I’m already five weeks (!) into marathon training, and I’ve hardly written about it at all.
Like I have previously, I’m once again using the Run Less, Run Faster program. (This method combines two sessions of cross training per week with one interval run, one tempo run, and one long run. I’ve written about it more here if you’re interested.) Let’s take a looksee at how these past few weeks have been:
Week 1: A strong start! I nailed the interval and tempo run, and felt solid on my 8 mile long run. I actually added this week because I knew I’d be on the road when training was supposed to start. I’m so glad I did this! It was a mental boost to start off on the right foot.
Week 2: Kick butt interval run, shortened treadmill tempo run (I was out of town in Dallas for a work conference and had to squeeze it in), sucky 8 mile long run the night before we left for our big vacation.
Interval: I was kind of dreading the interval run. It was 5 rounds of 1000 meters. 1000 meters is .62 of a mile. It really bothered me (probably to an irrational level) that .62 makes for every uneven numbers. I prefer my intervals to be even, like .5. (OCD much?) I worked out all the math before the run and wrote it in a note on my phone. This made it so I didn’t have to do any math on the run. Because I was not excited about this work out, I did it first thing in the week. I’m so glad that I did because I destroyed it! I kicked off the week on a high. I felt awesome, the intervals, for the most part, went by quickly. I hit my goal pace or very close to it every time. Success!
Tempo: The tempo run was rather simple. One warm-up mile, which I ran with Geronimo, 4 miles at 9:07, one cool-down mile. This was my easiest run of the week. I was able to zone out and really enjoy myself. The gorgeous El Paso sunrise didn’t hurt either.
In fact, I’m finding that I love waking up extra early to run. I’m not sure what will happen when school starts. My school day is very early (I usually arrive around 6:45, and the first bell is at 7:30), and I just don’t think that I have enough time to run, shower, etc. and be at work as early as I like. Hrm.
Long run: 11 miles. Part of me feels like I should be running farther by now. The other part of me (the smart part!) is saying to trust the plan. So that’s what I did this morning. I headed out the door by 5:30, I followed the prescribed paces exactly, and I ran 11 miles. The humidity nearly about did me in. I think it should be illegal for it to get to 90% humidity here. I live in the desert! I didn’t sign up for humid weather! I was sweating a lot, and I was very hungry by the end.
Cross-training: I got in two hours of yoga, 1 hour on the stationary bike (11 miles!), and 30 minutes on the rower (I hit 5k!) I’ve never been so consistent and focused on cross-training ever. I don’t feel any difference in my running now, but I’m hoping I’ll see long-term benefits.
I’m still working out my fueling. I’ve been using the Waterlogged app to keep tabs on my hydration. I love a good graph! Pre-run, I usually eat pb toast, and that’s working well. My issue is more with what to eat during my run. I’ve tried an assortment of chomps, chews, and beans. I like them, but I don’t love them. On my most recent run, I finished feeling hungry. That won’t do! I’ve used gu in the past, but my stomach isn’t a fan any more. I also did the Swedish Fish thing, but I’ve eaten so many, I don’t know if I can bring myself to eat any more. This will definitely take time and trial and error. (Feel free to throw any suggestions my way!)
I’m also thinking about the logistics of race day. I booked my hotel in Saint Paul! That makes it feel much more real. I’m anticipating that there will be a fair amount of time from when I leave my hotel and to when the race starts. I want to replicate this at least a few times in training. (I didn’t think about it during El Paso Marathon training, and it threw me off on race day.) My plan is to drive across town for a few long runs. That extra time driving to my destination will be as close as I can get to the waiting around on race day.
Overall, I feel solid. I wanted to throw myself completely into training this summer, and I’ve done that. I have fallen back in love with speed work. I’m enjoying cross-training, which is a totally new phenomenon for me! I go back to work a week from Monday (yes, already). I know that will throw a wrench in things, but I know that my foundation is strong. The biggest challenges will be fitting everything in and giving up napping! At this point, though, I’m too determined to be defeated.