Sunday, February 24, 2013

Boston Training: Halfway Update

Or a little bit more than halfway there ...

It's a good thing I didn't get this thing posted 9 weeks into training, because it would have been a whole lot more negative.

When I get halfway through a marathon training cycle, I like to look around, see where I've been, and assess where I am.

This cycle is far different from any other marathon training cycle. Being injured and not running for 5 months meant that I just couldn't pick up where I left off. My speed and endurance are pretty much nonexistent. My average pace is about 45 seconds per mile slower than where I was a year ago. My average weekly mileage is significantly lower. I am not doing speedwork of any kind. I have to be really careful about the foot that wasn't injured so that I don't injure myself again. There are days when I am not sure that I am going to make it to Boston.

A year ago, I was running my fastest times ever. I already had stellar 19- and 20-mile runs under my belt. I trained farther and faster and it was paying off. I smashed my marathon PR in a near-perfect marathon at Shamrock, ran an incredibly similar time at the Gansett Marathon 4 weeks later, AND set a 5K PR on a decently challenging course.

I am no longer that runner.

I had a goal. Qualify for Boston. Well, I did that. Twice. What happens after that?

You have to be really really really motivated to train for and run a marathon. I think I lost a lot of the motivation to run a marathon after I wasn't coming back from being injured.

I am not at the same place I was a year ago. And not just in running. I have a job and a house and a new place to explore. Training for a marathon just isn't high on the list of priorities right now.

Having said all of that, I need to stop comparing myself now to myself then. I can't put in the mileage volume I would like to, but I will do the best I can. I am beginning to see the value of running for fun. As long as I stay uninjured, I will find a way to cross the finish line in Boston. Hello, motivation?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Boston Training Week 11

My plan for the week was cross train, run 4 and 8 miles, cross train, rest, 4 and 16 mile long run.

I decided early in the week that the 16 mile long run just was not going to happen. I was too busy. The weather wasn't great. I had a cold for most of the week. Normally, time, weather, and colds do not interfere with my training schedule. This was scrapping a run to stave off an injury.

I had a moment of insight on yesterday's run where I think I am finally OK with letting go of any goal I had for Boston. I realized that I can't train the way I could in the past, but that doesn't have to stop me from training for fun and running a marathon for fun. Maybe I'll wear a Boston College Superfan T-shirt to the marathon. Yes, I have an Under Armour Superfan T-shirt. Maybe I'll hunt down one of those headbands with eagles on it (BC's mascot is an eagle). That could be fun. It was the first time in a long time where I thought about the marathon and wasn't dreading it.

Besides, don't you get more for your entry fee buck if you stay out on the course longer?

I took it kinda easy this week. I stumbled into few discoveries: I need to run more on the treadmill (because the incline is controlled and the surface is softer), inclines bother my foot more than declines (which would explain why my 2 regular long run routes bother me more on the way back ... they follow creeks and are slightly downhill on the way out and slightly uphill on the way back), and running in compression socks/sleeves helps. Now I just need to get more compression gear.

Sunday - Rest. Kinda. I think running up and down my stairs all day moving boxes and putting things away counts as exercise.

Monday - 4.4 mile run. Outside. Felt the beginnings of a cold coming on.

Tuesday - 4.2 miles on the treadmill, plus upper body lifting.

Wednesday - Rest. Usually I don't make adjustments for being sick, but I'm already not sticking to my schedule that carefully and just wasn't feeling the need to push it.

Thursday - 1 hour on the bike. Got to the gym really early before work. I really need to get my own hairdryer to bring with me. The ones in the gym take forever and it's cutting into my workout time.

Friday - 4.6 mile run. Outside. Didn't even need a light. Oh, that will change in a few weeks, but I'll take it for now. The cold was wrapping up too. It was nice to breathe again.

Saturday - 6.5 mile run outside in cold misty rain. A little chilly, but I was dressed appropriately. Not the 16 miles on my training schedule. It was what my body could handle and actually it was nice to go out and run whatever I felt like. No pressure. No pushing it.

Total Miles:19.7

Monday, February 18, 2013

Boston Training Week 10

My plan for the week was cross train, run 3 and 7 miles, cross train, rest, 4 mile run and 15 mile long run.

Sunday - one hour yoga of Yoga for Runners.

Monday - 3.8 mile run. Outside.

Tuesday - 60 minutes on the bike in the AM. Core work and clamshell planks in the PM.

Wednesday - 4.6 mile run outside in the AM. Upper body strength training, calf raises, and clamshell planks at lunch.

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - 35 minutes on the bike, plus chest exercises and clamshells.

Saturday - 15 mile run. Ran later than I usually do. The first 9 miles were fine. The last 6, not so much.

Total Miles: 23.4

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Boston Training Week 9

My plan for the week was cross train, run 3 and 7 miles, cross train, rest, 4 and 10 mile run.

Halfway there. Another stepback week.

What do you not see a lot of in my recap below? Running. We've been down this path before. Sigh.

I am pretty sure it's Achilles tendonitis. In my other foot. The injured one is doing just fine now. Go figure.
The silver lining of being injured last year is that I recognized this pretty quickly and I know what to do. Back off, cross-train, take anti-inflammatory meds, ice, foam roll my calves, stretch, and be very very careful.

But I have no idea what causes it. That weird pain in my foot that occured just after Christmas? Jumping up mileage too quickly? Too much running outside on uneven surfaces? Running on slippery surfaces? Any and all the things just mentioned?

At least this time I have 8-9 weeks of training under my belt. I still have time to do what I need to do and still be able to cross the finish line in Boston. That's what I hope, at least.

Sunday - one hour yoga podcasts, plus calf raises and squats.

Monday - 35 minutes on the bike, plus upper body lifting, clamshell planks, core work, and foam rolling.

Tuesday - Pushups, foam rolling, and attempted lunges (attempted because I only made it one set) in the AM. 32 minutes on the bike in the PM, plus planks, clamshell planks, and oblique work with a medicine ball.

Wednesday - 60 minutes on the bike.

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - 4.6 miles. Outside. In cold rain. It wasn't that bad, actually. Ankle felt a little cranky but was otherwise OK.

Saturday - 10.2 miles. Very windy. Relatively slow. Eh. It is what it is. I got it done and wasn't hurting too much afterwards.

Total Miles: 14.8. Stepback week indeed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Boston Training Week 8

My plan for the week was cross train, run 3 and 6 miles, cross train, rest, rest and 13.1 mile race.

The 13.1 mile race was not going to happen. One, no races this time of year. Two, I am not racing Boston. One of the purposes of a half marathon race is to test your fitness. Yeah, I kinda know where I am already. I know how to pace myself.

I need to keep reminding myself that I need to roll my calves daily. Not once or twice a week. Not when I remember. Every day. Even if my calves are not tight. That's exactly how to keep them loose.

Sunday - two 20-minute yoga podcasts, plus calf raises and squats.

Monday - Pushups and lunges in the AM. 3.8 miles on the treadmill in the PM. And lots of foam rolling.

Tuesday - 32 minutes on the elliptical, plus upper body strength training, clamshell planks, core work, and foam rolling.

Wednesday - 6.3 mile run. Outside. In the AM. In a short sleeve T-shirt and light capris. I was hot! In January!

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - 35 minutes on the elliptical. My ankle was bugging me, so cross-training was in order.

Saturday - 13.1 mile run. Cold, but I was dressed appropriately.

Total Miles: 23.2