Training Log: 2015 Full 15,16+

Comment:  The Monumental Marathon takes place on 07-Nov-2015, whether I’m ready or not.  And considering how seriously I trained for my first full marathon, I’m as ready as I could possibly be.  Bring it on!

Comment:  At the start of the Monumental Marathon, participants will line up around the Indiana State Capitol building for the full and half marathons.  The fast runners will be assigned to corrals, and I’ll line up behind them with the other slow runners and begin my race a while after they start at 8:00 am. Almost five thousand of the runners will take the long way around Indianapolis and complete the full marathon course.  I’ll don’t know when I’ll end my race, but I’ll speculate it will be some time around 1:15 pm.

Comment:  Because I participated in the informal Monumental Marathon training program with Indy Runners, the length of my training program was seventeen weeks.  But because I didn’t bother to run at the end of my taper in the seventeenth week, I’ll title this blog post with a 16+.  It seems almost like cheating to count a week in which I didn’t run.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. 20-Oct-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.4 minutes per mile, treadmill.  22-Oct-2015, 15.03 miles, 11:42 minutes per mile, Eagle Creek Park.  27-Oct-2015, 3.1 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill.  29-Oct-2015, 3.3 miles, 9.0 minutes per mile, treadmill.  31-Oct-2015, 8.25 miles, 11:35 minutes per mile, Monon Trail from Broad Ripple north and back with a few loops.

Training Log: 2015 Full 13,14

Comment:  For two weeks, I disengaged from Indy Runners and their informal Monumental Marathon training program.  In week 13, Indy Runners held their annual Run the Monon event, and I decided not to participate.  In part, I think I’m too slow to run the full distance with their full marathon trainees, and I’m not interested in running the half distance with their half-marathon trainees.  In week 14, Indy Runners postponed their Saturday session so that their members could volunteer or participate in a different marathon.  I have an established weekly routine, and decided to stick with my regular Saturday session and go running without them.

Comment:  For decades, chemists thought that the feeling of euphoria and reduced anxiety popularly known as “runner’s high” was caused by an increased level in runner’s blood of beta-endorphins.  This past week, a group of German scientists showed in laboratory mice that the brain’s endocannabinoid system, the part of the brain affected by the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana, is partly responsible.  Getting high from running might be more similar to getting high from marijuana than previously acknowledged.  The scientists tested the mice by placing them in an exercise wheel for five hours.  Coincidentally, I expect my finishing time in the upcoming Monumental Marathon to be about five hours.

Comment:  Yes.  It’s true.  No typographical error there.  Way down in the raw data, it says that I ran 20.29 miles.  That’s the second time in three weeks I ran farther than twenty miles.  My training has come a long way.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. 06-Oct-2015, 4.39 miles, 10:40 minutes per mile, neighborhood.  07-Oct-2015, 3.1 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill.  10-Oct-2015, 16.02 miles, 12:28 minutes per mile, Eagle Creek Park.  13-Oct-2015, 5.02 miles, 10:20 minutes per mile, neighborhood.  14-Oct-2015, 4.26 miles, 9:56 minutes per mile, neighborhood.  15-Oct-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.6 minutes per mile, treadmill.  17-Oct-2015, 20.29 miles, 12:20 minutes per mile, Eagle Creek Park.  My refueling experiment on 10-Oct-2015 was Carb Boom Energy Gel, pink at mile 6, purple at mile 12, and red at mile 15, and all was well, but I think I needed longer acting pre-run nutrition so I don’t go for the energy gels so early.  My refueling experiment on 17-Oct-2015 was Clif Bar peanut butter well before mile 0, Gatorade at miles 5 and 12, and Carb Boom Energy Gel, pink at mile 10, orange at mile 15, and red at mile 20, and this is the strategy I will take to the race.  The temperatures were in the 40s F on the first long run and in the 30s F on the second long run, so I got a chance to train at the low end of the possible temperature range for the race.

Training Log: 2015 Full 11,12

Comment:  During the past couple of months, I’ve generally extended the distances of my Saturday morning long runs as far as possible, running to exhaustion until I couldn’t run any farther.  I’ve generally been discouraged, because those distances seemed so much shorter than the distance of the marathon for which I’m training.  And yet, I see that those distances – until I couldn’t run any farther – are steadily getting farther.  The training log shows distances of roughly 14, 12, 16, 17, and 20 miles in recent weeks.  The final 3 miles of that recent 20 miles, dropping to a pace of 13 minutes per mile, limping and struggling in the cold and the rain, were a battle of mind over body, but I needed to make a strong statement to myself.  Maybe that monumental distance of 26.2 miles is within my reach.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. 21-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.2 minutes per mile, treadmill.  22-Sep-2015, 3.41 miles, 10.17 minutes per mile, neighborhood.  24-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.4 minutes per mile, treadmill.  26-Sep-2015, 17.36 miles, 11:49 minutes per mile, a convoluted route around Broad Ripple, Butler-Tarkington, and Rocky Ripple then north and south on the Monon Trail.  29-Sep-2015, 4.39 miles, 10:25 minutes per mile, neighborhood.  30-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.8 minutes per mile, treadmill.  03-Oct-2015, 20.07 miles, 11:38 minutes per mile, Monon Trail from Broad Ripple north to 126th St and south to 52nd St and back to Broad Ripple with a few extra loops.  My refueling experiment on 26-Sep-2015 was Carb Boom Energy Gel, red at mile 6, orange at mile 12, and yellow at mile 15, and I had all kinds of gastrointestinal distress throughout my run, though the condition started before I used the first energy gel and I don’t know if I should blame the fuel. My refueling experiment on 03-Oct-2015 was Carb Boom Energy Gel, orange at mile 7, purple at mile 11, and red at mile 15, and I needed an emergency trip to the bathroom in the Monon Community Center and still don’t know if the energy gel is a problem. Note that I’m mostly taking a hiatus from listening to music while running during this marathon training program.

