Getting It Together

Sunday I busted out 12.75 miles. It was my first long run since Labor Day and I was kind of dreading it. Sort of like that first workout after a long hiatus; I knew this run probably wasn’t going to be the best I’ve ever had.

It went well overall and I even tried some new energy chews from Nutrilite.


I really enjoyed the flavor of these guys. Last year for Savannah I trained primarily with fruity supplements on my long runs. This year I want to gag when I taste those flavors. Heck, I actually did gag on my 18 miler a few weeks ago when I attempted a Gu.

I’m really digging the citrus flavors in my sport beans and these chews are really good, too. They’re not sticky like the Clif Block Shots and they’re small enough to manage to chew while I’m running. 2 servings come in a pouch, so that makes it easy for me instead of carrying 4 packs of another brand. Try them out!

So, the chews helped me out on my run and so did the fall-like temperatures. It was somewhere in the 60s Sunday morning and a little damp from overnight rain – perfect running conditions. I even ran a new route for the first 6.5 miles which helped break up the monotony long runs have plagued me with this summer.


Pretty pleased with the overall time considering my extreme lack of running over the past 2 weeks due to my upper respiratory infection and chest congestion. Can you tell when I hit the big hill near home?

I’ve also managed to change jobs right in the thickness of marathon training and recovering from being sick so.. I just have a lot going on right now.

I did manage to run tonight. Only 2 miles with Owen. Seriously though, I’m just glad I ran. I almost said forget it..which I’ve been doing too often lately during the week.

Even going for 2 miles means I went and I can get used to running 3-4x/week again. I know there’s not much left of training but I feel like I have so much time to make up for. Obviously, I’m not going to get those 2-3 weeks back. I’ll just have to make the best of the situation and run with the training I’ve got under my belt and anything I can gain over the next 40 days.


When you break it down, I have:

18 miles this weekend
10 miles next weekend with Dawn
20 miles on October 6th with Tyna

then it’s taper time!

13 miles, 10 miles, then it’s the Marathon!

How is it so soon, already? Knowing myself, I don’t what to look back on this training cycle and have regrets.


I know I can’t help getting sick, especially with a respiratory illness, but from here on out I’ve got to stick with my weekday runs. Just running long runs on the weekend isn’t going to make for a happy marathon day no matter the goal.

There, it’s on the internet so I have to follow through, right? Winking smile


Have you been struggling or embracing your workout plans lately?

It’s Race Week!

Is it really here?

I’m down to the week I thought was SOO far away all this time. I’m running a marathon in 5 days!

Tapering has went pretty well…considering.

Week 1 of Tapering

This was just after I completed my last long training run of 20 miles. I got sick the very next day and it took 4-5 days for me to finally get rid of it. I normally kick a cold in 1-2 days. My immune system was definitely beat up because of all my training.

I made sure and took it easy that week, trying not to push myself too hard. I ran 2.5 out of 4 miles on Wednesday, (I completely missed my 5 mile run on Tuesday), and on Thursday I ran 3.5 out of 5 miles. I felt pretty good about it considering all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and drink tea…which I did a lot of afterwards. I made sure I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I think one night I even got 10. I drank lots of great tea and ate A. TON. of fruits and veggies. Filled up on Naked Juice, ate minimally processed foods, and I was back in the game for my 12 mile run on Sunday.

The 12-miler went well considering I was coming off a week of sickness. I did have to stop to blow my nose in the bathroom at the park though (TMI?). I was fine after that!

Week 2 of Tapering

After I’d gotten over the physical stress of being sick and I could re-focus myself on being well, I began to freak out. In every way possible.

At the top of my list was my recent realization that I would probably not be using gels during the marathon. During my 19 mile run in FL I somehow got an aversion to them and I am lucky to get more than a quarter of the packet now.

No big deal, right? They make lots of other nutritional supplements for runners. However.. this was TWO WEEKS before the marathon, no long runs left, and no time to experiment with chews.

The only experience I’ve had with chews was during the half marathon in April. I used the Clif Block Shots but they are so sticky and get stuck in my teeth. Attractive.

So my cousin recommended Power Bar energy blast chews. They actually taste delicious (strawberry banana flavor) and don’t stick to my teeth. Problem solved. Except I have no idea what the timing should be for eating the chews.

Since then I think I’ve figured out a plan, but I’ve not tested it so *curse.*

While all of this mental agony is bearing down on me, instead of being able to run to release stress, I had to run less. That is the point of tapering, after all. You can see how quickly I lost my sanity..

All in all, last week was a huge mental game. I started to doubt if I did enough (classic). Remember how I missed weekday runs because I had to run my long runs during the week because of all the traveling?

Again, I freaked out about nutrition and fueling during the race. Oh and just when I decided I was ok with using the chews, I realized I had nothing to carry them with. Therefore, I ended up priority shipping this baby to my house on Tuesday last week.

I also made a trip to Goodwill and got some sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a long-sleeve shirt so I can wear it to the starting line at 5:30am and then toss it at 7:30 when the race actually begins. Those clothes get donated back to Goodwill so it’s all good.

As far as actual running, I ran 4 miles Tuesday, 3 miles Wednesday, 4 miles Thursday, and 8 miles Saturday. Easy peasy.

Week 3 Tapering

So far, this week has been a complete turn around of last week.

I’m mellowing out (despite running even less), I’m getting confident, and I’m starting to realize that this will still be a great triumph, even if I do end up hitting “the wall” or I don’t finish in my time goal, as long as I finish.

Realistically, since it is my first marathon my goal should just be to finish. But anyone that knows me, knows that I’m too competitive with myself to accept ordinary. This I why I freaked out about the fueling aspect.

