Marathon Training, Week 3, Day 4/5: Please Don't Stop the Music

It's getting late
I'm making my way over to my fav'rite place
I gotta get my body movin', shake some stress away...

-Rhianna, Please Don't Stop the Music

I used to run with an iPod. It helped me get through my really long runs - more often than not, it served as a pacing device, kept me pushing a little bit harder. But right now the only music I'm running with is the music in my head.

You see, when I was running with music regularly, I was also injured regularly. I'm not saying running sans tunes is a clear way to avoid injury, but I certainly don't pay much attention to my heart rate or RPE when wearing an iPod. Truly, the reason most of us wear iPods, if we're honest about it, is so we don't have to pay attention to our RPE. When it hurts, we block it out with music. When it doesn't, we pump ourselves up with music. And that's not a bad thing per se - but I want to take a different approach for this marathon, and that approach is largely focused on training more conservatively, and training like I'd be racing. In a race, I won't have an iPod. I will, however, have my heart rate monitor.

That isn't to say I need an iPod. Wubsy used to call me The Human Jukebox: not only can I sing a song on nearly every radio station at any given moment, but for each expression or mood, I have the perfect song. Last night's run was 3 miles, and my legs were really stiff and sore - even sort of fell asleep at some points. The song that kept going through my head was Because when I arrive,/I, I bring the fire/Make you come alive/I can take you higher/What is this, forgot/I must now remind you/Let it rock/Let it rock/Let it rock . . ." . I felt like my feet and legs were both made out of lead. So I kept singing my favorite Gladys Knight song to myself - I've really got to use/My imagination/To think of good reasons/To keep on keepin' on/I've got to make the best of/A bad situation . . . Then, when I passed a long brick while lining the sidewalk for at least 1/2-mile of the run, I used my shadow to remind me of what Hector always tells me - "Lean forward!! Lean forward!!" And then, for the last .5-mile of the run, my inner playlist settled on Lean on Me.

Took me 40 minutes to go 3 miles.

Two of my weekly runs - my LSD and one of my short runs - are Zone 1 runs. My mid-distance run(this week, a 10k) is a pace run, and the other short run is an unstructured "run how you feel" run. On the LSD run, I don't concern myself too greatly with slipping slightly into Zone 2, but on my short Zone 1 run, I am anal. If I get outside of Zone 1, I walk. Every time. No matter how slow I feel. That is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. I am very self-conscious about how slow I am.

So, I have 2 more runs to add to the log books: a 6-mile pace run (the 10k) and my 11-mile LSD. Frankly, I'm not sure when I'm going to fit in that LSD. Sleep's been at a premium this week, so getting up at 5am was not an option; I get off at 6, so an 11-mile run after work would put me home at about 9pm. That leaves a late-night run tonight or an early Saturday morning run as my only options. As unexcited as I am about running late at night, in the dark, alone, I'm also not keen on the idea of running my 11-miler the morning before a race. Even though this is a "C" race, it goes against the conservative nature of my training plan.

This morning I ran around the lake with Kona just to see how my legs were feeling. Still a little sore and stiff.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go . . . .

3 tidbits of wizdom:

Wes said...

I think training at the right pace is one of the primary reasons I have yet to have an injury, knock on wood!!

R. Jeffrey Davis said...

In the book Better, Faster, Stronger it talks about the importance of not ALWAYS running/training with music or any other distractions. We really do need to tune in to our RPE and listen to our body as we train. It is essential.

RBR said...

I whole heartedly agree with running your own pace. I am trying to get faster (Ha! I typed "fatter" at first. Got that one done! Check!) but I ma not willing to risk getting injured. I am almost 40, and I didn't exercise at all until 36. No need to kill myself to get to what most runners would still consider slow as shit.

Great job getting your training plan done. I know this is the shitty part of the semester. Hang in there! Xmas break is coming!