Marathon Training IN THE WINTER …..

How hard is it for you to stay motivated thru the winter?  If you have a spring marathon on the calendar like the Garmin Marathon or the Flying Pig Marathon, then you don’t have many options other than to keep yourself moving.  But that doesn’t mean you have to pound out the same hard miles, in the same hard way that you would do in the spring and summer months.  Maybe change it up a bit and try something new?  Something that might get you out of the cold and onto the treadmill or indoor track when the wind chill slips below zero or the snow is flying so hard that those oncoming cars can’t even make out your reflective vest?

  Kara Roy (black jacket) and Jennifer Lee (blue jacket) run down Mountain Avenue in a snowstorm.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my snowy runs but I can’t run a quality workout when I have to worry about my footing.  So I save my easy, fun, social runs for outdoors when the snow is flying.  Then I take my hard, fast runs inside where it’s safer.  I also shorten my training cycle and lower the number of days I run each week.  I focus on power and speed and strength.   This does a few things.  1)  Helps me to avoid burnout.  2)  Makes me FOCUS on the runs that I have on the schedule each week.  3)  Allows me some free time for cross training and/or weight work.   Winter workouts are important.  This is the time to work on the areas of your fitness that need extra attention.  Strength?  I need more of this and it’s definitely something I’ll be focusing on this winter.  My goal is 2 strength workouts each week.

kettlebells-rope

Nutrition?  How is this going for you?  I was doing GREAT before the holidays.  I had lost 12#s, then I got sick, did the holidays, ran a 50K & a couple marathons, now I’ve gained 5 of those lbs back and am facing down 16#s which I need to lose before I crush the Garmin Marathon in April.  So part of my winter marathon training is focusing on my nutrition AND making sure I am getting adequate water intake each and every day.  Lean proteins.  Fruits & veggies.  Healthy fats.  Whole grains.  Water.

salad & protein  water

Rest?  You betcha!  I’ll be honest; I’m tired.  So freaking tired.  I know I’ve ran a lot of miles lately but I’m also just a poor sleeper.  And I’ve been sick.  I’m definitely run down in more than one way.  I’m good about getting my vitamin c and other vitamins that help strengthen my immune system but nothing makes up for sleep.  Maybe the winter nights are longer for a reason?  Take advantage of the darkness and get some extra shuteye.  Sleep repairs your muscles, helps build your immune system and makes you feel better!  Don’t skip the sleep or you’ll pay for it later.  This week I’m dragging.  Do I need to swim in the mornings?  Yes.  Do I need to rest more than I need to swim this week?  Yes.  So I’m sleeping in and I’ll worry about how fast (or slow) I swim next week.  Priorities. 

sleep

Marathon training is about so much more than the miles you log.  As you age, you may also notice that your body just can’t take the pounding that was once the norm.  That’s when you start to develop aches and pains that lead to injuries OR you can shuffle the deck and change the way you train.  Change can be for the better.  I’m mixing things up this winter.  I’m going to step back on my miles a bit and focus more on quality.  One long run, one tempo, one speed.  I’ve mentioned it before but I use the FIRST Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone to plan my workouts.  It was a $2.99 download but I’ve used the program so many times that it’s paid for itself.  This certainly won’t replace a coach if you can afford one but a coach isn’t in my budget, a $2.99 app I can justify.  Smile  I’m looking forward to picking up the pace this winter.  It’s always hard for me when I start this plan.  I can never hit the numbers initially but as I build strength, speed and confidence, I’m always amazed at where it can take me. 

** Happy Running, All! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

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F’N 20 Miler ….

Every marathoner gets to the point in “the plan” where they are facing down a 20 mile run.  For some it’s just another day, another run.  For others it’s a daunting undertaking which stirs up a lot of nerves.  I personally have used training plans in the past which schedule anywhere from one to five 20 mile runs throughout the entire program.  I can honestly say I have yet to feel a benefit by cramming several 20 milers into a training plan.  Marathons are hard for me.   At some point during the race, it’s gonna hurt.  Some people are going to process “the hurt” better than others and have a better experience.  The reason most training plans go all the way up to the magic “20 miler” is to help us get a bit of an idea of how to process those longer miles.  How to manage “the hurt”, if you will.  The 20 miler is on the plan to boost YOUR confidence level and help you to realize that you will be crossing that finish line in the very near future.  It’s really as much of mental exercise as a physical one because let’s be honest, if you can run 16 or 18 miles {and your healthy} then there is nothing that will stop you on race day from completing the full 26.2.  You have had the ability to run and finish the marathon long before the 20 mile training run but it’s that “magic 20” that brings the confidence, the knowledge that you CAN and WILL run a marathon.

