Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another Edition of Thursday Thoughts

Welcome to Friday eve, let me seduce your mind with my deep thoughts and links:

I have no organization going on today in my brain, so if you were to peak inside, this would be your reaction:

First lets start with some motivation!

Do yourself a favor and read this epic race recap from Annabelle @ Fluency's Folly who placed first!

Now you want legit running links? See Hillary's blawg post here @ Tongue in Chic.

Need a funny running quote? got it for you here:

Now for training/running thoughts at my end.

31 days to the Chicago Marathon and I feel both excited and worried. Excited to see where my training has placed me, worried to see where my injury will leave me. I keep reminding myself I'm healing a bit more every week and I should be at least at 90ish% come race day, but having random days of extra tight spots on your muscles really messes with your mind  This makes me question my race day plan multiple times throughout the day.

Should I even have a goal time for my first marathon? Should I just focus on finishing? I don't think I picked a training regimen that catered towards - just finish, but is it smarter to do? I do have goal finish times, but I really can't settle on it until the week before the marathon on my last pace run to see where my strain and rehab has put me. And speaking of rehab, I contacted my sports doctor and got him to order an official run gait analysis at my physical therapy location.  Has anyone done one at therapy? Did it help you?

That should be enough for today. Tomorrow the Hanson Plan calls for 9 miles at marathon pace, so a 12-14 mile run. The weather should be cool and hopefully redeem my pace that had dropped a good 20-30 seconds with the heat this week.

Have a great day everyone!


  1. omg that cat one reminds me of that creepy guy on the brown line!!

  2. I thought the same thing and had to use it in my post somehow!

  3. It's really hard to get past that cat gif.

    I think it's definitely good to have a time goal for your first marathon! You've written a few times that "just finishing" isn't what you're aiming for, so why not? I think it's really smart to re-evaluate your time goal as the marathon gets closer based on how your legs are doing. You'll still have a goal, but it'll be more realistic, and likely a lot more attainable. And when you get to the start line, know that you've trained as hard as you possibly can, and you'll do great.

  4. That cat gif. Oh my god!

    So I think with your super human abilities you could have a time goal for the 26.2. But since you haven't run that far yet, you should probably start a bit more conservative than normal and take it from there. Your training is solid and your an experiences runner so having a goal is not crazy. My BFF Tribu got her BQ on her first marathon ever so it's totes possible.

    I've never had a gait analysis but am curious to what they say about my wonky gait. My dad went through all of that stuff (gait analysis, + so many injuries) during his running career- 3:04 marathoner- and ended up buying expensive orthotics the doctors convinced him he "needed" which actually caused more issues. So just remember that these people are also salesmen and take everything they say with a pound of salt. I've had Injuries each year of running minus this year- the difference- strength training and religious use of my racquetball on my calf plus the stick, foam roller etx.

  5. Live, love, pray to the cat.

    My safe plan I am trying to believe in - run first 16 miles slower than I've trained for, then judge it mile by mile. Supposedly my plan trains you for the 2nd half, we'll see!

  6. Pete B lakefronttrail.blogspotSeptember 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I think you need to run a time trial to nail down your marathon pace. Are you running the Oktoberfest 5k? That is gonna be my time trial for the marathon. I will use McMillan's conversion calculator, input my 5k time and out will pop my marathon pace. Simple as that, no guess work involved. Well, maybe just a little as there are marathon day variables that come into play, but it should give you a good idea of your fitness. You could also do some Yasso 800s, or a fast finish long run.

  7. Obey Hypnocat!

    I think it would be easier for me if I had more races/marathons in mind.. but I don't, at least not for a good year +. Staying honest, I didn't enter it just to run it/finish it. So finding that balance between having sound judgement and being a bit crazy is where I am.

    I'm hoping training at 60mpw will let me indulge the crazy a little!

