Marathon training is like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what you want the end result to look like but when you dump the pieces out of the box, its’s entirely overwhelming. You keep working anyway and every once in awhile you look and realize you have a part of that picture made and it starts to make sense. Then you (hopefully) gather a nice momentum and flow until the end. The end being race day then that day is a whole other puzzle in itself.
This past week was the first week I felt like I put a few of those marathon pieces together and saw a glimpse of the bigger picture and how I was going to get there. It wasn’t without a hiccup or two but it was a confidence booster.
Boston Marathon Training Week 1/26 -2/1
Monday- 3 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo averaging 6:17 pace, 3 mile cool down. This tempo pace is far from where I need it to be but after two years under Mark Hadleys program, I know how I roll. It’ll take a few weeks of stubborn tempos then all of a sudden I’ll bust one out and surprise myself. Hadley told me a PR at Boston will require patience and faith; I have both. In training don’t worry about the pace, just keep the head up, & keep working!
Tuesday- 8 watch-less miles.
Wednesday- 8 miles @ 7:38 pace.
Thursday- 17 miler averaging 7:19 pace. This was a solo run where I ran loops of the biggest hills near my house. “Biggest” meaning a quarter the size of Heartbreak Hill. Virginia Beach is 95% flat.
Friday- Easy 9 on the trails with friends. I rarely wear a watch on these days. Later that night a crazy stomach bug hit me out of the blue. It wiped me out! Just have to take these hiccups in stride.
Saturday- An 8 miler was planned but after 3 miles I turned back for home. The stomach bug left me weak and it was pointless to trudge on. I did 30 minutes of Yoga and tons of stretching.
Sunday- Track Day. Warm up, 10 by 600 (averaging 5:33 pace), Cool Down. My kids are in CCD for an hour on Sundays and, lucky for me, there is a newly remodeled track 800 meters away. I scoffed when the Navy tore down the old track that was here and replace it with this gorgeous rubberized track with a turf infield, thinking of all the areas that money could have went towards, but admittedly I love running here! I wore the racing flats I will wear on marathon day (Nike Streak 3’s), did not listen to music, and also I switched directions half way through the workout to try to limit any possible irritation on any lingering troublesome spots. This session went fantastic which may have been attributed to that rest day I took from the stomach bug.
63 total miles
*Core work, Stretching, Rolling are completed Daily. 3 days a week I complete drills that are strength & form based. I am also “that mom” always doing crunches, stretches, etc. randomly around the house/playground/etc. through out the day. Get whatever you can in, when you can!
One of the biggest differences in this marathon cycle as opposed to a cycle I had run 1 or 2 years ago is that I am paying much more attention to my body. It seems that weekly something is popping up here or there that never bothered me before or if it did, I ignored it. Maybe its age, maybe its the fact that I’ve been running at a high level for awhile, but I’m certainly listening to my ART therapist and hydrating constantly, rolling EVERY DAY, and stretching at any given moment. After the track yesterday I felt a huge knot in my calf and I spent a good 20 minutes working that thing out (talk about painful!). In the past I would have ran with it for weeks.
Another thing I’m working on is getting back on track with my nutrition. I love food. I’ll say that again; I love food. The holidays were an excuse to eat tons of cookies and drink tons of wine. Then January my mileage creeped up so that was an excuse to keep on eating and drinking. Then I faced facts and realized I’m a full 5 pounds heavier than I was before the Philadelphia Marathon. This is definitely a sensitive topic with female runners, so its normally one I avoid, but I also know that I love reading blogs that are honest and honestly its not a sensitive topic for me. I’m not even close to “racing weight”. Do I think I’m fat or out of shape? Absolutely not. But do I think I can PR at Boston with an extra 5 pounds around my stomach? Probably not wise to risk it. So I am cutting out wine (unless I’m out with friends) and watching my portion sizes. More importantly, I am meeting with my nutritionist & friend, Crystal Witte, this Wednesday to try to figure out a wise plan of action. Last time I met with her she let me know how disproportionate my protein and carbs were. I was carb starved! So I’ll try to write a blog post soon with some of her advice and how I go about using it.
Next Sunday is a day I’ve been looking forward to for awhile. Months ago my friend Kellie and I did a course tour with the Director of a new race in Virginia Beach called the Virginia Beach Distance Races. (Our pics are on the link) and this Sunday, Kellie and another friend, Ben, and I will be running the 100K relay. It’s a 2.3 mile loop, designed to be a fast Ultra course, so our team name is “WTF, Another Lap!?!” 🙂 I’m pretty excited about this. It may be the most boring course that I’ve run 20ish miles on but the friends will make it the most exciting. I’l be sure to give a good recap. Wish us luck and have a great week everyone!! Thank you for reading!