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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yes, that's right...I said 26.2 miles!

Today's run was kind of a last minute decision.  I have been doing my long runs on Thursdays or Saturdays, whichever day works best with my (and my husband's, sometimes) schedule.  So, at the start of this week I made plans to do my long run on Thursday.  Chris has been having continued IT band pain when he runs farther than a few miles, so he decided to forego doing the really long run with me, in exchange for doing a medium long run on Saturday.  Alas, when I looked at the weather forecast for the week and saw that it was going to be sunny and 60 today, versus the rain/snow and high of 40 that's predicted for tomorrow, I opted to run long today.

I left the house at about 7:30 this morning, dressed in a couple of layers over my sunblock-slathered arms, neck and shoulders.  See?  I do learn from my mistakes - once in a while. ;)  I had mapped out my run last night.  It was not an easy route.  Leaving from our house, down the old highway which is basically a series of mild up and downhills for about 6 miles.  Then it levels out as the route goes through town for the next 9-10 miles.  That was when the wind was at it's absolute worst, at least today.  At times, I felt like it was pushing me backwards.  Once I was back out of town and up against the foothills, I took a little out and back jaunt of about 4 miles, up towards the mountains.  Obviously, that was a pretty tough section for me, as my legs were starting to fatigue as I was trying to go uphill.  Then back down the hill, and out to the road that would take me back home.  Portneuf Rd. is filled with hills - big hills.  Apparently I like a challenge. ;)

(I took this right before I headed up the mountain road.  See off in the distance, where the mountains converge in a small valley?  The freeway runs through there, and it's called The Portneuf Gap.  I love running the gap!  Incidentally, that's Pocatello Marathon's tagline: "Running the Gap!")

Despite the fact that my legs felt a bit achy and tired before I even started running today, I was able to stick with my 4 minute running, 1 minute walking ratio for the entire time.  I finished the 26.21 miles in 5 hours, 22 minutes.  That's an average pace of 12:18 minutes per mile.  I am pretty excited about that time, for a training run.

Some of you may be wondering why I ran the full marathon distance as a training run.  Well, I trained for and ran my first two marathons in a "traditional" way, basically running as much as I could and only walking when absolutely necessary.  I developed many different injuries, and despite logging TONS of miles, I never really got any faster.  I was feeling over-trained and even though I enjoyed running and training, I was starting to get burned out.  I came across a method of training for and running marathons/half marathons developed by former Olympic runner Jeff Galloway.  I read several of his books, and decided to give his method a try.  What it boils down to is adding short walk breaks to your runs right from the beginning.  This way you "re-set" your leg muscles before they start to get overly fatigued, making it possible for the average runner to not only run longer distances, but shortening the recovery time after long runs considerably.  I am still not a super fast runner, but even with the walking breaks (I usually use a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio), my times on long runs and races are improving over what I was doing before.  And...other than some minor issues I've talked about before, i.e. black toenails and mild muscle soreness, I haven't had any injuries since starting to add the walk breaks, and can more or less get on with normal daily activities after a long run, which is much better than being so sore I could barely go up and down the stairs for days, as it was before.  For all you skeptics out there, yes, you can still call yourself a runner (and marathoner) even if you take walk breaks - and your body will thank you for it. :)

My running mentor/friend recently sent me the Run/Walk/Run Interval Timer used by Jeff Galloway:
I just got it today, so I wasn't able to use it for today's run.  Normally I use my Garmin to alert me at scheduled intervals for my walk breaks, but now that I have this, I can use it for my intervals, while simultaneously tracking my mileage, pace and run time.

There's a lot more I could say about using the Galloway method to train for distance running, but honestly, I can't say it any better than Jeff himself does in all of his books.  If any of you want to learn more about it, I would highly recommend starting with his book, "Marathon: You Can Do It!"

Question: What have you done to realize you can do hard things?

P.S. This is what recovery looks like: CEP Compression Socks.  Mmmmm. :)


  1. Oh! Oh! Pick me! Pick me! I learned that serious mediation and prayer help me know what my body needs, and that I am capable of doing hard things after "doing all that I can, His grace" will get me through.

    Though I doubt my theory would ever sell any books :P

    I am so proud of you.

    1. I know this is tried and true for you, especially this week! Thank you. :)

  2. First of all, I think it's a well-established fact that I CAN'T do it, although I think I have just found my motivation to run a marathon after all: the idea of being ALONE for 5 hours and 22 minutes with nobody screaming "Mommy" at me. Wow. I think I will start training tomorrow and join you in Pocatello.

    Secondly, back when I was trying to train for a marathon I read something in my running book about it being okay to walk and that was a light bulb moment for me. I don't know why we tend to think that if we don't run the entire time we are failing. It's a hard mentality to get out of though.

    Good for you! Great pictures, too! Do you touch those up or is the sun always hitting you at the perfect angle? No fair.

    1. Want to hear something funny? Sometimes when I'm out on a long run, I'll have my music playing and I'll actually think I hear someone saying, "Mom? Mom? Mom?" I'll even take my ear buds out and look around, before realizing, huh? It's impossible.

      As far as the pictures, sometimes I use Picasa to saturate colors and such, but we don't have Photoshop or anything fancy, so that's about it. I just grab one of my kids and tell them how to take the photo...and make sure I'm in the good light! ;)

  3. Hi- Lindsay's sister here- quick question- do you ever wear your compression socks while you run?

    1. Hey, Erin! I haven't ever worn full socks, just because I don't like how they make my shoes fit/feel. I have used Zensah Calf Sleeves while running. They're not quite as "pressurized" as the CEP, but they do help give a little support. :)

  4. Today on my run of a measly 3 miles I tried your run for 4 minutes, walk for 1 and liked it a lot! Maybe I actually can go a lot further than I think I can!


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