Beth’s mental talk, “If I don’t get it perfect, I’ll hit the wall.” “If I hit the wall, I’ll have to slow significantly or walk, losing minutes, losing reach of my time goal.”

If, if, if.

This is actually pretty hard for me to admit. I’m normally a really positive person. I work to block out negative talk from others because I believe if you’re surrounded by negative people, you’ll become a negative person, or at least develop those thoughts. And how happy is a life like that?

So.. I’ve been working on that and as I mentioned, this week is going much better and much more positively than last week!

I’m not quite sure where or when I began imagining that I could run like Kara Goucher or some ridiculously fast time. Probably because I read too many articles about running..from experts. Olympic experts. Duh – I am not an olympian. I mean, I know I’m small and mighty, but not that mighty. My 8:30-9:00 minute miles are still fast… just not that fast.

The running schedule for this week looks like this:

3 miles Tuesday

2 mile walk Wednesday

2 mile easy run Friday

I think I can handle that. 🙂

We leave for Savannah on Thursday after work. It’s 6 hours from our house, so we’ll get in at a reasonable time that night. Friday is the expo and I’m really excited for that!

We’ve organized who is bringing what for our homemade pasta dinner that night – yum! Carb loading begins on Wednesday!!

Saturday is going to be a super early morning. I will probably set my alarm for 4:45 or 5:00. Our shuttle leaves Tybee Island at either 5:30 or 6:00 (our choice) and takes a half hour to get to the starting line for a last minute stop to the port-a-potty. Eeee!!

I still need safety pins. Dang.

I can’t wait to share how the race goes!!

Thank you for all of the supportive comments I’ve got over the course of training, via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, on the blog, in person, etc.

While I do love to run, there have been times where it’s been a struggle to get out the door. All of your positive words have made a difference in my attitude, so thank you again. I’ll be thinking of you as I pass each mile marker. All 26.2 of them!

Nature Attacks

My first run in double digits since April! I was supposed to run 6 miles this week and 11 miles next week, but I’ll be out-of-town and won’t have time for 11, so I’m flipping this week and next week’s long runs.

B had to work yesterday (and today) so I got up with him at 5am, ate some breakfast (2 waffles with natural peanut butter), let it digest, planned my route, and by then the sun was just about up. Off I went!

The first 2 miles were actually kind of brutal. Getting used to the humidity (it was still 77F and 82% humidity at 6:00am) and getting my legs warmed up. I run in the afternoons for a reason! Once I got past 2 miles though, I was smooth sailin’.

Mile 1: 9’08”/mi
Mile 2: 9’23”/mi
Mile 3: 9’05”/mi

I didn’t run in the park since it was so early, instead I ran on the city sidewalks toward Guilford College. I was thinking it would be a longer distance than it really was but it was only 3.5 miles to the college, so I ended up going a lot further than I thought I would have to. No big deal though, still safe and had sidewalks.

Once I got to the college I was pretty thirsty. I ran around the campus looking for outdoor water fountains and found none. Drag. I brought money with me in case I needed to stop at any convenience stores along the way, but I decided to wait.

I finally got to my turn-around point (passing several streets that would have taken me home much faster) and got attacked by a cicada. I saw it just as I was about to step over it and that’s when it decided to fly up and greet me. On my face, on my shoulder, and in my hair. Luckily there was a biker less than 100 yards away who got to witness my freak-out. Awesome.

On the way back home I realized if I kept going I was going to have to run for another mile once I actually got there. No thanks. I decided to run around the college campus again until I was closer to 5.5 miles.

I brought along some Orange Clif Block Shots and wanted to try them out again. I used them during my half marathon but they gave me major GI issues. I only ate one during this run and am glad I did. I could feel my stomach getting unhappy and decided not to eat anymore. I will be visiting Off ‘N Running this week or next to find another fuel source to experiment with before 12 miles in 2 weeks.

Mile 4: 9’12”
Mile 5: 9’13”

Nature must love me. As I was approaching a trashcan on campus, something was inside and started thrashing around when I got closer, jumped out right beside me as I squealed, and ran in the opposite direction. It was a squirrel. I think if I don’t have a heart attack from running, nature will give me one.

That was about enough adventure as I could stand and I still found no bubblers (water fountains).  I headed back for an uneventful but hot run home. I was actually getting pretty used to the heat at this point and didn’t find it too hot. Surprising.

Mile 6: 9’12”
Mile 7: 8’54”
Mile 8: 8’58”
Mile 9: 8’50”
Mile 10: 8’50”
Mile 11: 8’43”

I knew I was going to need some water or sports drink when I got home. We didn’t have any sports drinks and my bananas were too ripe to eat. I decided to finish my run at the gas station by our apartment and get some Powerade and a banana. I got there and they had no bananas, so I just got two 32oz Powerades. It totally hit the spot and I walked the 0.5 mile home pretty pleased that I was finished running and it wasn’t even 8am!

I attempted an ice bath after the run, but without the ice. I had the tub start filling up with cold water and I got in before it was full so the shock wouldn’t be so bad. It wasn’t that bad and actually, I don’t think it was cold enough. I’ll have to add a bowl of ice next time. It was great to cool me down though! After a shower I foam rolled for 20 minutes and started chores.

I can say that I’m not near as sore as I thought I would be for the day after. I did get a lot of rest yesterday though. I probably slept for 2-3 hours that afternoon and still went to bed at 10:30pm. That could have had to do with only 6.5 hours of sleep the night before, too. I ate well the rest of the day and made sure I had the calories, so I’ve got to figure out a way to help with the fatigue. I know it’s part of it, but I can’t imagine how it will be after a 20 mile run, much less after the marathon!

I’m a lot better today though and am heading to the gym for cross-training day as soon as laundry finishes up! I made some Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins this morning, and am excited for B to get home and try them out!