I can I will

Now that running is “cool” we have lots of options for a 20 miler.  I’ve done 20 mile training runs a lot of different ways (alone, with someone riding a bike, on the treadmill, with friends, at a large organized event) but for me, it’s easiest to do it on my normal trail with my normal run friends and just knock it out.  I don’t want to go too far for a training run.  I certainly don’t want to pay $$ for a training run.  I don’t need a t-shirt or medal commemorating something I’ve already done at least 25x a couple times.  I just want to knock it out and then go home and take nap with Mr. Michael

I’m lucky because I now have a local run club that likes to keep things simple.  Thank you Frankfort-New Lenox Running Club (FNRC or F’N Running Club)!  No fee to join.  No hoopla.  Just show up and run or don’t.  Our 20 miler was much of the same but we invited others who wanted a no frills training run too.  We had about 70 runners who came out in the dark to join us for a 6am start.  Great turnout because many of our club members were marathoning in other parts of the state.

group

We were fortunate enough to have a two generous sponsors to support us during the run.  Huge shout out of thanks to Berkots Super Foods and Running For Kicks for supplying apples, bananas, oranges, water, Gatorade, and GU gel!!  We also had a crew of AHHHHMAZING volunteers to cycle the route with us and staff 3 aid stations along our 10.25 mile out and back route.  

Aid Station #1 – Mile 2.89 & 17.61

Bluestone_aid station2

Aid Station #2 – Mile 6.25 & 14.25

Grainery_aid station

Aid Station #3 – Mile 9.25 & 11.25

Harlem_aid station

Finish Line Aid Station

Finish_aid station

I personally had a great time at our 20 miler although I “might” be biased.  Smile  I loved seeing all people who came to run with us!  I tried to talk to as many groups as I could and really just enjoy the day.  We had perfect 45 degree weather that held on during most of the run.  I loved the out and back route on Old Plank Trail that allowed me to cheer on our fasties and those behind me too.  It was just a great day that came together perfectly thanks to the generosity of so many who donated goods and/or time.  We even had a local CERT team out patrolling the trail and helping with road crossings.  A lot of people got out of bed early to make sure that we had a safe & supported 20 mile training run.  I’m so proud to be a part of this run club and community.  I have met so many amazing people thru running and for that I am super thankful!

I was also thankful to finish up my weekend double (Women Rock Chicago Half on SAT & the F’N 20 Miler on SUN).  Good times.   Me, Aby (who worked aid station #3) & John B at the finish.  Thanks Aby & John for waiting for me and running me in!  

Finish_me Aby John

I’d also like to send a huge shout out of thanks to my girl Lara (see her behind me in the grass in a blue top?) and her hubby Nels who I’m sure will never see this always get out of bed before dawn to help me with my really long miles.  Sunday was no different.  Nels showed up at the start and ran the first half (and then some) and Lara showed up mid run to help me thru the last 11.25 miles.   Like I said, I’ve met some amazing people thru the running community and I am not only grateful but feel very blessed.  Love you all!!

** 20 Miles Is No Big Deal When Surrounded By Friends **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Who’s Tired?

I’m at the point of marathon training where things are getting rough.  My legs are tired.  If you are training for a fall marathon then you can probably relate cuz I know your legs are heavy too.  The mileage is starting to creep up to the point where we will soon peak, then start to taper back down.  For the Chicago Marathoners, we basically have another 4 weeks of hard training, then we are done, ready to taper, and  absolutely prepared to run the full 26.2 miles on October 13th.  So take a deep breath, just get thru the next four weekends and you will be in the home stretch!  You can do it!!!

