Happy New Year, Salty Readers! Here’s hoping 2014 is off to an amazing start for all of you! I’ve been a little absent from the Salty Running Training Chronicles lately because honestly, I don’t know that we can call the running I’ve been doing since Richmond “training.” Furthermore, I felt like crap on at least 90% of the runs I did go on in the time period between Thanksgiving and New Years, so what little I documented was mostly whining, and seriously, who wants to read all that?! But I’m optimistic that all that grumpiness and crappiness was just on account of low motivation, not lack of fitness. Also, I couldn’t be more excited to report that as 2014 begins, so does a shiny new training cycle for me! It’s time to start gearing up for the Boston Marathon, and I am SUPER PUMPED about it! So follow along if you’d like over the next 15 weeks as I share my training adventures right here on your favorite running blog!
The Road to Boston, Week 1, 12/30/13 – 1/5/14.
Monday, 12/30: Easy Singletrack Jaunt. 6 miles. I had to open at work today (my workday started at 4:45 am!) so I was reduced to running alone, and in the afternoon. NOT my ideal training scenario, but I tried to trick myself into getting excited about it by making it a little adventure. I hadn’t been out to the singletrack at Umstead (the state park that all the cool kids like to run in around here) in I don’t know when, so I decided to take on my fave little singletrack loop just for kicks.
It wasn’t easy, but I somehow managed to get myself out there with succumbing to my strong desire to take a nap, only to realize that I had (gasp!) forgotten my Garmin!!! Now I am a Garmin-or-it-didn’t-happen person to the death, so I had to seriously talk myself out of just throwing in the towel and driving back home to claim my nap. But I reminded myself of how lame that would be, and that if I just applied myself this would probably over in an hour and I could celebrate with a nap that I had actually earned, and off I went.
I was shocked (and selfishly mildly annoyed) at the bazillions of hikers out on the trail. I have never seen the like of walking traffic out there! But then I saw someone walking a Corgi wearing a jacket and that made this run and the hiking traffic seem more worthwhile. Cheers to getting it done and a nice change of scenery!
Tuesday, 12/31: 6x 800m, 8.07 miles. My last run of 2013 was the first workout of my Boston Marathon training cycle! I cannot even begin to tell you how great it felt to be running with purpose again! I think my extended downtime after Richmond was necessary, and that it will pay off in the end, but man, it made me feel super-unmotivated and really out of sorts at times! I’m very glad to be back on the horse, and especially excited to be gearing up to go back to Boston!
The workout was 6x 800m at not-quite VO2max. We figured it would be best to start bringing things back slowly. I was aiming for roughly 3:10s, so here are the splits…
3:13, 3:08, 3:05, 3:13, 3:07, 2:59… I’m guessing that all averages out to roughly 3:10, so let’s just call it mission accomplished.
We also threw in a few hill sprints, just because the city of Durham is expanding our go-to greenway/ rail trail so it actually has a legit hill now, and, well, so does Boston. Hooray for a good start to what hopes to be a rewarding training cycle, and Happy New Year, Salty friends!
Wednesday, 1/1: 7.5 miles. Not a bad first run of the year at all, especially considering that I rang in 2014 by staying up extra-late and consuming an exotic variety of adult beverages! Very pleased indeed to manage a decent pace and feel mostly unhungover. Thanks to Saffron for keeping me company, and cheers to a healthy and happy new year!
Thursday, 1/2: Back to Work! Rest Day!
Friday, 1/3: 4x 5 minutes Tempo. Hooray for the first tempo run of 2014 ! Have I mentioned how happy and excited I am that the down time is over and I am working towards a goal again! And I am extra-excited that the goal is Boston!
It was far from warm out there today, and we only saw a few other brave souls, but things went well and we celebrated tempo run success with the first Rise donuts (which are my very favorite baked goods in the free world) of the new year!
The workout was 4x 5 mins at LT pace, so I was thinking something between 6:40 and 6:50, but I was running with Saffron, so I guess it’s no big surprise that we ended up going a little faster than that. The cold temps and fierce head-winds were extra-motivating as well.
Here are my average paces for the intervals: 6:35, 6:26, 6:48, 6:24. I definitely felt like I was pushing my limits by the last one, because, well, I was, but on the whole I felt good and strong. You can always tell that a workout went well when it doesn’t reduce you to 10 minute miles for your cool down. (Although that part might have just been what I like to call “The Saffron Effect”.) In any event, it feels good to be back! Yay!
Saturday, 1/4: Easy 7.01 miles. It was a pretty chilly morning, at least by North Carolina standards, but that did not stop Saffron, running buddies Sarah K. and Jen, and me from going out on our standard Saturday donut shop run. I felt like the cold kept us moving quickly, and I was pleased to pull off nearly an hour at marathon goal pace without feeling uncomfortable. Now if I can just figure out maintaining that pace for an additional 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 59 secs I should be all set for April.
Sunday, 1/5: Long Run, 14.01 miles. What an exciting week of firsts! Today marked the first Sunday Funday of the Boston training cycle, the first longer-than-90-minute run I’ve done in I don’t know when, and my triumphant (?) return to the trusty Reedy Creek/ Gralyn loop at Umstead. (For those of you who don’t live and run in the Raleigh-Durham Area, the Umstead Reedy Creek/ Gralyn loop is the hilly-ass place you go to do all your Boston training long runs.)
It was good to be back. The perfect cool, overcast day for a woodsy long run. My goal was to get through it and not totally fall apart and/ or wimp out on the hills. I managed to keep the hilliest miles (8, 9, and 10) under 8:20 pace, which I felt pretty good about considering the fact that I’ve definitely clocked some splits that start with 9s out there in recent history. As always, watching Saffron zooming up the trail waaaaayyy ahead of me was both inspiring and mildly demoralizing. But mostly inspiring. 🙂
The nice thing about that loop is that the last 2 miles are flat, which is handy for salvaging both your average pace and your self-esteem. We did this particularly effectively today because we threw in a few pick-ups at roughly 12.25 through 13.25. These did not feel as awful as I feared they might, and they certainly moved things along a little faster.
All things considered, I felt pretty good about Boston long run #1. Cheers to the return of Sunday Funday!
So there you have it, friends! Week 1 of 2014/ Boston training was filled with puppy-like enthusiasm and glorious optimism for an exciting new year of awesomeness, at least as far as running goes. Here’s hoping I can ride this little wave of excitement and positivity all the way to Hopkinton!
What are your big, awesome running goals for 2014? Have you started training for them?