Being Flexible and Boston Week 1 Recap

When I first started training for marathons and knew very little about myself as a runner (or really anything about marathon training), I would follow a set training plan.  All 16 weeks planned out in black and white.  This type of training is beneficial for beginners, as long as you are listening to your body and pushing when appropriate and resting when you need it.  My approach to training now is drastically different then it was back then.

Every Sunday, I plan out my running schedule for the week.  I’m using the FIRST plan so in a way those 16 weeks are planned out but I modify the plan so much it’s never set in stone.  Things I consider:

  • Am I busy this week?  Do I have stuff to do after work or during the weekend?
  • What’s the weather like (especially in the winter)?  If there is even a hint of snow, I will finagle my schedule to get all my key runs in before the snow hits.
  • What was my total mileage last week?  How much should I increase it this week or decrease if it’s a drop back week?
  • When will I strength train this week?
  • How am I feeling overall?  How did my runs go last week?  Did I hit all my key workouts?

All of these factors go into my planning.  The only things really set in stone are my track workouts and long run mileage.  Everything else I decide on the Sunday prior.  Even the days I do track, tempo, and easy runs change each week (although I try and get track work done on Mondays to get it out of the way).  I love the flexibility this gives me and my training has improved so much.

Boston Week 1 Recap
I’ll call week 1 a success!  Aside from my failed tempo run and yoga fail (I just couldn’t get my butt there on Sunday – I have no better excuse than that), I was happy with my long run on Saturday.

MON:  3 x 1-mile repeats
TUE:   7 easy
WED:  barre class
THU:  rest
FRI:  6 pseudo-tempo miles
SAT:  13 (avg pace – 8:37).  I totally under dressed for this run.  I started running at 7:30 and it was bitterly cold (it later went up to 60 degrees!).  I had a thin, long-sleeved tech shirt and cheap Target stretchy gloves.  I thought my hands were going to freeze and fall off.  I even stopped into a bathroom to use the hand dryer to warm them up (I hate stopping during long runs too but this was so necessary).
SUN:  6 easy

38 total miles for the week 🙂

Do you follow a set schedule or plan your runs weekly like me?

Ever think you were going to get frostbite during a run?  Once my hands get cold, it’s all downhill for me.  It actually gets painful and I can’t concentrate.  I do use hand warmers sometimes but apparently didn’t think it was necessary on Saturday.  


Friday Thoughts

  • Most of you didn’t think I was a scumball for not showering post-barre class on Wednesday.  Or, if you did, you kept that to yourself.   Baby wipes and deodorant (exactly what I used) are pretty popular and they get the job done.  I walked out of class at 7AM and was in my car en route to work by 7:15.  That should speak volumes about my hair and make-up regimen for work.
  • Speaking of barre class, I was sufficiently kicked to the curb on Wednesday morning.  My legs were shaking uncontrollably during class.  I had to take brief breaks.  My hamstrings and calves were sore yesterday which, aside from running, I’ve never experienced before with any other strength training.  I can’t wait for more torture next Wednesday!
  • I got an iPhone!  I had a terrible, old BlackBerry which could hardly pass for a smartphone.  Now I see what all the hype is about.  I’m obsessed with Instagram and found other (free!) apps like Where to Eat? and Oh Ranger! Park Finder.  Reeder is also good (but not free).  It’s a much better version of Google Reader.
  • Today’s run was supposed to be short and sweet:  6 miles with 2 miles at tempo (7:35 pace).  It was tough.  My legs felt great but my lungs felt off.  Effort-wise I felt like I did during Monday’s mile repeats but I was running just under 8:00 pace!   The only plausible explanation could be my asthma.  I got my allergy shots yesterday (I get them once per month) and I had a pretty bad reaction.  That could have triggered something.  Oh well, I get 13 miles of redemption tomorrow.
  • I follow the San Francisco community page on Facebook for no other reason than daydreaming that I actually live there.  They post pics and events and I imagine myself there.  I know, total dork.  Yesterday they posted this pic and I wanted to cry with envy.

    sitting outside on a gorgeous january day

    If you could live in any city in the world, where would you live?  I would live in SF.  Absolutely.  I love Philly too, it’s my hometown and a great city, but nothing compares to SF.  

    Got an iPhone?  Was it life changing?  I can’t believe how much I was missing!