In addition to marathon training, I’m also finishing out TRI season.  Not brilliant planning but then I didn’t plan it this way.  I have a rollover registration from the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3 which was canceled, so they rolled all of our registrations from 2012 to this year.  I considered downgrading to the Olympic distance so I can just go out, smash the distance and go home but I’ve decided against that.  I don’t want to downgrade.  I don’t want to waste the registration fee.  I don’t want to waste the opportunity to tackle the distance.  I’m trained for it even if I have only swam 1x since Racine so it just feels like a cop out to go shorter.  Therefore, on Saturday, I’ll be going the distance and pushing thru the last TRI of the 2013 season, which just happens to be a half iron distance event.

Marathon Training + Half Iron Training + CrossFit + Allergy/Head Cold + IBD flare-up = One wiped out momma this weekend.

Me & Lib_8-18-13

As a result, this week is all about recovery so that I can be fresh on Saturday.  I took a rest day yesterday.  I’m pushing my water, allergy meds and probiotics to help get rid of my “extra” issues.  I’m using Nighttime Recovery and Bio Tools to help repair my tired muscles.  And I actually slept last night thanks to both Michael and Libby (my weim) being tired too.  So it will be a good week and I will be rested by Saturday even though I had to pull out my bag of tricks to aid my recovery.  At least I’ve been doing this long enough to have a bag of tricks, right?   Smile

Feeling tired is a natural part of marathon and TRI training but make sure you are able to recognize the difference between being tired and having extra factors that are also draining you.  Don’t stress if you need to skip a day of training, or two, to get some of your energy back.    Rest.  Relax.  Listen to your body.  If you “run” yourself into the ground, then you will get sick or injured or both.

** Resting up for Great Illini ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

That Didn’t Suck!

Wow. 18 miles done already this morn and it didn’t suck. Could I finally be getting stronger? I’m not a lover of the long run. I like 10 milers. Anything over 10 miles, including the half marathon, is a “bit” of a stretch for me. And normally anything 15 and over just sucks. Bad. I think about the long run all week. I dread it. I even promise myself that if I get thru “this” marathon training cycle, then I’ll never sign up for another. Lies. All lies. I will sign up for another marathon. I don’t know why. They aren’t my forte. I’m not fast. I don’t enjoy the distance or in some sick way, do I enjoy it? What I do enjoy, however, is the training. Getting out on the trail before the sun comes up. Watching the sunrise. Feeling like for those few hours, the world is all mine.

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Pure bliss.

Each training cycle is “cyclical”. I have good runs and bad runs. I can be in a bad cycle for a year or more. It could be due to injury, or fatigue, or stress. But when the cycle ends and I start hitting my workouts again, or running long without the “that sucked” feeling, then my heart sings with joy. I’m on the verge of coming out of a bad cycle and I’m starting to get excited. I still have a hamstring that is rebelling against the “come back” but I have a feeling that fast times are in my future. Finally. Could it be true? Only time will tell.

If you’re in a training rut, hang tight. This too shall pass. It can’t all be good all the time and if you have been running a long time, then you know to accept the bad with the good. And some of the downswings can be downright confidence zapping. But that’s normal too. Trust me, hang tight and keep putting in your miles unless your body is just too tired, then just take some downtime to recharge your battery (and confidence).

Any good hamstring stretches? Send them my way! I need this hamstring to get on board with the big picture. It isn’t painful, just tight and irksome.

** Hang On, You WILL Get Stronger ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Fitting It All In ….

Life is busy.  For everyone.  For some, more so than others.  I won’t bore you with the details of how crazy busy I am but will give you an idea of how my week looks on the “Finish It” type marathon plan, with a little “extra” added in to finish out my TRI season.  I know that many of you are aspiring for BQs or definitive finish times but I’m not at a point in my life where I’m able willing to do what it takes for those results.  I encourage everyone to take a step back, be honest and look at their individual circumstances before making a definitive goal or training plan.   If your honest with yourself, usually the path is clear.

image

In a typical week, I follow the plan below.  That being said, there are weeks where it doesn’t happen for a multitude of reasons.  Plus, if I have a twinge of pain or I know a muscle is tweaked, I play it safe.  I don’t get paid to run or TRI, these activities are hobbies in which I participate for fun and fitness.  There is nothing fun or fit about being injured.  In fact, I speak from experience when I say that injuries suck.  So for me, the answer is to listen to my body.

