Monday, October 24, 2016

Five (5!) Weeks until CIM

Should I recap my previous week or lay out my plans for this week? Both? Okay, let's do it. Last week was {on paper} the 12th week of training for CIM. Although with one taper week and two recovery weeks for St. George, my training has not been continuous. 

After two lower mileage weeks, I was ready to jump right back into marathon training. I'm following Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning plan for running two marathons 8 or 10 weeks apart (St. George and CIM are 9 weeks apart). 

CIM Training Week 12 Recap:

  • Monday, 10/17 - Rest or XT day. I ran a easy 1 mile warm-up before a cycle class and weight-lifting.
  • Tuesday, 10/18 - 9.0 miles, general aerobic run . Back to mid-week longish runs. I love these runs. These runs make me a stronger runner. Consistency and increasing mileage are key. They almost make waking up at 4:20 am worth it. I kept the pace slow & steady and I felt strong all the way to the end (or coffee, which really is the end). 9:48/mile average pace.
  • Wednesday, 10/19 - 5.0 miles, recovery run. This run felt super hard and both my legs and mind were very tired. How will I ever be able to run a marathon in a few weeks? was a constant thought during my run. In th evening, I saw my sports physical therapist for my monthly run-specific power, balance and strength conditioning. 10:01/mile average
  • Thursday, 10/20 - 9.6 miles with speed (8 x 100 meters). My legs were not feeling this run. I was able to run my sprints at a good pace, but the rest of the miles nope. My legs were not cooperating-which is the norm when I have PT the night before. 9:29/mile average
  • Friday, 10/21 - Rest or XT day. Fridays always start with a 30 minute tabata style class and since I had the day off from work I also took a pilates class and a TRX class. I also had an appointment with my sports chiropractor for ART. 
  • Saturday, 10/22 - 13.1 miles, long run. I was nervous about this run because it was my longest run since St. George and I was running it in a new location with out a specific route. Also, with the way my legs had been feeling earlier in the week, I wasn't sure my legs could handle the distance. It turns out, I had nothing to be worried about. The run went great and I felt strong throughout. Also, I ran it in 1:59:39. When I run 13.1 miles I always challenge myself to run it in less than 2 hours. 9:08/mile average. 
  • Sunday, 10/23 - 4.3 miles, recovery run. Super fun Oiselle Volée gtg at Green Flash Brewery for Hoppy Yoga (yoga + beer). A group of us met early to get a short run in before getting bendy. My legs felt great and I was able to get some speed. 9:01/mile average.
Total Mileage: 42. 1 miles

Week 13 (or the week it gets serious again):
  • Monday, 10/24 - Rest or XT
  • Tuesday, 10/25 - 12 miles, general aerobic run
  • Wednesday, 10/26 - 5 miles, recovery run
  • Thursday, 10/27 - 9 miles with 5 miles tempo run
  • Friday, 10/28 - 4 miles, recovery run
  • Saturday, 10/29 - 8 miles with speed (10 x 100 meters)
  • Sunday, 10/30 - 17 miles, long run
Goal Mileage: 55 miles

Friday, October 14, 2016

St. George Marathon + Recovery

Good News: Marathons are not my nemesis distance anymore. They are still bloody hard and I will still like to train for and run a strong marathon. 

Great News: I ran my fastest marathon by almost 32 minutes, ran a sub-4 hour marathon AND I qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon. 

It's taken me a while to write this post because I still have mixed emotions about the St. George Marathon which I ran on October 1st. My original purpose for running it was to use it as a training run for CIM which is my goal race and I ended up accidentally BQing. And this is why I have mixed emotions.  

I'm not 45 yet, but will be by April 16, 2018

About 3 weeks before St. George, I realized I aged into a new category to qualify for Boston Marathon and the qualifying standard was something that was definitely achievable based on my ability and fitness. My previous marathon PR was not indicative of my fitness. It was a bad race. 

Anyway, I went into St. George under-trained. I only completed 9 weeks of training for CIM at that point (with one week taper for St. George). I only had one 20 mile long run (2 weeks prior), one 16 mile, and maybe a couple of 15 miles. That was it for my long runs. 

The St. George course is a net downhill course but in actuality it is mostly rolling hills and some very long steep uphills (I drove the course the day before, which helped me decide my strategy). My strategy was to not push myself the first half, take it easy going up the hills and to save myself for the 2nd half. I'm a great downhill runner, so I knew I could be speedy without pushing myself. It was a great strategy which worked until about 18 miles where my legs said they had enough. That this was the distance they had trained for. (My average pace for the first 30k was 8:28/mile and my average pace for the last 12k was 9:30/mile). 

It was hard. I struggled. Yet, it almost feels like it was too easy to BQ. It wasn't something I had to work and train for months/years. It wasn't something I attempted to do and fail multiple times before accomplishing it. So, I feel guilty. Many of my running friends work on this goal for months if not years, hire coaches and race their hearts out multiple times before BQing. All I did was get old(er). Hmmm. 