Training Log: 2015 Full 9,10

Comment: The three longest distances I’ve ever run in my lifetime, before the current training program, occurred last year.  On 19-Apr-2014, I ran 15.1 miles up and down the Monon Trail from 91st St.  On 05-Apr-2014, I ran 14.5 miles up and down the Monon Trail from 91st St.  On 22-Mar-2014, I ran 13.5 miles from my neighborhood to the next town and back.  These three running sessions pushed the limits of my endurance and were the only times I’ve exceeded the distance of a mini-marathon by more than a tenth of a mile or so.  Now that I am training for a full marathon, I intend to repeatedly smash these three records into oblivion, week after week, for the next two months.

Comment: I’ve trained for races many times, but I’ve never raced for training before. A race that serves as a test or rehearsal for another race is called a tune-up, and Runner’s World magazine recently suggested that marathon trainees should tune-up with a 10K race about six weeks in advance of the main event. It was convenient then, that the annual B and O Express 10K in which I normally participate was scheduled for 19-Sep-2015, seven weeks ahead of the upcoming Monumental Marathon. I registered in advanced, arrived at the site, and was ready to evaluate my progress. Alas, the event was cancelled due to adverse weather.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. 07-Sep-2015, 5.49 miles, 11:21 minutes per mile, my neighborhood. 08-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 9.2 minutes per mile, treadmill.  12-Sep-2015, 16.15 miles, 11:41 minutes per mile, Monon Trail from Broad Ripple south to 52nd St through Butler-Tarkington neighborhood around Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary to Canal Towpath to Broad Ripple to Monon Trail north to 86th St and back.  15-Sep-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.7 minutes per mile, treadmill. 17-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 11.6 minutes per mile, treadmill.  19-Sep-2015, 4.50 miles, 9:55 minutes per mile, neighborhood. The temperatures on 12-Sep-2015 were 20 F lower than previous weeks, in the 50’s F instead of 70’s F, and this was a huge improvement.  My refueling experiment on 12-Sep-2015 was Clif Shot Blok berry, individual pieces throughout the session, and I felt this gave me steady energy without a rush or a crash.

Training Log: 2015 Full 7,8

Comment:  Once the informal Monumental Marathon training program increased to a distance of fourteen miles, Indy Runners instructed the trainees to begin working on our refueling strategy.  Say what?  I don’t think I have one of those.  Well, I know that the human body draws stored energy in the form of glycogen from the liver and muscles during strenuous exercise, and that much of the glycogen is depleted after about a hour and essentially all of the glycogen is depleted after two hours.  Runners have cute names for describing the phenomenon of glycogen depletion, like “bonking” or “hitting the wall”.  The human body can draw stored energy in the form of fat tissues throughout the body, but fat metabolism is too slow to support an intense activity like running.  When training for mini-marathons, I consume a portion of sport drink after forty-five minutes of running and again each subsequent half hour to keep my muscles supplied with energy, because drinking easily digestible carbohydrates supplements the body’s natural supply of glycogen.  I guess for a full marathon, sport drink isn’t enough.  Now I’m reading and learning.  I went to a running store and purchased a Clif Bar, a Clif Shot Gel, and a Clif Shot Blok so that I can experiment during my next few long runs.

Comment:  The temperature during the 05-Sep-2015 session started at 70 F and held fairly steady for a few miles, but then rose to 81 F by the finish, and probably because of the high temperature, I was finished well before I intended to be finished.  Or maybe it was just one of those sessions when I didn’t have what it takes to reach my goal.  Indy Runners specified fourteen miles as the day’s distance, but I couldn’t run that far.  I managed to run the first seven miles at training pace, but then inserted a few walking sessions in the Williams Creek neighborhood and mostly walked along 86th St on the way back to Broad Ripple.  Returning on the Monon Trail, at the twelfth mile, I gave up, turned off tracking, and just decided that getting back to the car was enough of a goal at that time.  I’m also continuing to be the slowest of the trainees for the full marathon, and I’m getting discouraged. I won’t keep secret that I checked the Monumental Marathon web site to determine if there is an option to withdraw from the full marathon and transfer registration to the half marathon (there is) and to learn the deadline to decide (12-Oct-2015 5:00 pm).

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. 25-Aug-2015, 3.1 miles, 10.3 minutes per mile, treadmill.  29-Aug-2015, 12.46 miles, 11:55 minutes per mile, Monon Trail from Broad Ripple south to 52nd St to Butler University to Canal Towpath to Monon Trail north to 86th St and back to Broad Ripple.  01-Sep-2015, 3.1 miles, 10.9 minutes per mile, treadmill.  05-Sep-2015, 12.02 miles, 12:57 minutes per mile, Monon Trail from Broad Ripple north to 86th St to Pennsylvania St to Arden Dr and back by the reverse route.  Generally, the outdoor temperatures were too warm to be optimum for long distance running.  My refueling experiment on 05-Sep-2015 was Clif Shot Gel chocolate at mile 7, and I don’t have an opinion about the results.