I have spent way more time agonizing and obsessing the last week or so over the next training plan–and whether I really want to try and qualify for Boston 2016. I am tired and not feeling fresh for a new cycle. But I’m also feeling wonky about not having a plan. I decided I am going to run the Last Chance BQ.2 in Fox Valley after all (although I still need to register. It’s $140!! To run 6 loops of a crazy short route. You can see why I was hesitating!). That means, it was time to figure out my plan.
Because I’m obsessed with spreadsheets, I spent way too much creating one comparing the multiple plans at my disposal. I had Bill’s plan from last fall, which helped me get 15 minutes off my marathon, Liz’s plan from this spring which definitely made me faster, and the various high mileage plans from Advanced Marathoning. In case you thought I wasn’t serious about my obsessiveness (or my researcher background, ha), here’s a snapshot of the spreadsheet.
I went back and forth for awhile. Reflecting on my last couple of marathons, though, one thing I realized that I really struggle with is running strong through the finish (or last 1/3) of the marathon. One of the things that AM promises with its higher mileage is your ability to run strongly through the whole thing. Just to clarify, this is not “bonking” or hitting the wall–as I’ve read that can happen more often with nutritional issues–but just plain being tired and being able to push through. In the case of my last marathon of the season last fall though (my 4th), I think it was more of a matter of mental burnout than physical.
Admittedly AM‘s plans are a bit crazy in mileage, i.e., their “lowest” mileage plan is still 50+. That makes most people balk I think. However, the last couple of years, I’ve been doing okay with some higher mileage, and I have the time this summer as I’m only teaching one class in the month of July, so…I’m going to try it out. I don’t necessarily love their speedwork, though, so I think I’m still going to keep some of Liz’s workouts.
There were still two plans for the 50+ mileage program, though, an 18 week plan and a 12 week plan. Sadly, I was in the middle–14 weeks out from Fox Valley–so I cobbled together a little bit of this and a little bit of that. What that meant, though, was all of a sudden I’m facing a 9 mile run AND an 8 mile run mid-week before Saturday’s “long” run of 12 miles. Ugh. I decided to take it out to the Salt Creek Trail in Brookfield as a break from the streets, and it got done! Woohoo.
And I even threw in a little speedwork, although I stopped a bit and drank all of my water (which I almost never do). I’m usually pretty good about dressing appropriately, but it got blazing hot. I actually debated taking off my shirt and just running in my sports bra (I did see someone who ran in just a bra and hot pants–and she was rockin’ it I have to admit), but there was enough traffic on the path that I wasn’t totally loving that idea.
I also ended up doing some semi-interval work during some of the run trying to get a picture of this deer. You can see I still failed pretty miserably. It’s the brownish blob in the center of the picture. Ha. I see deer somewhat regularly on the path and even in the neighborhood sometimes when I run along the edge of the woods. It’s still fun to see such large wild creatures. And they’re so quiet and fast!
I’m making my way through that Racing Weight book at a tortoise pace. I was inspired enough, though, to make what I’m going to call a garbage salad. We had spinach leaves, avocados on the verge of going bad, sweet potatoes (also on the verge of going bad), some pre-cooked chicken patties, and pico de gallo left over from the other night, so I threw it all together with a little bit of Trader Joe’s raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious. I need to do that more. I think there’s some kale in the fridge calling my name.
Woohooo, Ragnar! It’s barely two weeks away. Who doesn’t love a glow-in-the dark trident, axe, gun, or saber? I figure I can use them to threaten the slower runners on my team. Haha, shhhh.
And my final pic of how I’m getting ready for training:
I know, sexy, right? I saw my main man, Craig yesterday. Seriously, we are a sick people to pay someone to inflict bruising like that, right? I’d be curious about the correlation between distance runners and BDSM, haha. My ankle/Achilles has been tweaking since the Illinois Marathon, though, and I wanted to get things right before we got any further into training. I swear that man is magic. He just started his own business, so keep watch for news on that!
Happy National Running Day! It’s, ironically, a cross-training day for me, but I might still squeeze in a tiny one just to celebrate 🙂