15 Weeks to Carmel

In fifteen weeks I run another marathon, which sounds like a long time, but it’s really only like 105 days, which does not make it feel so far away. 

On New Year’s Day, I received my training plan from Lindsey and Glenn as I laid in bed regretting the third cocktail I made the night before. Fuck.  I read through it, not fully digesting it, but feeling excited for the next few months. I checked over the longest runs, the taper, and the midweek runs. I saw the peak mileage and the goal paces. Nothing felt unattainable, but like I can certainly work towards the tougher workouts in peak weeks but also like I’m not going to burn myself out. Burn out, injuries, and hating training are my biggest fears and nothing about this plan triggers that.

Treadmill, not dreadmill.
With training for a race in April in Indiana while I’m living in Buffalo, which definitely has much cooler weather, I’ll be on the treadmill a bit more. Truthfully, I kind of like that I was given a little nudge towards the treadmill more than the elements so I can be used to running in warmer temperatures just in case. I’m much more apt to get my ass on the treadmill for a run than in the dark, outside, on unshoveled sidewalks. 

There was also some thought to holding off on lifting or CrossFit during training, which I considered. Then I thought more  and decided that would ultimately make me less happy. I know I could potentially make quicker and larger jumps if I cut out the lifting when I’m in my goal race training cycle. I cut back on it during my Pittsburgh building, but I also got completely burnt out. Every goal race I’ve had where I crosstrained with CrossFit or spinning, I got to the start feeling energized and prepared. The couple I backed off on, not as much, plus I had some minor injuries — classes force me to be dedicated to strength training. So that’s really settled it for me. I’ll take running a little slower for this race in order to keep my sanity and doing the things that make me happy. If I were aiming for a BQ? Well, I might reconsider. 

My first week started a little bumpy.  Tuesday I had a stress workout and it seemed really easy. “I got this!” After all, it was just 3 miles with 2 at threshold (approximately 8:10).  Um, not so much. 

We had to take Dunk to the vet after work, so I had a brief 45 minutes to get changed, warmup, and crush it before leaving.  Apparently after a hectic day at work, my mind and body weren’t on the same page because that shit was hard. I hit the treadmill and eased into the 2nd mile, but felt like I was flying off the treadmill even at 8:30 pace according to my watch (9:00 according to the treadmill). The final mile wasn’t any easier. I haven’t done much of any longer speed sessions yet, sticking mostly to intervals of less than a mile, but I didn’t think I should feel this terrible. 

Wednesday morning I went to a CrossFit class, which involved 81 burpees and practicing squat cleans. The good thing about this workout is that it saved my legs. The bad thing about this workout is, well nothing, really. I modified the weights I used in order to not wreak havoc on my body to be able to run again later in the week, otherwise I’d likely have pushed myself a bit more. 

My next stress session was supposed to be 10 miles on Saturday. The windchill here is in sub zero and I didn’t want to deal with that, so I hit the treadmill. Unfortunately, I’m an idiot and I didn’t drink any water on Friday, ate half the amount of calories I do on a normal day, and had a holiday party at night where I had some adult beverages. Usually I can hack out a long run with one of those bad choices the day prior, but all three? Not so much. My first mile was around 10:15, the second 10:25 or so, and the third was approaching 10:40s. I felt off from the start but kept thinking “this will get better” until it kept getting worse. So I hopped off and am flipping my runs around — I’ll do it tomorrow and also make a concentrated effort on not being a hydration/fueling dumbass in the future. 

I also didn’t do anything I should do this week, now that I think about it — bad eating, bad hydrating, no yoga, hardly any foam rolling. Good thing Monday starts a new week, I need to mentally think of it that way and start it off right. The holiday thing the past couple weeks apparently did me in. 



After the first week with successful, purposeful runs (read: I said I was going to run and actually did it without bailing), I finally felt the drive to dedicate myself to training again.  Maybe it is the leaves changing color and the slightly cooler weather reminding me of cross country races, who knows.  Last weekend I set out on a fun run in the first day with crisp, Fall weather and all of a sudden it hit me. I knew what I wanted to train towards, not necessarily the race, but definitely the distance. I’m ready for the marathon.

I came home and laughed at myself though. This feeling well disappear in a couple days.  In the meantime I appeased myself by looking at potential Spring marathons within driving distance, which to me, is 8 hours or less for a quick trip.  I can push for 12 hours for a weeklong vacation. I think Spring is the best for me because I love to do whatever I want in the Summer.  Yes, it will be absolutely awful training through Buffalo winters and I hated half marathon training in the winter, but I’m hoping training for a longer, slower race will make it more feasible. Besides, my mind is going to change in a few days anyways. I’m not running a marathon.

I found the Carmel Marathon after looking at few others and headed to Twitter for some local input.  Of course, reviews were great and then some friends were all about it.  I joked to J about it, “spring marathon?” and he asked if I had enough time to even get ready for that sort of thing since I haven’t been running.  Sometimes dating a non-runner had its perks. But don’t worry, I’ll change my mind.

I purchased Hanson’s Marathon Method just to see what it was about.  I like reading about training and finding new plans, what’s the harm? Next purchase will likely be a book about training and CrossFit, because I’ll be damned if I have to totally stop doing what has kept me injury free. It doesn’t matter though, I’ll change my mind.

Well, it has been a week and my mind hasn’t changed. I haven’t pulled the trigger and signed up because I’m being careful with spending until we close and buy all the house necessities (budget, what?) but I have the price increase reminder on my phone at the end of October. Mentally, I’ve committed. I’ve told J and friends my plan to do this.  I’ve recognized what it’ll mean for my winter… But I think I’m ready to step up again. 

So there. Next April, I’m going to run another marathon.

Race Specific Training Weeks 1 and 2

Here it is, the finally “hurrah” towards the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!  I’m getting a little burnt out, but trying so hard to push to the finish.  It’s not so much the running that is wearing me down, but other aspects of life pulling me in every other direction.  It’s hard to stay committed when you have 8 other things on your mind and all you want to do is take a nap. Continue reading Race Specific Training Weeks 1 and 2