Monday, March 29, 2010

Three weeks to go!

For the past two weeks, I've been feeling down. My long run on March 14 didn't go very well. I was scheduled for 22 with 11 moderate, and I had to cut it short at 19 because I felt horrible. My midweek runs were still mostly okay, so I figured it was a fluke. Bad long runs do happen! Then on March 21, I was scheduled for a 3:30 timed run. I had to cut it short again at 19 miles (just a touch under 3 hours). That was worrisome. I started to worry that I really had done too much. I took Monday off completely (from work, too--was feeling really weird, lightheaded and just drained). I began to think perhaps I'm low on iron. It wouldn't be the first time, and since Mark and I have been in frugal mode lately, we haven't been eating as much red meat. Also, the second bad long run happened right after my lady time. So maybe with that and the super-high mileage, I just haven't been getting enough.

After my day off, I continued to treat last week as a cutback week--dropped the mileage a little and skipped my Tuesday speed workout. I also started taking ferrous sulfate (an iron supplement), which is what I took a few years ago when I was anemic. I'm not taking as much as back then. I just figure I need a little boost. By Thursday, I felt a little better. Then I rocked my Friday tempo repeats and then yesterday, after dreading it all week, I finally did my 3:30 timed run, coming in at 23.32 miles (9:00 pace). I'm not feeling perfect, but I'm feeling solid and that's actually the equivalent of perfect at this point in the training cycle!

A note on the ferrous sulfate: I've read that it takes a few weeks for iron stores to replenish themselves (making red blood cells and whatnot), so I don't think my rebound was necessarily because I started taking the iron supplement. I'm going to keep up with the ferrous sulfate for a couple more weeks just in case. Taking too MUCH iron can also be harmful, but being a woman and an endurance athlete, I would have to take a really insane amount to get my levels up that high.

I have one more hard week. It'll be more than last week, but well under my peak week. I'll cap it off with one last long run, about 2:45 and no more than 3 hours, maybe 18-20 miles. Then comes a 2-week taper. Hudson doesn't call it a taper so much as a sharpening period, so the next three weeks will involve a lot of marathon pace, but of course less and less mileage. I can't believe I'll be tapering for the Boston Marathon in only one week!


Elizabeth said...

You are going to nail Boston! Sometimes long runs can be a crap-shoot. Even at a very easy pace, it's very demanding on the body to be out there that long. And even the slightest thing can make a long run not go well. I like the idea of a sharpening period as a taper.

L.A. Runner said...

Eeekkk- so excited for you! Glad you had an awesome LR to seal the deal. You're on your way, now!

Ron Abramson said...

Way to shake off a bad run and put yourself in prime Boston shape. I like "sharpening" better than "taper", so let's go with that instead. ;-)

Best of luck. -ESG/Ron

Susan said...

Boston Boston Boston!! yayyy!

Iron pills saved my (running) life in high school...I was ridiculously anemic and they turned me around! It took awhile since I got sick during junior year track, but I rocked summer running that year and ran varsity cross country my senior year. (I ran JV the other three years.) Everyone asked what my secret was and I told them my little green pills. :)

Joe said...

Great analysis, Mir... you are in solid position... keep it up!