My previous BQ standard of 3:45 would be a struggle and is not within my current fitness and ability. Maybe that should be my BHAG goal?

Anyway, I'm using 2 weeks to recover from St. George and will hop back into training for CIM next week. My legs feel great and my current 'A' goal for CIM is 3:50 and my 'B' goal is to PR and my 'C' goal is to finish and have fun. 

(Yikes! 51 days until CIM...)

Monday, September 26, 2016

{week 9} Taper Crazies and Marathon Freak-Out

Or the week in which I take a break from CIM training to run a practice marathon and...

  • Feel moody because I'm not running as much
  • Drive my friends bonkers by discussing my night-before meal and available choices for it in St. George, UT ad nauseam (veggie burger + sweet potato fries)
  • Experience phantom pains all over my body: Is my elbow injured
  • Review blog post after blog post about the race, the Veyo Hill and about how there is no beer at the finish line
  • Decide on a pacing strategy, change my mind and then change my mind back.
  • Read Surviving the Marathon Freak-Out in one-sitting during my lunch break

It seemed like a good idea way back when I entered the lottery for the St. George Marathon. I'll use it as a training run! I'll practice my pacing and nutrition. Now that race week is here, hmmm, not so sure. I'm going with it.

Week 9 (9 weeks to CIM)

Monday, September 26: Rest Day
Tuesday, September 27: 8 miles + speed
Wednesday, September 28: 5 miles, easy
Thursday, September 29: 6 miles, easy
Friday, September 30: 3 miles, shakeout
Saturday, October 1: 26.2 miles, (at least 16 miles goal marathon pace)
Sunday, October 2: REST

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

{week 8} Thank you legs (and butt)

I made it through last week without injury. It was the week I was holding my breath and crossing my fingers to stay healthy and strong. It was this same week last year as I trained for CIM that my injury--severe IT band--reared its ugly head and set me on a course to DNS the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon and defer my CIM registration to this year. 

Of course, I was the typical stubborn runner and kept running another two weeks. Which made it worse, true, but it also made me seek treatment in the form of sports physical therapy (Wendy, you have no butt!) to address my imbalances that caused the injury in the first place. I've become a stronger runner because of my injury. 

Last Saturday, my long run was scheduled for 18 miles--my longest run to-date in this training cycle and my longest run in a year. I miscalculated my route and reached 18 miles about 2 miles from the coffee shop near my home and my finish point. I decided to run those extra 2 miles because it felt easier than stopping and walking. I felt strong. My pre-run and during run nutrition was spot-on. I was well-hydrated. My pacing was good. The last few miles were not a death march. As much as a 20 mile run can feel easy, this run felt easy. 

It was great confidence-boosting run and I feel ready to run St. George Marathon (as a training run) in 10 days. And I know I will feel more ready to run a strong CIM in December. Thank you legs and butt!

Week 8 (10 weeks until CIM)

Total Mileage: 50 miles

Monday, September 19: Rest/XT
Tuesday, September 20: 8 miles with 3 miles tempo run
Wednesday, September 21: 6 miles recovery run
Thursday, September 22: 8 miles with 8 x 2 min at 5k pace
Friday, September 23: 8 miles easy run
Saturday, September 24: 15 miles long run
Sunday, September 25: 6 miles recovery run

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

{week 7} You know you're training for a marathon when...

My go-to pre-race/long run meal:
Veggie Burger + Sweet Potato Fries
There was a thread on a message board last week with the same title as this post. I responded that I think about dinner while I'm eating lunch. Under normal (read: not training for a marathon) circumstances, I think about food all the time. In the midst of marathon training I'm like Pac-Man under the influence of a Power Pill. 

I'm 11 weeks out to CIM. I have 6 weeks of base/endurance building under my belt. My longest run to-date in this training cycle has been 16 miles and I have re-acclimated myself to the mid-week semi-long runs (hello 4:20 am alarm). This week marks the start of marathon-specific training. So, yes, I think about food.

It's a little too early (even for me) to start thinking about where to eat while in Sacramento and it is probably to early to think about where I want to eat while in St. George, UT for the St. George Marathon. In 17 days. Yikes.

When I entered the lottery and was selected to race, my thought was that I would use the St. George Marathon has a training race. The week of the race I'm scheduled for a long marathon-paced run. Warm-up-->16 mile marathon-pace run-->cool-down. I've used 5k races as a scheduled tempo run before, so why not a marathon? Also, my strongest 1/2 marathons are always run after I have a few 15-16 mile runs in my training. Yeah, the more I think about this... as I get closer to race day...

...So instead I'm thinking about food and where to get it. Specifically, my pre-race meal (go-to: veggie burger and sweet potato fries + dessert) and my post-race meal (go-to: BIG burrito). I'm also thinking about where to hold an Oiselle Volée (5 of us are racing) lunch the day before and where I would like to eat breakfast the day after. So Much Food to Think About!!!

