Marathon training week 9 and the hundred years run

This is the first week in a long time that I got in all (all three, just to show you how light my training is) of my runs for the week.  I got in all of the miles, but my paces were all over the place.


Monday: 2 miles @11:09
Wednesday: 8 miles: 1 mi w/u, 4x1600 in 9:01 w/800 jogs, 1 mi c/d
Saturday: 20 miles at 11:09


Monday: 2 miles @15:47
No, I didn't break my leg, though my foot was still bothering me.  J had planned to ride his bike alongside me as I ran but changed his mind and wanted to run.  We talked about pacing a little (being 7, he has a tendency to go full out for about 1 minute and then be done) and then took off on our loop.  We made it about a block and a half before we were walking.  We sort of alternated between walk and run for the rest of the loop.

At the end of the first loop, J was going to go in: You mean that was only 1 mile? but decided to stick it out.  We spent the entire mile "shooting" at each other and deciding our super powers.  I'm sure the neighborhood got a good laugh at me shooting imaginary fireballs behind me and kicking sweet gum balls at him as he dodged both the real and the pretend...but he was out there running with me, and that was worth both the slow pace and the neighbors' entertainment.

Wednesday: 1 mi w/u, 800 jogs, and .8 c/d...speed intervals were 7:55, 8:15, 8:24, 8:04. (7.8 miles)

I did this one on the treadmill (and thanks, Mike, for the online treadmill tutoring so I didn't have to keep restarting it every 20 minutes!).  I'm not good at pushing myself.  I tend to just do "what I can" without really striving to see just what that is, but not on this run.  It was difficult to keep up the pace for the whole mile, and by the end of the last speed interval I was starting to think I might throw up.  Pretty good workout, all in all. :)  It was exciting to see those numbers.  It's not something I can sustain yet, but it's definitely progress.

I pre-warded myself with this cool new shirt. :)
Saturday: 20.9 miles @12.16 (4 hrs, 17 min)

Jeff's great aunt died earlier this week, and the funeral was this morning at 10.  I knew there was no way I'd manage to get in 20 miles before we had to leave for the 1/2 hour drive there, and I was planning to drive to Columbia to stay with my aunt and uncle before tomorrow's non race and didn't want to get a late start.  Rather than lose another 1/2 hour on the drive home, I decided I'd run home.  It worked out almost perfectly: 21.5 miles from the funeral home to our front door.

Since I was missing the luncheon in order to run, we ran through Hardees and grabbed me a hamburger.  Jeff dropped me back at the funeral home and asked me to call once I'd gotten to the river: "You're running through a not very nice part of town."

"Oh, it's the middle of the day.  It'll be fine."  So I immediately went down the wrong street.  Now, in my defense, I've never lived in Alton.  On the other hand, the prosecution would want you to know that I went to school there for four years and have spent countless hours driving there.  Total fail on my part; additionally, the road I took went right past the projects.  Awesome.

I got through there without incident, and really the first half or so of the run went pretty well.  I had picked a route with its share of hills, but none of them felt too hard.  Once I got to the river, I had a fairly scenic run for a while.  First I ran past the Alton Belle Casino, where all the old people going in to gamble looked at me like I was crazy.

Near the boat are an amphitheater and our beautiful bridge.


The trail passes the river along the top of the levee.

The lock and dam is on the right.
At the lock and dam is a nice visitor's center/museum.  Particularly nice is that fact that bathrooms are right off the trail.  I stopped there, and then went to refill my water bottle.  Unfortunately, the drinking fountain wasn't working.  Oh, well...I would just have to stop at the next museum along my path.

This sign in the bathroom made me laugh.


Past the lock and dam, the trail passed a little closer to the river in a wooded area.

