March 22, 2012

Weight and marathon training

This morning, I was supposed to run with Jessica, but she canceled because she had some stuff going on at home. So I changed my plan from doing 4 miles at a 10:00/mi pace to doing 4 miles at my 'A' goal race pace. I wanted to see if it would even be possible for me to hold that pace on my race Sunday.

I don't know where I got the number 9:14 from yesterday--but to finish sub-2:00 on Sunday, I'll have to pull a 9:10/mi pace. I set my Garmin to beep an alert if my pace became faster than 8:50/mi and slower than 9:30/mi. I chose such a wide range because I didn't want it to be beeping constantly, and I wasn't sure how well I was going to be able to hold my pace.

I didn't realize that by changing these settings, my 'auto lap' feature would be turned off--which means I have no idea what my splits were for each mile. I only know my average pace for the whole run.

Anyway, I headed out for my run, and I tried my best to keep my pace as close to 9:14 as I could without going slower than that (I later learned this should have been 9:10). I think I finished the first mile in 8:58 or something, so I tried to slow down. A few times, I found myself spacing out and getting into my "zone" for running, and when I glanced down at the Garmin, I was at about a 9:07 pace.

So I think (I hope!) that my comfortably uncomfortable race pace for the half-marathon will be less than 9:10. But I'll really have to push it. My heart rate was about 160, which is uncomfortable, but sustainable. My average heart rate at my previous half-marathon, in Indy last May, was 161 bpm, and I ran a 9:59 pace. So my heart rate is the same when I run a 9:06 pace now, which means I'm getting more conditioned. Of course, I only did 4 miles at that today).

I know I'm putting WAY too much thought into this stupid race. I was thinking of it as a training run all along, but now that there is a possibility of getting my sub 2:00 half-marathon, I'm tempted to go for it.

I was dreading writing about this, but I know I need to. My weight has gone up about 5 pounds since I started getting into the double-digit runs :(  I know this is actually pretty common in marathon training, due to a number of factors...

A tiny amount of it could be from the increase in glycogen stores from my increase in mileage (when your body stores glycogen, it stores water with it). But I know deep down that the real cause for it is due to my trips to Whole Foods or La Pita after our long runs. I've been using the calories burned during those runs as a license to eat much more than usual.

So in order to keep this 5 pounds from turning into 20 pounds, I'm going to have to nip this in the bud. I'm going to get my eating back to normal at least 6 days a week. On my long run days, I'll allow myself an extra treat--something I've been craving, or going out to eat with Jessica.

I'm going to go back to my "Wednesday Weigh-Ins" where I post a scale picture, and my body fat percentage, and my waist measurement. Hopefully this will keep me accountable.

I have a big day tomorrow! Our new carpet is getting installed, and I'm going to the movies with my dad to see The Hunger Games. I started re-reading the book yesterday, hoping to finish today. I have about 100 pages left, so I better get going on it!


  1. I am so excited for The Hunger Games. I just finished to book on Sunday. I am trying to get my BF up early tomorrow to make the earliest showing (when I'm hoping it won't be too busy). I'm excited to hear what you think of it.

  2. I am so excited for the Hunger Games movie but I wont be able to go for another week (work and babysitter).

    Please post if you thought the movie was a good representation of the book!

  3. What an awesome run! Maybe race-day adrenaline can keep you at that pace?

    I told my daughter we weren't going to see the movie until next weekend, when hopefully the theaters won't be too crazy. She was ticked! "But I've waited so long for it to come out!" she said, and then she tells her brother "She just doesn't really love me!" We were cracking up!

  4. Im going tomorrow to see The Hunger Games, and im counting down the hours....sooo excited!!

    Good job on your run!!! The scale will come back down!!

  5. I need to read the Hunger Games. Every time I check at the library the copies are all out!

    The weight gain with training is frustrating. I had that when I trained for a triathlon. I gained 10 pounds because I was ravenous all the time. It was a little muscle gain, but mostly from eating too much. It is a very hard balance to make between getting enough fuel and too much.

  6. Awesome job running! I really believe you can run a 2 hour half marathon!!

    You are gonna love Hunger Games! The books rocked! We saw an advance screening of the movie last night, it's FANTASTIC!!

