Run Monster

Our bodies are incredible.

Today marked the end of week 11 of my training plan (more on this below), meaning the long run was a 16 miler. For anyone that read last week’s post, you will deduce that since I said then that 15 miles was the farthest I had ever run, I am going to say the same thing now about 16 miles! And here’s where the title of my post comes from: I feel pretty darn good! Seriously, I’m in awe. Despite running the farthest I’ve ever run two weekends in a row, and despite a sneaking suspicion that my running shoes are giving up, my body not only carried me through 16 miles but it did so with only mild long-run-pain (LRP?). What?! I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The adaptability of our bodies is incredible, and I am feeling really thankful and blessed for my body today.

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Lina, my running buddy extraordinaire, has been following Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 complete marathon training plan, given here. Since I was not on board with the idea of a marathon when we first started doing long runs together, I have only been adhering to the long run schedule; but, since I’ve been told that the long runs are the most important part of any marathon training plan, I figure that for my first go of it this will be okay. Here’s what I do each week:

Sundays: Long runs, according Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 plan

Wednesdays: Speed or hill workouts totaling around 6 miles, followed by weight lifting

Fridays: 3-5 mile runs, intensity varying based on feel

It isn’t a lot of mileage, especially for a marathon program, but I am a big believer in quality over quantity. I try to really push myself every Wednesday, and in the future (i.e. after May) I plan to add at least one more day of running to this. I will say though, that I never plan to run more than 5 days a week. I need the mental rest as much, if not more, than the physical rest and running more than 5 days a week burns me out. I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and if I never get below a certain time because of my stubbornness on this issue, so be it.

But let’s get back to today, because it was great. Here was the route:

Forbidden Drive to Kelly Drive to West Philly! 16 miles.

Forbidden Drive to Kelly Drive to West Philly! 16 miles.

And here are the vital stats:

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A finger for each mile!

A finger for each mile! We’re dorks.

(My apologies for the picture quality…taking a picture of a computer screen with an iPhone is a mess. #technologicallychallenged)

These were calculated with Lina’s Garmin. My Garmin is need of a professional battery change, but once I make that happen I’ll be able to post nice run summaries through that. Anyways, I am SO STOKED about our average pace and couldn’t be happier with our progress. I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that I have hopes of running a sub-4-hour first marathon, and although I am aware that this is a lofty goal, days like today make me think that I just might be able to pull it off. Lina and I ran with my Amphipod water belt and we each had two Gu packets during the run (one at 1 hr, the other at 1:45), and the water and the Gu seemed to help a lot (like at mile 14 when we had to run uphill against the wind… :S). As for Gu flavors, I like the Plain, Mandarin Orange, and Lemon Sublime flavors the best so far. Chocolate is good too, but requires more water.

After the run, Lina’s boyfriend Nick made us strawberry banana whole wheat pancakes and bacon, so clearly, he’s a keeper:

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I try not to overindulge too much during the rest of the week, but on Sundays, I just can’t help myself. Look at those pancakes.

My parting thought for the day is not running related, but important nonetheless. These long run days have become extremely special to me because they have ensured that I get to spend quality time with amazing people. The regulars, Lina, Abbe, Stephen, and Nick, are wonderful friends and people. Lina and I both commented today that the past few months have been some of our happiest that we can remember, and I know that part of this has been due to these days we get to spend together.

-Run Monster

And since  you were dying for a cat picture, here’s Nora:

Nora being a model

Nora being a model


2 comments on “Our bodies are incredible.

  1. linagrant
    March 25, 2013

    oh my gosh, Kathryn, I love this! I’m so happy you’ve started a running blog! Bringing the running nerd-dom to another level 🙂 I really want to order a box of Gu flavors and can’t decide if I should stick with the coffee/espresso one, or if I should try fruity ones first. Thoughts?

    • runmonster
      March 25, 2013

      Try them all!!! Variety is the spice of life! I still can’t comment on your blog :(, but I really want to!

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2013 by in Weekly Runs and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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