Long bridge
Eventually the trail turned and ran along a different road.  Not quite the same scenic vista to enjoy.  And, thanks to the refinery, the area stinks.  Additionally, this stretch of path is in lousy condition.
The great outdoors.
The foot that's been bothering me for almost two weeks twinged a little bit right at the beginning and then shut up, but my feet were still really bothering me.  I could feel a couple of hot spots forming, and my left knee was doing some complaining, too.  The feet were the worst, though, especially the right one where the toes always seem to push against each other and really hurt.  I remember dealing with this during HM training, too...seemed like it would start to hit around 8 miles, but eventually as I got used to running longer distances my feet would be ok for longer, too.  Hopefully that continues to be the case.

Confluence tower
Still drinking from the same water bottle I'd started with, I was starting to rethink my plan to stop at the museum that was coming up.  The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is a really neat little museum.  We've taken the kids there a couple of times.  But.  To get there would require that I run and extra .25 mile or so, and I was already hurting.  Luckily, the Confluence tower has finally opened and had bathrooms and working drinking fountains.  I took a few minutes to just sit there before heading back out.  By this time, I was about 11 miles and 2:15 into my run.  I was hurting, though OK...but things were about to take a downward turn.

Other than the first two miles, I'd spent the rest of my run on a dedicated, paved bike trail.  Now, I was about to turn onto an actual road.  Of course, the problem with running on the shoulder is that it's not flat like the road...and so began 5 miles of alternating running on the edge of the road with veering onto the shoulder when cars were coming.  Luckily, whenever possible, cars would pull to the center lane so that I didn't have to get off the road.  Towards the end of this section I was alternating running with short periods of walking.  In addition to being really painful, it wasn't very pretty either.
As miserable as I was, this sign made me smile.  Early birds, take note!
Finally I got back onto the bike trails again. 
Home stretch...sort of
So I was back in town, but I still had almost 5 miles to go.  I ran up the trail that leads through the center of campus.  Though I went to that college and run these trails all the time, I'm not very familiar with this trail.  And I was exhausted and a little disoriented.  I ended up turning off early and walking all around a parking lot before going back up the road.

Another road, and this is where I really started to fall apart.  Before, I was tired and sore and ready to be done, but emotionally I was OK.  As I ran down the road leading to the campus exit, car after car not only didn't move over but actually moved closer to me.  Not to where I was in danger, but enough to force me further to the edge of the shoulder.  Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was so inconsiderate that it was enough to bring me to tears.  And it went on until I was off campus. 

So there I ran, trying not to cry and wanting more than anything to be finished.  I had been sending Jeff texts from time to time so that he knew I was OK, and he could tell I was getting less OK as I got closer.  "Do you want me to come get you?"

YES!!!  "No."

"Do you want us to drive the mile?" he asked me.  I'd joking earlier that, since my route was 21.5 miles, I wanted him to drive from the house until he got to 1.5 miles and then tell me where it was so I could quit there.

I told him no.  As awful as this run was, I really wanted to make it home under my own power.  Most of my runs are loops or out and backs.  There was something kind of cool about running from another town home.  Full disclosure: I made it to the grocery store 1/2 mi from our house and he picked me up there.  And once again I was in tears.  He asked why I was crying, if I was hurting that badly, and I couldn't really explain it, but I tried.  "No, it's not that.  I mean, I'm really hurting.  It's just...that it was so hard."  I guess I was just emotionally spent from the effort...from the day in general.  And if I sound like a big baby, that's OK.  It is what it is.

After last Saturday's 18 mile run being so difficult, I was really hoping that today's wouldn't feel as bad.  Instead, it was worse.  I guess there are a lot of posible reasons.  I was alone.  The shoulder running was not ideal. I've been spending a lot of time on trails, and while they may be more demanding, they're also easier on the joints.  I also think that, despite my attempt to take it easy, I went out too hard: I hit the 5-mile point at about 45 minutes, 2 mpm faster than my target pace.  Maybe I paid for that later.

There were a few bright spots, too.  The beautiful day.  The tailwind I had for nearly the entire run.  The fact that the hills were no problem at all.  The fact that, even though I hit the wall in a big way, I got across it.  That fact that I finished.

