Marathon Training Un-plan

As I promised (like you care), it’s time to serve an update of my life on marathon training.

I am almost positive that I was bit pretty hard by the marathon bug before I even ran my first one back in November. This being said, I had been eyeing other races in September and October for this upcoming year, and came across an advertisement for the Little Rock Marathon in March. My friend Drew ran it last year and he always has good things to say about the races he does, so I figured, “Why not?” Of course, the purple and silver disco themed promo material didn’t hurt in peaking my interest…show me glitter and pretty colors and I’m in.

I mean, how could you say no to these people trying to get you to sign up for a race??

I knew that the Little Rock Marathon was having a booth at the Route 66 expo and sure enough (for a discounted rate), I signed up for my second marathon before I ever ran my first. After Route 66 came and went, I knew that I needed a break from a training plan. I had invested over four months and more than 450 miles (running) into the my first marathon and for my body, sanity, and life…I needed a break.

December was deemed a ‘maintenance’ month–which meant that I didn’t live at the local fro-yo shop and let myself become lazy, though it sounded so appealing. December was spent doing workouts that I fully enjoyed, be it Zumba (yes please!) three times a week, cross training, and pumping some iron to attempt to get buff. There were also a few runs sprinkled in every week because I found that I actually missed running! Yet no run exceeded 8 miles, because that’s what I wanted.

I also worked on my insides in my ‘maintenance’ month. With a couple of small exceptions (ahem, Christmas) I cleaned up my diet, completely cut out caffeine and focused on getting my body back where I wanted it. I weighed more at the race in Tulsa than I was happy with and knew that by losing weight it would only help me…mission accomplished! I’m back to a weight where I am comfortable and my jeans are no longer too snug.

Now it’s January…and I am nearly done with week two of training. This training is pretty un-planned and these are the reasons why:

  • I am only spending 8 weeks on training this time around, a far cry (hallelujah) from the 16 weeks I put in for my first marathon
  • The only weekly distances I actually have planned out are my long runs–I know how much I need to run and I know what my weekly mileage needs to be at, it is just my responsibility to make it happen

So that’s basically it. An accelerated training plan and I feel like I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this one which I am perfectly happy with. I still have my ‘run less run faster’ idea of training as I did last time because I know it works for me. I run on Monday, Thursday and Saturdays and ensure one long run, one tempo run, and one recovery run.

I also have to be flexible with this training, winter finally showed up yesterday and brought some snow, 40mph wind gusts and wind chills dipping below zero. It was long run Thursday and I was not going to subject myself to that torture, so I saddled up on the dreadmill and turned in 14 miles while watching Warrior (on my iPhone).

Mmmm…please keep me company on a long run any time

 Also, if I fall running when the conditions are absolutely perfect, I was pretty sure I would greatly increase my chances of taking a mad fall on the snice (snow and ice combo) and wasn’t going to risk it. Which I’m sure Tom Hardy would find absolutely adorable.

So that’s how it’s going so far. It’s not something I really think about, I just do it. These past weeks have been nuts and I always feel so mentally cleared and relieved after my runs lately–which has made me realize how much I love and dare I say…need running? I’m a happier person because of running, I’m healthier, and better to be around for everyone in my life. It’s about six weeks out from the race and I don’t even know if this one will hit me until I’m actually running it, much like Tulsa. I was having people pinch me even at the expo the day BEFORE the race because I couldn’t really believe it.

Running marathons is still incredibly surreal. I guess this means my dreams really are coming true, because they’re too good to believe. Maybe I’ll believe it when I get this awesome medal around my neck on March 4th…ohhh yeah!

I feel like I’m going to need a glitter outfit for this one.

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