*** First bit of business: If you haven't signed up for the 2nd annual Holiday Blog Gift Exchange, and you're dying to do so, please do so HERE. Looks like we have a good, large group this year. Can't wait! If you participated in the exchange last year and are again this round, I still have your mailing address so you won't be hearing from me for it (so don't freak when I don't contact you), unless you moved, then please let me know that valuable piece of info. If this is your first year in the exchange, I'll be in touch shortly to get your mailing address from you. ***
Okay, moving along....
The big news in Jill's running world is that I've abandoned my marathon training plan. This is hard for me to say and even harder to swallow, but I think things are going to go better doing so.
I'm still running the Carlsbad Marathon, best I can tell at this point, but the plan I diligently worked on for weeks on end is finished. 11 weeks into it, 10 more to go, and Good-bye, plan!
|There she is - Carlsbad Marathon Training Plan. *sigh*|
Well, first off, I'm not sure what possessed me to have a 21 week marathon plan in the first place; rarely - if ever - have I adhered to one specific marathon schedule for this length of time. I'm sort of more of a take-each-week-as-it-comes girl; having done so many marathons in the past, I pretty much know what I need to do and have always preferred the week-to-week plan. I guess I thought I needed a long drawn-out schedule since it'd been so long since my last marathon (thank you, heel!). Second, just a lot of personal garbage going on right now and the plan was starting to cause me too much stress and anxiety when I wasn't able to what that white piece of paper said due to whatever stressful events I had going on that day; I'd go to bed feeling like a failure and that caused me to stare at the dark for endless hours. Sleep deprivation is a runner's worst nightmare - at least mine. Third, I may have bit off more then I could chew (did I just say that?). The plan is ambitious. Not one I couldn't handle in a prior pre-injury life, but apparently more than my body is ready for right now.
So....welcome to Plan B. I don't really know exactly what Plan B is, but the goal is simple:
- 1 day/week of mile repeats. Last week I did 4 with each progressively faster until the last was a 7:15. Not my fastest, but this is good for now.
- 1 day/week a hilly tempo run of at least 7 miles.
- 1 day/week a long run - alternating each week between "long" and "medium long". Long will be at base pace, medium long will have some marathon pace work incorporated.
- The rest of the mileage will be maintenance miles, trying to sustain at least 50 miles/week.
- Pilates twice/week.
- Weight training twice/week.
- Swimming at least once/week.
And that's it. Simple! I actually feel liberated, in a sense, and felt great last week, my first week on Plan B. No agonizing, burning feet pain. Very little hamstring annoyance. I even completed my first 20-miler of this training. Now, don't all gasp when I tell you this but I did that 20 miler on my ... treadmill!There were many reasons for the using the treadmill, but I just felt that with two previous failed 20 milers, I really needed to get this one done and felt this was the safest (and probably easiest) way. I broke the run up into 3 segments where after each 6-7 miles, I'd go refill my water bottle, use the bathroom, whatever else I needed to do. Happy here to report it was a success. 20 miles @ 9:48 pace with no feet or hamstring issues (ok, hamstring pretty unhappy from mile 10 on....but it's doing well now). Again, not my speediest, but exactly where my pace needs to be right now.
I think I've been trying to cram this marathon training into a place I left off back in life pre-injury, and I just have to come to terms - and accept - that this is NOT going to happen. Not yet. I lost way too much conditioning for this aging body to jump into a 21 week program and think I can crank out my old 3:45 finish times. Not. Going. To. Happen.
In 2002, I ran the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. Well, I didn't exactly run it, I pretty much walked the last 10 miles of it; I was severely dehydrated and afterwards spent a good 3-hours in a medical tent with an IV stuck in my arm. Fun times! Actually, it scared the living crap out of me and I vowed I'd never do another marathon. And I didn't. For 5 years. But in 2007, on the 10th anniversary of my 1st marathon, I ran another marathon - the Dallas White Rock Marathon, the same one I ran 10 years earlier. Yeah, I'm sorta geeky like that.
I had been running during this 5 year marathon racing hiatus, of course, and I did a few races here and there, but my endurance was tanked and when I trained for Dallas White Rock in '07, I started from scratch. Just like when I started my training or Carlsbad 11 weeks ago. From scratch. In every single aspect. I ran Dallas '07 in 4:20something (funny how I can't remember the exact time....yet I can remember my first marathon in '97 exactly: 3:59:23 :)).