Boston Training and Goals

I hope everyone is surviving this week so far.  Work yesterday felt so strange…what’s my password?  Where’s my to do list?  What happened in December?  Tuesday was a blur.  I did manage 7 easy miles outside in the numbing wind.

Onto my Boston training…not surprisingly I’m using the 3:40 FIRST marathon plan.  It worked well for me in the past so I’m going with it.  Each time I modify it even more to fit my needs.

More mileage – hopefully (maybe) I can hit 60 miles this training cycle?  I hit 53 last cycle but I think I was running my easy runs too fast.  If I slowed down I probably could have accommodated higher mileage.  My hard days are really hard, so my 2 easy runs should be really easy.  Of course, this will all depend on how I feel.  Adaptive training 🙂

Strength training – barre and yoga each week.  I think I figured out a schedule that works, which was an issue in the past.  This means 6AM barre class on Wednesday mornings!

Hills, hills, hills – Uphills and downhills!  My LRs will be done on a hilly course and I’ll probably swap out a track or tempo workout every now and then for hill repeats.

Less Garmin-obsessed running – like I mentioned Monday, my track workouts will be based on effort and my easy days (which are now really easy) will be Garmin-free.

As for goals, I want to re-qualify for Boston at Boston.  That means a sub-3:40 which should be doable.   Here’s how I see it…I’ve shaved 30 minutes off my marathon time from May 2010 to September 2011, so what’s an additional 4 minutes?  It won’t be easy, Boston is a tough course, but it’s not impossible!

Another unrelated goal is to eek out a sub-7:00 mile.  6:59 would be acceptable.

This morning is my first time going to barre class before work.  I’m getting changed at the gym and then heading straight to work.  No shower.  The thought of showering at the gym skeeves me out, like I’m back in college.  I don’t sweat that much at barre and I will shower beforehand.  Matt thinks this is gross.  I can guarantee I will be no cleaner after using a communal shower!  I just hope I don’t forget anything important, like my work pants.  If so, wunder unders it is!

Ever shower at the gym?  Is it gross?  I just have flashbacks to dorm living and wearing flip flops in the shower!  

Are you currently training for anything?  If so, what are your goals?

Blogiversary and Updates

Run The Long Road turned 1 on 12/26!  I missed the actual blogiversary but better late than never.  I swore I wrote my first post on New Year’s Eve last year but nope…12/26.

I was so hesitant to start a running blog.  I thought it would suck.  I though it would be boring (well maybe it is).  I thought I’d run out of things to write about by February.  I was scared to lay it all out there.  Splits, finish times, marathon goals, oh my.  I wanted this blog to be honest.  Running isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.

254 posts later, I would say Run The Long Road is probably in my “top ten” of the best things I’ve done.  Wow, bold statement!  I truly enjoy writing this blog, chronicling my training, and figure I’ll get a big kick out of it when I’m 50!

The best part is “meeting” so many amazing bloggers.  I am constantly inspired by all of you and have learned so much this past year.  I’m always overwhelmed by the pre-marathon support and post-marathon congrats.  I love each and every comment (no haters…yet!).  It means so much to me that people read RTLR and enjoy it – thank you!

I hope (soon) to re-vamp RTLR and move to the self-hosted  I have to find someone to do this for me since this is way outside my realm of tech-savviness.  If anyone has any recommendations, please pass them along!

Let’s talk about running.  I’m still running, although I haven’t really blogged about it.  I start Boston training on Monday, kicking off the New Year right!  I’m doing a 15-week plan, but I’ve been “pre-training” for the past 5 weeks.  I’m actually dropping back my mileage this week so my legs will be fresh come Monday.  I’m excited.  3 1/2 months without a training plan is far too long.

I took a Barre class at 6AM this morning.  I will admit that is slightly insane, given that I have off this week.  I went to a new place that is way cheaper ($17 per class vs. $23) and closer to my house.  I plan on going to the 6AM class on Wednesdays before work.  So today I scoped it out so I could be all prepared for next week.  This class was more ballet-centric, which I prefer.  I feel like I’m getting the hang of it but it still kicks me to the curb.

I’m going to start doing a few planks a day, inspired by Cindi.  I doubt I’ll ever rock a 6-pack but I’d be happy with a 4-pack…or 2-pack?

If you are a blogger, why did you start blogging?  

Wanna join me in a (few) planks a day?

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