Sunday, March 31, 2013

Did I Just Do That? New (Weekly) Mileage PR

Saturday workout: 6 miles, 11:33 average, Connects
Sunday workout: 10 miles, 10:26 average, Connects

And thus we conclude a perfect month of training and my highest mileage week ever! 41.5 miles. I'm no Shalane Flanagan, but I do all right.

So does Anchorage.

It seemed it was going to be kind of a blah day outside, but obviously the weather gods were excited I was going to beat my previous weekly mileage PR, because it got clearer and clearer as the run went on and turned into a bright, sunny day!

I took y'all's advice and introduced some fuel into this run: Nuun and shotbloks. Also, side note, I must have been raised by savages because I was shocked that Anchorage shut down for Easter. I had planned to go to REI and blow my dividend, but I had the (all too uncommon) foresight to look it up before I left. Closed! Then, after my run when I wanted to go to Subway, both locations I stopped at were also closed! Quiznos? Ditto! Seems not even that creepy hamster creature works on Easter. Didn't they know I needed to reward my hard effort with a delicious sandwich? I had to settle for a boring grocery store sandwich. Rude.

Anyway, Sports Authority was open so I hit them up. Last year, a blogger sent free Nuun samples to anyone who wanted them, and although it took me a year to use twelve tablets, I liked it enough to buy more. Lemon-lime and pink lemonade. The lemon-lime was not nearly as tasty as I had hoped, but it seemed to do its job well. I didn't bother looking at the suggested water-to-tablet ratio, so maybe if I tinker with that it will taste better. Also, drinking something sweet for an entire run is too much. Towards the end all I wanted was regular water, but I was stuck with my sweet brew. I'm going to start with water next week and slip in a tablet halfway through the run (that sounds like a roofie joke) and see how that goes. I'll also bring more shotbloks - three was not enough. Strange, since I usually don't need food or water for anything 10 miles or less.

As for the run itself, it went really well! I manned up and didn't let myself run on my flat pavement route. Granted, there wasn't much elevation gain on the route I chose, but it was enough that I was able to tell myself I wasn't taking it easy. Also, I'm glad to see my elevation chart confirms that miles 7.3-8.8 (and  2.4-3.9 since I did an out-and-back twice) were all uphill. It was pretty gradual so I wasn't yelling about it or anything, but I remember wondering at mile 8.5 just how long I had been going up because it seemed like a comically long time.

I was more bored than usual (I managed to refrain from turning music on), but my energy levels were pretty solid. The only time I had that end-of-long-run-deadleg feeling was on a random downhill during the first half. The road I was running on (see here for a very basic description) ends at a rehab center where my mom actually used to work, and it seems patients were allowed to go for an Easter walk with their families because I passed a lot of groups that obviously originated from that parking lot and not the one the rest of us have to park at. They all seemed to be having a really nice time, which made me happy.

Here are some splits, just for kicks:


How convenient that the last day of the week and month happen to fall on the same day! Here's a little roundup:

Monday: 6 miles, easy
Tuesday: 6.5 miles with 6 x 800 (at 8:30 with 400m rest) while dodging pucks
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 8 miles with 5 tempo (9:44)
Friday: 5 miles, easy
Saturday: 6 miles, easy
Sunday: 10 miles, slightly faster than easy

Weekly total: 41.5 miles
Monthly total: 154.75

Like I said, I ran more miles this week than I've ever done before, and I feel SO MUCH better than I did after my peak week last year (which was 4 runs of 5, 10, 5, and 20 miles). Granted, I didn't run a 20-miler. But I also don't want to kill myself. I'd call it a huge win. Last year, running 10 miles meant I was done for the day (unless there was a promise of beer - these legs will always move for beer). Today, if I didn't have homework to get to (you know, after the more important task of blogging), I'd be out shoveling my deck. I'm really not that tired. And I'm not kidding when I say I think I'm in the best running shape of my life. I swear that's not just me being dramatic again.

I'm beginning to really trust these Hanson dudes. They seem to know what my body is capable of better than I do. I can't tell you how many times I've looked ahead at my plan and just laughed because there is absolutely no way I'm capable of what they're asking of me. Then, of course, I do it, I survive, and I feel great. Although my heart still sometimes starts a-fluttering when I look at what's in store for me (this coming week's 10+ - miler with 8 tempo miles, for example, or my 15-miler next weekend), my first thought is no longer "no f-cking way." Now it's more, "Well, it's not going to be easy, but I'll do it." And really, although I've worked hard these past 8 weeks, it hasn't been as hard as I imagined. I'd say it's been easier than Higdon's plan, actually [I reserve the right to take that back six weeks from now when I'm running almost 60 miles a week].

Let's catch up!

  • What did you get up to this weekend? Any great runs? Any Easter fun? I've kind of ignored Easter the past six years, but since I'm home this year I guess it feels more like a holiday. I wish it came with a weekday holiday, though...
  • What's your favorite Nuun (or whatever other electrolyte drink you may use) flavor? I really thought lemon-lime would do it for me; I was so disappointed!
  • What do you do when you're on a long run and you start getting bored (besides listen to music - I want to save it for when I really, really need it)? Usually the scenery keeps me entertained but maybe, horror of horrors, I'm getting used to it?!


