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Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz

Marathon Training Week 6 Recap – The Need For Speed

T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Maybe it’s because I wanted to push myself or maybe it’s because I’m impatient, but whatever the reason, I did speed work with all my runs this week.

Monday: I hit the ground running this week – at least on work. No workout  scheduled for today, though I’m starting to see a network of veins beneath my skin. I feel stronger and I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my muscle tone.

Tuesday: Tuesday is my official speed work day when I run on the treadmill – aka the human hamster wheel. I ran 4.5 miles in 37.5 minutes. Running on the treadmill is so boring, even with the most entertaining podcast in my ears. It’s only redeeming quality is it’s faster than running on the street. I knocked out my first 100 push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 16 and 1 set of 20. I like seeing the veins pop out of my arms as I’m getting stronger.

Wednesday: One of the benefits of running in October is it’s cooler in the morning. The downside is it’s also dark. I think it’s time to bust out my reflective belt so cars can more easily see me. I’d wear a headlamp if it were more comfortable – I don’t like running as much when I can’t fully see where I’m going.  I had a good 6.5-mile run today. I did speed work by making myself run 200 steps at the beginning of each song that played on my iPod, plus an extra 100 running steps when I had to stop at stoplights.

Thursday: I tried a new 4.5-mile route today (with my snazzy reflective belt) that had a turn-around in the middle of the Mill Ave. Bridge. I hope I turned around at the right spot. I used the same plan for speed work as the previous day. Around mile 1.5 I felt a twinge of pain in my butt with the giggle of each step that was replaced by the intensity I felt in my quads around mile 3. When I got back I finished my push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 17 and 1 set of 15.

Friday: Rest day!

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

Saturday: I listen to Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz during my long runs on Saturdays. It’s an awesome podcast about movies that features a different actor or director each week. Each  segment of the show is named after a movie, i.e., “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “First Blood,” “Quiz Show,” etc. My plan was to do speed work at the beginning of each segment, but I realized I can’t count my steps and listen to these two geek out over movies simultaneously, so I just tried to pick up the pace at the beginning of each segment. I had a bit of shin pain even before I started today’s run that didn’t get worse over the hour. I started getting pain in my right hip around mile 5 (of a 7.2-mile run). I’ll have to keep an eye on that. When I tried to train for a marathon a few years ago, I had to downgrade to the half when I experienced intense hip pain in my longer runs.  I hope my strength work and stretching will keep this under control.

Sunday: I challenged myself to ride the hill on McDowell Road between 52nd St and 64th St – by Papago Park – during today’s 19-mile bike ride.  This is a steep hill when I drive it so I knew it would be hard on my bike. I told myself that I’m doing my legs more good on this one hill than I’ve ever done on the elliptical in aggregate. I’m glad it was at the beginning of my ride.

I’m officially 1/3 through my marathon training. If memory serves, I was living in KT Tape six weeks into half marathon training the last time I trained for a big race. (I was also running with really bad form back then.) I’m really pleased with how my legs are holding up so far.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 22.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 5 Recap – First Double-Digit Run

Quick Question: Do you like this format better where I break down my training by day or do summaries of running, biking, and push-ups like I did last week?

5 by rosemary from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

5 by rosemary from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Week 5 of 18 of marathon training was my first 10-mile run. I haven’t a run this far since my last half marathon in 2013. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go but was remarkably pleased with how it went. This was also my first week of training while living in my new condo so I’m trying new running and cycling routes.

Monday: My weekend ended with car trouble so this week started out with a trip to the car dealership for repairs. I walked a total of 4.5 miles to and from the dealership. This distance doesn’t count for anything but I want to document that I was moving. My left shin hurt a bit in the process which reminded me of my physical therapist who said that running is easier on my body than powerwalking (which is what I calling walking). I also cranked out 100 push-ups – 5 sets of 14 and 2 sets of 15 – with no problems.

Tuesday: My complex has a gym so I’m taking advantage of it to do some speed work by running on the treadmill once a week. I ran 4.5 miles in 38 minutes. The speed was set between 7 and 7.6 mph. I felt like I was on the ultimate human hamster wheel. The most painful thing about this run was how bored I got. I listened to an old podcast featuring Gary Vaynerchuk from when Crush It came out, but even that barely took the edge off how boring it is to run nowhere.

Wednesday: I did a 6.5-mile run today at sunrise. I opted not to use my iPod so I could get a better sense of the route. I was already running with glasses or contacts so I dind’t want to dull all my senses. I purposely picked a route that I can easily extend for longer distances and one that has some hills. I heard the marathon route for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona has a hill around Mile 20 so I want to make sure I’m ready for it. I also finished my push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 15, 1 set 13, and 1 set 12. I’m looking forward to getting up to 5 sets of 20 in the next week or 2.

Thursday: I made the mistake of running towards downtown Phoenix for my 4.5-mile run and ended up in a somewhat sleazy part of town. I suspect it was a good neighborhood to look for meth or a hooker. Thankfully it was early enough in the morning that few people were out and about. Apart from my surroundings for the last half mile before my turn-around spot, it was nice run.

Friday: Friday was my rest day. I enjoyed not getting super sweaty before breakfast.

Saturday: Today was my 10-mile run. I think I ran a little slower than 10-minute miles and that was just fine with me. I just wanted to finish without too much pain – and I did that. The best part of my run was the podcast I listened to – Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz. It’s a podcast about movies and this week’s episode featured the work of John Hughes. I loved listening to them talk about films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. What made the show extra special (and extra long!) was they had awesome interviews with Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Judd Nelson.

Felt good at the time, by lunchtime my quads were sore – didn’t have time to stretch right after my run b/c parents were on their way over.

Sunday: I hopped on my bike for a 19.5-mile ride for cross training this week. I checked out the Grand Canal, which is a good route if you’re trying to get to central Phoenix near Indian School Road or Camelback Road. There were far fewer people on the canal than what I see on the Arizona canal – my preferred canal for riding and it made me sad to ride through poorer neighborhoods were I saw more homeless camps, stray dogs, and trash. I was amused, though, when my route took me past the parking lot for one of the Phoenix bathhouses. I was surprised so many cars were there at 8am. The last half mile of the ride was uphill. I was up out of the saddle pumping as hard as my legs could while telling myself, “This is going to make my legs look awesome!”

My quads are sore from this weekend’s workouts and I’m looking forward to a mellower Week 6. The long run is only 7 miles.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 25.5 miles
Biking: 19.5 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Please leave me a comment below and tell me if you prefer this format or this format for my marathon training posts.