MondayAM – Rest.  Weekends are hard and getting back to reality is even harder.  I plan to sleep in on Monday mornings so that I don’t feel guilty about skipping a workout.  PM – Speed work on the treadmill.  I use the iPhone app for the FIRST training plan that is associated with the Run Less Run Faster book.  I plug in my numbers and it spits out a training plan based upon a three day run week.  Perfect amount of run days with TRI training.  Plus the app is much easier to comprehend than trying to read the torn up hard copy of the book that my Weim ate last spring. 

Libby_pillows_Aug 2013

TuesdayAM – 5 am CrossFit. PM – Swim (goal is to swim 1 mile or more)

WednesdayAM – Tempo Run.  PM – Bike.  If life gets in the way, the tempo moves to evening and I skip the bike.

Thursday – AM – 5 am CrossFit.  PM – Swim (but this usually gets skipped.  Time is always an issue).

FridayAM – Long Bike

Saturday – AM – Long Run

Sunday – Rest.  If all is well with the family and I feel decent then I go out for  recovery ride on the bike.  It’s a REALLY good day if I get to fit in a recovery ride.  Makes me super happy.  Smile

Yes, I’m obviously on a finish it plan.  I won’t be winning anything by spreading myself out like this but I’m doing my best, with my schedule to balance the family, the job, the commute, the swim, the bike, the run & making an attempt to get stronger with CrossFit.   Don’t ask me about training bricks because they don’t exist only happen a couple times a year.

Look at your schedule and plan your week.  When you have a plan, it’s easier to make it happen.  Is it necessary to check everything off the list, each and every week?  No.  But it’s easier to make adjustments when you have direction. 

** Finishing IS Winning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Chicago Marathon Training ….

While most runners in the CHI are a full 8 or 9 weeks into marathon training, I’ve only just begun.  Granted, I’m “kinda” in half marathon shape.  As in, I can run a half marathon if I don’t have to add any speed to the equation.  My body isn’t exactly in the right spot so I’m more of a shuffler than a runner at this point.  In fact, my feet even scuff at times because I just can’t  get those hamstrings to engage!!  Well, time is ticking and the Chicago Marathon will occur weather I’m ready or not, so last week I created a training plan.  No worries, this isn’t a “BQ or Bust” type plan but rather a “Finish It” plan.  And that, I can do.  I can finish it even if I shed a few tears along the way.

Saturday’s calendar showed a 15 miler.  That probably seems easy for those of you who are marathon training, and very daunting for those of you working the C25K plan.   My brain processed it right in the middle.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy but that I should be able to cover the distance.  I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to run alone.  Hubby’s schedule is changing and I believe that it will give me back Saturday mornings for running.  And I mean running on real trails, not withering away in agony on the treadmill.   Plus the run club has  a big crew on Saturday mornings so this makes me “Happy, Happy, Happy”.  (Yes, we are big Duck Dynasty fans!!)  Smile

Saturday morning F’N Runners, minus another 6 who were already out on the trial:

FNRC_8-3-13

I put in 6 miles before the crew arrived, a bit faster than I wanted, just shy of 9 min/mi pace.   I knew that wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the run but I was with other people apparently let it happen so am apparently the one who was willing to suffer the consequences.  Knowing that my pace would only be slipping, I settled in with the 10-10:30 group who were also running long on SAT morning.  I kinda felt like I was holding them back, which is almost always how I feel when I run with other people.  Who knows if that’s really the case or just my crazy brain talking?  Regardless, I ran with those lovely ladies for an additional 4 miles.  Fun times.  I talked non-stop and probably drove them crazy was thrilled to be running with a chatty crew.  Alas, the time came when I needed to turn back and they continued forward.  I had one poor lady make the flip with me.  And wow, it didn’t go well.  I pretty much struggled the last 3 miles back to the car.  I had to walk off and on.  Normally walking isn’t a problem with me but I had a partner.  Total guilt fest.  She said she didn’t mind.  Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t.  Who knows but it made me feel bad. 

All in all, I covered 15 miles.  That’s a win on the training plan because it’s in the done column; however, I still worry that ruined that lady’s run!!

Do you feel guilty when you run with others and they stick with you even when you are having a bad run? 

