Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bye Bye, Plan

*** 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*
What's going on, you ask?

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!
Treadmill long run.  Fully equipped with: laptop (on left side) to  play iTunes (I lost my iPod at the gym
the other day *sigh*); TV in front; numerous magazines to look through; water bottle; Perpetuem;
electrolytes; sticky notes and pen, just in case I need to remember something on the run; cell phone.
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
A couple quick kiddo updates:
- 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 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.


KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Damn those injuries and damn the aging process! So glad to see that you are able to get out (or in on the t-mill) and run long without any heel pain!! I've always said, I don't care what my speed is, I just want to be able to run. And after any injury that has sidelined me, I am so much more grateful for running when I can get back to it.
I'm with you on the not following a plan. I've never been able to do it. I train instinctively and know how and when to start ramping it up in order to peak on time. I think your plan B is a great one!

I would LOVE to get in on the gift exchange. I saw it a little too late last year.

Have an awesome T-giving and have fun at the Turkey trot.

GZ said...

Don't tell anyone but I think that treadmill long runs are the bomb.

Colorado Gal said...

20 miles on a tm makes you my hero :)

Happy Turkey Day to you!

Anonymous said...

Wait - we're supposed to have a Plan? Uh oh...

Nothing wrong with a Plan B. Plans always change and a good sign of wisdom is someone who recognizes that and follows through.

Aimee said...

I think it says more about you as a runner that you're listening to your body and changing things up! I think sometimes people feel they have to stick to "the plan" and end up getting sick/injured. Your new plan sounds perfect!!!

Oh..I'm sending you an email with my new address b/c we moved this summer! I am so excited about the gift exchange! :)

ShutUpandRun said...

Way to be flexible and change up the plan. There is nothing magical about one specific plan. It just has to fit your lifestyle and where you are physically and emotionally. Congrats on the treadmill run. INSANE that you ran 20 miles on that thing.

misszippy said...

I think you are doing the right thing here. You know what you're doing and can put it together week by week with ease. And anything that takes stress from your life is a good thing, right?

Ugh. Reading what you were saying about getting back into shape is a sober reminder to me. I know I am in the same's depressing! A long road back, but we can just be thankful to be out there, right?

And how cool about your kiddos, each of them!

Julie said...

Plan B is good! Doing what feels right, thats good!

Which Turkey Trot are you doing? Have fun! I'll be up in Broomfield doing one. Sure it won't be what I had hoped for after my lack of running recently.

Glad the kids are doing well, love Brendans attitude about the tryouts Blue Knights would be cool!

Have a great Turkey day!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I have never gone past 10 on my dreadmill.

I look at training plans and I adapt and change them based on my needs and goals

Have a great Thanksgiving, Gobble Wobble

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

Jill, I think you are very smart for recognizing where you are right now as a runner. As slow as you may feel just know that you are still so much faster than me! Picking the right plan is so much better than being injured again.

20 miles on a treadmill is pretty incredible!

I looked, no 45 milers here but I guess you could do it on your treadmill (blahhhhh!) Happy Thanksgiving!

Marlene said...

I love your Plan B! That's pretty much how I got through my summer training - one week at a time. I was struggling with the original plan, then added tri stuff to the mix, the heat was killing me and blah blah blah so I just had an idea of what I needed to accomplish from week to week... and it worked! You know what you're doing here and I know this will work for you too!

Love your attitude for this second half of your training! Stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy!

You're so right about that awesome feeling that marathon training gives you - so FIT!

Teamarcia said...

Oh yes plan B. And C and D and...
It's so hard to let go of running the way we used to and embrace the way we are now. You know I've been trying hard to make peace with this but then wondering if I really should.
Hey take 20 anyway you can get it right? A mill 20 is awesome, especially when you've got Cooking Light!
Have faith in yourself, girl. I know you're going to pull this marathon off just fine. xo

Christi said...

I am so happy for ya girl! You are listening to your body and adapting as you need to. That is great. I am sure you will do well in Carlsbad. Just remember one important thing, HAVE FUN!

I love ya and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I love, love your plan! I think you are so incredible and I can't wait to hear all about this success you've got coming to you! I've got LOTS of work to do myself for my marathon in May and it gets scary from time to time, but I think I can keep my head on straight(I hope)I think I'll be doing more mill running myself for this one too. ((hugs))

Caratunk Girl said...

I think it is smart for you to change the plan. Your new plan sounds great.

20 miles on a treadmill would put me in an insane asylum. Honest.

Awesome about your kids!

Johann said...

I'm still gasping at the treadmill thing... Well done Jill! I always have a long term plan but also make it extremely flexible for life to carry on as normally as possible. BTW, am I the only one that think it is normal that a belated honeymoon should include some race on a mountain? Keep it going Jill!

Chicken said...

I love the treadmill 20-miler! Great job!

I usually start with Plan B, since I know I won't follow it closely and then I don't feel bad.

Just do your best...then you won't feel bad about your time AND you can say you finished it! Plus, once you're back in training form, you'll have a time you can surely beat next time you run Carlsbad.

Karen said...