Week 7 (11 Weeks until CIM)

Total Mileage: 50 miles

Monday, September 12: Rest or Cross-train
Tuesday, September 13: 11 miles, general aerobic run
Wednesday, September 14: 5 miles, recovery run 
Thursday, September 15: 10 miles with 16 x 1 min on (at 5k-10k speed)
Friday, September 16: Rest or Cross-Train
Saturday, September 17: 18 miles long run (my longest run in a year!)
Sunday, September 18: 6 miles, recovery run

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

{week 6} No more outs

I realized last week that I am capable of running a marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon (less than 3 hours 55 minutes). The only thing that will prevent me from succeeding is myself. My mind and to a lesser extent my body. 

When the going gets tough, I give up way too easy. I don't stop, I'm not a quitter. Actually I am a quitter. Just because I finish doesn't mean I didn't quit. I give myself permission to back off. I have many examples of this during many races. 

This quote from Run, Selfie, Repeat could not have come at a better time:
No more. I need to stop giving myself outs. I need to stop committing half way to a goal and then hoping it just magically happens. From this point forward, the positive self talk is happening in full force. It doesn't matter whether I realistically think I can or cannot run a BQ, I need to start believing that it's possible. I'm doing the work, I'm going 100%, why wouldn't it be possible? I'm sabotaging myself when I say that it's not going to happen so I'm making the decision not to play that game anymore.
While working on my mental stamina and the tricky little games my mind plays, I also have to be cognizant that I'm an injury-prone runner now.  To meet my goal I am going to  have to make sacrifices to ensure that I do all the non-running essentials to keep me fit: Rest, sleep, proper nutrition, yoga/stretching, pilates, physical therapy, ART/massage.

This week is the first recovery week in my training plan. I'm switching plans next week to McMillan's 12-Week Marathon Training plan. I just finished reading his You (Only Faster) book and I have determined I am a Combo-speedster, which explains why I rock track/interval workouts but tempo runs burn me out. The point of the book is that you need to tailor training plans to fit YOU. I built a  great endurance base with Advanced Marathoning and look forward to marathon-specific training over the next 10 weeks (plus 2 taper weeks).

I'm headed to Oiselle Volée Bird Camp in Aptos, CA at the end of this week. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with friends and meeting new (to me) teammates.

Week 6 (12 weeks until CIM)

Monday, September 5: Rest day
Tuesday, September 6: 8 miles with 10x100m sprints at end, general aerobic run with speed
Wednesday, September 7: 5 miles, recovery run
Thursday, September 8: Rest day (travel to Northern CA for Bird Camp)
Friday, September 9: 12 miles, long run (Bird Camp)
Saturday, September 10: Love to Move 5k race plus warm-up jog
Sunday, September 11: 8 miles, general aerobic

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

{week 5} One Minute. One.

Head Up; Wings Out
The Santa Rosa Half-Marathon.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Dani, my training partner, on her massive PR. She tucked in and did not give up!

What can I say? My nutrition was spot-on. I've been working on dialing my nutrition requirements and I think I have something in place that will help me tremendously during a marathon. I ate enough the day before, ate enough race morning and ate a gel every 5 miles. I've raced enough to know when my nutrition is off and it wasn't for this. My next test for nutrition is the St. George Marathon on October 1st (1 month + 1 day from today!). I'm using the race as a  training run for CIM (to work on pace).
How I recover

ONE MINUTE. I ran exactly one minute slower than my half-marathon PR. My official time-->1:48:38, my third fastest half-marathon. I'm kicking myself because it was all mental. I gave up too easy; I gave myself permission to slow-down. I stopped to re-tie/tighten my shoes even though I didn't really need to. After the race, my legs felt fine. Not tired. Not like I left it all on the course. Ugh. Deep breaths and move-on. Lesson learned. I've always known I need to work on my mental game. Now I KNOW I do. 
How I recover (part 2)

On the plus side, I also know I still have it in me to go fast (for me). Other than my performance, I loved the organization, the size, the post-race beer fest (Ready, Set, Growl). Santa Rosa is a fun town, home to good beer, wine and coffee. Home to great post-race breakfast burritos from El Patio (where you can get brown rice and steamed vegetables with your burrito) and Hatha yoga.

Moving On: Week 5 (13 weeks until CIM)

Monday, August 29: Rest 
Tuesday, August 30: 9 mile, general aerobic run
Wednesday, August 31: 5 miles, recovery run
Thursday, September 1: 10 miles, general aerobic run
Friday, September 2: Rest/XT
Saturday, September 3: 5 miles, recovery run
Sunday, September 4: 16 miles with 10 miles at marathon pace

On the plus side, I now have updated training pace ranges:
Easy Runs: 8:40-9:40 min/mile
Long Runs: 8:42-10:02 min/mile
Recovery Runs: 9:47-10:30 min/mile

How do you move on from races that don't go according to plan?

Hi-jinks with the Redlands Runegades at the Beer Fest