    I hope gait analysis isn't just a way they take videos of people's butts for laughing pleasure and then just send you to get expensive shoes you don't need

  8. Bethany @ Accidental IntentionSeptember 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Two thoughts:

    1. I was/still am feeling pretty sore yesterday/today, and after spending all afternoon thinking, "That's it. I'm borderline injured. I'M DYING. THIS MARATHON WILL NEVER HAPPEN. OMG," my rational brain kicked in and was like, "Hold on, Bethany. Remember how literally every time in your life when you've participated in more/new activity, it has resulted in muscle soreness the next day? Maybe, JUST MAYBE, that's exactly what's going on right now, so STOP. FREAKING. OUT." Then I gave my rational brain a pat on the back for finally showing up and carried on with my day. While injury isn't something to mess around with, especially with only a month left before the race, I think it's also important to not drive yourself crazy over every single twinge (like I've been doing for, oh, the past 13.5 weeks now). Definitely a work in progress for me, but hopefully helpful to you as well.

    2. Yesterday I was also reading the latest issue of Runner's World, and there was a blurb from a coach out in Boston I believe who said he likes to have his runners set good goals, great goals, and awesome goals. Good goals can be really basic (like finishing, or just maintaining form) in case the day just isn't going well, great goals can be something a little better if things are pretty good (like maybe in your case a somewhat conservative time goal), while awesome goals (like an ambitious time goal) are excellent for those 50 degree, low humidity, overcast, slight breeze, flat course days. So maybe that's something to consider? Multiple goals, especially if some of them are basic, will make it easier to at least hit some of them, even if race day is not perfect.

  9. If i go by my fastest half time during my training in May, I should be about a 3:07. In my mind, if I properly tapered for a half, I could hit close to 1:27. But for now I think my goals moved 5 minutes to 3:10, 3:20, or just finish.

    The big variable for me is my rehab. I'd like to have just one week of no flare ups. It is a test to see how the strain handles hanson fatigue. Each week is a little better, but who settles for the tip right?

    And i hate 5ks lol I'll be at Ocktoberfest cheering the WURST, not running (Thursday is my religious rest day for Hanson)

  10. I actually had a similar conversation over the weekend, after training with HMM, I'm not sure there's a way to "go back" and just run the marathon with a plan of just finishing. That being said, I think it's really smart to have a couple of goal times (like you mentioned in the comments) because you never know what other factors might come into play during the race. The marathon can be incredibly frustrating because even though it's a long race, the littlest things can drastically affect your finish time (weather, stomach ache, side cramp, dehydration, etc.). I also think it's smart to go into the race with a pacing plan and account for any thing that might come up. Like if your calf twinges, you'll push for X amount of miles and if it doesn't let up, drop your pace to XX:XX/mile. That way you can adapt your goals as you race (yay mental math!) and still have a successful race!

    I had a gait analysis with a PT and I found it really helpful. They give you a huge packet with tons of recommended strength moves catered to your weak areas. It's definitely worth a shot!

  11. I personally am taking the multiple goal approach and while one of those goals is 'just finish' I honestly have to say at this point that I would be disappointed if that's the only one I achieved.

    For you, I say go big or go home. Pursue your audacious plan, injury be damned!! (But what do I know about running a marathon? NOTHING!!)

  12. Hi Declan,

    Sorry to hear about the injury. It does happen more than you think. My coworkers make fun of me always being an optimist, but here's what the optimist in me says "You're recovering from the injury now. You have a month til race day. A month is a long time!" :) Sounds like others leaving comments are saying the same thing...

    In 2010, I sprained my ankle on the 12 mile run the week after the 20 miler (so two weeks out from marathon day). I went to my GP. She said no marathon. I cried in my car driving home. Then I talked with my massage therapist and friends. I also called up a PT I'd worked with a few years earlier. With the help of a few, I was in good shape on 10.10.10. On marathon day, I was lucky that my ankle was one of the few things that wasn't bothering me as the race got tough.

    PT's are great. They will stretch, massage and ultrasound the affected area on top of having you do some exercises where needed. I look at it this way - it can't hurt. And if nothing else, you know that the hour you spend with the x number of days a week is focused on your recovery (which might help the wandering mind, too).

    If you're restless as you try to rest, you should pull up the movie 'Spirit of the Marathon' on Hulu and watch it. Even if you've seen it 100 times already. I always watch it a few times in the weeks leading up to the race. :)

    As far as a time goal, that's not a question my middle of the pack group pushes too much. Don't get me wrong. Having an awesome time is great. But the experience of running your first marathon is so the point I fight back tears just thinking of my first. So regardless of what time you set or don't set, take the experience in.

