Sunday, December 29, 2013

Marathon No. 5: Weekly Round-Up (Week 4 and 5)

I'm back from spending a week with my family in Connecticut, where I ate many slices of cake and didn't run as often as I planned.  (As it turns out, when you spend two days "cross training" and eating your weight in holiday leftovers and then try to run, things don't go as well as they should.)  The bright side of not working out too hard while I was home is that I finally got rid of the cold that I developed weeks ago.

I finished this week with Yasso 800s at the gym.  If there's any truth to the workout, I'm in great shape to run a sub-4:30 marathon.  Now, I just need to get myself to the sub-4:00 range.

Here's the plan for Week 6:

Monday: X-train, weights
Tuesday: 6 miles (easy)
Wednesday: X-training, stretching
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 18 miles
Sunday: Rest

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oh, hey, Climate Change, heyyyy!

Let's just take note of this.

It is December 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

This is what I wore today on my long run:

Don't get me wrong - it was amazing...and terrifying.
But, it was mostly amazing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Marathon No. 5: Weekly Round-Up (Week 3)

Week 3 didn't go exactly as planned, which is okay.  Although I planned to run 25 miles, I was only able to run 15.  The short story is that I came down with a nasty cold on Monday.  With headaches, a slight fever, and constant coughing, I decided to take it the week off until I felt better.  By Friday, I was strong enough to attempt running but it was way harder than it should have been.  Saturday wasn't any better, but I was able to get in eight miles - slowly - today.  I feel good about it, and I've been trying to figure out what's the best way to move forward with my training plan.

My training plan has a few recovery weeks built in, so i think I may count this weekend's runs as that. For Week 4, I'll try the Week 3 plan again with a few modifications.

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 6 miles (speed work)
Wednesday - 5 miles (holiday fun run)
Thursday - X-training
Friday - Off
Saturday - 15 miles
Sunday -X-training 

Judging by my run today, I should be back to normal health-wise by Monday.  I'm crossing my fingers. Plus, the bright side of being sick was that I was able to give my IT band several rest days, and it didn't bother me at all on my runs this week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Music to Run By

It's been a while since I've done a music-related post, but I'm starting to get tired of my training playlists.  (First world problem, right?)  So far, I've been running without music during shorter runs, and it's been a welcome change.  When I'm run at the gym, though, or head out for long runs, I like having something other than my inner monologue to keep me going.

I'm building a new playlist (clever name to come) and would love recommendations.  Here's what I'm starting with:

1. "Burn" - Ellie Goulding
2. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus 

3. "Howl" - Florence + The Machine
4. "Shake It Out" - Florence + The Machine

5. "Can't Hold Us Back" - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

6. "The Monster" - Eminem (feat. Rihanna)

7. "Some Nights" - Fun.

8. "Run the World (Girls)" - BeyoncĂ© 
9. "Fighter" - Christina Aguilera 
10. "Foundations" - Kate Nash

So, tell me, what are your favorite tunes for running, working out, or singing karaoke into a broom handle while sweeping in your apartment (what, just me)?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Marathon No. 5: Weekly Round-Up (Week 2)

Two weeks down, 14 more to go...

So far, following the more difficult of my training plans has worked out well.  (It's still early, so we'll see if I'm singing the same tune when the mileage starts to increase.)  Having the break between running workouts has really helped me feel more rested.  The one thing that I did learn, though, is that I need at least one more day between my speed workout and my long run.  By the end of my 13-miler on Saturday, I felt more tired than I should have and had to will myself not to hop on public transportation.

This is what things look like for Week 3:

Total miles: 25
Tuesday: 5 miles (easy)
Wednesday: 6 miles (speed workout)
Saturday: 14 miles
(Stretching, cross-training: Monday and Thursday)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Marathon No. 5: Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

One, two, three, four, five - everybody get your shoes
So come on
Let's run on the trails and in the neighborhood...

See what I did there? Har, har har...

I registered for the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon a few months ago, which will be my fifth marathon.  I figured that since I've run the half three times now, it's time to switch things up and go the full distance. I'm still feeling really good about my performance at the Richmond Half so I actually want to train for this one - hard - to see what I can do.

Stef and I often review our respective performances at the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon. I ran a PR race -- 54 minutes faster than my performance at the 2010 Baltimore Marathon.  (Baltimore was my first race so I expected some improvement in the next marathon but no where near that much.)  We've concluded that part of the reason we both did so well is that we actually trained.  We skipped one long run and only because I spent the first two miles hacking up my lungs. (I had a chest cold).  We raced often.  (We both PR'ed after running to the start -- and we ran more after the race.)  I half-assed my training for Providence and the Marine Corps Marathon, both in 2012, and didn't come close to a PR.

Moral of the story: I should train for this race.

My goal for my next marathon is to PR.  At minimum, I'd like to run faster than Oprah (a 4:29 marathoner), but my goal is to run a 4:00 race.  Both of my training plans estimate that I should be able to finish the race in 3:52 but I would be very happy with a four hour race. I can do it if I put in the work.

So far, I'm off to a good start.

Week 1 of marathon training happened to coincide with my trip home to New Haven (for Yale-Harvard and Thanksgiving).  I don't know what I was thinking when I packed but I could have used more warm running clothes.  Still, I managed to get in a few runs and cross-trained when I decided not to run outside.

For Week 2, I'm going to attempt to follow the "harder" of my two training plans.  This plan has me running just three days each week (one easy run, one speed workout, and one long run).  I'll also spend three days doing some combination of strength training, stretching and foam rolling, or low-impact cardio.

Here's what I have planned for running:

Total mileage: 23 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles (easy)
Thursday: 6 miles (tempo)
Saturday: 12 miles

I'm also going to try to write more this time around.  Publicly declaring my training plan works really well as an accountability tool.