Saturday, January 22, 2011

BMO Marathon: Week 2 of 16

Training has gone exceedingly well. My overall speed and strength has improved and I'm in a better head space now to push past the fatigue of long runs. I'm feeling very confident about the marathon.

We extended an extra mile of hills in our hill training run this week so I snapped another photo of the lovely view (below). I felt amazing during this run- so much stronger than last week. Even with the additional mileage and hills, our pace was a half minute faster.

I just returned from my long run: Six miles out to meet up with Scarlet in her neighborhood, with the six mile return to my house. It was a bit of a struggle getting through the last four miles this week but I was able to buckle down and get 'er done. The weather today was glorious: sunny and not freezing. Afterward, Cory, Scarlet and I went out to breakfast (per my baby-sitting bribe agreement with Cory). At the moment Thurston is napping, the sun is shining and soon we'll probably head out to the park. January sunshine here is like a rainy day in the Sahara.

Next week's plan:

Monday: 5 Mile Tempo Run
Tuesday: 5 Mile Hill Run
Wednesday: Strength Training
Thursday: xtrain
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 Miles
Sunday: xtrain or 3-4 miles

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BMO Marathon: Week 1 of 16

I can officially check off my first week of marathon training! Woot!

A photo from our hills run on Wednesday (yes, we also ran up and down those stairs just for kicks):

I've recently returned from my scheduled 9 mile run this morning in the rain. Ok, I didn't schedule the rain, but I suppose it scheduled me. I got up and out the door early enough that I managed to stay ahead of most of it. At precisely mile 3.63, I met up with Scarlet and Mel for a brisk 3 mile loop around the NE Fremont area (coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes galore) before turning down Alameda (lovely windy street through the NE neighborhoods) for the last 3 miles back home.

Our pace slowed a bit when we all met up for the 3 mile loop together and I still managed a 10-minute pace overall so I must have been trucking it for the first and third portions of it. I'm hoping to average a 10-minute pace on all of my long runs this season so that maintaining an 11-minute pace at the Vancouver BMO marathon sounds almost like a walk in the park.

Yes, perhaps I'm straying from the traditional Higdon or Galloway method of the 60-90 seconds slower than MP (Marathon Pace) for the Long Run. HOWEVER, I just can't imagine feeling good about pacing myself faster on the marathon than on any of my long runs. Also, read this article for fun.

I attended my weight watchers meeting with two co-workers this week. I avoided the weigh-in though because I wasn't up for facing the scale (as a Lifetime member now, I only have to weigh in once a month). The room was absolutely packed with people signing up to sign away their holiday poundage. My strength training class on Thursday was crammed as well with new faces alongside all of the regulars. I give the holiday hangover crowd 8 weeks and then maybe I can have my gym back.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Up, Up, and Up some more

I reviewed my training for the past few weeks and I noticed a trend:


Can I say I have had a recent addiction to hill work? I almost get a rush when I'm pounding up a large hill gasping for air, with my chest heaving, my lungs burning, and my legs shaking.

I've also read something recently that promoted hill-work in the early stages of marathon training in order to build endurance (Regarding the benefits of hill-training, read THIS). Speed & Tempo runs will follow more regularly in the second half of my training program. I kind of HATE speed work and tempo runs so I'm pretty stoked on putting them on hold for a bit.

So over the next couple of months, I'll be heading up & up & up some more.