  7. Great training run!

    About the five pounds, eh. It's nothing to dread talking about. It's so part of life. I understand the dread, I've had that dread, I think particularly when you've faced big weight loss anything like that tends to freak us out a bit but you've made your changes truly lifestyle and weight fluctuations happen to all athletes.

    When I was training for the San Diego full marathon last year and my runs were racking up miles i was starving all the time and my weight creeped up too. It's a delicate balance of properly fueling your body, eating enough and not eating too much. Never easy!

    You've got some good plans in place and you'll be just fine :) The people who need to worry are the ones who just bury their heads in the sand and pretend nothing is going on.

  8. Wow great run! I weight in tomorrow and I'm nervous my extra exercise is actually going to make it seem like I weigh more, crazy. I can't wait to see the Hunger Games, such a good story!

  9. Totally get that, my weight goes up with training too. Hope you enjoy the movie!

  10. You are doing awesome! Gosh! i love reading your blog because it encourages me to keep doing my runs! i am doing 4 miles a day but sometimes i slow down and i start walking by the 4th mile. ahh! it's hard, but you give me hope that i can do this! Also, thank you for all the tips, and for being simply REAL! I love that! Keep up the good work because i am right behind you! :) (that is, trying to get where you are!)

  11. Thanks for sharing about the weight gain. I had a rough week this week and know that the scale has to be up a pound or two. I haven't wanted to blog because I am dreading talking about it. You help me realize however that sometimes, we gain weight. It's no big deal if we do something to get it back under control.

    I'm also going to see Hunger Games with my friend tomorrow. So excited!

  12. The book I wrote about in my last post ("Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald) talks a lot about proper refueling and weight management while training for an event. I've been too busy with wrapping up work before spring break to write my second post (about the food part), but it's really eye-opening. A lot of it seems so obvious after the fact, but it's always good to be reminded of a few basics. :)

  13. I so love reading your blog. When I ran my full marathon a few years ago, I didn't gain any weight during training. I had just lost 50 pounds, via running, and my weight stayed the same but my body fat percentage dropped significantly. So, I'm not familiar with this weight gain while marathon training. None of the other runners I know have had this happen, either. But, you are right...getting your eating under control with curtail this. You're doing great!!

  14. I have been training for my first half marathon and the scale does crazy things 1 to 2 days after my long runs. Even if I dont over eat the scale goes up 2 to 3 pounds. It comes back down after, but I am sure I am hanging on to water and other stuff.

  15. The Hunger Games movie was excellent!!! Enjoy!

  16. You will hit the sub 2:00! Keep up the great work!!

  17. You'll do great! And making the decision on Sunday works -- base it on how you feel then.

    Went to the Hunger Games midnight premier -- awesome adaptation. They of course couldn't leave EVERYTHING in, but they did a good job getting the backstory told in an interesting way (since it is all Kat "thinking" in the book).

    My first running 5K is Saturday, and I think I'm as excited as you are about your half-marathon and marathon!

  18. The weight issue during training sucks. I now allow myself to eat what I want (in moderation) on long run days and try to eat clean the rest of the week. So far the scale is dropping again. Just make sure you are giving your body enough food to fuel the increase in weekly miles.

    Great run today! I hope you hit your sub 2:00 goal but just don't push it so far you injury have lots more goals to hit in the next weeks and months :)

    You are a rock star in my book.

  19. I'm going to go see the Hunger Games tonight!
    May the odds be ever in your favor! :D

  20. I am also going to see the Hunger Games tonight- I'm so excited!!!

    Also- Katie, I met with a crazy running group last night and wrote about it on my blog, and I think you might get a kick out of it. Here is the link if you're interested :)

    Have a great weekend, Speedy!

  21. I hear you on the weight gain while training for an endurance race. In 2008, when I was on my first weight loss journey since having all of my kids, I decided to run a marathon. At that point, I had lost 60 pounds and run one half marathon on the spur of the moment. How different could training for a whole be, right? ::sigh:: I could have sworn I was the only person in the world to gain 10 pounds while training so hard. :-P Sorry you're finding you do too but good that you are going to nip it in the bud sooner than I did. (Moving several states away in the midst of training didn't help me either--eats out of stress anyone?--but it's taken me a good 4 years to address the training and moving weight I gained.)


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