Thursday, August 22, 2013

Marathon Training Week #11


This is what training should be about! I had been waiting for this week since we started our marathon training three months ago. I knew this run was going to be awesome, mixed with some pain and struggles, but well worth it. I wrote about my whole experience a few days ago. Kauai was a great place for getting lots of run done. This week was my highest mileage and frequency for running. My knees and IT bands were definitely sore at the end of the week. I'll be cutting back next week for sure.

Monday: Kalalau Trail, 22 miles, 8 hours
Tuesday: Rest day!
Wednesday: Shake-out run, 6.5 miles, 0:57
Thursday: Easy family run: 3 miles, 0:30
Friday: Treadmill tempo run: 7 miles, 0:53
Saturday: Swim 2600 yards, 0:53
Sunday: Long run 16 miles, 2:20

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Conquering the Kalalau Trail

It's difficult to try to put into words how amazing this run was! Skyler and I had been planning this run since we first heard we were going to Kauai. The Kalalau Trail is a 22-mile trail run along the Napali Coast of Kauai. It ends at a beach that is only accessible by boat or the trail. This trail traverses over all types of terrains and climbs 10,000 feet. Crazy, I know!

Skyler and I started at the trailhead a little before 7:00am. The sun was just coming up and it was beautiful! We began our adventure and it climbed straight up. The first two miles were wet, muddy, and slippery. I hoped the whole day wouldn't be like this. At the two mile mark, you hit a stream and a beach. This is a popular stopping point for most people. No stopping for us though.

We continued on and were greeted with the most beautiful views I've ever seen. Around every corner was a huge valley filled with lush green trees and sometimes waterfalls in the distance. We would run down into the valley and then climb up, usually with switchbacks, to approach another valley. When we'd reach the corner, we would be around 200-700 feet above the ocean. The blues and greens of the water were beyond gorgeous! And the smell of lilikois was intoxicating. 

At mile seven we encountered the steepest part of the trail. Photos can't do it justice, but we were gripping the edge of the mountains with each step. I discovered that Skyler is scared of heights. I had no idea before!

I was having a blast with Skyler! I was in good spirits, especially when we were running. A lot of the trail was too steep to run, which was kinda a bummer.

When we got within a mile or so of the end, we hit this crazy red dirt section. It looked like we were on Mars. It was pretty steep too.

We finally made it to the beach and it was pretty, but the real view was when you turned around. I don't have a photo because I couldn't fit the whole view in. Lush green mountains with a cascading waterfall. And we had the beach to ourselves. Boats are not allowed to dock there, so this is not a tourist beach.  After playing in the water for a while and eating our pb&js, we were ready to begin the trek back.

It took us 4 hours to get the beach, including rest and water purification times, so I knew we had at least that long to go on the way back. The first two miles were ok, but then I started to get lethargic and bonked HARD. Skyler could tell something was wrong with me when I could barely walk and eventually sat me down to help me out. I drank lots of water and ate more food, and started feeling better quickly.

My good spirits lasted for a while, but then the pain in my ankles became pretty intense. All of the rolling over rocks had weakened my ankles because I'm not used to this type of running. The last two miles had lots of "running" over rocks, which made the pain worse. I had to walk most of the way and carefully climb over each rock. I couldn't wait to go back to the car.

When we were within sight of the finish, I couldn't have been happier! Our journey was coming to an end. I wish the finish could have been more exciting, but really I was done and wanted to sit for a long time. We did manage to grab one last "finish line photo."

Yes we finished 22 miles of trail running 9-1/2 hours later. Our actual running time was probably closer to 8 hours. This was harder than an race I've ever done (besides my Ironman). This run didn't have any spectators, aid stations, race t-shirt, or medal, but I'd consider it as big of a success as any marathon I will ever do.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marathon Training Week #10

What was special about week #10 of my marathon training? Well, half of it took place in Kauai! Some people might see a vacation as a time to break from running or training, but I see it as the perfect time for training. What could be a better way to explore a new place?!

Monday: Swim 2200 yards, 0:40 & Nike strength workout 0:45
Tuesday: Treadmill sprints, 8x800 @ 3:20, 7.92 miles, 0:60
Wednesday: Trainer, 1:00, 17 miles
Thursday: Rest/travel day
Friday: Kauai run, 7.1 miles, 1:00
Saturday: Easy run, 5.1 miles, 0:43
Sunday: rest

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Marathon Training Week #9

Last week's training was a bit off schedule since I raced a sprint triathlon on Saturday. I trained through the race, but still took two rest days to prep for it. The best part of the week was my Sunday morning run up Black Star Canyon again. I recruited a friend to come with me and we had a great run. I'm really loving my long, slow runs, especially when I can do them with other people.

Monday: Trainer 1:15, 21 miles
Tuesday: Treadmill speed intervals, 7.8 miles, 5x1600 @ 7:00 pace
Wednesday: Swim 1200 yards
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Camp Pendleton sprint tri (recap to follow)
Sunday: Trail run, 16 miles, 2:45

Friday, August 2, 2013

Marathon Training Week #8

This was sort of an "easy" week. Actually my midweek treadmill runs were the same, but I didn't do a long run on the weekend. That's all part of marathon training. Plus, Skyler, Desmond, and I went on a trip up the coast, so the last thing I wanted to worry about was getting a long run in.

Monday: Swim 2200 yards, 40 minutes & 45 minute Nike strength
Tuesday: Treadmill Speed 8 miles, 60 minutes, 5x1600 @ 7:00-6:30
Wednesday: Trainer 21 miles, 1:15
Thursday: Treadmill Tempo 8.1 miles, 1:01, 3 miles @ 7:30, 3 @ 7:00 neg incline
Friday: rest
Saturday: Run along beach with Skyler and Des, 6 miles, 58 minutes
Sunday: rest

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ran to the Top of Black Star Canyon

This isn't normal marathon training. The St. George Marathon is a downhill marathon, so I need to incorporate downhill training into the mix. Orange is pretty flat, so I knew I'd have to hit the trails to find my downhills.

Saturday morning Skyler and I got a babysitter for Des and we headed out to Black Star Canyon. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep the night before. The weather was perfect and there was even some sprinkles at the beginning.

Black Star is 8 miles up and 8 miles down. The up was just a conduit to get to the downhill. I really enjoyed the run and of course I loved that Skyler and I got to run together.

We made it to the top in 1:29. I was sweaty, but felt great. I couldn't wait to run down.

I thought running down would be faster, but we maintained an 8:00 pace. We came down in about 1:05.

I loved this trail and can't wait to do it again! I felt great for the rest of the day, but the next day my legs were sore. I felt like I had run a marathon.