Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marathon Training: Occasionally, I'm dumb.

This marathon training cycle is….interesting.
a)      It’s 6 weeks long
b)      It’s a modification of the Pfitz 55 plan (I’m usually a VERY loyal Runners World training program for 26.2)
c)       It’s not a ZOMG I MUST PR effort
d)      And my Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty much maxed out for time
With all these variables factored in, it was pretty interesting and challenging to create my marathon training program.  First attempt  I threw in Pfitz training runs around my 5k and 10k races I had scheduled for October and called it good.  My co-worker took one look at it, (I had a 5k on Saturday and 18 miler on Sunday, then the following week a 10k on Saturday and a 20 miler on Sunday) and said, “I thought your goal for this training cycle was to NOT get injured???”  Uh… oh.  Ooops!  But I’ll run the long runs sloooooooooooooooow, I promise.
I then forwarded my training program to Jason.  The all knowing runner buddy/coach/friend.  He usually can edit my training program to minimize my odds of getting hurt, AND  I get my way.  Sadly, this time…. Was a no go.  He didn’t outright call me an idiot, but he could’ve, and I wouldn’t have been mad.  So sadly I scrapped my races for October.  Sniffle.  There are so few 10ks around here when it’s not a bazillion degrees and eleventy million percent humidity.  I had a single tear.  L
With past training schedules, I like to have a rest day before my long runs and after.  But I’m not allowed as much “freedom” with my training with grad school thrown in.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work from 8am-5pm, hustle booty home, and have class from 6-9pm.  I could run SUPER early before work, or late after work, but they’d need to be on the treadmill for safety.  And I’m banking all my treadmill runs for the arctic tundra weather.  So I’ve included 2-4 mile “sanity runs” for those days, or just opted for a rest day.
Of course, this means that my Mondays and Wednesdays have the bulk of my mileage.  Like this past Monday.  Approximately 48 hours after doing my 16 mile, I had an 11 mile on my schedule.  Uff.  Since this training program is SHORT, I thought some mid-long runs would be key to help me build up my endurance (which is, admittedly, my weakness).  I figured as long as I kept the pace and the heart rate slow and low, I would be a-ok.
And slow I did (for me, nothing wrong with a 10mm, for the record).  The first 5 miles were right around a ten minute pace.  And my heart rate was in the higher range of where it should be for my mid and long runs.  Magically (or what felt like magically) at about 4.5/5 miles my legs started to feel great, and my heart rate dropped (by a good 15-20 beats).  And with that my pace dropped easily in to the 9:20s and lower.  I smile-ran the last 6 miles like you had just treated me with a big bowl of my favorite ice cream and told me it was lactose free.  It didn’t hurt that it was chilly (aka my favorite running weather) at 41 degrees.  Also, there's something very b.a. about running a double digit run before work on a weekday.
I ended up with 11 miles in 1:45:42 for a pace of 9:36.  Average HR: 155.
And on the injury front, I feel like I am making significant strides (heh…. Running joke….. heh… punny) towards staying injury free.  Kyle is officially jealous of the quality time I’m spending with Frank (my foam roller) and I am constantly focusing on my form during my training runs.  With the exception of speed workouts when the only thought I can entertain is “OMG please don’t die.  This hurts.  Heart, don’t explode!”  But yeah, other than that…. Totally concentrating on my form.
And I think it’s working/helping.  After my long run, I had some soreness in my IT bands and quads, but a teeny tiny fraction in comparison to previous long runs.  And my hamstrings and calves seem to be tired, which I’m deeming a good thing, as apparently I never really used those muscles previously for running.  Uh… ooops.
To solidify my already stellar day, I got a package from a giveaway I won from Kimi!  Naturally I had to wear it as soon as I got done with work.  And a photo shoot had to take place.  Mostly because Kyle thought it was funny to pretend to take pictures of the tv rather than me.  Too bad he didn't get a shot of the death glare I was giving him 75% of the time. 
**I knocked on wood while writing this post, please do me a favor and knock on wood while/after reading as well.  Thanks. **


kimi said...

that hoodie looks good on you!!!

Kier said...

I agree about feeling b.a. when posting a double digit run before work. I really should do that more often...too bad I start work at 5AM this days!

meganmnelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yay for:
- double-digits before work (woot, woot!)
- staying-injury free (*knock on wood)
- awesome hoodies (there will be a running triplets photo shoot in Philly)

Anonymous said...

Total disagreement with scraping the races.

Here is why:

Who says they have to be A efforts? I tend to run my best when I've got a race at least every other weekend. For example, in the winters - I do a race every other weekend. Conditions are usually bad, and the courses are usually hard. I gauge the effort based on the conditions and go from there. This is NO different than doing a hard workout, if almost a bit easier. And this includes say, a 14 mile day followed by a 20. I've had only one significant injury in 20 years so...I don't think this is ridiculous.

If *I* were you, I wouldn't n necessarily go into things with a set training schedule. I'd get the goal mileage and try and arrange workouts based on time/feel. In other words, think of it like a deck of cards: you have cards for each type of workout you need to get done, and 7 days in which to do them. Rearrange as needed taking everything into consideration, but no need to automatically scrap what would work as a quality hard day.

JUST MY TWO CENTS! Not that you asked. :)

Anonymous said...

"c)It’s not a ZOMG I MUST PR effort" <- and it doesn't always have to be! Sometimes marathons can be fun - crazy as that sounds ;)

For whatever it's worth, I think hitting up the mid-week long runs will be a huge help on the endurance front - and either way, you'll be ready to have a good time that weekend!

Susan said...

The ever knowing Jason...woo! And yes, don't get injured during this training cycle, I need every excuse in the book to get down to Philly and cheer for you if I'm around. :)

Loooooove the RUN sweatshirt! We're definitely going to be extreme twinsies next time I see you...