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Friday, June 25, 2010

Marathon training, re-worked

Eh. I had to re-work all my runs in my marathon training plan. Paperwork, math, thinking, blah.
Here's why: my new work schedule has me working every third weekend. On the other two weekends I go to church. Thus, Sunday mornings runs would have to start at, oh, 4 am (at least once I got to the long ones). Not happening. Even with my old-lady Saturday night schedule of a nice dinner, a book, and early bed - not happening.
However, Thursdays I work either super late, super early, or not at all. So I re-worked my schedule to put my long runs on Thursday - early morning or late afternoon/evening - and my cross train day on Friday. That way I get to go to the Friday kickboxing class which is super duper fun (I did it this morning)!
I also canceled some short runs - 3 or 4 miles - and replaced them with timed hills runs. There is one tiny stretch of levee with two built in hills, so basically the plan is to run that itty bitty stretch of ground over and over again for 40 minutes. I can already hardly contain my excitement. But I'm getting skeered of the hills so I thought it was needed.
Yesterday I brilliantly decided to test out my afternoon run options and went for a 12 miler at 1 pm. It was 97 degrees. That's just the heat. Heat index with the humidity was astronomical. For some reason the Audubon Park area is always hotter than other places (airport, westbank) when the weather guys go over the day's highs and lows; naturally that's where I run!
So anyway. I carried water this time since there are no fountains until about mile 5 and I decided to do a stop-walk-drink-water thing every ten minutes. I knew it would impact my time, but maybe I wouldn't die that way. Unfortunately, ten minutes apart is too much time in this kind of heat. I quickly decided to make that every five, and I stuck to that schedule down Carrollton (no shade), back up Carrollton to the levee (total hell; no shade or breeze; this part of the course is murder), and over the "fly", the riverfront park that leads into Audubon park. Once you hit Audubon there's some breeze and shade so I went back to every ten minutes for water breaks. I left the park and continued up St Charles to General Pershing St and back to the park. At this point, thank you God, a thunderstorm threatened and the sun finally went behind a cloud, giving me a much-needed break from the heat. As I headed back to the park I realized that I was slowing considerably and my muscles felt crampy. I remembered that I hadn't really eaten all day! Between no glucose and no electrolytes (my clothes were sweat-saturated within ten minutes of leaving the house) I was losing energy fast. Thank goodness I had brought a Gu. I gulped it and felt better in moments - enough to pick up the pace for my last loop around the park, completing the 1.8 mile loop in 14 minutes including a water break at the fountain (I HAD to have cold water at this point; my bottle was now quite warm). I made it home in one sweaty disgusting piece and sipped vitamin water for the rest of the afternoon. My head felt like it had been sitting in a crock pot all day and I was a little dehydrated, but I "proved" that I can do long runs in the summer heat. The only problem is that my pace is very very slow in the heat. I did this run in 1:43, which is over ten minutes longer than I ran that distance in the winter. However, since I'm not running this marathon with a time goal, I'm just going to deal with it. While I can sit here today and complain about how slow my time was, the truth is that while I was out there in the heat I could not have gone faster and still have finished. That's all I got, folks! I have to keep in mind that because of thyroid issues I can't adjust my body temperature as efficiently or as quickly as others and I simply won't do as well in temperature extremes. So I'm scaling back my expectations for hot runs.
In other news, my feet and joints were kind of feeling this run. You think it might be time to replace the shoes?

That's the tread at the ball of my foot. Incidentally this is around 600 miles. I have gotten 700 out of Saucony's with less wear. Don't buy Nike!


  1. I am totally toying with the idea of a 4 mile run through Audubon park around 4 this afternoon- it's going to be SO hot, but I have evening plans. I'm with you- I don't want to kill myself so I just throw time out the window during summer runs.

  2. Toying produced no results. Sitting in a hot car on the way home was enough to convince me to stick to the treadmill this afternoon. You're much more hardcore than I am! :)
    I will do a long(ish) run outside on Sunday though.

  3. Hahaha! I think you made a wise choice. It's brutal out...and in, since I was without electricity most of the afternoon.

  4. Holy smoke - that is some hot weather. Well done on getting a run in, though. Glad you figured out a way to juggle around your runs.

    I havent' done any hill work yet but plan on doing that w/ one of my 3 milers probably every other week, and then on the off week I will do some speed work at the track. I think.

  5. All I do around here is hill work. The plus (and minus!!) of living in an extremely hilly city!!

    I am re-working my plan too. After three weeks of training I decided that 5 runs a week is too much for me so I'm scaling it back to 4. I start doing only four runs per week next week so hopefully that will help!

  6. I'm in awe that you ran in that kind of heat. I'm a wimp and will take to the treadmill when it's super hot like that. I've taken to running around 7:45 during the week in order to be able to handle running outside. I know it's more humid in LA then here in NC. I've been to New Orleans in July and it's brutally hot!!!!

  7. Holy moly girl, yes you need new shoes PRONTO! ANd 4am sunday runs...yeah that could never work for me. I have done 6am runs though in the summer to beat the heat. Have fun training!

  8. Its been great reading your blog! It seems like we live in the same neighborhood (Loyola/Tulane/Freret corridor) and run in the same areas (Audubon). Here is a tip on h2o fountains at the park...there are THREE...not just two. and the third one has ICE COLD flowing water! It is on the broadway side of the park closest to St. Charles. Its in that weird paved area that I assume the golf course staff uses. The first time i noticed it, I stopped and got a drink...I couldnt believe how cold and refreshing it was! Enjoy!

  9. Oh, I always stop at the "people fountain", it's the only way to go in the summer. Last year it was broken for a few months and I thought I was going to die.
    Glad you're enjoying the blog, Anthony, might see you around the park sometime!