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Archive for April, 2010

WI Marathon Eve

At this time tomorrow the race will be over. Months of hard work and ass-busting will have either paid off or not. Simple as that. I am feeling good, confident, ready. I had some moments yesterday where I convinced myself that my goal was out of reach, that I couldn’t do it. I realize now that subconsciously I was sabotaging myself in order to have an excuse if I don’t meet my goal. No excuses, I can do this.

After a great 9 hours (!) of sleep last night, I woke up this morning feeling good and the negative thoughts are gone, pushed completely out of my head. I know I am ready. I have done the work and it is time for the payoff. I am doing the usual pre-race things. You know, hydrating, eating well, obsessively checking the weather. Looks like we may be dealing with some wind, but it is what it is. Other than that it will be a beautiful day for a race. Back tomorrow with results!

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Training

Yesterday’s 10-miler was my last long run before the WI Marathon next weekend. It went well despite the cold and rain, ending up with a nice solid average pace of 8:18. For my last few marathons, I have religiously followed a 3 day-a-week training plan with great results. Basically it consists of 3 runs every week, each with a specific focus and goal. One interval speed session, one tempo run, and one long run. There is no “running just to run” or recovery miles. In addition to the 3 runs per week, the plan also recommends 2-3 days of moderate intensity cross training.

Before this marathon and before Ironman, I followed this plan exactly and was able to PR twice. I would normally run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, bike or go to spin class on Monday and Wednesday, and take Friday and Sunday completely off. I felt this helped in my long runs, going in rested and recovering the day after.

This time around, I still followed the plan, but made a few changes. Ever since training for Ironman, I have really become accustomed to working out almost every day. I actually don’t like to take days completely off now, as I just don’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly still take recovery days, but it will usually consist of an easy swim rather than nothing at all. For example, I took exactly two days completely off in February, one in March, and none so far in April. In addition to adding more cross training days, I also added in some extra easy running, mostly when I didn’t feel like doing anything else, or when it was really nice out and I couldn’t resist the weather.

My weekly schedule was pretty consistent, and here’s what it looked like:

Monday – swim in the am, sometimes spin class at night, sometimes an easy run instead

Tuesday – tempo run (usually 7-10 miles total with 4-8 of those at tempo pace)

Wednesday – swim or easy run

Thursday – intervals, usually on the treadmill, distances ranging from 400m – 1 mile with recoveries in between repeats. Example: warmup, 12×400 at 6:30 pace with 400 recoveries, cooldown

Friday – easy swim

Saturday – long run

Sunday – spin class or easy bike

This plan has really been working for me, and I think it has really helped me improve my overall pace. Next saturday will be the ultimate test. In the next few days I am going to do a post about how I got faster, so stay tuned for that.

Now I am off to pick up my race packet (they are doing a Milwaukee packet pickup today which is awesome), and then to celebrate the birthdays of two of my little cousins. Mmmmm, cake…

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Well hello there!

So apparently I don’t blog anymore. Often times something will happen that makes me think “oh, I should blog about that,” but obviously that’s as far as it goes. Mostly because I feel sort of weird not posting for months at a time and then coming back with something totally random. I am not going to say that I am going to try hard to post more starting now, because I will likely post when I feel like it and that’s about it.

Moving on. So what have I been up to thus far in 2010? Well, lots actually. We had a great trip to Colorado in January, where I survived my first double diamond “expert only” run, as evidenced here:

Also, after months of studying my face off, I am now a Certified Personal Trainer, so there’s that. I am really enjoying it so far, and am looking at becoming a Certified Running Coach in the next couple of months. This excites me greatly, as it will allow me to take my passion and really incorporate it into my job as well.

Before I talk about running, let me just say that the post-ironman months were not too kind to my body. I managed to pack on 14 lbs between November (running season officially over) and March. Ouch. Did I just admit that out loud? Apparently once you are no longer working out in upwards of 15 hours per week, you no longer need to eat as much, even when you are training for a marathon. Who would’ve guessed it? It has been very frustrating to say the least, to work my butt off (literally) to get in the best shape of my life and then to see it all go away and know that it is my own fault. I am just now starting to drop some of that excess flab, and am actually going into the WI Marathon about 5 lbs heavier than last year. This may not seem like too big of a deal, but in reality the lighter you are the faster you run.

Speaking of running. I have been training my ass off since January for the WI Marathon, which is now 9 days away (eek!). I am excited and nervous and I can’t wait for it to be here and done. Not only am I gunning for a PR, but I am aiming for a 17 minute PR (3:40) which would be Boston-qualifying territory. It sounds crazy when I see it written out that way, but I know I am capable of it. My training has been on point, and as long as the pieces fall together on race day (unlike last year) I know I will do it.

That’s about all I’ve got. Now that I have “broken the blog silence” it’s likely that I will be posting a bit more, and I do have some ideas, but we’ll see. Hope all is well for everyone out there!

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