Halfway through another marathon training cycle. Again? How did that happen? It is 9 weeks til the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach.
I pretty much kept up all of the changes I made in my Chicago Marathon training cycle. Wore my compression socks/calf sleeves daily, did yoga once a week, did low weight-high rep strength training including squats and lunges, cut out almost all alcohol, paid attention to eating and hydrating, used my Garmin, and ran faster and farther (see 1 and 2 below). I am somewhat concerned about overtraining. I don't *think* I am overtraining, but I also don't really know. There is a fine line between pushing yourself to improve and pushing yourself too much. I keep checking in with myself periodically. All is good so far.
1. Ran faster - I dropped my (training) marathon goal pace down by 15 seconds to 7:45 per mile. Mile splits in the 7s scare me, so I need some practice at seeing them and knowing I can hold them. I also tried to get my other runs into the 8:15-8:30ish range. That's also about 15 seconds faster per mile than my training pace from my last training cycle. Oh, I am still going after a 3:35 marathon (8:12 pace) and plan to run at an 8:00 pace. Hopefully I will get through the first half faster and will have some wiggle room in the second half. I work well with wiggle room. I think part of running faster was the colder winter temperatures. I ran several minutes faster than my similar distance runs from my last training cycle.
2. Ran farther - I followed Hal Higdon's Intermediate I again but tacked on an extra 3 miles or so onto each week's total mileage. I want to get my mileage closer to 50 miles for at least a week or two. I won't quite make it, but I'll be closer than I was for Chicago.
3. Raced a virtual half marathon on a treadmill. Because I just am that crazy. I could have ran anywhere and yet I chose the treadmill. I am still not sure about my true pace/distance because the treadmill and Nike+ gave me two different distances, but I'll take it. I survived and survived well! Pretty sure I set an unofficial PR. See the separate post on the Nike+ Women's Half Marathon.
4. Got minimalist shoes - for strength training, not running. I'm not sure they make any difference, but it's something I wanted to note. I *think* they are helping with the sporadic issues I've had with my ankle. It is definitely easier to balance with the minimalist shoes.
Shamrock's Facebook page has preview pics of the finishers medals. The medal doubles as a bottle opener and has a detachable shamrock charm. Want!!
9 weeks to go. Sham Rock On!!!