Marathon training update: the big 2-0 is now behind Steph!

As you all might remember, I am going to be running in the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th.  It’s hard to believe that I have been training for this race since the beginning of March.  It most definitely has not been easy, and it’s not so much the running part that has been hard. Don’t get me wrong, convicing myself to wake up at 5:30 every morning before work to run is not a bit easy in the least, and running an increasing amount of mileage is no piece of cake.  But that’s not what has been the hardest part.  You see, I haven’t spent the entire 5 months training alone.  At the beginning of the training I had a partner, Ryan.  Our plan was for us to run the marathon together as a “we should try to do something really cool together before we get married” sort of thing.  If you recall we posted a video of our first “long weekend run” on our blog towards the beginning of the training.  It’s always so much easier to have a partner in any sort of training program.  Although I love running and have been running since I was just 12 years old, I often have times (like at 5:30 in the morning!) when I honestly could care less about running.  It always helped to have Ryan there to push me to get out and run with him, and to stick together on our long runs for support and encouragement.  But all did not go according to our plan and unfortunately, Ryan hurt his shoulder and has been out of the running game for about 3 months now, and will not be running the 26.2 miles by my side in a few weeks :(

Since I have not had Ryan by my side it’s been a tough road to run during these last few months, but surprisingly enough, I’ve made it to almost 3 weeks left to go and I’m feeling better than ever! This is my first marathon and I’ve been following the Hal Higdon’s training guide religiously. It’s been a great program to follow and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is trying to complete their first marathon. He also has programs for intermediate and advanced marathoners as well. As you can see from the chart, at week 15 the long run is 20 miles. That is exactly what I did yesterday, 20 miles… I still can hardly believe it. It’s funny how when you run that far it’s almost like an out of body experience. It’s truly surreal to push your body to that level, and It’s an incredibly exhilarating feelings once you’ve finished (minus some major body aches and dehydration).

I’ve never felt a “tired” like the tired I felt yesterday. I probably would not have felt so bad had I planned more accordingly and brought some money to buy water or packed some energy gels for the trip. I actually ran the entire way with only taking a few swigs from a couple water fountains that I ran past around miles 13 and 17. What I didn’t know is that Ryan and Frank had actually been searching for me with water and power gel in hand, the entire time!  Ryan decided that as soon as I left for my run he would head over to the Sports Basement to grab a couple bottles of water and some Gu to give to me while I was running.  He figured that since I was running an out and back course there would be no way that he could miss me…. well… turns out he was miserably wrong.  For some reason, we missed each other.  No matter how hard Ryan and Frank tried to find me, we somehow missed each other amongst the traffic, tourists, and farmer’s markets.  For almost 3 and a half hours those two searched for me, bless their hearts.  When I got home and nobody was there, I just figured that Ryan had walked down to pick up a couple chais at Peet’s.  Little did I know that they had been on a crazy adventure throughout San Francisco the entire morning!  I truly appreciated their efforts, and although they didn’t find me, it was almost worth it because Ryan made a great video of their trek across the city in hopes of saving me from exhaustion.  It’s the thought that counts, and I know that those two really tried to help me out :)

Now that the big 20 miles is in the dust behind me, I’ll be in the process of tapering off on mileage for the next few weeks up until the marathon.  Ahh it feels good to make progress, and I’m eagerly anticipating the day when I’ll wake up and run an entire 26.2 miles! :)

A Jam-Packed Saturday… just the way we like it.

logo_bed_bath_and_beyondTypically Ryan and I end up feeling more tired after a weekend is over than when we go into it.  We don’t like to keep things normal by utilizing the extra weekend time to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation.  Instead I think we  see the extra two days off from work as a challenge to see how many activities we can pack into 48 hours.  We usually do a pretty good job.  Today can easily serve as example of how we like to spend our weekends.

This morning we woke up and ran 15 miles.  That’s right, 15 miles.  I don’t like to brag or anything but this time I think I will.  That’s a pretty long run and in fact, it’s the longest that Ryan and I have ever run in our entire life!  If you remember, I’m training for the San Francisco Marathon in July.  I’m following a special 18 week training program that, so far I highly recommend.  We’ll see after the race if I still recommend it, haha.  I just finished up week ten, so as you can see the weekend mileage continues to increase as the training goes on.  Ryan was supposed to run the marathon with me, but unfortunately due to his shoulder situation, he won’t be able to run :(  So far, he has been able to do most of the training with me, but that will all end on Wednesday after he has his surgery.  It’s going to be painfully hard to train on my own, so I might have to start looking for some new running partners in the city.  Out here I’m sure that wont be too hard considering the amount of runners that I’ve seen in San Francisco.  Below is a map of our run this morning, note that we basically ran all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about an amazing view!

15miler1

Following our crazy long run and a major chow down fest at one of our favorite, nearby restaurants The Brickhouse, Ryan and I headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond to register for all of the super awesome wedding gifts that we hope to receive.   We had an amazing consultant lead us around the store and give us the low-down on every single item that he thought we would need after we’re married.  From pots and pans to toaster ovens and bedspreads we had a fabulous time zappin every item that we just had to have!  If you’d like to go ahead and buy us a gift ( come on, you know you’re just dying to) you can click right here and type in Stephanie Marnitz or Ryan Hupfer and our registery will pop up.  We selected a few items so take your pick… we’ll be happy with any of it!  Yay… bring on the presents, haha.

The first long run of our San Francisco Marathon training

This has been our first official week of training for the San Francisco Marathon that we’re running on July 26, which also means that today (Saturday) was the first ‘long run’ that Stephanie and I had to knock out together. You see, when you’re training for a marathon you pretty much run some lighter, high-speed runs during the week (we ran all 3-milers this week) and you then put your legs to the test and get them prepped for some serious pavement pounding by running the higher distance ‘long runs’ on Saturdays. You then finish up the week with an hour of cross-training on Sunday, which means that you get some type of workout in that’s not running. These workouts are usually something like riding a bike, playing basketball or even walking.

This week seemed to go pretty smooth as we were both already running on a regular basis, but just like our training program says, “This might seem easy now, but enjoy your rest now because you’ll be wishing you had it in a few weeks“. I guess that I should take their advice and just be happy with the fact that I’m not really killing myself yet and get mentally prepared for the week where we’re supposed to run 40 miles. Whoa.

Today we knocked out a 6 mile run (see the route above or here online) pretty easily and even though I have a little faster pace than Stephanie, we have decided that we’re both going to do this entire San Francisco Marathon (both training and the marathon itself) together. I’ll tell you what, it’s pretty awesome that I have an amazing fiancee’ like Stephanie that enjoys fitness, being healthy and staying competitive. It really makes me happy to know that we’re going to run this whole thing together and I have a feeling that this is just going to be just the first of many marathons and other races that we ‘re going to be running together. Yeah, that makes me really, really happy.

One of the highlights of the run today was that fact that a bird pooped on Stephanie’s shoulder literally 2 blocks from where we started our run. She freaked out a little bit when it happened, but after mile 2 or so she was pretty cool with it. Hey, if we’re going to be marathon runners we have to get used to being subjected to the elements, right? Even if the elements happen to be bird poo that lands on your shoulder. :)


If you see the bird that did this, please let us know

After we finished up running today we wanted to give a quick video update of our progress, which we are going to do at least once a week. Check out the video below or over here on YouTube to get the scoop. Also, if you’ve ever ran a marathon or plan on running one soon, feel free to leave us some tips in the comments below.