My fortune last appropriate


  1. If the run had been easy, you would not have had a story to tell. What an awesome accomplishment. I used to ride my bike to work through Roxana, and had the same experience on the stretch by the tree farm. It is definitely challenging mentally. It was probably good to have the 2 fast pace experience today, instead of at the Marathon. Good lesson to have now. I did the same on my first 10 miler. I started out at a 730 pace and ended up walkin. I am very proud of you for all of the work/perseverance. BTW, I got lost in the projects on my bike and had to ask for directions.

  2. Good job on completing the run. That sounds like it had many challenges but you did it. Moving onto and off the shoulder is much more taxing than it seems like it should be. Getting lost is mentally draining. There is something very satisfying about getting somewhere under your own power such as running home from somewhere.

    Love love love the shirt. Any chance you ordered it on line?

  3. I know it sounds trivial to say this now but you had a good experience in testing your emotional and physical self. You know, so much of running is mental and when it hurts and starts to fall apart we hold it together to push through, or we don't. And guess what, you did it! You are stronger than you know, you just need to remind your self of that! Kudos Kate! Your marathon will be easy after all this!

  4. Wow, wow, wow. You are Super Kate. Way to cowboy up and get it down.

    What an interesting and varied route you had.

    No one ever said this would be easy, eh?

  5. Okay, I officially love reading about your running adventures. I think it's because I can relate so much.

    There is something about being somewhere so far from home and the only way back is under your own foot power. I love those runs in which my wife drops me off and I run home or somewhere specific. Although 20+ miles might be a little scary.

    Nice job! You should be proud. That is a long way.

  6. Great speed workout Wednesday and long run Saturday! Tough mental and physical challenge, but you did it! Definitely something to be proud of.

  7. Building confidence - One step at a time.

  8. Well Done!! Altho' it probably didn't seem like it at the time (and may take a few days yet), that was probably the best run you could've had. There will come a time that you will remember your strength that showed up as perseverance, determination and commitment and you will be so proud of yourself. You'll realise that you CAN and then you WILL.
    Great to run from one town to another. I haven't done that yet.

  9. Can't believe you ran so far with all those twinges, aches, and pains - the shirt is the minimum you shoud reward yourself with!

  10. Beautiful t-shirt and I like the warning about the fish.
    Refinery apart is a great route to run through.
    Great job on the long run.

  11. Lots of nice comments...thanks everybody! I'm definitely hoping that the difficult runs now lead to a somewhat less terrible marathon.

    Ajh, the shirt came from Sports Authority. It's made by UnderArmour. If you google "underarmour brave the run" you'll get lots of links to order it.

  12. So you RUN, take picture, text, laugh, drink, play with your kid, Christmas Shop, remember all the details to blog about later....
    YEP, you really ARE SuperKate. Super. Just Super.
    Love a not nearly SuperKristen

  13. I love seeing pictures of where people run. And now I know where to buy my christmas trees this year. hahahahah.

    Do you have any pictures of you racing in awesome socks?

  14. I think that fortune cookie was just WAITING for you, girl! Lots of challenges and obstacles but you stuck through it and persevered. That says a LOT about you, and how tough you really are!

    I've been lost before - NOT FUN! I was on this path next to the canal in the city and wanted more miles so ventured into the neighborhood next to the trail. Well, I added an extra 8 miles on trying to get out of the neighborhood and it had started to snow and I was not dressed appropriately - I was seriously afraid of hypothermia!!

    Every marathon I have ever done poorly at were the ones I took off too fast at the start of the race! The first time I BQ'd, I had a pace goal for the whole race and I stuck to it until mile 20, when fir the first time EVER, I felt incredible, and I picked up the pace. Only time I ever negative-split a marathon. So glad you are getting a taste of that now...hopefully you won't do it on race day!

    That shirt is the best...I think I need that. Oh, maybe we should make one for biking since I don't really RUN! :(

    You're learning the life of the marathon, bit by bit - it's going to be a fantastic race :).

  15. A post that restricts fish cleaning, old poeple in the casino and running? Well done, Kate. Well done.


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