I’m back! Marathon training has begun and it’s kicking my butt! Or maybe it’s just me kicking myself in the butt for taking nearly two months off from running after the Chicago Marathon. Probably a combo of both. Looking back I probably should have continued to run a little, but the time off was well spent with hot yoga and CrossFit. I guess subconsciously I knew that once marathon training started hot yoga and CrossFit would be put on the back burner again.
I secretly hoped that I didn’t lose all my fitness that I had built over the summer, but I was wrong. Muscle memory where are you when I need you?! And warm weather where are you when I need you?! During Chicago training over the summer it was oppressively hot, now it’s bone chilling cold. The grass is always greener on the other side. I’m like Goldie Locks, I want the temperature to be juuuuuuust right.
Okay, time for my first three weeks of training:
Week 1: Monday started off a 40 minute cycle on the bike trainer at 5:00 a.m. That was rough, realistically not sure how often I’ll be able to get up that early. That evening I found my zen in hot yoga. Tuesday was an easy 3 mile run and a 1100 yard swim. The pool was surprisingly pleasant. I just jumped right in and took off. For some reason I really get into a zone during a swim. I count my strokes in a rhythm and thirty minutes goes by quick. Wednesday was a 6 mile run at race pace, although it wasn’t exactly at pace. I was struggling. Sheesh, how am I supposed to hold this pace for 26 miles if I can’t even do it for six miles yet? Thursday was 6 X 800m repeats at 7:30 pace. I felt really good about these for my first speed session. Friday was a rest day because it was my designated rest day and my little sister’s graduation from UGA. Saturday was supposed to be an 8 mile run, but I shortened it to 6 miles since I always was helping my sister pack up her apartment for her move back to Indy. Even though it was supposed to be an easy run, it was rather difficult for me. I was running around UGA and Athens and didn’t know where I was going. Certain areas in Athens are sketchy and I ran through some scary neighborhoods. Not too mention it was really hilly. So hilly, I felt like I was crawling uphill. That was a wake up call. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Sunday was another rest day since we were driving back to Indy. Week 1 Total Mileage: 19 miles + 1 bike session + 1 swim session + 1 hot yoga session.
Week 2 started with a rest day on Monday. I was so exhausted from the first week of training and traveling to and from Georgia, I just needed my warm bed, Yats, and cuddle time with Bryan and the fur babies. Tuesday was a 3 mile easy run and a 30 minute swim session. I’m starting to really enjoy my swim days. Tuesdays might become my new favorite training day. Wednesday was 6 miles at easy pace and Thursday ended up being a 40 min cycle on the bike trainer since I skipped it on Monday. Friday was a rest day. Saturday was catch up day – catching up on the workouts I missed earlier in the week. So instead of my long run, I ran a 4M progression run and had a hot yoga session. Sunday was my long easy run of 8 miles with a twenty-five minute swim session afterwards. The sauna never felt so good after getting out of the water. Week 2 Total Mileage: 21 miles + 1 bike session, + 2 swim sessions + 1 hot yoga session.
Week 3: Monday morning came too quickly and I couldn’t bare to get out of bed at 5:00 for cycling, so I slept in. However, I did go to hot yoga after work. Tuesday ended up being a rest day. I didn’t want it to be, but it was Christmas Eve and I had so much to do with so little time. I worked from 9-12 and then met Bryan at the mall to start our Christmas shopping. Yes, we waited until Christmas Eve to shop….oooops! By the time we shopped, had dinner, and wrapped presents it was 9:00 p.m. and I was mentally checked out. Wednesday was Christmas. I had every intention of waking up early and getting in a 6 mile run before we went to our parents’ houses but both Bryan and I slept in, something we don’t get to do very often. And we enjoyed every minute of it. Now time to play catch up….I hate having to catch up on workouts. Thursday I ran an easy 3 mile run. It was all I could muster up after the exhaustion of the holidays and the craziness at work. Friday was 3 X 1 mile repeats with 800m w/u and c/d. My first mile was 8:00min/mile, my second mile was 7:45min/mile, and my third mile was 7:30min/mile. I felt great. I was definitely pushing my limit at that speed. My heart rate on that last mile was pushing 190. After my speed work I had an hour long swim session (swam roughly 1 mile) and then relaxed for 15 minutes in the sauna. I was at the gym for two hours. It was amazing. Saturday I did my first brick workout. I cycled on the trainer for 40 minutes and then did a 6 mile run at race pace. I felt good running and it was easier for me to run at race pace after the bike. It was like the bike warmed me up for the run. Sunday was a 9 mile run at easy pace (9:45min/mile), followed by a hot yoga session. Needless to say, last night I was pooped. Total Mileage: 22 miles + 1 bike session + 1 swim session + 2 hot yoga sessions.
The first three weeks have been a slap in the face as to how much fitness I have lost over the past two months, but that’s why I’m training – to get my fitness back and be better, faster, and stronger than the first time. This is my first time training during the winter. I’m not too thrilled about doing the majority of my runs on the treadmill. It doesn’t take the place of running outside. Trying to be positive, hopefully the treadmill will help with my speed work. I’m most worried about my long runs on Saturdays. It will absolutely suck running 14 miles on a treadmill but I can’t imagine myself running 14+ miles in 20 degree weather. That sounds miserable. Bryan suggested breaking it up and running 5 miles outside, then 5 miles inside, then 5 miles outside. I’m considering this option. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Also, this is the first time I’m training with a heart rate monitor. Bryan bought me a new Garmin GPS watch for Christmas – 910XT multi-sport for triathlons with a heart rate monitor. I love this watch! It’s perfect in the pool so I don’t have to count my laps and I love monitoring my heart rate at different speeds during my runs.
I’m trying to be more rigid at following my training plan this time around. I did fairly well at following my training plan for Chicago, but I missed decent chunks of training while on vacation and traveling which is to be expected. This time the holidays are getting in my way. I have so many friends in from out of town too that I want to see, but there are just not enough hours in a day to do it all: working full time, training, husband & family time, friends, oh and everyday life. I’ve had to make major scarifies already. I have to stay strong and follow the course. Bryan keeps telling me that it’s okay if I miss a run here and there but I don’t want to get into the habit of missing runs or cross training. The more I miss, the easier it will be to skip out. I have a plan and I want to follow it. So hopefully after the new year it will calm down a bit. And I have to remember why I’m doing this – because I enjoy it and it’s changed my life for the better.