Running a 20 miler on a treadmill really builds mental toughness!!! I know I never could do that.

Kate Geisen said...

That sense of peace you had after changing to plan B just shows you it was the right decision. You're so's a process...and you're finally back on your way instead of being sidelined by your foot. And your "slow" marathon is going to be worlds faster than mine. :)

And I noticed you forgot to mention the IM. :)

Hope life calms down, chica. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

pensive pumpkin said...

I am in awe that you can run that far on a dreadmill. My brain would have me wandering away, forgetting to turn the thing off. Look, honey! I ran 187 miles! LOL

And around here, we are on "Plan B in 137 parts." Counting our plan gone awry just got to be way too depressing.

Happy Turkey Day!

Average Woman Runner said...

Running is an amazing FEET, indeed :)

Glad you found some peace with your running - it's supposed to destress your life, not the other way around. One race at a time, it's about the journey rather than the destination.

Happy thanksgiving!

Ewa said...

Oh, I hear you on training frustrations. Why hasn't treadmill running occur to me? Hmm, is it because I don't really like treadmills?
Char has some serious competition, I see. I think you and I should make a trip and raid her kitchen. Do you think she would mind much? ;-)

ajh said...

Do what you need to to train. Your plan still sounds very ambitious to me! Good luck with it.

Your cake looks like my cakes. That's why you have lots of frosting - to fill in where the cake collapses.

Raina said...

Jill- Good call on the plan. I actually wonder if I would race a marathon better without a set-in-stone plan. I plan to be pretty flexible this next time, but keep some types of runs in mind- like you have.
I am excited to see how you do with this! Will you be racing with Marcia at Carlsbad??

Happy birthday to your daughter!!

Cake does NOT need to look good to taste good :)


CautiouslyAudacious said...

Happy Thanksgiving!! Woohoo to no heal pain! You will figure out your training as you go. Good luck!

Char said...

I'm sorry to hear that your personal life is causing you a lot of stress. I know how hard that can be and you've done exactly the right thing toning down your program. A body can only deal with just so much stress before it cries Uncle.

I love that your cake didn't make it intact to the birthday girl. Boys!! They have absolutely no respect.

DRog said...

love plan B
you know what to do
liked the recap on the marathons too

and ur RUNNING
"realatively" pain free is good
will get better and better
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fam


Run Jess Run said...

That's so great that Brandon is auditioning for the Blue Knights! I'm sending him band geek karma:)

Run Jess Run said...

That's so great that Brandon is auditioning for the Blue Knights! I'm sending him band geek karma:)

Caroline said...

I am grateful for YOUR blog as well and I have my buddy CK to thank for that actually, that is how I found you. I learn a lot by reading your blog and this post is a good example of that. I am not an experienced runner, I am not a marathoner but I am a fan of the plan B. From reading this it looks like the right decision. 20 miles on the wow..I raise my cup of herbal tea to you!
happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
still so mad I am not doing Carlsbad this year.

Lindsay said...

my baked goods collapse in the middle too. just means more icing! :)

hurry up with the secret santa already! i need to get as much of a headstart as possible ya know ... ;)

training plans... totally stress me out too. i think that added to the stress in my body that (in my theory) threw my body out of whack. so yeah, don't let a piece of paper get you worked up!

happy thanksgiving!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

I've had much more success with training plans with a list of targeted runs each week than with a regimented daily schedule. Hope it works well for you!

Ransick said...

My pharmacist neighbor always tells his daughter Plan A not Plan B when shes goes out on dates. Oh, different plan B :-).

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I personally love a plan and thrive on it, but I totally understand most do not like it. I totally think you are doing the right thing. I always say, keep the training fun and doable, challenging, but doable. No need for extra stress.

You've got this....

Exactly why I, for the most part, have given up on baking. I always end up consuming the majority of it. (Hubby's sweet tooth isn't nearly as bad as mine)

Jennifer said...

I love the idea of plan B. Very good! And I think you are doing the right thing keeping it attainable and fun. I also found my training weeks are more like 10-day weeks rather than 7, so my plans are always homemade. Who cares about speed right now, you are RUNNING and that, my FRIEND, is way more impressive than any thing else! Keep up that most amazing attitude!! I always smile when I think of you! XOX

Matthew Smith said...

I think the Plan B is the way to go. I hate injuries and pain. They are the worst, but it's the resting up, recovering, and fighting back that makes it all worth it. Keep it up!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Sorry plan A didn't work out. My mentality is that I'm training year round for the next marathon, so I don't think of it in terms of 21 or 16 weeks. I'm sure Plan B will treat you better.

You've got a lot going on on that treadmill. I've been doing more on the treadmill lately thanks to the colder weather. Nothing wrong with treadmills

BTW, I'm feeling pretty good at this point about running Dallas White Rock next weekend.

Black Knight said...

This seems a post of mine: failed the plan A, failed my 2 previous 20 milers and ready for the plan B.
Sorry that your plan didn't worked. However you are a rock star with that "Dreadmill".
Have a good week end.

Molly said...

