Half-Way to Marin County Marathon

Its been a really busy weekend. The kind that I need another weekend to recover from.

Friday

I had gone to lunch with a colleague. It was dry when we walked into the restaurant, and was literally flooding by the time we walked out (it was only an hour lunch, I promise). Whenever there's a storm, the power in our office always goes out. True to form, we walked into a dark building. Most everyone had packed up and left. Having only a few minutes of battery life left on my laptop, I packed up to head out the door.

I decided to take care of my planned errands on the way home so I wouldn't have to leave the house again once I got home. I stopped by Lululemon to drop off some jackets that needed altering. Unfortunately for me, they had a sale going on. Having no willpower, I walked out with a new workout top and sports bra. Hey, at least they were on sale and they are things that I will definitely use many times over.

Next, I went back to Road Runner Sports to exchange my new running shoes. While I love, love, love them, I needed a pair that was a half-size bigger. I mentioned to the Fit Expert that the Super Feet insoles they recommended were really hard to use. He looked at me and said, "You've been running with them, without breaking them in?" Ummm, no one told me I had to break them in. Apparently, you're supposed to wear them with your regular shoes for about 2 weeks to break them in before running with them. No wonder they were so painful! They will take longer to break in then the new shoes.

Saturday The forecast said 70% chance of rain. I was crossing my fingers that the morning would be the 30% chance of a rain break. I had to be done running by 9:30 am at the latest because I had a spa date with some friends and our appointments were at 11 am.

I woke up at 6 am, made breakfast and peeked out the window. It was overcast and it looked like more rain was looming. I was bummed, thinking I'd have to run my 8 miles on a dreadmill. An hour later, I took another look outside and saw breaks in the clouds!

I put on my new Daily Mile shirt that had just arrived. I have never been more excited for a new running shirt!

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I also used my new iPod shuffle. I always run with my iPhone, but I'm planning on getting these swim goggles that can hold an iPod shuffle. I just got the iPod, but not the goggles yet (waiting for another Sports Authority coupon). Since I was going to run around town, and not out on a trail, I thought it would be a good day to try it out.

I got out the door and walked for about a half mile, then started running. It started off really well. It was the first run with the new "half-size-bigger" shoes and it already felt like it was broken in.

Half-way through this 8-miler I had to take a bio break which was really odd because I never have to take bathroom breaks, ever. Luckily, I was about a quarter mile from Target, so I detoured off my route and headed there to take care of business. I got some great looks from customers, running in the store with my earphones, hydration belt, Daily Mile shirt...LOL.

I continued the run, but abandoned my planned route, just cruising through different neighborhoods. I tried to stick to the pace that the McMillan's calculator said I should run for a long run. It was really hard stick with the slow pace and not speed up.

2010-02-28_18.17.46
2010-02-28_18.17.46

I finished 8 miles at exactly 9:30 am; just in time to stretch, take a quick shower, make a smoothie, then head to Santana Row for a spa day with the girls. I wish I could say I had an amazing massage, but I didn't. It was just okay. She did a good job on my calves, hamstrings and shoulders, but I could have used more work on my back; especially since I specifically requested it. Oh well.

After the spa, we had lunch at The Counter, then I headed to a family get-together, where I proceeded to eat even more food, leading to a major food coma.

End of Week 8 With Saturday's run, I concluded Week 8 of first-time marathon training. I am now half-way through my 16-week training plan. I have tried to incorporate advice from others and lessons learned from past experiences in these past 8 weeks. I think the things that I'm doing differently during this training cycle has really helped me; this time around I'm actually seeing some growth in my running.

* I was able to run a half-marathon on a whim, and finish with my best time yet. * I had virtually no soreness after the spontaneous half-marathon. This was shocking. * No injuries so far (knocking on wood, and hoping I'm not jinxing myself by writing this)

So what am I doing differently?

1. Changed my strength training routine by: - Taking free weights class once a week, using lighter weights but doing many reps - Taking strength/conditioning and core exercise classes twice a week, using only body weight. I truly believe that incorporating these classes into my cross-training is really helping my body to get stronger and adapt to the repetitive movements of running.

2. Regularly attending Yoga Tune-Up weekly.

3. Incorporating swimming into my cross-training activities. This has proved to be therapeutic, especially on days after long runs.

4. Dedicating 2-3 15-minute sessions in the whirlpool, usually after swimming.

This week is the start of Week 9. Up till now, I haven't done anything that I haven't done before. But now I move into the phase of training of running longer distances than I've ever run before. Unchartered territory. I'm nervous but excited for the experiences that lie ahead.

I can't believe April 25th is only 8 weeks away!