs per week as well but was wondering if I needed to increase that if I decide to do marathon training.

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    Replies
    1. I really think three days a week works! It gives good recovery time and I really did feel well prepared :) Go for it!

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  16. If I had only been on the OTHER SIDE of the road... See? That kind of thinking is very common for us runners but it will also drive you insane. I do think it's good to do a review because we always can learn something. But, you ran your first marathon and did a fantastic job. Focus on that. Keep listening to that body. My knee bothered me a lot after my first. In fact -- it sent me to PT. Best.decision.ever. Thanks for linking, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true... some of the little things really bother me. It is such a long time - anything could happen! I forgot you had tweaked something after your first. I am trying to ride it out, I just need to clear my mind up lol my body isn't missing the running at all.

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  17. Your insight into the 20 miler was exactly how I felt too! The run itself was fine, but I needed more recovery than I realized. It's nice to look back and learn things from your first experience since no one really knows what to expect from a full until they've run it.

    Does this reflection mean you'd like to run another??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only I had let up after that run, i think I could have told a different story...
      I do know I probably won't do another 20 mile training run if I try to tackle the distance again. I needed it for my first and it was my confidence rock, after that run I knew I would finish the race.
      I think I would probably do two 18's if I try again. I have thought about it, but my recovery is taking so long. It is making me nervous. If i start to feel good soon, I may dive in and try again. I do think Spring would be much better for me, I will never train through summer again.

      Delete
    2. Oh and sooooo true! You learn a lot just doing one :)

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