Monday, January 19, 2009

1 week down, 15 more to go!

I past the first week of the half marathon training of an intensive and fast 10 week schedule. That was the see if I could at least make it through one week. Surprisingly, it went pretty well and I still made it to water aerobics class one day and kept up with my 3 day weekly weight lifting.

I completely forgot to stretch (or rather was running short on time) Friday night so I worried about really feeling sore yesterday and today. So far I am a little sore (more like getting old kind of stiff in the morning) and a little tired but not bad.

Yesterday was rest day so there was nothing rigorous and just really mild leisurely walking along Alki when we visited West Seattle.

When I got up in the morning I started to get the weakness episode again which feels sort of like a cross between a head rush and a passing out where you collapse. By now, I have become accustomed to this feeling and can kind of control it. It is similar to when you are aware that you start getting narced while scuba diving. The few times that has happened to me while diving, I could feel it coming on and knew the signs. Therefore, I was able to stop what I was doing, focus on something, and ascend.

In the case of the weakness episodes, when I feel it starting, I usually grab onto a wall or stationary object while trying to focus on something straight ahead in my visual field. After the feeling seems to peak, I try to get myself into a position of rest such as lying down or sitting. My legs seem to give out during the episode so getting the pressure off of them seems to alleviate it and help me recover more quickly.

So this happened to me yesterday morning and I have concluded over the years that this is from dehydration. On my rest day (Wednesday) after water aerobics, I went to soak for about 8 minutes in the hot tub. I got very warm and when I got out, the same thing happened to me but more intense.

Luckily, I knew what was happening so I was able to hold onto the sturdy hand railing of the tub until I could make it over to the wall. Once I was confident it had passed, I worked up the bravery to move over to a chair to sit and rest for a few minutes before walking to the locker room.

Anyway, these incidents seem to occur when I may have not had enough water intake. So when I felt it coming on yesterday morning, I immediately lied back down and as soon as it passed, I drank the glass of water I had waiting for me on my dresser.

Seeing this occurred twice in one week, I can predict that it will happen again or maybe even more often during the training. I determined it would be a good idea to always have a glass (plastic) of water waiting for me next to my bed for when I awake.

This fist week has been an experimentation to see how I feel, test if I could run regularly (13-14 miles in a 4 day week), try out different clothing layers and my new running shoes I got for Christmas, monitor and make little adjustments to nutrition and supplements, evaluate how my body responds to repetitive running added to my weight training, and test my comfort and form while running with Katie.

At this point this is what I discovered:

My body felt OK with the first week of running 4 days a week. The final day of running, my mileage was increased from 3 to 4 miles but I ran 4.5 or 5 miles because I did not see the mileage marker and passed it. I actually felt really great on this run and better than the previous 3 running days which is really promising. Hopefully that means my body is already adjusting and adapting to the change and will be able to keep up!

The temp varied from 46 degrees to 39 degrees. I have no need for wearing thermals at these temps. On 2 days, 3 layers on the top was too much and I had to stop to peel off a jacket. What worked best on the coldest day (Friday) was a pair of running tights with a thin moisture wicking long sleeve shirt under a fleece jacket accompanied by a running ball cap. This was the most comfortable ensemble at 39 degrees. The Salomon waterproof trail running shoes are working great but I will most likely need to change to a running shoe for pavement to use in the marathon.

Lunch has been light and mostly just snacks such as a V8 and cheese stick and maybe a yogurt. Breakfast has been cold cereal (sometimes with a banana) and a graham cracker slathered with fat free strawberry cream cheese.

For supplements I am trying hard to remember to take my vitamins (multi, C, Iron, and calcium). In the morning before I eat, I try to take 3 collagen +C supplements. I drink an oz of glucosamine joint juice with 6-7 oz of low cal fruit juice. Depending on how I feel the next day and if my hips are sore, I may take 2 "Move Free" tablets. On occasion I will add in a potassium supplement as needed (such as the day of or after my long run). Lastly, FRS (promoted by Lance Armstrong) makes a wonderful line of products that I am really pleased with. Normally I will have one or two sport chews before a run or workout. On the day of my long run, I tried the juice concentrate a half hour before my run and then a sport chew. I REALLY believe these work! Before training, there was one evening I did not have a chew before lifting and it was most worst workout! I was really tired and had to lift less and even do less reps!

I was able to maintain my weight routine with the running this week. I did not decrease the amount of any weights and even added 5 lbs. on a couple exercises. I realize that I will most likely not be able to continue this as the weekly mileage increases. I really hate to drop it all together for the 4 months leading up to the marathon. I REALLY need the constant weight training in order to have stability and be able to do some of the things I want to do. I think as the mileage increases, the amount of weight will need to decrease until after the event. I may eventually change to actual "toning" exercises to keep the muscles in practice than serious "strength training". This is something I will have to figure out as I go along.

When I trained to WALK the Seattle marathon in 2006, I did not do any regular weight training. At that time, I was working on building up my endurance again and started to run in little short spurts. I was unable to do any more strenuous/elevation hiking or diving yet. I was still using a walking stick to walk in many areas (the marathon helped me build up and eliminate using the stick).

Originally I had planned to take Katie on a run once and MAYBE twice a week. She has done very well though and seems to be adjusting nicely. I still am a little nervous that she will trip me as has happened in the past. We changed to a longer and lighter leash which really seems to help the whole tripping and yanking on the leash. Our last run was the best which was our 4th for the week and she was excited to go! I know however, that I will have to run by myself as the mileage increases because when we trained to hike 31.5 miles last year, the high mileage days and weeks became too much for her.

Today is supposed to be a 3 mile run day but we might go diving. I don't want to mix a strenuous training run and dive on the same day (such could contribute to decompression sickness). Missing one run day is not worth getting a major medical complication over. If I miss it today (Harley is off work today and it is his birthday), I will try to see if I can make it up on Wednesday. Doing so however, would cause me to run 3 days in a row without a rest day for recovery.

The plan is to run 4 miles on the second day this week but I may keep to the week 1 mileage as I am ahead of schedule in the training program (it is now 15 weeks pre-marathon and the training program is for 10 weeks). This gives me a little more time to adapt to regular running and also a rest week before the tower climb in March.

Until the next report, have a wonderful week! :o)


Anonymous said...

Wow, I was exhausted just reading about your training! Keep it up!

Rebecca said...

Thanks Karen!
Good luck wih our organization project! I need to do that too!