    Good luck!

  13. I like this! I might just adapt it!

  14. I don't think I could go back. My mindset has never been, just to finish it/bucket list it. I want to do it and do it right, I'll be disappointed with anything less.
    I am glad to know that I'll know a bunch of faces in the race to look for at just about any pace!

    Glad you had a positive experience with the gait analysis!

  15. Awww, you're not running next week? Pete's right, it's over before you know it #twhs

  16. Wow, 31 days? Can't wait to hear about it. I know you will do GREAT!!

  17. Agreed! Walking is completely overrated.

  18. Re: gait analysis

    I had one done in 2011 when I was battling hip and shin issues. It told me a few things but I don't think it really changed how I run. The problem I had with it is that they have you run for like less than 10 minutes on a treadmill. Well, I can hold it together for a 10 minute run! But look at me at the end of a half marathon or something and my form is HORRIBLE. So, yeah.

  19. No matter your pace, you will PR. Do you plan on doing future marathons? Make it easier on yourself to PR again but just having fun at the Chicago Marathon. That's my advice. That's how I approached it last year and I had a lot of run.

  20. They did mine after I had done my morning 12 and 90 minutes of PT. They had a pretty good review! Will write it up soon.

  21. I'll also have the wurst run ever!
    I'm not sure of my racing future. Maybe a half here and there.
    In the event that I don't marathon it up again, this is in the go big or go home category!

  22. Debbie @ healthy running momSeptember 14, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    It's really hard, but this is your 1st marathon & you should be proud of that. Enjoy the rush, the day, the accomplishment of your hard work.
    Easier said than done, but that should be enough to celebrate!

  23. If you go big just try to not blow up. That happened to me in my first marathon. I didn't have a goal didn't occur to me to have one. I felt amazing for the first 13 miles...BAHAHHAHAHAAHAH! My advice would be that if the word "rehab" is in your working vocab come race day, just go with the flow and enjoy as much as you can. Hope things heal fast!

  24. I agree with Anne. All I can think about is how seduced I am!

    I always think, #1 race goal should be to get to the start line, #2 should be to finish! For your first marathon, I would say, finish, unless you set a really loose goal. I know you will kick ass, but I also know it's discouraging when you don't meet a goal, the first time you are trying a distance, when you don't know what it takes out of you yet.

    I have not tried a gait analysis, other than what they do at running shoes stores when they tape you on the treadmill.

  25. Hey!
    1. Totally me every 30 minutes. THIS IS THE END. my leg will SNAP OFF. 30 minutes later.. I can do it. repeat. I'd like to think this is how professional athletes feel trying to play through an injury, waiting for the game that they feel their full power again #IwantToGoHIGHER!

    2. Agreed! At the start I made 3 goals, 1- Dream time if everything went right (Scratched) 2. (Now #1) Run it a little slower than I'm trying for, then see if the training did its work and the last 10 miles is where I show up 3. Finish without crawling in tears due to injury lol

    Maybe if it looks bad, i'll dress up and just run in costume..

  26. Pete B lakefronttrail.blogspotDecember 6, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    One strategy: Start off at a 7:08 pace (3:07 marathon) and if you are feeling good at the half way point you can start gradually speeding up. If things aren't going your way, you can always slow down and still get a 3:10. If you speed up enough, hey, you could go sub 3:05! If your goal is 3:15 to 3:20, you might consider running with me - a bonus out there if you want to run slower! Sorry you hate 5ks. They are over before you know it!

  27. This will be the plan for the last 10 miles! No runs for several weeks after, why do I need to be able to walk anyways after the race!

  28. My super human drama abilities!
    I'll keep in mind that they are trying to sell me things at the end as well! thanks for the advice!!

  29. This reply is worth of its own blog post! thank you for the words and sharing your story too! No rest for this wicked mental case!

    Love the spirit of the marathon! helps ground me a little to enjoy the experience and not focus completely on the numbers!

  30. That's not a bad plan - then you can finish super strong!