I purposely put a half marathon smack in the middle of that training program so I could focus on that for the first nine weeks, and then I'd only have nine weeks of suffering to go. Little did my brain know (ok, it totally did, it was the one who typed Pfitz' training program out into a fancy excel doc--Thanks for the doc Jenn!) that I was marathon training all along. Whoop!
So I made it halfway through my training cycle, and have really just been doing a LOT of long, slow runs. I think my base is the strongest it's been in a really long time, and I'm excited to start throwing some actual speedwork in to the plan per Pfitz. I mega puffy heart love speed work. But my legs tend to hate speedwork, so fingers crossed the base+excessive foam rolling+form fixing will have me speedy and uninjured.
Without further adieu, here are the things I'm focusing on over the next 9 weeks of training:
- Miles. More miles. Lots and lots of miles. I looked ahead on my training program (never look ahead on your training program) and I have 4 weeks of 50-55 mpw straight. Shiz is getting real. I need to make sure that I'm mentally prepped for my long runs, and physically prepped for all my weekly mileage--good night of sleep, hydrating, foam rolling, stretching, ab work, etc.
- Getting my eating in check. For a normal girl, my weight is perfectly fine. For a runner girl looking to PR in 9 weeks, I'm some lbs higher than I should be. When I set my marathon PR, I was almost 20 lbs lighter than I am right now. My first training cycle I could NOT keep weight on me (rough life, I KNOW) but ever since that cycle, I haven't had that issue. Getting older probably doesn't help. I know that I run stronger when I'm fueling my body properly, and if I focus on that, the extra squish will just disappear.
- Mental game. One of my biggest struggles with running is mental. I'm either too hard on myself or I let myself give up too easily. I need to find a decent middle ground and go from there. As the temps cool off, I'm REALLY hoping I can have some solid workouts that serve as confidence boosts towards my goal time. Since the weather for the Sioux Falls half was such a bust, I really don't have an idea of what my goal in November will be. TBD, I guess, but dang I'd really like a PR.
- Massage therapy. The Sioux Falls half has complimentary massage tents set up after the race, and I got in line on Sunday because it was miraculously short for once. I talked to the therapist about my issues, and I was blown away by everything he told me. He talked at length about my hip flexors and the issues they were causing, issues with my IT bands and knee. And he told me that his goal is to give me stretches to do on my own so that I only have to visit him minimally. Sold.
- Buddy up. With the bazillion of miles ahead of me, there is no way I'll be able to do them all on my own. I will make it a point to beg one of my friends to run with me at least once a week to make the miles more enjoyable.
There you have it. My survival plan for the next 9 weeks.