  1. Half-marathon yesterday, kinda disappointing on a lot of fronts, blog post pending.

    I, too, was disappointed with the lemon-lime Nuun. I like the Chai somethingorother. Just FYI, though - Nuun is electrolytes, but no carbs. So depending on the conditions/sweat level/other nutrition you're taking, you may be able to stick with water. Your shotbloks have both sugar and electrolytes. Depending on how much sugar you want/need to take in, you may not need additional electrolytes through Nuun. It probably won't hurt, but if it's not super sweaty, and you prefer water, no reason not to stick with water. [This is what I did in the US. I'd take my Sports Beans or Honey Stingers for sugar & 'lytes, and drink water.] Or go with a drink that has both sugar and 'lytes in place of some bloks. Ultimately, though, up to you.

    I listen to Audiobooks!

    1. Oh no!!!! Well, I'll still be interested to hear how it went, disappointment and all.

      I didn't realize there was a chai flavor... that honestly doesn't sound very good but it does seem like it wouldn't be so sweet, which is a plus. I actually wouldn't even bother with Nuun except for the fact that it's always seemed to make any stomach issues go away. It's likely more the electrolytes than some magical Nuun formula, although shotbloks don't always go down smoothly, whereas Nuun hasn't failed me yet (although, admittedly, I've only tried it probably 10-15 times). I think I'll definitely start runs with water from now on, though. I think that as it warms up and I'm sweating even more than I already do, drinking something sweet later on will be fine. Thanks for the advice!

  2. Way to go with your weekly and monthly mileage. What marathon are you training for and when? You are following the Hanson method SO DILIGENTLY! I read that book all the time and need a good fall 26.2 race to start training for!

    I pretty much ignored Easter and did a bunch of work today. Yikes! I am not really a Nuun fan (gasp!). I totally love getting out there and just running for a long run. Boredom is usually not a problem for me. I was so energized on Saturday by SO MANY people I got to see out and about on a beautiful sunny day :)

    1. Ahaha, I think by "diligently" you mean "obsessively" and yes, it's true; when I have a plan, I really like to stick with it! Last year using Higdon's plan I didn't miss a single run (although that didn't end well - I hurt my foot two weeks before my goal race, the Burlington Marathon). But with the Hanson method I'm being especially careful about following it to a T because it's not your typical plan and I'm interested to see what it's capable of if followed exactly. Of course, going to Norway's going to mess that all up, but I'm going to do the best I can.

      I'm training for Anchorage's Mayor Marathon on June 22. June is usually a GREAT month here so unless it's raining (which is very possible) it should be a beautiful race! Should probably register for that soon...

      Not a Nuun fan?!?!?!?!?! The horror! But really, their huge push in the blog world annoyed me to no end, but I really do like their product. I used to have a really sensitive stomach (and still occasionally have issues), and it always seemed to make that go away immediately. I just wish it tasted better.

  3. You are a ROCKSTAR!!! I hit up to 41 miles with Hansons before I bailed and just this past week I finally did 44, which is my new weekly PR. You only go up from there!!! Ha. Reading 60 miles on the training plan kind of scared the bajeezers out of me.

    I love Nuun. I like the grapefruit flavor. I don't usually bring it on my runs though (unless it's mid-summer and I sweat like 10 liters per mile), instead I keep a water bottle with it in the car for afterwards. I stick to water and shotblocs for the run.

    Long runs when I get bored? I sing to myself. Usually in my head (sometimes out loud..but then I get out of breath...). Sometimes I even add in a little jig (seriously). Sometimes for runs that I know are going to be extra hard, I pack my headphones just in case, but I rarely pull out my music. I like to have it as an option, though, for if I end up really needing a little pick me up/reward.

    You are doing so well at following the plan!!! I was miserable at it (not sure if you were ever around during those blog was dreadful...and why I ended up dropping to the half, ha). For the MCM in October, I want to follow it as best as I can, though!

    1. No way, I didn't realize they had a grapefruit flavor! But of COURSE that's your favorite flavor. Of course. Actually, that sounds really good. I need to find some.

      I think I'm too scared NOT to follow the plan. I'm not experienced enough to know when missing a run or changing a workout slightly won't make a difference, so I'm stuck with what I've been told. Also, I really hate not following directions. It's the overachiever in me.

  4. That is so awesome! You seriously give me hope that I can one day run a full marathon. I think it's kind of crazy what the body is capable of and how your mentality changes as a result. Three years ago, I couldn't run more than 3 miles and I had to take countless breaks. Now, I can run 10 miles and mentally and physically get through it. You're rocking that plan, I'm impressed by your dedication!

    1. Ahaha, if this girl (me) is capable of running a marathon (although I guess that's very much TBD), you can absolutely do it. Absolutely.

  5. whoa girl! you are absolutely rocking it! that's a FANTASTIC mileage week AND month! congrats!!

    1. Why thanks, TR! I'm glad to see you 'round the blogosphere again!