This is my longest run since the marathon. Started as a 6 mile loop which turned into 8 because 8 is better than 6 and then 10 because 10 is double digits and then 13.1 because why not make it a training HM and then 15 because 15 is more like a real long run and then 16 because 16 rounds up to 20:) I loved this run, every minute of this run (lying but I like the way this sounds…...) I could feel my loss of running fitness and frankly miles 13-15
So, finally a bit of a running post . A LONG LONG random bullet running post because well, because I’m riding in the car for 6 hours and why not....
*I’ve run 4 marathons. Averaged in the 45-55mile (peak) for the 1st, 55-70 for the 2nd, 60-80 for the 3rd and then this last one was pretty much a mess although I did have 7 quality weeks…. 3:25, 3:18, 3:20, 3:31. (and if you're waiting for a race report for the 3:31, it's not coming:)
*I’ve had 3 somewhat significant injuries in 3 years. A torn hamstring stemming from running a HARD 26.2 in training 6 days after a lifetime long run of 13.1(my first HM) and then following it with a 20 miler 6 days after that(slightly overzealous???), a femoral neck stress fracture which I’m attributing to not properly recovering from Boston but in reality I’m not sure what caused it, and a gluteal strain that I think really wasn’t even a running injury. None of these scare me as far as my mileage is concerned as long as I keep my head on straight! I do realize that I’m 36 years old and I need to take care of my body here. I’m very aware of this. Today I can say I feel 98% healthy!
Where I'm at Now:
I finished this week with 55 miles-my highest in a LONG time. More than I planned for but then again I’m not following a plan! I’m mostly running easy with some VERY unorganized “stop sign, light pole, mail box” fartleks. For now, I’m mainly just allowing my body to do what it feels comfortable doing-no agenda, usually no Garmin. Some days comfortable means VERY SLOW (like EVERY day last week:) Other days, my legs almost surprise me and I go with them a bit. I’ve completed 3 weeks of my little program at the gym and I’m starting to see and feel the benefits here. One more week and then I will change my focus a little bit, maintaining core workouts, but focusing more on running. This break of unstructured running has certainly left me hungry....EXACTLY what I was hoping for.
*As I often mention, (so I can gather your sympathy it may seem) I am embarking on my extensive weekend travel season with hockey. I’m also very busy with games and practice in the evenings during the week. I refuse to miss my kids games for a training run (the occasional race perhaps) but not a training run. I’m working more and I’m also hoping to dedicate more time than EVER before to my training. I'm presented with a personal challenge here. (Little disclaimer* I certainly know many people with MUCH MORE INVOLVED jobs and equally busy lives who make it work. My issue is time, not work stress) On the upside, although the travel is a bit consuming, I actually sleep very well in hotels without the constant temptation to do other things….. I am OK to miss a few late night parent social hours on a hockey weekend for a hotel treadmill run or an early morning outside run! I’ve been incessantly teased about my role as a “party pooper” on these trips but then it only takes ONE weekend to totally redeem yourself…..Yes, I will never live that one down...I believe my picture was actually imprinted on a T-shirt....I have mean friends...Maybe I will do a giveaway!!!
This is the place where I should insert another BOLD header with a list of related points below. Yeah...It is not, but I will put it in bold so this whole post is more aesthetically pleasing to my readers.
November 7th I will start somewhat of a “pre- plan” for about 8 weeks. It will be pretty flexible but a general WRITTEN guideline of what I want to do and a good “practice” for how I will be able to manage my time and workouts come January when I will start my actual Boston plan. I will be building my mileage back up in here and also reintroducing some speed and elevation. I have been somewhat injured since August and haven’t run a high mileage week OR an actual speed workout in quite some time. I did have a strong base for the months preceding and I’ve continued to run so I’m not starting at square one here. I’m kicking this off this 8 week “pre-plan” with a 5K race:) I will likely SUCK this up but right now I’m in the perfect place to handle that. I’m excited to race, I’m excited to start having something to work on, something to “beat”, something to fire me up!! I can confidently say a 5K PR is not even REMOTELY in my sights here (I'm quite realistic and I have run, let me see…ZERO miles at 5K pace:)
I have a really awesome opportunity with my work to fit in a few extra miles some days. Or maybe not even extra miles but just a means of getting what I need to, IN. I’ve done a test and can pull out over 45 minutes on my lunch break on the treadmill and still be back to work in 1 hour. Yes, I even shower:) You can imagine how HOT I look for work in the afternoon. I’m speaking literally ….. I’m not new to doubles. I ran TONS of them in recovering from my hip but I wasn’t in a training plan then and just running by feel. I often ran a slower morning run and then my harder run later in the day. I found my legs felt REALLY good most days I did this. I’ve not done many with only a 4-6 hour turnaround though so this lunch running double will be new! I obviously won’t do this every day but a couple of days a week if it works would surely help me with fitting in my miles.
I read an article in Running Times found HERE about incorporating a second run later in the day on LR days. A slow second run that should be run not for mileage but for time-ex:20-30 minutes very easy. This makes sense to me. I used to always take the day after long runs off and then realized that my legs would not cooperate as well as I would like on Tuesday (LR Sunday) when I attempted speedwork. I found that running easy the day after a LR did WONDERS for my legs and I have done that my last 2 training cycles. I’m really buying into the fact that a really easy run later the very SAME day, very slow may leave me in an even better place in terms of recovery. I also think this will be quite helpful as I will long run on Fridays and then travel often 5-7 hours for hockey in the car. A nice shakeout later in the day will maybe work it’s magic! If I find it doesn’t work, I won’t do it!
I’m not quite ready to shoot out mileage goals or training plan specifics YET although they are definitely in the works......I have MANY hopes and potential plans but these can be adjusted if I don’t feel that I’m ready for them. I do enjoy the structure of a plan. Something to put an X over at the end of the day but I also know how much I need to incorporate flexibility. I’ve never been one to follow my plan to a T. I will definitely have key workouts I want to hit but there will be some elbow room....
Super excited to have some really dear friends also training for Boston or another spring marathon! So fun to have that camaraderie and accountability and support and encouragement and well, you know who you are!!
So-kudos to all of you who made it to the bottom of this post! No mentions of deer, hotdish, or meatloaf and you're still here. I'm grateful...