Marathon Training Week 14 : Why I Should Not Run

26 Aug

5 weeks to go…

It’s marathon Monday! But you already knew that. You, my loyal readers, know what time of the week it is. It’s time for my weekly marathon training update and boy are you in for a good read this week.

My plan:


What Actually Happened:

As with last week, I’m just going to skip over the relatively boring shorter runs on Tuesday and Thursday (nothing new here; road run, not quite full pace, full distances achieved, minimal shin pain) and get straight into the long run report.

If you have read my reports on my last two long runs (27km and 32km), you will know that I haven’t been performing too well. Well by jolly do I have some good news for you this week. I ran 35km with no stops in 3h38min. Stoked!! I re-jigged my training plan so that I could run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday afternoon. Why? Because we’re off for a weekend away next weekend and so needed to shuffle things around to accommodate our holiday plans (naturally!).  I’m learning that I am much more of a morning runner than an afternoon/evening runner. I love the cooler air in the morning and I have no problem with rising early, even on a Saturday. I was up at 6am for a breakfast for Weetabix and a banana before heading out the door shortly before 7am. Thunderstorms were forecast to come through Geneva from 11am so I knew I had to get out early.

I started out a bit slowly but gradually found a comfortable pace at around 6:15-6:20min/km. I had also learned my lesson from last week’s bout of dehydration and took a swig of water every 3km or so even though it was a much cooler day (around 18 degrees C). The first 13km passed by with relative ease and at 15km I was off the road and onto the grass and at this point I sucked down my first of three gels. I was trialling a few new gels this week too; one with caffeine, two different brands, varying levels of sugar/salt/carbohydrates, and my first one was a PowerBar Strawberry and Banana flavoured one. It went down easily enough, tasted pretty good too, and by 17km I felt like I was flying. My speed had definitely picked up and I could literally feel the boost of energy. This is awesome (I thought)!

22km came and I thought to myself, every kilometer to run from here on is the longest you have ever run before without stopping. This was motivation indeed and boy was I about to need it because it was time for my next gel, a Sponsor no flavour gel with a hint of caffeine. This one was awful. I had stomach cramps for the next 4km and although my pace remained steady I really did not feel very comfortable. I did not want an excuse to stop (like last week) so I pushed through and was soo grateful when the pain finally subsided. Sore stomach muscles the next day? You better believe it! At 27km I was back on the road and my pace dropped from here on in. It was hard to go back onto the road and with my legs and feet already starting to ache it was getting increasingly difficult to maintain a comfortable pace.

My third gel was at the 29km mark and this was another PowerBar gel but Mango and Passionfruit flavoured with a load of caffeine. As with the other PowerBar gel, this one also went down very easily although I didn’t experience the same “boost” as I did with the first one but that’s probably because I was concentrating more on getting my legs to move and my lungs to work harder than I was focusing on the effects of the gel. This was also the point where the dark clouds that had been looming on the horizon all morning were sounding out their thunder and shooting out lighting bolts close to home. I had been praying all morning that the rain would hold off and at around 2h40m I said “Come on God, just hold off the rain for another half an hour“. Sure enough, at 32km and half an hour later I got dumped with buckets of water. Refreshing? Not really! Funny? God sure does have a sense of humour! I endured it for the last 3km and was so very proud of myself for not stopping, not complaining and not giving up.

My recovery was also night and day compared to last week. Stretch, ice bath, protein/carb shake and compression tights. I was feeling really good in myself and went out on Saturday night without too much trouble at all. This weeks run has had a huge impact on my mental training as well. I now have no fear of being able to run the whole distance. I may not be able to run the 42.2km in a time that I am happy with but I can assuredly say that I will run the 42.2km without stopping.

That was kind of long-winded, sorry. And I’m sure you’re wondering why I put in the title of this post “Why I should not run”. Well, to be honest, running is not a pretty sport. You’ve heard me complaining of shin splints all year, my constantly tight calf muscles and the inconvenience of needing toilet breaks half way through a run. What I haven’t told you about is the blisters on my feet and my black toenails and sweating so much your eyes sting and the taste of salt on your lips. And now, after this weeks long run, I can add chaffing to the list. I’ll keep the details out, it’s not something you want to be reading about.

People of the world, this little lady here writing this post, is most definitely not built to be a runner!! Oh boy do I love running though. Ironic? Absolutely!

That’s a wrap.

By the way, I’ll be doing a post soon on the how/what/why of fueling during runs so if you have any great ideas/tips/tricks to contribute then please drop me a line.

3 Responses to “Marathon Training Week 14 : Why I Should Not Run”

  1. EyeCandyPopper August 27, 2013 at 01:31 #

    How long have you been running (sorry, I’m new following you)?
    Have you tried yoga/hot yoga? I found it did wonders for me when I first started training seriouly. My plantar fasciitis pains went away.
    As for the gels, I’ve mentioned my views on it. My stomach was turning just reading your post, I can’t imagine ingesting it. Some people can tolerate them better than others.
    When is your marathon?

    • cheesevegemite August 27, 2013 at 08:00 #

      I’ve been running on and off for quite a few years now; seriously training for races started just over 1 year ago. I try to get to pilates once a week at the gym which helps with stretching but unfortunately none of the yoga classes at the gym fit with my timetable – always at 10am or 3pm, very inconvenient when I work full time.
      I think my previous bad experience with the gels was more related to the fact that I was dehydrated than the gels themselves. But I am extremely interested in trying out some more natural energy sources and will plan to try that out in my training for my next half-marathon.
      The Berlin Marathon is 5 weeks away; Sunday 29th September 2013. Eeeek!

      • EyeCandyPopper August 27, 2013 at 14:14 #

        Agreed, changing things in your training routine only 5 weeks away might not be a good idea 😉
        So exciting! Berlin should be wonderful to run throughout.
        I’m looking forward to the fall to start doing hot yoga again, my muscles need it!

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