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Posted by ccira Oct 20, 2008


On my birthday (October 11), I foolishly decided to do an 11.5-mile walk! Foolish because I ruined my own birthday by getting excruciatingly-painful blisters. I can handle a lot of pain during workouts, but this? Actually made me cry. On my birthday! (I must say, though, I was extremely proud that I made it back, considering that I ran into Ryan biking a mile from home and I refused the bike AND a shortcut! Yay for mental fortitude! Plus this was the first-ever time I've cried during a workout, so I get mad Tough Points.) Fortunately, after much draining and airing-out, the blisters have healed, but I obviously have a vested interest in them never coming back. The experience was so painful that I haven't walked more than a few miles since. I'm afraid they'll re-form and never go away.



I have heard, though, that putting duct tape on your feet prevents blisters. It sounds crazy, but it works. I tried it on Thursday. Worked like a charm. I plan to get better tape (the stuff I used wasn't fabric-y enough) and use this trick for an upcoming half marathon. That's right, I'm doing another half! The On the Road for Education half marathon up in Mason City this coming weekend. It fits perfectly into my training (I have to go 13 that weekend anyway), so why not do my workout and get a t-shirt and medal?



Regarding my training, it isn't going as well as I'd hoped, but fortunately I know exactly why. My strength routine is too vigorous. As it stood, I was doing about 3.5-4 hours of strength training a week, not to mention cross-training and about 6 hours of walking. Something had to give. Last night I rewrote my entire training schedule, and this morning I rewrote my strength workouts to be way, WAY less intense and long. I still hit all the major muscle groups, but instead of 80 minutes these workouts will be about 40 minutes. Here's the problem - I've been in a sort of "build phase" before my marathon training, and as such I added a lot of muscle, but I've been working too hard and eating too much. This is causing me to feel really lethargic. Last year at this time I had a LOT of energy and it was because I was doing mostly cardio (1-2 hours a day) and not piling on tons of fatty foods. My diet has really gone downhill since then, although it still isn't technically AWFUL. I need to eat more fruit, but unfortunately all my favorites are out of season already, which makes it difficult to eat as well as I'd like. I function extremely well on a high-carb diet but my strength-training required more fat and protein. I need to get back to a diet of about 65-70% carbs from good sources.  Yes, I've gained about 10 lb of muscle in the last year, which is awesome, but I need to focus less on my muscles and more on my cardiovascular endurance.



On the plus side, I have started jogging again! It's very tentative, of course, but every run is better than the one before it. I need to take it very slowly. I wrote a build-up plan into my marathon training so that hopefully by race day I'll be able to safely do a 1:5 ratio or so for the entire race (if I want to - I'll probably take an hour to just warm up with walking only).  New pains are coming up,  mostly the top of my right foot. I plan to call my PT today and find out what's causing it so I can stop it. I'm probably just getting used to the new orthotics. My shins still hurt a little bit at various points of my runs but it's fine the next day. Compare this to a couple of years ago, when my shins felt like they'd literally been SHOT during my runs, and the next day were extremely sore and tender. Big improvement!




Plan For Success

Posted by ccira Oct 5, 2008


I've gotten in the swing of things! This past week I got my orthotics back, so I could start training again every day. It's been going quite well! I'm now doing two walks of about 6-7 miles a week, plus a long walk on the weekend. Strength training is stlll three times a week. After my orthotics break-in period (2 weeks) I'll be able to gradually start running again, which I am extremely excited about. I got new shoes yesterday at our TNT Team Day at the local running store, so from now on I'll be sporting the Adidas Supernova Sequence. They made my feet feel straight-up awesome. They have more support in the heel and a good, narrow fit, which I like.



I'm still optimistic that I'll be able to run part of the marathon. Of course, I am not going to risk running even a majority of the miles, so I'll probably walk the first half, then run/walk the last half at a 1:3 ratio or so. Maybe even 1:4. This might help me get through the race better, because I'll be looking forward to that last half and being able to run. I'll also be (LOL) extremely well warmed-up!



Another option is walking until the Magic Kingdom (around mile 11), then running through the MK, then walking again until I hit Animal Kingdom, at which point I can run/walk the rest of the way. I like running through the actual parks because that's where the crowds and photographers are.



If it sounds like maybe I'm overthinking this, I will readily admit it! I always have three strategies on race day, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.



1) Plan A: normal conditions, normal fatigue and pain.



2) Plan B: Excessive fatigue.



3) Plan C: Excessive pain.



Of course, if Plan C fails there is the possibility of dropping out, however this would only be an absolute last resort for me (i.e., if I am unable to walk at all). I never want to quit a race. If I can't finish, I want it to be because I had to walk and couldn't maintain a fast-enough pace, so I got swept. Of course, in an extreme case (such as a hamstring tear, God forbid), I have to be willing to quit.



On the plus side, there is also a Plan A+, which involves perfect conditions and no fatigue or pain. In this plan, I take a conservative approach until the last ten miles, at which point I will allow myself to speed up if I feel absolutely fantastic.



In all three plans I follow my three adages of distance running: drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry, and walk before you're tired. And before you know it, poof! You're a marathon finisher. (Here's hoping!)