Monday, August 8, 2011

9 weeks to prairie fire. middle miles advice, pretty please.

Another week of training down. It went fairly well, as well as training in relentless heat can go. MAJOR ALERT: the heat wave finally broke over Wichita today, sweet relief. Although it's a bit telling when 90 degrees feels like massive relief. Even still, I'm looking forward to running outside all this week, I'm pretty excited about it really. Hopefully my runs will improve with the reduced heat/humidity the next few days. Sweet, sweet running relief.

I did have a decent week of training. I got some much needed yoga in, ran four times including a strong tempo and long run, and had a nice balance of working out and spending time with friends and family. Stellar week, really.

The thing that's been on my mind though is focusing on the middle miles of the marathon. I really need to up my mental game in regard to miles 14 - 20. I'm not really sure how to do that though. But for now when the running gets tough and I want to cut it short because of heat or being tired, I keep pushing thinking "this is how I'll feel at mile 18, and you don't want to give up this time." Like I always do in a marathon. When I want to just stop. I lose it mentally and it's over for me. At least until mile 20, but slowing in those middle miles hurt my pace!

The first 14 miles, and the last six miles are always the easiest for me mentally. I may be hurting those last six miles, but something about knowing I only have six miles left somehow puts some fuel back in my tank and pushes me further. It's the same in any race, from a 10K to a half marathon or marathon, for me. The END is my strong suit. I thrive knowing I can push just a little further, I guess my problem is playing it safe, wanting to have that fuel for negative splits at the end.

Suggestions encouraged, blahgeshphere. How do you get through the roughest mental miles in your race? How do you handle your middle miles in a marathon? Do you push the whole race? Give yourself some room? I need to prepare for this 'm' in October to the fullest, and the mental aspect is something that needs the most work right now. So please, suggest! Don't make me beg. It's quite pitiful.

Week 7 Training:
Monday - 6 Miles and Hot Yoga
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 6 Easy Miles
Thursday - 7 Mile Tempo, 1 mile warm up, 5 @ 8:06, 1 mile cool down
Friday - Hot Yoga with THIS GIRL who just moved back 'home.' SQUEEEE!
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 14 Miles @ 45 seconds faster than goal MP*

Total Miles = 33

*my faithful running partner shelley gets full credit for keeping me going on my long run, it was a rough one for me. thanks shellers, here's to kicking some prairie fire tail together, holding hands, and doing cartwheels across the finish line.

DON'T FORGET TO OFFER YOUR MIDDLE MILES ADVICE! And you know I mean it because I yelled at you in all caps AND bold. DO IT. Because I. Am. Terrifying.


Paul said...

Well, first let me say I have no idea how you guys run in such heat.

I suppose you get used to it but I suspect *me not*...anyway props to you for that!

For me the drama builds like this:

0-14 : yawn, checking out the scenery, don't go faster than planned stoopid!

14-20: How is the pace feeling? Are we feeling worse or better than our long runs at this point? How is the eating / hydration going? Better adjust now if it's not going as planned! Anticipation is building as we approach mile 20 but endeavoring to stay relaxed.

20-26 : GO TIME!! the race really starts. Can we hold pace all the way??? Can we do negative splits? (careful!)

Most important: have fun and enjoy race day!!


Lisa said...

not a marathon runner, so i have no advice. good luck figuring out the middle miles though!

Angie said...

I would suggest having some crowd support during the middle miles if that is where you need it the most. If a family member or friend could just be on the course I think that would help tremendously. :)

onelittletrigirl said...

Honestly, I think the mental part is going to be the hardest for me so I have no advice. However, I think you will kick ass, so no worries!

Laura said...

I kind of do what Paul does:
First part of the race - take in the race, enjoy the crowds, zone out.
Middle part - start to focus on what is going on, how I am feeling, and try NOT to think about what I have left but what I have done.
Last part....hang on for dear life...and go back to the first part of the race.

Marlene said...

Nice job this week, especially on that speedy long run!!! 45s faster than goal pace?? Look out!

I hear you on those "middle miles" - our coach calls it the dead zone. You've been running long enough that you're wearing out physically and mentally and yet the finish is nowhere in sight.

I wish I knew what advice to give you, but I still haven't quite figured out the solution. lol

Also, 90 is relief??? Gross. Come to Toronto NOW. haha

Mark said...

I wish I had some good advice for those middle miles. They do suck and they usually mark the beginning of the end for me in a marathon. Unfortunately, I don't recover after those middle miles, so maybe you're not so bad off after all!

Laura Belle said...

I really don't have any input for you on the middle mile thing.

But I just wanted to say that tomorrow is supposed to be a HIGH of 86!!! Holy sweet Jesus popsicle sticks! Break out the winter cloths baby!

Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner said...

Yay for a break in the heat! I hear you on that one...Nice job for the week :)

californiameaghan said...


hot yoga was the best and i look forward to many more sweaty sessions.


Katy @ Fit In Heels said...

Hahahahah you ARE terrifying! I've only done half marathons, so I'm no help :( how about making a kickass playlist and putting in some old school songs (like the ones you liked in high school, university days) to come on around mile 15? Might perk you up a bit :)