Thursday, November 1, 2012

Four Weeks Out

Here's another bullet-point post, covering some of the things I'm worried about or at least conscious of as this short marathon training cycle goes on:

The Garmin: Thank you guys so much for the feedback about my rebellious watch. After writing that post, I tried a few things. Washing the strap didn't fix the problem (though I do intend to be more faithful about washing it now; Garmin recommends it after every 7 uses, so that's what I'll be doing). When that didn't work, I restored factory settings on the watch itself. That might have helped.

But my new pet theory is that I am wearing two layers on my top half on these chilly mornings now, which means the heart-rate strap is buried not only under my bra and a thin shirt as usual, but also under a jacket made of tech material, and a much thicker material at that. So the past two mornings I've worn a much lighter jacket made of a softer material. And the watch has worked just fine after the known first five minutes of ups and downs before I start to sweat.

The past couple of mornings, while not balmy, haven't been as cold as what I know is going to be thrown at us at other points of the winter. I'm not sure how I'll deal with this when I *have* to wear a heavier jacket. I guess that will be the real test of this theory.

One interesting suggestion (from my awesome techie father-in-law): buy the gel doctors use for EKGs. My husband Dan laughed when he heard his dad had recommended this....but if I may just do it. I mean, if one is heart-rate training, one needs to be able to see their heart rate semi-accurately.

My Hamstring: It's better! But I think I'm going to have to be VERY careful with it with the volume I'm going to be doing coming up. That means massage and/or chiropractic work whenever I can (and whenever I can afford it; definitely the week before the race) and compression shorts on all hard and long runs.

Sleep: I've initiated Project 8:30. This is not only the pace I'll need to run in the race, but also the time I think I need to be in bed most nights this month. It won't work on Tuesdays (my late night at work), and I don't expect I'll turn the light out that early every night. But some nights I will. And on the others....9 p.m. is a nice hour for lights-out. This doesn't make for much of a social life, but I can make up for that in December after the race.

My Weight: No concerns here--it's where it should be at 127.5 this morning. For now, my crazy cravings have abated, and I successfully avoided eating any unauthorized Halloween candy (notice that I didn't say "any Halloween candy at all"). But I'm watching it anyway. I do expect the appetite to go screaming up, especially after this Saturday's 2.5-hour progression long run.

Strength Training: Darren is having me meet with his wife (yes--Colleen De Reuck!) once a week for the next four weeks. Today was the first of these sessions. It was great because I work harder in strength training with someone watching me (especially someone like her--I expect to be sore tomorrow), and she understands hamstring issues, having dealt with them, she said, for much of her career. She's also a very calming person. She told me today to remember that no matter what happens at the California International Marathon, there will be other races, other great runs and other marathons if I want them.

I'm glad I'll get to chat with her more in the coming weeks. I'll need Big Picture advice like that more as December 2 draws nearer.


  1. You party animal! 8:30 is a great time to go to bed, if you're 3... LMAO, it's only for a month. I've been in the gym with some of the Hanson's runners and they're trying to get stronger too.

  2. Glad that hamstring is feeling better. That must take a lot of stress off of your back. Four weeks will come quickly! It looks like everything else is in place and just waiting for you to make it happen...and you will! YES YOU CAN!

  3. Yay that the hamstring is feeling better. And I LOVE the Project 8:30. Awesome! :) This race is going to be amazing for you!!!

  4. yowza!! only 4 weeks out?? jeesh - that came up quick. I meant to respond to your last post, but never got around to it. They are making me work for a living. ;) I have the same problem with the HR strap that came with the 310xt. Washing my HR strap helps (like a pair of fancy panties) but I've also found the old style HR strap (from my bike Garmin Edge 500) does NOT ever have that problem. Might be worth the investment to not have these issues crop up during your last critical weeks of training.

    Glad you are getting some strength training in... I swear that kept me from getting injured during my big training year last year...

  5. Oh man. I hear you on the sleep. For weeks now, I've been saying that I need to get in bed at 8:30. I just can't seem to do it! I'm finally at 50 mpw, and I can literally *FEEL* that my body needs extra recovery time... that means SLEEP.

    Check out this runner's website. It's awesome. I did his ITB Rehab routine, and my pain is gone. I have started to incorporate his core work as well. It even targets hammies.

  6. Oh, how I wish I wasn't such a night owl. Truly.
    4 weeks!! Ack, that mean for me it's 5 weeks!!!

  7. I would LOVE a regular 8:30 bedtime!!

    I was just today wondering how you were doing. Exciting that it's coming up, very cool about the strength training. Next week, for me...

    Nice job on (or off, lol) the candy, too!

  8. Your 8:30 pm bullet point made me feel guilty. I'm up way past my bed time. I have a good excuse though I'm reading your blog! :D

  9. I can't believe you get to train with Colleen De Reuck! That is just WAY too cool! I can't believe we are only 4 weeks out. Wow.

  10. ugh, sorry I'm late to blogsphere again...working sucks for a living, it's cutting into my virtual social world! :P Anyway, sorry to hear your hammie is being pissy again but hopefully all the careful attention to it will help abate the crankiness. Major score on the weight training. Couple more weeks of pushing the body and it's time to, where did the year go?? It's going to be the training and keep riding that Detroit high!

  11. Laura @ MommyrunfastNovember 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Your hamstring and my shin need to get their act together. This on again, off again business is annoying. Glad it's feeling better- yes, be careful! Four weeks, YAY!!

  12. raina_smalltownrunnerNovember 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    I see I need to go back and read a post, since i didn't know you were having HRM issues. I bet that having gel will do the trick! I need to clean mine too.
    Only 4 weeks to CIM? And you are in GREAT Shape!! I am so excited for you!!

  13. Sounds like a great plan! Work it :)

    I'm late to the heartrate monitor party, but I know when I was having trouble with my strap, my husband popped off the back where the battery is and found that the metal arm that makes contact with the battery was, for some reason, flattened out and not making contact. He just lifted it up a little and the strap was A-okay afterward. Worth checking out...

  14. You've got this down to a fine art. Good luck with the heart rate gel if you try it.and enjoy your training with Colleen!

  15. I late to the party (I have an 8 month old, I'm late to to everything). Do you wet the connectors a little before you put the strap on? I used to use a Polar strap and that's what they always recommend. Anyways, this is so exciting!

  16. It sounds like you have a good plan going forward. I love the 8:30 plan! That's funny that your mile time and bed time kind of correlate! I never do a lot of strength training, but I have found speed work to be a real asset to my marathon pace!