Happy your change of plan lessened the anxiety. Way to go with the 20 miler on the treadmill! I know exactly what you mean about getting a long run done on one of those, gets you in the right place mentally. Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Mark said...

So good to see you running so well!

Bubble Boy said...

Good luck with Plan B! Hang tough and thanks for being you! Happy belated Thanksgiving!!

Anonymous said...

I can't follow a plan and I should be better at it. Iknow what I have to do this week, but I don't know what I will be doing tomorrow . . . right now my only plan is to run 3000 miles before Leadville 100. . . I have 2,582.5 more miles to go.

Due to our busy lives . . . I have to look back at the over all plan and stick to it the best I can. If my rest day changes, like today, I just have to shift it all around.

Cory Reese said...

I must say, I love your blog. Seriously, I love it. Your posts are always so well-written and each time I leave feeling inspired.

And your 20 miles on the treadmill? I now admire you even more. I have nowhere near that much self-control.

Laura said...

Change is always it changing up a run or running a nutty distance on a treadmill.
happy training!!

Liz said...

I see you share my presentation skills when it comes to baking cakes! I bet it tasted great though! Good luck with Plan B.

Denae said...

Great Post!!I totally feel you on the "plan" I am about to scratch mine too!

Kenley said...

Thank you Jill so much for this post. The end of the race is just the beginning of another one in my opinion. Who knows what the outcome will be this time around, but I love your attitude about it. Love it. Im just happy to know that you are running injury free now. 20 miles on the treadmill, I have done that before, not at your speedy pace though. 2 minutes slower per mile, so that's an extra 40 minutes I had, at the gym to no doubt. lol. Geeeeeez. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. You take care, and I look forward to reading more of your story in the future.

Irene said...

The nice thing about Carslbad is that you get to run along the coast, which makes up for any injury or illness. I've run the Carlsbad half twice, sick for both, and my times sucked egss, but I LOVED IT. I think it was a mental thing. I just love running along the coast.

I'm looking forward to the gift exchange and I have a few ideas of what to do this time. :)

Happy birthday to Abbey!

Adrienne Langelier, MA said...

Great post! I believe that being flexible and having more than one plan is actually a good thing. It was a lifesaver during my San Antonio race, because it made it so much easier to deal with the UC's (uncontrollables).

What we can control, is our enjoyment of the 'ride' and what it teaches us.

Marathon training is good about teaching us things anyway...

I've gotta try a 10-miler on the 'mill one day to see if I can do it-so far my PR is 12.5!

Stay the course:)

Amanda@runninghood said...

I just left a super long comment and then my other computer wouldn't let me send it. grrrrrrr. Long story shorter (it was long), I'm glad I got to your post here...Have hardly been on blogs at all lately. With a husband out of town and 3 kids home from school, I've been one crazy mama. REally glad you are being flexible and not feeling like you have to get stuck on a plan. That kind of thinking is recipe for disaster. I really want to be more flexible this time around too. 20 miles on a treadmill...well done! I love treadmills...really not bad at all. And I play around with the elevation from -3 to 4% so this makes it more exciting. :) Although my cold garage isn't nearly as cozy as your house looks. Happy 21 to your beautiful daughter...just like her mom. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving Jill! xo

Oh, Waylon has been injured for awhile now..his heel has been hurting really bad. Doesn't know what it is but it is keeping him from enjoying running. :( His journey to finding out what it is has only just begun. Stupid injuries.

Unknown said...

20 miles on the "D" word....... Omg!!!

Brian said...

Good luck on "Plan B"! I know the 20miler on the treadmill is more than I would attempt but you make it sound...well, bearable!

GZ said...

Hey - what happened to the 5k post?

Anonymous said...

know what, jill? i applaud you for being smart about your injuries. so many people ignore them and end up in a worse place.

and hey, congrats on the legal one! she's adorable.


Tara said...

Hey girl. You are doing the right thing, I know you don't like it, but I think you are being smart about this and taking that step back. I know it's hard to use Carlsbad as a stepping stone, but that's exactly what it is going to be for you.

And as for the 20 miler on the treadmill, well, you already know that I think you are crazy, BUT sometimes we just need runs that build back our confidence. And I know that you have your best runs on that damn treadmill of yours!

Ok, well, you already know that I'm in for the blog exchange, so I won't bother with that post. Where's that 5K post. Bwhahahhaaa!!! Love ya. :)

RunToTheFinish said...

i have always been really bad with following a training plan, but I do need to include some baseline items like you did. I say I'll do speedwork, but i'm not specific so I have no way to see progress nor do I do the same thing weekly. then again...I'm so happy to be running I kinda don't care :)

Jason said...

You say you never won a race and I have to disagree. We have all won one race in our lifetime....that is how we all got here.

But seriously we all win when we get to the start line and then cross the finish line regardless of time.

Way to take a step back and not try to shoehorn the whole thing.

TX Runner Mom said...

Wow, 20 miles on the treadmill is very impressive!

Glenn Jones said...

I want to be like you when I grow up - being able to train without a plan. Me? Even with a plan I have trouble sticking to it....

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