Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Marathon training is a thing

First official week of training done! I've been doing a bit of a buildup the last few weeks (aka, just trying to establish consistency) but this was the first week that had some structure and a decent number of miles. And for the first time maybe ever, I ran MORE than I planned to. Hopefully that's a good sign. I've got like 4 different training logs going at the moment (I use Strava for GPS, Daily Mile out of habit, and recently restarted a paper training log) but I feel like the more I see the numbers written down, the more motivated I am to continue making them. So, here's a recap of week 1:

M - 2 hours of dance rehearsal

T - The short run commute (5.4 miles) at moderate effort

W - Run commute with an add on loop (6.7 miles) at easier effort


F - Charles River run commute with 3 miles at GMP (7:29, 7:22, 7:20) in the middle, 7.5 total. There was a tailwind so I probably went a little faster than I would have otherwise. Also did half an hour of strength work.

Sa - 5.5 fairly easy

Su - 16 miles with fast finish for last 5 (descended from 7:45 to 7:30), easy middle miles with Joy and Brianna who we ran into on the river. Haven't seen her in awhile and 5ish miles flew by while we caught up. Definitely felt better than expected throughout this entire run. A very casual 16!

Totals: 41 miles, 30 min strength, 2 hr dance

Despite some awkward injury niggles in the 2 weeks prior, this week went REALLY well. It actually was frighteningly easy to hit 41 miles running only 3x during the week...I give all the credit to the glorious run commute, which saves me time, completely takes "being lazy" out of the equation as a reason to skip a run, and lets my coworkers see how insane I am. Great success! I'm going to continue to just run 5x a week, with a long run and at least 1 up tempo or hill day for the next 2 weeks. I plan to make my triumphant return to GBTC and add structured track work back into the mix in February, which will also probably lead to a jump in mileage. This is my first time doing 4 marathon cycles back to back since 2009 it's gone 3 in a row - 2 year break - 1 that almost doesn't count - another year break until I finally got back into it at Lehigh), and I'm really hoping that all of my past 2 years mileage will pay off. But, there's a lot of work to be done first! Time to get after it.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

A quick review of 2014

2014 was definitely one of the best years I've had in awhile as a runner! I ran some races I'm proud of and feel like I've finally proven that my marathon PR is/was not a fluke, which is pretty thrilling. I also think 2014 was the year I finally got my mental game in check, learned to just calm the eff down and stop worrying so much about times or paces and just. freaking. run. Which I think has helped me immensely, especially on the marathon front.  So some brief 2014 stats:

Miles run: 1542 - this is actually quite low for me, especially considering this encompassed 2 marathon training cycles. Still, I got results, so I can't complain! I also biked just over 500 miles, which is definitely something new!

Races: 10 - 1 solo 5K, 2 doggy 5K's with Dayton, 1 "10 mile" aka 5.25 mile aka no one will ever know the true distance, 3 half marathons, 1 20-mile, and 2 marathons. Definitely jumped the average distance I raced this year by a lot! Very few short races, and none of those races were taken seriously at all (I mean, I ran 2 of them with my 25 lb dog).

PRs: 2, half marathon (1:34:05) and automatically in the 20 mile (2:30:32). Dayton also set a 5K PR this year with a 21:56! And so very, very close to a marathon PR. I'm also fairly confident I PR'd in the 10K during one or both of New Bedford/Wolf Hollow halfs, but I don't have any exact splits so I'll never know for sure.

Hardest race experience: Toss up between Harwich Cranberry Half (stupid racing strategy + out of shape = noooo fun) and Boston because of the heat.

Best race experience: Madison Marathon...Boston's hard to top, but having the race I did in the place I did made this one for me! (Honorable mention goes to Boston, Black Cat, and Wolf Hollow)

Memorable runs:
-Last long run before Boston that I did with Joy, Katie, and Sara on the course, when all of the charity groups were doing theirs as well - almost as much atmosphere as the race itself!
-The time I did a negative split 20 miler in the morning, then went to a 4 hour dance rehearsal in the afternoon
-The ridiculous 90 degree and humid Labor Day 17-miler where Joy and I wanted to throw ourselves into the river
-Every run in the freaking polar vortex

Gear of the year: Mizuno Wave Sayonara, hands down. Never thought I would make it through a marathon in a semi-lightweight shoe, but these babies delivered and MORE. I'm in love.

Not running related...books read: 50!! I set this as a NY resolution in 2013 and failed, so I was seriously determined in 2014. It came down to the wire (I finished #50 on Christmas) but I succeeded! I may do a post on all of this year's books at some point in the future.

So...what about 2015?! Plans, goals, resolutions, do I have them? Well, kind of. If there's one thing I learned this year, it's that putting an exact specific number that must be hit at all costs do or die out there is just asking to be frustrated. Particularly when it comes to certain spring marathons where the weather odds have not been in my favor in any year I've run it so far. I already have my race calender planned pretty much through the spring, but I don't have any super-specific goals for any of those races. Or I just refuse to put therm out there right now. But that being said, here are some generalities:
    1. Have a good race at Boston. Honestly, after running Madison I am much more confident that I COULD PR on a hillier course, even Boston, but the weather is just too damn unpredictable. If the day is perfect, it could be a perfect race. Or it could not. But I really want to take what the day gives me and use it to the absolute fullest, just like I did last year.
  2. Mother fucking strength training. I think I've said this every. single. year. but this year I swear I'm serious. I've seen some big gains this past year but I feel like I'm stuck in a bit of a plateau, and it's going to take more than just more miles to take my running to the next level.
 3. Race more "for fun" - 5Ks, 5 milers, maybe some track or cross country, maybe some more random halfs - I really, really enjoyed the Wolf Hollow Half that I ran completely for shits and giggles and I would love to do that more often.
 4. Fine. FINE. I want a 3:19 marathon, damn it! I really don't care if I PR in the half this year (although that would of course be nice). I really don't care if I PR in the 5K ever again (that may not even be reasonable). But all signs point to my having the POTENTIAL to run under 3:19:59, and I want to use the past 2 years of base training to get it done.

2015 race schedule (so far, bolded races are 100% certain):
-1/25/15: GBTC Invite, possibly a 3K or mile
-2/2/15: Super Sunday 5 miler (auto PR! yeah!)
-2/22/15: Amherst 10 miler, maybe
-3/1/15: Black Cat 20 miler, maybe
-3/15/15: NYC HALF!
-4/20/15: Boston Marathon
-5/24/15: Vermont City Marathon...maybe...yeah, I said it, 2 spring marathons whaaat?! But Memorial Day Weekend + my BIRTHDAY weekend + supposedly flat course + I <3 grand="" indeed...="" p="" prix="" road="" tempting="" trip="verrrrry" vermont="">Everything after that? Totally up in the air! I may forgo a fall marathon to train for a 70.3 tri, but a lot of that rides on how winter and spring go. So...time to get cracking!