Does anyone else get super nervous over things that are forever away? I mean, the marathon is 8 months away, that’s almost an entire pregnancy worth of time. Why in the world would I be letting my nerves get the best of me already. The truth is that I’m starting to find my groove again post tendinitis/ IT Band issues and I fear that I’m going to jinx it if I find I start succeeding again. I can taste the Chicago marathon, I can feel it in my bones. Sometimes you just know that a race is going to go right.
Last year on my drive to the Bridge Run, I just knew that it was going to go my way. I was dancing and singing in my car, giving myself a huge pep talk about how I was going to dominate that race. My goal was simply to PR, (under 48 minutes), I was only 5 months post-partum and my training that far had suggested it was incredibly possible to at least hit 47 minutes. I went out in the race with no strategy, no plan, I just ran. I ran myself all the way to 45:00 flat on the clock and a 3+ minute PR. I even felt amazing at the end of the race.
want need this feeling for Chicago because I’ve never run a marathon before and I have this crazy idea that if I train properly and follow my level of fitness, I can cross the line in a time that qualifies me for the Boston Marathon. Maybe I’m crazy for thinking that but when I go into a race knowing I can own it, I perform so much better. So why are the nerves hitting me already with this race? Why can’t I go into every day knowing I’m going to own that B*tch. I need to get my mind right in the next 237 days or else it’s going to be a lot of wine drinking and chocolate binge to push these feelings aside. With all of that being said though, this was the first week I really feel like I killed my strength workouts. I came home multiple nights freaking out in pride. Hopefully a good sign of things to come.
Monday: It was really tough to get the energy up to do anything on Monday. Holy crap what a game the Superbowl turned out to be. I stayed up late and ate far too much delicious food which was a recipe for disaster come Monday morning. The girls and I lounged pretty much all day long. I was able to get in some core work during Valerie’s nap. If you’ve never checked out Pop Pilates with Cassie Ho, you totally should. If you think I’m perky, you should listen to her talk for 5 minutes. In all seriousness though, she knows what she’s doing. I do this 13 minute extreme abs workout and I’m sore for days.
Monday night I went to yoga since I knew I was going to have to miss it Wednesday night. It was an absolutely great class. I am getting so much stronger when it comes to my headstands. I can feel my flexibility coming back so strong. Back when I was a dancer, I had such a strong level of flexibility. Of course as I get older, it gets harder and harder to be flexible.
Tuesday: Tuesday was supposed to be speed work night but I took it as a rest day. My left hamstring was still really tight and I listened to my body to give it an extra day off. I don’t want to be doing speed work when my legs feel tight because I truly want speed work to be at 100% effort level. Since I’m only running 4 days a week right now, it’s pretty easy to change up my weeks schedule to fit everything I want, in.
Wednesday: HELL YES. Sorry but I came home from this speed work out in all of my glory. Mind you, it’s been a long time since I really focused on speed and it’s only been about 3 weeks that I’ve incorporated it back into my training. The last two weeks I’ve done 5 x .25 with 2 minute recovery. Tonight I upped it to 6 x .25, which isn’t a lot necessarily but I’m taking it slow and gradual. The part that I killed was the pace at which I completed my sprints. Up until this point I haven’t seen the sub 6 minute mile pace that I’ve been craving so much. My legs felt loose from giving it that extra day off and I really truly believed I could hit one of these sprints in the 5 minute pace range. I warmed up for a mile, did some drills, and took off like lightening. I hit my first spring in 1:24, which comes out to 5:39 min/mile pace. The second one was a 1:28 (5:53 min/mile pace) and the rest all fell below 1:40 (6:30 pace). This is the first time I’ve seen sprints at that level since probably September. This was a huge boost of confidence for me and I danced to some Lady Gaga the whole way home on my cool down. Can we talk about how she absolutely SLAYED it at the Superbowl half time show!
