Buenos Dias, Salty Readers! Boy, has it been a long time! The last time we talked I was training for Boston, which turned out to be such a fantastically amazing experience that it couldn’t be contain to just one race report blog post! (Read part 1 here and part 2 here if you are so inclined.) My spring marathon was one of those rare and wonderful things that truly met and exceeded my hopes, dreams, and expectations in every way, but afterwards a crashed pretty hard from my glorious Boston high. No run felt as good or as meaningful as that race did, and extra stress and exhaustion from life in general further contributed to my post-marathon turned extended summer funk. I was doing much running, and the running that was doing just didn’t seem worth blogging about. But it is now August, and it is time to get out of the funk and back on the horse! Especially since my next big running adventure, the New York City Marathon (!!!) is only 13 weeks away. This puts me 2 weeks behind in documenting my training, but for the sake of my own personal accountability, I’m going to back-track a little and start at the beginning here. So sit back, relax and enjoy Week 1 of my NYC Marathon training escapades. Weeks 2 and 3 are soon to follow, I promise!
6 4.5 miles easy.
I have decided to give the Hansons Marathon Method a go for this training cycling. I’ve chosen this plan mostly because the store where I work has the book so I was able to purchase it at a deep discount, and also because nothing in the world sounds worse to me right now than a 22 mile long run. (In case you’re not familiar, the Hansons top out at 16! #winning) I’ll be following the advanced program (even thought it is technically an 18 week program which I started today for my marathon that is 15 weeks away. Still not entirely sure how that one is going to work.) Today it called for 6 easy miles, which I had to do at the end of a day that started at 4 am. My lovely running friends Margaret and Kate were nice enough to meet me at 6:30 tonight for moral support and company. Neither of them were super-excited for 6 miles, so we settled for 4.5. I know, I know, I am low-balling and short-changing the program already and it’s only day 1 (or at least the 1st day I’ve actually done something that I am calling mindful marathon training), but I refuse to judge myself for the abbreviated run. I’m just looking at it as a mini-taper for tomorrow’s speed workout! Until then, stay classy y’all!
Tuesday, 7/22: Back on the Track, 6.27 miles.
Today marked the first workout of the NYC Marathon training cycle. It was great to have big group of fun faces, both old running friends and new show up to keep me company. Except in the end I ended up doing my own thing (everyone else is training for a later marathon than mine) so opted for my prescribed 6x 800 instead of their 12x 400. It was hard and I was completely spent when it was over, but all things considered, I think I did alright.
The goal was 3:10s, and here are the splits: 3:01 (oops! Too fast!), 3:15 (Damnit! Too Slow!), 3:07 (that’s more like it!), 3:10 (perfection!) 3:11, and a very hard-fought 3:12 for the last one.
All I wanted in the world was to lay down on the track when it was over. It was definitely a rust-buster, and I have a little work to do, particularly on pacing and consistency, but I was pleased to get through it more or less on pace, and it admittedly felt pretty great to be back. Cheers to the return of Track Tuesday!
Wednesday, 7/23: I am the cross training queen!
The Hansons called for a rest day today. I laughed in their faces. (Sorry Hansons.) To my great surprise, I have really been digging on the cross training this summer, so decided to enjoy a little today. 45 minutes of aqua jogging with my lovely friend Jen, plus some core and glute strengthening exercises, and the 12 fun miles on the ElliptiGO after work, just because ElliptiGOing is fun and it’s so nice to be outside at that time of day.And hey, it seemed to work out pretty well for Meb, right? (If you are not privy to the awesomeness that is the ElliptiGO,you should read up on it here. It’s pretty much the most fun you could ever hope to have cross training.) Back to running game tomorrow! Happy trails until then, y’all!
Thursday, 7/24, 6 miles Tempo, 7.5 miles total.
Continuing on this week’s theme of firsts, today I completed the first tempo workout of the NYC Marathon training cycle. I’m accustomed to doing my tempo work in the form of shorter efforts at LT pace, and I like and believe in this approach, but the Hansons define things a little differently. Tempo workouts are more sustained efforts at marathon goal pace, and today the program called for 6 miles. That seemed like a really long way to go on a tempo day, but I tried to keep an open mind about it and not get bogged down by negative self-talk. My goal was to keep it somewhere in the 3:15 to 3:10 MGP range, which translated to 7:26 to 7:15 min/ mile.
Here’s how it actually played out:
1 mile warm-up, followed by 7:28, 7:12, 7:19, 7:23 (this mile included multiple cross walk/ stoplight interruptions, as well as an epic near-crisis bathroom stop that probably warrants a blog post all its own, but I will spare you the details.) And then 7:10 and 7:08 for the 2 final miles of working effort. It’s amazing how much faster and more focused I am without the burden of intense fear of pooping my pants. Major props to Solite Park (a park convenient situated on my greenway trail of choice) for providing an accessible bathroom when I really needed one!
So, my ~5 min. pit stop wasn’t really part of the plan and I have to wonder if I missed out on some of the intended benefit of the workout because of it, but I was glad to get through the workout nonetheless, and optimistic that it wasn’t a total waste of time. Hopefully frantic bathroom stops will not be a recurring theme of this training cycling. Hooray for getting it done and for good coffee and better conversation afterwards! Party on, y’all!
Friday, 7/25: A Not-so-Easy Easy 6.
I had envisioned the “easy 6 miles” that the Hansons prescribed today feeling much easier than it did. Perhaps I didn’t give yesterday’s tempo enough credit for beating me up (although I feel like a gave it a pretty decent amount of credit), or maybe it was the mid-morning heat and humidity. I also should not rule out the possibility that I am just even more out of shape and de-conditioned than I feared. In any event, let’s just say I was not at all at risk of overrunning my recovery run. And I was really effing glad to get it over with so I could move on with my day. My running calendar for the weekend is filled with good company from fun friends, so I’m hoping this will translate into enjoyable running! TGFI, playas!
Saturday, 7/26, Easy 8.
“Easy 8” seems like a massive oxymoron to me right now, but at least I was in the fantastic and hilarious company of awesome friends! Big thanks to Karen, J-La, and Kate for the miles, smiles, and coffee talk after. And an extra-special shout-out to Kate for letting me take a shower at her house, which is much closer to the running store than mine, so I could be both clean, and (sort of) on time for work. Cheers to the weekend, y’all!
Sunday, 7/27, 10 in The Umsteads.
Big, fun crowd for this morning’s long run! High fives to the Hansons for prescribing only 10 miles! We ended up making it 10.5 because that extra .5 got us to the water fountain, which was clutch given today’s rampant humidity and the sweat-fest that ensued because of it. Fasties Kara and Rachel were doing 15 min. pick ups at 7:25 pace, and that’s pretty dang fast for Umstead. (If you are not familiar with running in The Triangle, Umstead is the hilly-as-balls state park where everyone goes to do their marathon training long runs.) I tried to hang with them for as long as I could, but I failed pretty badly, especially when there were uphills involved. I tried not to judge myself, seeing as I didn’t really have any reason to add pick-ups to my long run today, aside from just hanging out with my friends. All things considered, I felt pretty good, I got to hang out with a bunch of fun peeps, and didn’t really hate this run in any way, so I think I’ll call it a win! Cheers to closing the book on week 1 of fall marathon training!
Thanks for stopping by to check out my Salty Running training log! More to come soon, I promise! In the meantime, keep living the dream, and happy trails!