**  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

20 Miles, A Big Deal For Me….

No matter how many 20 milers I have ran in the past, and no matter how many I run in the future, 20 miles is a big deal for me.  That’s a lot of miles for this body.  It’s not easy.  It’s hard.  I want to cry.  Sometimes I do cry.  But I usually finish.  Saturday was no exception.  It was hard but I finished. 

Life-is-not-easy-for-any-of-us

I’m not fast.  I always “think” that I can run 20 miles in 3 hours but it never happens.  It took me 3 hours and 16 minutes this time (not counting potty stops).  As always, I probably started out too fast and I definitely ended in a crawl too slow. 

Although mentally 20 miles doesn’t seem that cumbersome, my body always reminds me to respect the distance.  So here is the breakdown of the good, the bad & the ugly.

The Good

  • I finished.
  • First consecutive 20 miler of the training cycle.
  • Ran comfortably for 13 miles at a decent clip.
  • I didn’t have any foot pain.
  • I have amazing running friends (ones who get up early and run in the dark with me, and others who take over and carry me thru those last very difficult miles).
  • The trail was 98% clear.
  • I didn’t poo my pants.

The Bad

  • Pace was all over the place.  Mile 10 being the fastest at 8:43, Mile 17 being the slowest at 11:00.
  • Feet started to get hot spots by mile 10.
  • Cold & Windy
  • Stomach cramps for 90% of the run.

The Ugly

  • 4 bathroom stops
  • I started hyperventilating 2x cuz I was about to cry.
  • Pace was ALL over the place.
  • I slowed down my run friends by A LOT.
  • I didn’t care that I slowed down my run friends by A LOT cuz I couldn’t go any faster.
  • Fueling Fail.  Bananas were not my friend!
  • I’m scared I’ll poo my pants at the Lansing Marathon.

I knew this run would be a rude awakening.  The bulk of my long training runs have been split due to time, work, kid & family schedules.  I didn’t have other options so just went with it.  Initially I wanted to run a spring marathon to force myself to run long and run strong all winter, no matter what.  I was hoping that the miles would bring back the speed and I tried to pick a plan to focus on being the best I could at this interval of my life.  However, I can’t pick the chaos that life chooses to hand me at any given moment.  I’m not advocating slacking, nor do I think I’m slacking, but the bottom line is that I have to balance my real life and my run life and they need to play nicely together or I will lose one or both.  So I do what I can do and refuse to stress about what gets left behind.

 sometimes the best you can do

I didn’t anticipate that both my tummy and feet, would have such a hard time adjusting to the long (consecutive) run.  I was definitely out of fuel due to the potty stops, then afraid to refuel for fear of not making it to the next potty stop.  I did, however, have better luck toward the end of the run when I was empty decided to forgo additional banana pieces and start fueling with the AdvoCare Rehydrate Gels since 1) I definitely needed to rehydrate and 2) that was what I will be using on race day.  I think I will start out with these next long run to see if I do better from the start.  I may be breaking up with my bananas.  They normally are safe but that hasn’t been the case for this training cycle.  It’s possible that my body is changing yet once again and I need to find a new pre-run fuel.  Sad but true. 

As for my feet,  I developed hot spots just from being up and running for that longer period of time. This is the same reason so many people’s feet blister during a marathon.  It’s further than they have ever ran before, sometimes the roads slant differently than my treadmill their training grounds, and the feet just can’t handle the pressure.  So I need to spend more time on my feet, on the road/trail and I have got to train my tummy to handle the run without developing “the runs”.  I’ve got 32 more days.  That’s not a lot of time; wish me luck!

How are your long runs going? Are you killing it this go ‘round, or are the long runs killing you?  Every training cycle is different, just do your best!

** Happy  Training ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

20 Miles, No Big Deal…..

20 miles?!?!  For many runners, they will run one 20 miler during marathon training.  It’s the “big” run.  The one they dread.  The one that keeps them up at night as if the last 10 long runs before this one didn’t already scare the crap out of them.  The one that seals the deal and boosts their confidence ensuring them that they CAN run 26.2 miles on marathon day.

