Four weeks went by with a blink of an eye. The first three weeks, I went to hot yoga a few times, but mainly I just relaxed and enjoyed the time off. I was a little anxious about not working out, and freaked out inside that if I didn’t continue working out that I’d lose all my fitness. But then I thought, hey, when is the next time that I’m going to get time off to just chill? Probably not ever. And plus I needed to let my right hip heal. So I eased up a bit. The week before my training started, I thought it best to get in a few runs so my body wouldn’t be so shocked. Three Sundays ago it got up to 50 degrees outside so I had to take advantage of the beautiful weather and went on a 4.17M easy run. It felt weird and good at the same time. Good because it was nice to be outside without tons of layers on and to finally be working out again. Weird because it felt like a century since I had laced up my shoes.
My second run post marathon was the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving Day. This ended up being a tempo run at 7:59 pace for 4.65M. Yah, I felt it. My legs were a little heavy and my breathing was all wrong. Some of it had to do with the cold temperatures, but also because it was my first effort run in almost three and a half weeks! The next day Bryan and I adopted a dog, a border collie/lab mix. She is just under two years old and has so much energy and needs to go on runs everyday. So when we got home from the shelter, I took her out for a 4.25M run to Broadripple and back. Even though, it was an easy pace, it felt like I was putting forth so much effort trying to control her on the leash. My final run before training was Sunday last week with a 6M easy run. Bryan ran with Kona on the leash while I ran behind them.
So that brings me to now with training for the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach which is in March. I chose the Shamrock Marathon for various reasons. I wanted to run a spring marathon and the only local spring marathon in Indy is the Carmel Marathon which I ran this past April. It’s a great boutique race, but a little small for my liking. Second I like the excitement of racing in a race that I haven’t ran in before. Third, one of Bryan’s best friends moved to Virginia Beach two years ago, and we are overdue for a visit. So I thought, two birds one stone….why not visit DJ & Megan and run the Shamrock Marathon while we’re visiting? Perfect! And race day is on Megan’s birthday so we will have plenty to celebrate post race.
So Shamrock will be marathon lucky #4. It’s a flat, fast course and oceanside. Can’t beat that combo. For my training plan I decided to use my same plan as I used for the Monumental Marathon. It worked perfectly for that race, so why couldn’t it work for Shamrock? I did increase the mileage a bit to build a higher base mileage, but nothing crazy. For instance, My w/u and c/d miles before my interval and tempo runs will be 1.5M instead of 1.0M. And my easy recovery runs midweek will be a mile longer. Instead of starting out at 9M for my first long run, I started out with 10 and then build to 12, 13, back to 10 and then back up. So again, just a few extra miles here and there. I think my highest mileage week will be around 45 miles. I don’t know if I’m ready for 50 yet. Since I’ve been so injury prone, I want to slowly increase my mileage.
My mondays will consist of cross training: hot yoga, which is also like active recovery. Tuesdays are intervals. Again each interval session will rotate between 400’s, 800’s, mile repeats, and ladders. I did however quicken my 5K pace (7:31) and 10K pace (7:53) so my intervals will be at a faster pace than my previous training. Wednesdays will be 6-7 miles of easy recovery runs. Thursdays will be tempo days. Uggghhhh I despise tempo runs the most. My tempo run pace will be 8:00min/mile. This is the same pace as my previous training. Fridays are rest days, but if I’m feeling up for it I’ll get in an extra hot yoga session or swim session. Saturdays are my long pace-plus runs. So even though they are long ‘easy’ runs, my new easy pace will be between 9:00-9:30 pace. Sundays are cross training days so either hot yoga, swimming, or cycling. I usually end up switching my Saturdays to cross training and Sundays to my long runs. I’m a creature of habit so I’m sure the same will happen for this training as well, but I’d like to think that maybe I’ll get my long runs out of the way on Saturday.
For this marathon, my ‘A’ goal is to break 3:50. If I’m having a bad day, my ‘B’ goal is PR (sub 3:56:47). So to reach my first goal, I’ll have to knock off about 7 minutes. This seams very doable. I went from 4:09 to 3:56 which was a 13 minute PR, so I’m hoping that another 7 minutes isn’t too big of a jump. I like achievable, realistic goals. I feel like if I said I’m going to run 3:40, that would be over reaching and then I would be left with huge disappointment. It’s all about baby steps for me. So I figure if I set my pace for 8:40min/mile (my previous race pace was 9:00min/mile) this would put me at 3:47:04 if I ran every mile exactly at that pace. Obviously that won’t happen, I’ll run some of them slower as I get tired, but that would give me some wiggle room for a 3:49:59 – two minutes and 54 seconds of wiggle room. I’d like to see a few more minutes of wiggle room, but that would mean making my race pace even faster…..overreaching. So my race pace will be 8:40. Boom!
I’m intimidated by the pace for such a long distance. My current 13.1 PR was ran at a 8:42 ave pace, so I’ll go a couple seconds faster than that! Seems scary right now, but that’s why I have a 16 week training program to get me there. I’m hoping that my confidence will build each week during training. Only time will tell. But on an exciting note, I did get two new pairs of running shoes. I loved running my last marathon in my New Balance 890v2, so I wanted to stick with those. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find any v2’s online in my size since this version is 2 years old. The New Balance 890v4’s are heinous, so I compromised and purchased the v3’s which were on sale since they are last year’s model of the 890. I haven’t ran in them yet. The style isn’t as slick as my v2’s (I like simple and sleek designs on my shoes, nothing busy) but they’ll do the trick. The other pair I purchased are the Nike Free 5.0. Again on sale since they are the 2014 version and the 2015 version is coming out soon. Both shoes are grey in color and have touches of green and purple, so they look similar, go figure. I’m more of a grey, red, and yellow girl. Both of them have an 8.0mm heel toe drop and weigh around 7.0oz. My Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+ that I wore in my first marathon were a 10.5 drop but were 6oz and my Adidas Energy Boost that I wore in my second marathon were a 10.0 drop but were 8oz. The New Balance just felt right both for training and racing with a lower drop and 7oz weight.
For this this training block, I’m also going to try to switch between my different shoes based on what type of run I have that day. I’m hoping the variety will help keep me injury free. Also, I’m going to run half of my runs outside during the winter months. When training for Carmel, we were hit hard by the Polar Vortex so I only ran outside two or three times during my 18 week training period. It was all done on the treadmill, including my 20 mile runs. This did not translate to running outside. I think that really hurt me during that race. I have all the cold weather gear a runner would need so why not put it to good use and get my butt outside?! As I stated in a previous post, I’ve grown a lot as a runner the past year. This time last year, I’d be chained to a treadmill if it were below 60 degrees. Now I’m running outside in 20 degree temperatures. I’d run all my runs outside for this training if it wasn’t already dark by the time I leave work. So every chance I get to run outside that’s where I’ll be. Realistically, that will probably be about half of my runs. Half is better than none at all. I hope that the polar vortex does not show it’s ugly face again this winter, but if it does, this time I’m ready with all my layers and face mask and mittens because I’m getting my Shamrock-On!