Increasing Mileage and Getting Over THE WALL

(**This post is wordy and I really have no relevant pictures so please enjoy the randomness throughout.)

On Thursday, my Dad and I officially registered for the Holiday Half Marathon in Pomona on December 11. On Friday, I tackled my 8-mile run. With the half only 8 weeks away, I really need to stick to my running schedule from here on out and make sure I’m getting in those weekly long runs.

Jason, Me, Dad & Mom at the Hollywood Bowl

The run started out great, despite the fact that I momentarily lost all rational thought on Thursday and worked out my legs with squats and lunges. I was a little stiff starting out and it took about a mile for me to get into the groove and figure out a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, I think my pace was a little too good starting out because I finished the first half in 38 minutes. I was excited and proud, but that feeling quickly left when I realized I went much too fast in the beginning. At 5 miles, I stopped in 7-11 to fill up my handheld with Lemon-Lime Gatorade and colder water. I was so parched from a combination of the rapidly increasing heat and the dry weather that has been killing my throat and nose this past week.

The ONLY temperature I'd like to see for the next 2 months

At first, the Gatorade seemed to give me that every kick I really needed to knock out the last 3 miles, but at mile 6 I started feeling a little queasy. I ended up half jogging and half walking the next mile, and tried my best to push through the last. In the end, I ran 8.15 miles in 1:30 exactly (11:02 pace). I wish I could say “I’m so proud of myself for running 8 miles, it’s my longest run yet!”, but I can’t help that feeling of disappointment. I WANT to be faster. I KNOW I can run faster, but it’s such a mental thing for me. I start out feeling great. I get that runner’s high right off the bat, then I just hit a wall. It becomes a total mental battle of “It’s too hot, I can’t run in the heat” to “You won’t be able to pick the weather on race day, just keep pushing!” I gripe about everything from the sun in my eyes, to the dinner the night before. Then I tell myself to quit being a baby and shut up and run. So I run. Then I complain and walk some more. UGH.

Think happy thoughts... like stealing this puppy from the mall

I get so inspired reading so many other blogs, hearing about everyone’s successes at their races, reading first-time marathon and half marathon stories, reading about great long runs and PR’s. All of that is so exciting and I love being able to read about and share in the excitement of some of the people who inspired me to run. But, as great as all of that is, I think I learn the most from runners who aren’t afraid to write about a difficult run, a race that didn’t go as planned, or just any obstacle they had to overcome in order to get where they are today. Reading these stories reminds me that we all experience those crappy days, whether we run 10-minute miles or sub-4 marathons. We all have those over-the-top, feel-great, AMAZING runs and those OMG-can-this-be-over, why-did-do-this crummy moments. But one thing we all have in common is that we all keep going. We keep running and we keep training and we just keep at it because one great moment really does outweigh all the bad.

Today, I actually did the smart thing and got my leg workout out of the way well before my 9-mile run coming up this weekend. I did an easy 2 miles on the treadmill at a 10:06 pace and followed it up with this beast of a workout, inspired by (and majorly tweaked by me) Peanut Butter Fingers’ “Sure to Make You Sore Leg Workout“:

75 squats (I WILL get to 100) (30 lbs)

3 reps of 15 low rows (40lbs)

3 reps of 15 lunges each leg (30 lbs)

3 reps of 15 dead lifts (30 lbs)

Total weaksauce compared to her killer workout but it had my legs shaking like crazy and I was sweating bullets. Hopefully I can keep at this and get stronger! When I started doing strength training I could barely lift the 20 lb dumbbell, and now I can at least get the 30 lb-er up and over my head without dropping it on myself.

I think I need to get a running mantra to keep myself moving when the going gets tough. What’s your mantra, or best advice for getting past that wall?

Do you have a favorite strength training workout to share? I know nothing about weights and lifting so I just have to jot down everyone else’s workout to remember when I hit the gym šŸ™‚



Filed under Goals, Running

14 responses to “Increasing Mileage and Getting Over THE WALL

  1. I never realized I even had a mantra until I found myself (outloud like a crazy person) saying ,” faster, stronger, faster, stronger” during the final 6 miles of my last race. It sounds silly, but to me it means, if you finish this you’ll be faster and stronger.
    Also, my favorite strength training (EVER) is TRX, because not only are you getting a killer workout for your upper body, (or lower body..whatever you need) you’re also giving you core an amazing workout, because ever excersise requires an engaged core. A strong core is essential for running, it helps preven injuries and helps you run faster!
    P.S. Congrats on registering for the half!!! It’s so cool you’re running it with your dad!

    • Thanks! I’ve said things out loud to myself before and it’s usually along the line of “The faster you finish the sooner you can sit down”… I think I need something a little more upbeat šŸ™‚

  2. Casey

    My mantra usually involves first cursing in the beginning, but then I keep telling myself that I’m awesome and nothing can stop me.

    For my weight routine, I have been focusing on my arms. The only weight exercise I do that soley focuses on my leg are dumbell lunges. They pretty much destroy my legs when I’m finished. That’s mainly why I don’t want to move on to any other leg workouts.

  3. I wish I could reach through this blog and hug you!!! I so understand. We are way to tough on ourselves as runners!! You ran 8 miles!! THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME!! YEESSSSS!!!!!

    I have a LOT of bad running days. This morning may be at the top of the list. All 6 miles were brutal. All I could think about was quitting and drinking coffee.

    I was really hard I was on myself after my first marathon and how I never celebrated finishing. HOW DUMB IS THAT?! Celebrate in each mile girlie. You are doing great!!!

    P/S I have a ton of mantras. “My race, my pace, just finish this mile.” It’s a total mental game but it seems to help. Prayer usually is what gets me though!

  4. I always repeat in my head “Dig, Breathe” to remind myself to dig deeper and breathe through the pain. I swear it works!!! Nice job on the run, gatorade makes me queasy as well, you should try NuuN!

  5. I am TERRIFIED of hitting that wall during my marathon next weekend! I feel that paying attention to fueling consistently will help. If you run out of calories/fuel to burn, that’s when you get into trouble. Also, having a power song on my playlist always gives me a little kick that keeps my legs moving.

  6. lol, I am just as hopeless with weights workouts… I find myself walking around the machines going hmmm… until I end up doing cardio. So I’ve ended up just sticking to BodyPump classes, because I get told what to do!
    As for hard runs, I have them all. the. time!! And I also either tend to go out too quick in the beginning and then curse myself or go out too slow and then can’t seem to pick it up!

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