For most of us, 20 miles is in fact a VERY BIG deal.  However, the more marathons you run, the more 20 milers you have under the belt, the less worrisome they become.  Experience negates fear.  You may not be looking forward to those 20 mile runs but they really do become No Big Deal.  Just another day.  In fact, this “training cycle” and please allow me to use the phrase very lightly because my training has been far from picture perfect, I was scheduled to run five 20 mile runs.  No big deal.  I had to shorten the cycle so five 20 milers became four.  Tomorrow will be number 3.  However, due to family circumstances, I’ve not run all 20 miles of the last two 20 mile sessions together, all at once. My runs have been split either between the treadmill and the road, with a small break in between or even possibly split by many hours, or an entire work day.  As a result, I have no idea about my current fitness level.  None.

Tomorrow I will run my first 20 miler of the year entirely on the trail.  All at once.  Good or bad.  20 miles.  Crying face

Am I worried?  Maybe.  Do I know I can do it?  Yes.  Is it going to hurt?  Most definitely.

So who do YOU call when you need a partner for 20 miles?  I actually have a name and number.  I use it sparingly.  I only break it out when I need a 20 mile run partner.  My girlfriend is an amazing runner and she is married to an amazing ultra runner.  Her run hub may not have ran in the last 3 months but I know when I shoot them a message that if they are in town, he will show up, before dawn, to run 20 miles with me before most people get up and have their coffee.  Everyone should have at least one friend like this!

So tomorrow, my girl’s run hub will be out there pounding out miles with me in the dark.  I have no idea how fast he normally runs, I just know that he never has trouble keeping up no matter how fast I go, and he never complains no matter how much I slow.  Too perfect.  He’ll probably even hand me a Kleenex when I start crying.  Then she will pop up somewhere to offer us snacks.  Too perfect.  Thanks, Lara for once again letting me borrow your running hubby.  And yes, I know that you just send him so that you don’t have to get out there to run it yourself.  Kudos, my dear.  I’ll take it and I’ll thank you for it too!!  I’ll also thank you for having a running hubby who thinks that 20 miles is NO BIG DEAL.

** Happy Running, Regardless of the Distance ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Still Living Off the High…..

Some people like coffee, some people like energy drinks, some people jump out of bed and are ready to tackle the world without so much as a blink of an eye.  What type of person are you?

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Michael and I sleep in toasters and well …….Mick and Aby look more like Garfield above, which means they do what, sleep in a roasting oven?    I think they could sleep/stay in bed until Michael or I quite literally pulled them out of their warm oven.  Pre-Michael, their slow wake up habits were a huge benefit to my fitness.  I could get up, dress, leave, run 20 miles and come home in time to make them breakfast.  Upon my return, they would still be 1)  sleeping or 2) “possibly” out of bed but in front of the tv/computer looking like two disheveled zombies.  They never once looked at me like “where have you been” when I walked thru the door after a 20 miler cuz it wouldn’t occur to them to care as long as breakfast was soon forthcoming.  Those were the easy days.  Early morning runs.  Early morning workouts, both during the week and on weekends.  Yes, I would absolutely hop out of bed at 3:30 am to run 8 miles before Mick would leave for work at 5:15 am.  It was easy that way and the bottom line is if you wanna run a marathon, it helps to long some miles.  I just wanted to run (and still do!).

Now we have another person in the house who sleeps ready to pop out of that toaster at any given moment.  This mom’s workout routine has been all jacked up for the last 2 years. This would be the point in time when the lil booger learned to climb out of his damn crib.  My morning workouts are now sporadic because my lil man pops out of bed as soon as he hears me move.  I honestly think he can subconsciously feel my heart beat and as soon as the BPMs go up, he knows its time to rise & shine.   We go in spurts where I’ll get in some decent morning sessions, then we will go for a long time where he wakes up each and every morning before I’m even out of bed or dressed.  Then I’ll have a period where I totally give up the early sessions because I get tired.  Yes, tired.  As in tired of fighting my lil man!  I’ve been on that “tired” phase for a while.  It’s not very convenient either cuz my workouts then have to be squished into my real life.  This week was a bit hectic with 3 volleyball games, doc appts, major school projects and well, I never did squish in my tempo session yesterday.  So the tempo fell to this morning.  It was the only option.  It was this morning or it would be skipped like last week.  So how to deal with Mr. Micheal?  Threats.  Bribes.  Begging.  I told him if he got up this morn and heard the treadmill running to NOT come downstairs.  No matter what.  I threatened encouraged  him to instead go get in bed with “sissy” and I’d come get him as soon as I was finished.  Apparently he got up while I was plugged into the Walking Dead.  Went to the top of the stairs.  Screamed for me.  Then screamed that he was going to get in sissy’s bed.  Total win cuz God will never give me more than I can handle and apparently He also doesn’t want me to die running a marathon due to ill preparation.  Thank you, Michael.  Thank you, God.

