Finding My Stride

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Mini Marathon Training Program

As mentioned in my previous post regarding The Polar Bear Run, this is my first time following a training program for a half marathon. With the help of my experienced runner husband and Hal Higdon, I have a training program that we personalized to incorporate my CrossFit training. My training program consists of three CrossFit days, three run days, and hot yoga as my stretch/rest day.

My goal is to run the Mini Marathon sub two hours. My current PR is 2:08 at the Geist Half last year. I believe it’s doable for me to shave off eight plus minutes. I shaved off nine minutes last year between the Mini and Geist Half, so eight minutes should be a cake walk, maybe.

I had been doing CrossFit and hot yoga before my training program started, so the only thing I was changing was adding in my runs. Instead of running six or seven miles three days a week like last year, I am doing tempo and interval runs throughout the week along with a long run on Saturdays or Sundays to get faster. That’s the goal – to get faster.

Week 1: Intro. My first week of running felt great. It was nice to stretch out my legs for a run. But there was a catch. I had to do it on the treadmill. If you know me well,  I hate two things about running in the winter: running in the cold and running on a treadmill. The cold trumped the treadmill, so treadmill it was. Since the distances were short thus far it wasn’t too bad. I did my interval run after CrossFit since we have a 400m course mapped out there. I had to skip my hot yoga Sunday because we were in Louisville for Valentine’s weekend.

Week 2: Sickness. The beginning of week two was dreadful, the treadmill was already starting to get old and I was sick. Migraine headache, stuffy nose, sore throat and all around awful. I took three days off to recoup, but that would mean I would have to make it up later in the week or the week after. I did have an outdoor run that weekend, The Polar Bear 5M Run. I was excited to finally get outside. That all changed the morning of when the temperature was twenty degrees with an even lower wind chill. My music died within the first thirty seconds of the run. I was cold, without music and miserable. It was a very humbling moment for me. My pace was slow and it made me realize how much work my run still needed. Again I had to miss hot yoga Sunday because I had to makeup missed days earlier in the week.

Week 3: F U Treadmill! Week three started off slow, still discouraged from my first run outside that previous week, I had to keep pushing on. My husband had just started his Ironman 140.6 six month training program, so it was nice to have someone to push me along and keep me motivated. At the end of week three, my lower back and left shin started hurting. Was it the constant pounding on the treadmill, rowing or cleans in CrossFit, over exerting myself on double workouts, or a combination of all? Regardless, I ended week three with a much needed short run on Saturday and finally hot yoga! That was long overdue!

Week 4: Strides. Week four started out strong with CrossFit, but Tuesday my shin splints started to hurt while just walking. Seriously, shin splints already? So I ordered some compression socks to see if that would help. A few days later my lower back pain felt as if I was an 80 year old. Friday I made a date with my chiropractor and got realigned and ran 3.5 miles at an easy pace followed by an hour of hot yoga. Saturday was my “rest day” since I had to work, but Lanter Eyes was slammed! I was on my feet and looking at eyeballs the entire day! Today I went to CrossFit, but it wasn’t a traditional workout. Even though my back is already feeling better, I didn’t want to take any chances so I spent the hour on stretching and mobility while cheering on my Naptowners participating in the 13.1 CrossFit Open heats. Afterwards, I ran a seven mile training run spanning from Broadripple, Butler, and Meridian Kessler. It was amazing! It was exactly what I needed to pick myself up. It was outside and it was a “warm” 60 degrees! I felt like I was flying. My shin splints nor back hurt, my music was playing, and I didn’t have on a million layers. I even ran a little faster than my training run pace. It was the first time I had run seven miles since the Indianapolis Half Marathon back in October and it was the fastest I have ever done it. This run reinforced my training. I am already faster and stronger and loving every minute of it. I still need to catch up on a 35 minute tempo run that I missed earlier in the week, but it feels great to finish my first month of training on a high note. With two months to go, I know at some point I’ll cross another low point, but I have to persevere. Obviously I rewarded myself for completing my first month of training with a cupcake and a new racerback tank from Lululemon.

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Month One Complete! I even added Geist Half Marathon goal…
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Carson helping me reflect and blog.

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