Hi. Hey! HELLO!
I guess we’ll go ahead and call a spade a spade. I am training for a marathon and I am really, really excited about it! I was *seriously contemplating* the idea of running the First Light Marathon in January, but I didn’t want to actually commit until after my summer training cycle was done and I had a couple of weeks to truly mull it over (so to speak). My contemplation led me to the fact that I am super excited to train, give it all I’ve got and go for that all-elusive SUB 3!
I’ve got 20 weeks to put in a lot of hard work to get there. From a bigger picture standpoint, the training cycle is going to be broken up into a 10 week fundamental phase and a 10 week specific phase. I’ll still do lots of smaller, shorter races (5Ks & 10Ks) and hopefully I will find a half to do at some point as well. Another thing that I am super excited about is that I am going to be pacing the 3:25 group at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon on December 10th! I love the idea of pacing and hopefully it’ll be a great way to get in one major long run at just about a minute over my goal marathon pace. I think I am equally excited about the marathon that I am pacing and the marathon that I am racing!
Here is what week #1 looked like …
Monday: 7 miles (8:53 pace)
I started the week off with an easy run with the Daniels (husband Daniel & Young Daniel). Things are definitely back to normal! After the run I did 20 minutes of strength work (planks, push ups, etc.) with some light stretching. My consistency with strength and stretching is less than desirable (far, far less). I know that I need to do a better job with this in order to stay strong and fend of any little pre-injury niggles that might arise. My goal is going to be to do 10 to 20 minutes of this per day.
Tuesday: 10 miles (7:44 pace)
Tuesday’s run called for 5 miles easy and 5 miles at brisk pace. The focus of the brisk run is to stay relaxed while running quickly, which helps you to run as efficiently as possible in workouts and races. Staying relaxed helps you to conserve energy, which is obviously a good thing.
I am so thankful that I had some company on this run. The Daniels did the workout with me. We got started at 5 a.m. and got the hills out-of-the-way early (i.e., during the “easy” portion of the run). We were hanging pretty consistently in the 8:45 or so range for the first four miles. I think this is fairly common for our “easy” pace runs this time of the year. We were basically going to need to drop the pace down 2 whole minutes to get to the 6:45 to 7:00 range, which was the goal range for the “brisk” portion. We ended up dropping down to 7:30 ish for the last “easy” mile so that the brisk pace wouldn’t feel like as much of a shock to the system.
Our route took us beside a cow pasture and as we ran by the cows took off running as well. Those jokers are much faster than they look and it is a major bummer to get out run by a herd of cows (whilst running briskly nonetheless). We had a good laugh about it at least and before we knew it, we only had 4 more miles to go. The miles steadily clicked off and once we settled into the pace, it didn’t seem too bad. I haven’t done much training in the marathon pace range recently and so, going into the workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.
Side note: Day #2 and I didn’t do any strength work [insert facepalm here]. BUT … I redeemed myself later in the week and I *averaged* 10 minutes a day for the week, which is a huge improvement. Baby steps.
Wednesday AM: 3 miles (8:47 pace)
We woke up to lots of rain Wednesday morning. The sound of the rain on the roof was so soothing that I “accidentally” hit snooze and slept for an entire extra hour. By the time I actually got up, I only had time for 3 miles and 10 minutes of strength work, which was totally fine.
Wednesday PM: 5 miles (8:05 pace)
Wednesday evening after work I did a loop with the Daniels and Cody. My legs felt SO HEAVY. Afternoon runs have not been my jam lately. I added in 10 more minutes of strength work
to make up for my laziness Tuesday for good measure.
Thursday: 9 miles (8:01 pace)
It was raining again Thursday morning, so I took my run to the treadmill and knocked out 9 miles like it was nothing. It’s amazing to me how my legs can feel so tired one evening and so fresh the next morning. I guess that just goes to show you how important sleep and adequate rest is to our training (plus, I am just a morning person in general).
Friday: 5 miles (8:21 pace)
Speaking of rest, I slept in Friday morning and decided to try out a lunch run. In theory this seemed like such a good idea, but I guess my execution was a bit flawed. I can get home from work, play with Brooks and change into my running clothes in about 15 minutes, which gives me 30 minutes to run and then 15 more minutes to rinse off and get back to work within my typical 1 hour lunch break.
Friday, I ended up taking an hour and a half for lunch (it’s nice to have that flexibility for sure, but it’s not something that I would want to make a habit of). I got 5 miles done in 40 minutes, but the whole shower off and get back to work within 15 minutes thing definitely did not happen. I could NOT stop sweating (even after a cold shower). It was miserable. If you’ve seen the Friends, just imagine Ross trying to get his leather pants on and that was me with my jeans. Oh. Em. Gee.
Friday PM: 5 miles (8:26 pace)
Daniel and I did a loop after work, which is always a good chance for us to talk and catch up on how our days have been.
Saturday: 13 miles (7:51 pace)
Saturday was the first “moderate” pace long run that I’ve done in quite some time. I was actually supposed to do 14 to 15 miles at 7:30 to 7:45 pace, but for whatever reason I had it in my head that morning that it was 13 to 14 miles. I’ve been doing most of my long runs at 8:30 to 9:00 pace and I definitely had to make a mental and physical adjustment to get it under 8:00 pace. I basically didn’t think about the pace until mile 8 and then I realized that I was going to have to step it up a notch. My last 5 miles were 7:42, 7:23, 7:28, 7:32 and 7:22. I am very happy with how that went down!
I came home and ran a mile with Brooks, so I guess I technically got my 14 in for the day. He ran a 9:20 mile, which might be his fastest yet. I could tell once we got started that he wasn’t messing around. He only took one brief pause [paws] … see what I did there … to check his p-mail (the preferred method of doggie communication … they leave each other encrypted messages all over town (mainly in bushes and near fire hydrants)). Of course Brooks decides to really step it up a notch on the day that I’ve already done a tough 13 miles beforehand. Ha.
He played fetch for quite a while after his run and then he even got to go swimming! It was a good day to be a Brookser.
After all of that, we were both sufficiently worn out and so we took a nice little snooze while we waited on Daniel to get home from work. I also managed to sneak in another 20 minutes of strength training later in the day.
Sunday: 10 miles (8:31 pace)
Sunday was a good day! I met Rebecca and Lizzie in Gulf Shores to do the first half of their long run with them. Rebecca is training for another 50 miler (beast-mode) and Lizzie is training for Chicago (coming up soon), so they both needed lots of miles. I ran 10 miles with them and then biked with them for the second 10 miles. We got brunch afterwards, which is always a treat!
Overall, I am definitely pleased with how this week went. I didn’t have anything crazy as far as workouts go, but I felt good on the runs that I did. I managed to get a total of 70 minutes of strength + stretching in, which is approximately 70 minutes more than normal, so I’m definitely counting that as a victory this week.
I hope everyone has a fun, safe Labor Day! Talk to you soon!