What I realized after my tempo session this morn?  Wow, do I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my morning workouts.  I’ve been happy all day.  Excited about life.  Not dreading work.  At peace.  Traffic was GOOD this morning!  It’s mid afternoon and I’m still living off the high.   Thank you, Michael.  Thank you, God.  Thank you, Walking Dead for helping me nail that tempo session.  Thank you, Run Less Run Faster for the training plan that pushes my limits while still letting me manage my life.

Last thing, I’m starting to realize that I can nail this marathon plan. I’m starting to believe that it just might be possible.  I’m starting to believe that I’m copping out on my speed sessions and I can probably really do them if I just suck it up have the right thing on Netflix.  If I can run the tempo session, I can run the speed session.  I have the ability.  I have the speed.  I can do it.  It will come together.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Barely Hanging On…..

I don’t know if I ever formally mentioned that I’m using the Run Less Run Faster book as a guideline for my training for the Lansing Marathon.

This book has a chart which gives you a target finish time of what THEY believe you should be able to run, with proper training, of course.   It takes the “I wanna run X:XX:XX” out the equation when its right there in black and white that you can or cannot probably do it based on your current run times.   After you figure out your goal pace/marathon finish time, then there are multiple training tables which plan your training.  They also include a training plan for each of the Boston Marathon Qualifying standards.  Although, I’m not necessarily looking for a BQ because it seems impossible, I did select one of those plans because unlike the more generalized plans, it spells out each and every workout down to the pace you are “supposed to” run without any additional calculations necessary.

I won’t lie, this book is intimidating as all get out.  The premise is to run 3 key runs each week:  Speed, Tempo & Long Run, then add in two cross training days.  I chose biking for my cross training since I’m on deck for a 70.3 triathlon in July.  This 5 day plan works out well for my schedule because I can juggle the days, live my life, work, be a parent, be the “soccer mom”, and still not miss anything too important training wise.  In fact, I have never ran all the miles on a normal plan so I was willing to change my focus a bit this time around from “just run the miles” to “let’s sharpen the focus”.  I’m also not a person who wants a coach to whom I need to answer to but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea of having a structured plan. 

As intimidating as the plan is in regards to hitting the numbers, I was a bit surprised as to how easy the workouts were to understand.  It is all spelled out for me and I just look at it on a day to day basis.  If I can’t do my speed work on Monday, I just move it to Tuesday and look at the day on my chart for the workout details.  I program my treadmill to the desired intervals and honestly, just try to hang on for as long as possible.  The paces are NOT easy for me.  Marathon training is not easy for me which is why I do it.  The paces, the plan, the training is a constant challenge.  I have not yet nailed a speed or tempo session and I don’t know why but that doesn’t seem to bother me.  I just keep on moving to the next workout as if I DID nail it and things are progressing.  In fact, they are progressing in a positive manner.  I “almost” nailed last night’s speed session.  In fact, I nailed a good 75% of it.  Progress in week 11 with a late start and a couple “rough” weeks.  I can’t wait to see where I am on April 21st when I fight it out mentally & physically at the Lansing Marathon.  I honestly do not believe that I will hit my predicted finish time for this marathon but I will be interested to see how close I come to their prediction.  I have considered sliding back to the next slower BQ training plan but what fun is that?  I don’t want to nail every workout but rather reach for it and keep trying to improve.  So  yes, I’m “in training” but I’m barely hanging on…… good thing I don’t go to the gym cuz I might scare someone.

fall off treadmill

Do you like to train within your comfort zone or do you try to push the limits?  I’m sure if I had a coach instead of a book, they would back me down so that I could nail it and grow my level of confidence but I kinda like it this way because this is what I do for fun.

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **