I’m not sure if I can even count this as week 1 of training. Let’s just say it really didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I spent the entire weekend in Chicago with family visiting from New Zealand so…bye bye long run. I was on track to still get a good amount of mileage in for the week until I skipped the 6-8 miler I was supposed to do on Friday evening, and for no other reason than I just really, really, really wasn’t feeling it and wanted to get ready to be gone all weekend.
So, I only got 20 miles in this week. I also didn’t do any cross training, because I wanted to get as much running in as possible since I would be sans long run mileage. This is…not where I wanted to be right now. It feels so unlike me. I hate feeling behind. Again, I’m not even sure this qualifies as a legit marathon training week or if I should just start next week, but I might as well recap it anyway.
6 miles w/ 4 @ tempo pace
Tempo Splits: 7:49, 7:46, 7:41, 7:39; average – 7:44
My first run of training!
I ran my 4 tempo miles by effort. This really was a true tempo run: it wasn’t so grueling I felt like I was going to die… but it was hard. It was uncomfortable. I had to talk myself out of only doing 3 tempo miles instead of 4.
I’m pleased with how it turned out. I was eying this workout as a fitness test that would give me an idea of where I am now and what the rest of this season could look like. I think it’s promising. The splits are good, and the fact that they averaged out significantly faster than my goal half marathon pace gives me just a liiiittle more confidence that I might be able to hit my sub-1:45 goal in September, or at least get really close. But the best part of this workout was the straight negative split, each mile faster than the last. I was worried that my body had forgotten how to do that!
7.5 miles, 8:57 average
I decided to do this easy run in the evening instead of the morning to give myself enough time to recover from last night’s tempo. This is normally an easy pace but it felt labored today; I’m hoping just because I was still tired from yesterday’s hard effort. In hindsight I probably should have slowed down more.
3.1 miles, 8:47 average
3.3 miles, 8:25 average
This run was also in the evening…so that I could join the Milwaukee Running Festival social run! They were only doing 5K and I had 6 miles on the schedule, so I ran to our meeting place from work, which ended up being exactly 5K.
Since I do most of my running solo these days, I forgot how FAST you go without even realizing it when you run with a group. In the 2nd mile I looked down and saw that we had run an 8:07! So much for taking it easy today…
It probably helped that I warmed up my legs on the way there. I felt fine afterward and the next day so all in all it was a good shakeout.
Skip-ville. I tried to at least salvage SOME of this day by doing some strength training in between getting ready to leave for the weekend. 3×1:00 wall sits, 2×1:00 planks, 30 bridges, 60/each side calf raises, and 30/each side leg lefts with the resistance band.
Saturday and Sunday, 7/11-7/12
Week 1 TOTAL MILEAGE: 19.9
I can’t help worrying that I’m totally losing any base I built up and that I’m going to get to the starting line of this marathon completely underprepared. But, I’m trying to push those thoughts out of my mind because this week is over, I can’t go back and change it now, all I can do is keep putting my best foot forward. The workouts I did this week were good and I should focus on that instead of the bad.
I wish I could tell you that I’m saying this because I’m being “glass half full” and embracing the “balance” and “flexibility” mantras I set forth for this training cycle, but the truth is I’m just so over this. I’ve spent the last 5 months obsessing over weekly mileage and getting enough running in and blah blah blah. I’ve just about had enough of it.
Well…I’ll give myself more credit than that. Some of it is me being positive and balanced and flexible (I have to admit, if you couldn’t already tell by my tone, I’m really not in the mood to write this. But I already had a bunch of it drafted so I figured I might as well follow through). I was lying in bed one night this week, debating if I should cram a 12 miler in on Friday evening so I could hit good mileage for the week when it hit me: wait a minute…this is ridiculous. I’m sitting here and it’s WEEK ONE and I’m trying to cram in a 12 miler before a vacation so I can hit an arbitrary weekly mileage goal and not be undertrained for a race that’s 3.5 months away. Does that sound “balanced” and “flexible” to you? Yeah…me either.
So I took a deep breath, and looked at the situation again, this time focusing on the positives. I had great workouts this week, and I feel good about that. My tempo run shows that I’m off to a great start and my fitness level is pretty solid. And again, it’s only Week 1. I’ve still got plenty of time and I’ve already run a marathon this year.
This week will be much more solid. I’m planning on a long run of 14-15 miles and I’m hoping to hit somewhere between 35-40 for my weekly mileage. I understand this is a big jump, but I’m really hoping that this is where the base I built up this Spring will come through for me, if any of it still exists. This weeks increase includes a long run this time and the rest of the miles will be more spread out. When I do speed work on Tuesday, I’ll be fresh off of four days of complete rest, and I’ll follow it up with a cross training and yoga day for recovery instead of another run.
Unfortunately, I already know this will not be my only test. Coming up soon, I am going to miss two long runs in a row: one to race the Cudahy Classic 10 miler, and then the next weekend because we are leaving for vacation at 5 AM on Saturday. We will be on the cruise all that next week, and I’ll be able to workout…but I don’t know how much. It will really just depend on how vacation is going. But again, I am trying to worry less and be optimistic more: after we get back from vacation, my remaining 2 months of build up will be smooth sailing. Even with two races in September, I will still be able to do 2 20 milers, 2 18 milers, and 3 16 milers. It will be fine. And even if it’s not – if I get to the starting line ever-so-slightly undertrained – is it really the end of the world? There will be other marathons. I keep going back to something Allison said when she discussed this last week: “I’m not going to turn my life upside down to shave a few seconds off my marathon time.” Vacations, summer fun, and races that I’ve been really wanting to do since last year are more important than a few missed long runs.
On to week 2!