10 months after the '07 Dallas Marathon, I ran my first Boston Qualifier at St. George: 3:46:13.
I need to remember this. I need to remember how when I first started back to running marathons in 2007, it took a lot more effort than just a couple handful of hard weeks. I am NOT someone who is particularly fast or talented as a marathoner, I can't tell you what it feels like to win a race. But what I can tell you is that I love the marathon. I love how clean and pure and whole my body feels during the training. I love crossing that finish line giving everything I have out there on that course. I love conquering my weaknesses. I love wearing that medal for a few brief minutes, it represents all the hard work I had to get across that line. I hope I'm crossing marathon finish lines when I'm in my 60s (scary, that's not too far from now). But the marathon doesn't come naturally to me, nor easily - I have to work, and work like mad - just to be mediocre.
The point is: It's going to take me more than this 21 weeks of training for Carlsbad to get back the to the condition I was in pre-injury. Maybe if things in my personal life were going smoother, maybe if I had a professional trainer, maybe more of this...maybe more of that, things would be different. But that's not how it is right now. This isn't going to ruin Carlsbad for me, it's just going to make it a little bit harder. And that's okay.
A year ago, I wasn't running. Now I am. Relatively heel pain-free. And that is an amazing feat. No, I may not get across that finish line in Carlsbad in a time I have envisioned in my mind when I started, heck I may be crawling across the Carlsbad Marathon finish line, but I know now that at least I can finish.
I won't let Carlsbad define who I am as a marathoner. Rather, I'm going to use it as a starting point, a test pilot race in a sense, to the endless opportunities out there waiting for me. Boston a 4th time? Perhaps. A 50k? Definitely. Trail runs? Yes. Pikes Peak? Most likely. Whatever they are, they are all there waiting for me....
|Thanks, GZ, for the stolen quote|
- Celebrated Abbey's 21st birthday last week (whaaaaa).
|Celebrating with her first "legal" margarita. With brother, Brendan on the left, and her cousin on the right.|
Sorry for the crappy BlackBerry picture
I know this cake I made (from scratch even) is going to be the envy of all! Sorry to shame you, Char, but this is about as good as it gets in the Jill household. I'll take pre-orders for any holiday or special occasion cakes you may want.
|You can't tell from the picture but the middle has totally collapsed (why???) and yes, twin #2|
stole a piece from the side before Abbey even got home to see it. Unfortunately, I consumed
the vast majority of this thing. ugh!
- Brendan spent last weekend practicing, and auditioning for, a Denver-based professional marching band drum and bugle corp - The Blue Knights (click on the link if you want to hear a fantastic piece they did last year). He has one more 2-day camp in December and one more audition and then he'll find out if he made it. This is a HUGE ordeal for him, and would be an incredible honor. This corp represents the best of the best, all under the age of 21. He scored well in a couple areas but got really nervous on his solo and messed up. He has about a 50% chance of making it.....but the kid has such a huge heart and told me that is was okay if he didn't, just the experience and the opportunity to audition was invaluable and he's okay if he doesn't make it in for next year, there is always the year after. I guess this kid knows what plan B is, huh?
- Ryan's been slacking on his running now that cross country is over - as he should be, those kids worked their tails off during XC season (two of our state runners went to the Nike SW Regionals last week...the top runner for us ran a 15:15). Ryan and I are running a 5K Turkey Trot on Thursday, I will be very interested to see how he does after his time off. Me and 5Ks are absolutely the worst of friends...my exercise-induced asthma has me coughing up a storm the entire time and gagging on my lungs for hours after. Fingers crossed I don't die!
I hope everyone has a very blessed Thanksgiving and if you're out there running any turkey trots, run strong and super fast so you can consume that many more calories later in the day - yum! (according to Katie, we all need to run a 45 mile Turkey Trot to combat the average 4500 calories we'll inhale during our Thanksgiving meal. Anyone know of any local 45 mile Turkey Trots? I might even need a 90 miler...)
Run Strong, my friends! Happy Thanksgiving.