Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week 2 Columbus Marathon Training- always use pencil!

If you’ve been following my blog over the past year, you’ve probably picked up on my indecisiveness. Decision making is not something I do with ease, and I often changed my mind. But once my mind is officially made up, there’s no turning back! My blog title today should say Week 4 Tow Path Marathon Training….andddddddddd it doesn’t! Why not? WELL, I’ll be running the Columbus Marathon on Sunday, October 21 instead!! J The change in plans is less of a consequence of my indecision and more because of family events potentially conflicting with my early October marathon plans. To play it safe, I’ve decided to make my presence known in my new age group (30-34) as I will be turning the big 3-0 a few days before the Columbus Marathon. Although I was looking forward to a low-key marathon and had my Tow Path plan already written out, I didn’t have my heart set on it and really just wanted to get in a fall marathon.  That being said, the change is not a disappointment by any means. Although Columbus wasn’t particularly low key last year, I absolutely LOVED it and am very excited to run it again! It’s a mid-sized marathon on a fun, entertaining course that’s flat, and potentially, FAST! Last year, I ran it as a training run for NYC with only one 20 miler under my belt and clocked a P.R. of 3:16:02. I’m curious what I can get out of this course going in with a full 18 weeks of training. With Columbus as my official marathon plan set for the fall, I’ve officially made a corresponding time goal—I want to run the Columbus Marathon in 3:14:59, a 7:26min/mi. I don’t want to be a second over 3:15! I’m not sure I’m ready to break 3:10 so I don’t want to make that a goal at this point. I know that I will eventually, maybe in the spring?!? But for now, sub 3:15 it is!

I’m continuing to follow the Hal Higdon Advanced 2 Marathon Training Plan. Most of this week fits under week four, and only the weekend is week two due to my switch-a-roo! My training log is a mess right now, which is a reminder: ALWAYS WRITE YOUR TRAINING PLAN IN PENCIL! Even for small changes or tweaks in workouts, it’s better to have the flexibility with a simple erase. Plus, although it’s necessary to commit to a training program and have faith in it, you should always listen to your body and run accordingly. That may mean tweaking a run scheduled for a day, swamping it with another day, or completing throwing it out. Ignoring your body and pushing to get the check off the list can lead to a bad workout, a negative attitude, injury, or worse--put you in the hospital (hHhHmMmM the big pink elephant on my blog---last March! hhHhHmMmm).  So, stick with the pencil!

Here’s how the week played out:

Monday: I had hill work on the schedule. When I was living in Cleveland Heights, I used to run the steep hill on Mayfield Road in Little Italy. Now, I’m running up a puny hill in Wickliffe that doesn’t do the same justice. But, regardless I did 4 repeats and pushed despite feeling WAY under the weather from the wedding weekend. Plus, the heals I wore for the wedding all day into all night (until eventually I was barefoot in Shooters---GROSSSSSS) took their toll on my feet and ankles. If boys only knew how complicated it was to be a lady….LOL!

Tuesday: My gym day! I did a 1 mile light jog on the treadmill, 40 minutes on the elliptical, and 20 minutes on the bike. For those following Hal’s plan curious where my cross-training day comes from, I swap out one of his easy runs for the week and add in an hour of cross-training. I always alternate what kind of cross-training I do with that hour, but find it much more beneficial than an extra easy day. I ran 6 days a week with no cross-training for Boston in 2011 and highly recommend against that. I wasn’t very toned, in my opinion, and not in as good of shape as I was for NYC that following fall where I cross-trained. So, my recommendation is—CROSS-TRAIN!!! And, mix it up! You don’t want to bore your mind or your muscles. Have fun with it and enjoy a break from the mileage.

Wednesday: Tempo Wednesday! I had a 35 minute tempo on the agenda. It was hot, humid, and almost noon before I got to this workout. I ran a 10 minute warm up, and then tried to stay as close as possible to 6:40 for 20 minutes. I cooled down for 5 minutes, and ended up covering 4.67 miles. It wasn’t a total bust, but could have been better.

Thursday:  I had yet another 6 mile pace run scheduled, and wanted to get revenge on my painful pace run the week prior. I decided to go to the Tow Path for a shaded, flat course. I didn’t make it out there until about 10:30am. It was another warm day, which again posed an extra challenge to the already challenge of maintaining a steady 7:15min/mi. The first few miles were okay, but I knew the second half was going to be the hardest. Once I turned around at the half way mark, I was fighting to stay close to 7:15. Once I finished mile 5, I was ready to be DONE. I had one more mile to go, which felt like 26.2. I pushed to maintain my focus although my lungs were beating through my chest and my legs didn’t want to move forward any longer. I worked hard for a strong finish, and finished 43:47, 7:18min/mi. This was faster than my pace run last week, but a bit off 7:15. I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much with these marathon pace runs, but it’s clear to me that 3:10 is just not a realistic marathon goal for me right now.  I’m not there yet. I have to keep working! J

Friday: My day of rest! Also the day I signed up for the Columbus Marathon and switched my plan!

Saturday:  I decided to run 11 miles as listed under Week 2 of Hal’s plan, and met up with my running buddy Jen on the Tow Path.  She was coming from a night at the Rascal Flat’s concert, and I was coming depleted for reasons I’m not entirely sure. It may be from the hard workouts this week in the heat. Perhaps it was a nutritional issue, considering I went to Southside in Tremont for dinner the night before and there was NO pasta option. I ate duck pizza instead, which was not filling at all and had me hungry before I went to bed. I’m not sure what the problem was, but it was a cool, lightly raining morning that should have been ideal for a great long run.  Jen and I chatted through each mile catching up on our crazy lives over the  past few weeks and she definitely helped keep me on pace where I may have taken it easier in the first few miles.  We picked it up in the second half and ran past some of our students training for cross-country which was so much fun!  Since most kids assume their teachers hardly have lives outside the walls of the high school, I'm sure they were shocked to see Jen and I. LOL! It was a fun little surprise. :-) So, as we were closing in on the end, it was time to pick it up.  I usually like a strong finish for at least the last mile and half, but I just saved it for the half. My energy level was too low for anything more. Overall, I ended up finishing 1:26:37, 7:52min/mi. This is over 30 seconds slower than when I did this same exact workout two weeks ago after two 5ks. I’m thinking this is due to poor carbo-loading Friday night.

Sunday: Right now, I’m blogging! But, later today I’ll be running a 5 mile easy run. It’s getting hot out there, so I need to wrap this up and do it!

So, next week will be Week 3 of my Columbus Marathon training! I just saw the forecast for next week, which includes 90+ everyday leading up until the weekend. I may run a July 4th 5K on Wednesday, but I want to see how I feel before I make any commitments.  I will write it in with pencil!

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