Thursday: I’ve come to the conclusion that until daylight savings happens, I’m not going to run if Tony is late and Lana can’t run with me. By the time Tony rolls in after 6 pm and I’m in the midst of cooking dinner, I just can’t muster up the energy by myself. I opted to do some yoga at the house instead.
Friday: As soon as Tony got home on Friday I headed out the door to try to beat the darkness. Lana works on Friday night and that leaves me to run solo and I had 6 easy miles to make up from earlier in the week. I didn’t pay any attention to my watch and just ran for fun. I think I do better on my runs when I’m not going psycho over the pace that my watch says. I would check it from time to time when it beeped with each mile and wouldn’t you know, my “easy” pace is starting to get better and more consistent.
Saturday: Saturday morning was all about the family time. We took Fiona and Valerie to Mellow Mushroom for their matinee movie. This week was Beauty and the Beast which is a favorite of Fiona’s. They set up a projector screen and all the TVs to play the movie. Kids meals are $5, Mimosa’s are $2, and they have their full menu. It was a lot of fun to be able to enjoy lunch without having to keep the girls calmed down. There was a fun magician who went around doing some fancy card tricks making pepperoni appear in Tonys hand. After lunch we stopped at the coffee shop next door for coffee & Dessert.
Tempo Day! I finished reading Hanson’s Marathon Method and I really like it and I believe this is the training plan I’m going to use going forward. The one part that makes me nervous is that it’s 6 days a week of running. I’ve always been more of a 4-5 day a week kind of girl but I like that the mileage is broken up more and there isn’t a day where I feel like the mileage is unmanageable. For Hanson’s plan, Tempo runs are treated at Marathon Pace. Normally I do Tempo runs like most other training plans where I do them closer to 10K pace. Until I officially start the training plan, I’m going to alternate my Tempo runs each week with Marathon Pace & half/10K pace.
So I set out with the intentions of 1 mile warm up (I need to start making my warm up a little longer since Hanson’s suggest 1.5-2 miles of warm up), 4 miles at Tempo pace which for me is 8:00 min/mile pace, and 1 mile cool down. My splits were very close to on point. It’s important for a marathon, to teach your body how to recognize marathon pace easier. This run was sort of an “ah-ha!” run for me. A few weeks ago, running at marathon pace felt really hard. My breath was heavy, heart rate was high, and my legs didn’t want to turn over that fast. Finally it felt easy. It felt like it did back in November. I was singing along to my music, my legs were light and loose, my breath was steady and I didn’t feel exhausted at the end. Maybe, just maybe, I can do this.
Sunday: With the good comes the bad. I had an amazing marathon tempo paced run yesterday and then could barely muster crap for my prescribed 9 miles. I toyed with running the bridge (which probably would have been a better choice), going to Summerville to run the trail along the water, and eventually just sucked it up and ran my usual route. BORING. Everything that could go wrong for this run, did. It’s 9 miles and it was 65 and humid as hell for the start of my run. I needed fuel and my nuun drink. Guess what I forgot at home and didn’t even realize till I as 3 miles away from home. Yep. So already I was dreading what the final miles were going to look like. I was wearing a pair of shoes that clearly need to be retired. I didn’t think of the humidity and skipped putting on my blister cream. Within 2 miles I could feel the blisters forming on the balls of my feet. I just wasn’t feeling it. This was just an easy 9 mile long run and in truth I’m just rolling with what I’ve made for myself at this point. I’m not following any specific plan just yet so I called it quits at 6 miles. Those 3 miles will not make or break my training in any way. I’m not stressing about it at all. Some runs are great, some runs suck. Sometimes both of those things happen in the same week.
Sunday afternoon I headed to Two Blokes Brewery for a friends birthday! I got a flight of yummy beers and enjoyed some wonderful conversation with friends. It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours where I had on real clothes and had my hair done. I was gone for 3 hours and my kids acted like I was gone for days. We had lots of snuggles when I got home.
It’s been a good week. This week coming up I’m super excited for because we leave for Disney and the girls have no idea! EEEE!