28 January 2012

Week 2: 20 miles

Since I started running seriously last year, I've committed nearly every rookie mistake. I've tried to increase speed and distance at the same time. I haven't listened to my body. I've tried to transition too fast into minimalist footwear. These three foibles cost me my half-marathon last year. I think I'm getting marginally smarter now, but I'm still worried about two things: first, accepting when I need to take a day off that I'm not going to make up. I haven't had to face that yet, but I should be mentally ready for it. An extra day or two off won't kill me (or make me unable to run the race in May). The second thing I'm worried about is committing more rookie mistakes...

Since this is my first marathon, I'm not supposed to have a time goal... but I'm a bit obsessed with pace. Don't let me give you the wrong impression—I'm not very fast. I am training as if I will run this marathon between 9:00 and 10:00 pace, so I'm doing my "pace" runs at 9:00 and my other runs between 9:15 and 10:30. Even though I have a loose idea of what I want to do, I really have no idea what will happen, and I'm trying not to be too attached to anything. I hereby define success as lining up at the start and running 26.2 miles. (Now I just need to remind myself of that every hour or so.)

I'm following Hal Higdon's Novice 2 training plan. When I started toying with marathon training back in December, I thought I'd do the Intermediate 1 plan. I actually did about 3 weeks of that program before starting my official training in January. And although it felt comfortable, my intermittent fatigue made me think I should step it down. Plus, Hal Higdon suggests either of the Novice plans for newbies, and the Intermediate plan is intended for folks who've run at least one marathon before. Better to give myself the best shot to actually make it to the starting line! Feeling decent in Week 3 doesn't mean I'm going to stay injury-free (or relapse-free) for 18 weeks.

Week 2 of training was solid. I only ran 4 times (as the training plan suggests). I had a few moments of fatigue, and was incredibly tired after my long run on Saturday. In fact I spent most of Sunday in bed, only dragging my ass out to do 30 minutes of cross training. My loathing of any cardiovascular activity that's not running is only bested by my loathing of taking two days off in a row, hence the bike. If I'm lucky, I won't be doing too many days of cross training. But when it gets closer to marathon day, I might be more inclined to stay off my feet. We'll see.

Pace range for this week was 9:26 - 10:04.

Here are the details for Week 2 (Jan 9 - Jan 15):
Monday: off
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 9 miles
Sunday: cross (stationary bike)

Next up: Week 3 recap, my very fun neurologist appointment, and what I wear on my feet.

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