No Man’s Land

No Man’s Land

Two weeks ago was the D & L Heritage Marathon.  Two weeks from today is the St. Jude Marathon.  That puts me right smack in the middle of no man’s land. Basically, it’s trying to merge recovery, training and tapering (in 27 days) and hoping for the best!  Running back to back marathons is not for everyone.  This past spring I ran them 7 weeks apart and I was able to PR 4 minutes on my second marathon.  I really liked that 7 week spacing.  This time around has been a little different.  There is no 20+ mile run.  In fact, the week after the first marathon there wasn’t much running at all.  But this week I have felt great. I ran 12 this morning which is my longest run since D & L. Next week I’ll have one speed session, one 15 miler, some easy runs and then I taper.  Again. 🙂

There is something extremely addicting about marathon training.  The actual race itself is a whole other issue but the marathon training process is unlike any other distance to me.  This week my mileage was in the mid 40’s and even though I ran 6 out of 7 days they were shorter runs.   My initial thought when I looked at the schedule was this can’t be right.  Is this going to be enough?  During the marathon training process you get used to running so many miles.   Running anything less feels a little odd.   At the start of every week I have a weird love-hate relationship with my schedule.  Like, how am I going to fit in all these miles?  While at the same time every workout I complete provides a rewarding satisfaction I can’t describe.  When you run back to back marathons this closely you cannot experience the full training cycle (for obvious reasons).  It sort of feels like the second marathon is getting jipped. Yes, I know that the first marathon’s training counts towards the second one but there is a certain satisfaction that comes from completing a full training cycle.  You don’t get that same feeling on the second mini cycle.  Not with just 4 weeks.  Recovery and tapering taking up so much of that time.  You are just out there in no man’s land, hoping and praying that you are recovered and ready to run 26.2 miles even faster than you did the last time!

So here is a quick breakdown of the past two weeks.  As I mentioned last week, I took off more time than most people.  When I rush back too quickly I get injured.  I know that about myself and after my experience this spring in Little Rock, I wanted to be sure to completely rest after D & L. Complete rest to me means no cross training.  The only thing I did was my 10-15 minute core routine but that is because I have my 13+ month streak going and I can’t stop now!

Sun. 11/4- D & L Marathon- 3:11:20
Mon. 11/5- Rest day (knees really sore).
Tue. 11/6- Rest day (did not miss running at all).
Wed. 11/7- Rest day (still not missing it).
Thur. 11/8- Rest day (starting to want to run again).
Fri. 11/9- Rest day (really wanted to run but made myself hold off for one more day).
Sat. 11/10- 8 EASY miles @ 9:06 (went with some friends at their easy pace and I felt fine).

Sun. 11/11- 5 @ 7:46
Mon. 11/12- 6 @ 7:50
Tue. 11/13- 10 @ 7:38
Wed. 11/14- 5 @ 8:04
Thur. 11/15- Rest day.
Fri. 11/16- 8 @ 7:20.  Progression Run (7:48, 7:37, 7:44, 7:37, 7:27, 7:15, 6:59, 6:15)
Sat. 11/17- 12 @ 7:56

So as you can see lots of easy pace miles with the exception of that progression run which honestly felt easy until the last half of the last mile and then it felt HARD! My arms were feeling HEAVY that last 800. 

In other exciting running news- John bought me an early birthday present!!

Turning 34 doesn’t seem that old if I get to wear these puppies!

I’ve known it was about time for new racing shoes and D & L sealed the deal.  I could feel every rock on the gravel trail those last 6 miles.  I’ve been in the market but wasn’t quite sure what to do.  I tend to be a little old fashioned when it comes to shoes.  I like supportive trainers for my every days runs like the Asics Gel Nimbus or Brooks Trance.  I tend to overpronate a little but not enough that it makes a big difference.  It took a while for me to try minimal shoes.  I’ve worn Brooks Pure Flow and Launch.  I started racing in the Launch.  I would also wear them for track workouts.  The Pure Flow seemed a little too minimal for me but I know many who love them.  Anyway, after hearing great things about the Brooks Connect I went to the store with those in mind but they didn’t have my size.  They did have Brooks Cadence and after googling some info in the store I decided the Cadence was more what I might need anyway.  The Pure Cadence is the stability shoe of the Pure Project line, designed to allow overpronators to experience a minimal shoe.  Basically, if you want to wear a minimal shoe but you still want support then the Cadence is a great option.  (I did find them to be a little snug and after reading reviews saying the same thing I actually bought a half size up from what I normally buy.  I typically wear an 8 but the 8.5 felt much better in the Cadence.)

I didn’t wear my new kicks on my 12 mile run today because I have a thing about not wearing new shoes for the first time on double digit runs but I will most definitely be wearing them on a shorter run tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’m hoping I can break them in so I can wear them in Memphis!

Well, enough rambling.  I’ll leave you with one picture of my sweet little Pilgrim.

Love this little guy…

What’s your favorite racing shoe?

How long do you usually recover after a marathon?

4 thoughts on “No Man’s Land

  1. Let me know how you like the Cadence vs. the Flow. I’ve considered buying the Cadence for my marathon in January. This is SO DUMB, but Finish Line has the color that I want in the Cadence, hence part of the reason I want them (ha!)… I’m neutral though and worried about running in a stability shoe. Is it a big deal?

  2. I think I am borderline neutral/ a little overpronating. One review I read was by a guy who was neutral but just wanted a little more stability than what other minimal shoes were offering. He loved them. I guess we’ll see… I’ll let you know how it goes. As far as color- I’ve never worn hot pink running shoes but I think I’m going to like it! : )

  3. I think your “no man’s land” training is perfect Tia! I forsee a big PR in 2 weeks.
    Love the Cadence shoes. They add just a little bit of stability but still encourage midfoot landing. I think you would love the connects as well. They are not advertised as supportive, but they are snug to the foot and actually give a ton of arch support. Try them on at a running store:)
    Good luck with the rest of the training!

  4. I turned 34 this year too! I can completely relate to your feelings about marathon training. In the past I haven’t been in a position to do back to back races. (Usually something turns out to be irritated or strained.) I’d love for next year to be the first year I can pull that off. Enjoy the lower mileage. I’m sure it makes juggling life and running a bit easier.

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