So things are shaping up here, and I am really excited to be back on track for the marathon. However, I don’t want to kick a gift horse in the mouth by saying that I am completely healed. I still am having aches and pains, however they are manageable, and I am trying to be as smart as I can be! I’m a runner, we are a rare breed that tends to “sometimes” overdo things. ;-) This week I divorced my Garmin a bit, and it was actually really nice to get my head out of my watch, and just enjoy the journey! I hope that everyone had a spectacular weekend and has a killer week this week!! Here’s my training from last week!

“Running’s about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet…And when you’ve finally forged hard enough you will have become the best runner you can be.” – Paul Maurer

7/28/2014 Monday Cycle 0 35 – 40 min (Forgot my watch, cycled on flat trail along the Delaware river with my boyfriend’s niece attached to my bike) **Got treatment by my awesome doc**
7/29/2014 Tuesday Easy Run 2.5 w/ BCRR (Did their warm up & part of their cool down) One of the athletes got hit with a wonderful cramp in his quad, so I stayed back to help him through it. Didn’t wear a watch
7/30/2014 Wednesday Easy Run w/strides 4 8 strides (Felt decent, not great today) Didn’t wear a watch
7/31/2014 Thursday Rest 0
8/1/2014 Friday Progression Run 6 Was in NYC today, it was suppose to be a casual run, but the energy was soooo infectious in the park, and I felt great after two miles I decided to progression run it! It acted more like a confidence booster run, so I soaked up all the energy that people were giving me and had some fun with my run! 8:40, 8:29, 8:08, 7:25, 6:38 (I GOT REALLY HAPPY FROM ALL THE RUNNERS!) LOL
8/2/2014 Saturday Cycle 0 60 min flat trail along the Delaware
8/3/2014 Sunday Long 14 2 hour run on deck! 8:40 pace – Did two 7 mile loops, second loop turned out to be slightly faster than the first. Felt great, fueled pretty good. I’ll go into details below!
Total Mileage 26.5


How I fueled my run?

  • I wore a 2 bottle fuel belt filled with H20, and drank periodically over the course of 14 miles.
  • Tested out a fuel source – Honey Stinger Chews. (Acai Pomegranate, Fruit Smoothie, & Cherry Blossom)
  • My tummy is incredibly sensitive, and I really have no idea what is going to work for it. I get nauseous from a lot of things, and eating & running gives me lovely side stitches.
  • Starting at about 30 minutes in, I took in about 18 carbs (5 chews) with water. At around 52 min, I took in another 3 chews, and the last 2 at 60 min. I just felt like I needed it before the hour. My plan was to take in fuel every 30 minutes. I continued on that, taking in 5 chews every 30 min for the rest of the run.
  • I got a pretty gnarly side stitch around 10 -11 miles, but I used backwards deep breathing to keep it at bay. I can only do breathing out while I suck in my diaphragm. I can’t really do the breathing in while pushing out my belly so well. The deep breathing did however keep the stitch from coming on full force!

The Good Points

  • I ran 14 miles!
  • My hip isn’t bothering me at all anymore!
  • Didn’t hit “THE WALL”
  • Kept my mantra going of “Stronger, Longer, Longer Stronger.” It has a great rhythm to it, and really helps to keep my mind from wandering.
  • Didn’t wear my Garmin, and I felt kind of free. Sometimes (ok fine a lot of times) I am constantly checking my pace EVERY mile. I become a slave to my watch, and it really takes away from the beauty of actually just running and enjoying the journey. I wore a regular stopwatch, checked my pace at miles 1, 2, 3 just to make sure I was staying consistent, then I checked it at at 7, and finally at 14.

The “OH this is what Marathon Training Feels like” Points

  • Not much to report here other than your legs do get tired, but the moment I re-fueled I felt as though I was given more spring in my step again.
  • Kept my eye on the prize which was to finish 2 hours of running.
  • One thing I’d like to note is that if your form starts to break down, for example, your knees start knocking, or your kicking your calves, etc. then SLOW DOWN. If when you slow down, your form is still compromised then call it a day for that run. NEVER run on compromised form – it’s just not worth the outcomes it could bring!
  • My form is far from perfect, just like myself (I know hard to believe ;-) jk) So, after an hour or so my legs were getting tired, and I wasn’t running balanced at all, so I slowed down my pace, and I got myself back to being in control.
  • Good Form Cues For Yourself: Shoulders Down, Head Neutral, Run Tall, Roll through landing foot. I also make sure my right leg doesn’t swing out. (It’s fancy like that at times). See where your trouble area(s) may be, and just BE MINDFUL throughout the run!

Post Run Recovery

  • I know this is TMI (but I got the poops :( ) I still have to figure out what works well for me during the run fueling wise, because I definitely do not want this to happen on race day!
  • I was pleasantly hungry after the run, so that’s always good! Not wanting to eat, isn’t a good sign, FYI. It means you are probably dehydrated or possibly ran too hard. If you are going on a slow long run, it will be taxing, but not to the point you want to puke, or not eat after it.
  • I had a chocolate milk immediately afterwards & a little bit of Gatorade after my bathroom session. Had something else, but senility is happening at the moment! ;-)
  • Dinner: Had slice of delicious Brooklyn Pizza at a restaurant in Frenchtown. I had some Cod, baby spinach, & broccoli rabe too! ;-)

For more fueling tips check out these posts! One, Two, & Three!

There is still a ton of time to vote for me too for Runner’s World’s Cover Contest!! I appreciate all the support and love!!

Happy Training Guys!

*****Natalie Johnston is USATF & RRCA certified runner coach serving areas PA, NYC, & NJ.*****