28 October 2012

Disney Week 7: Perfection

Wowzers. I just finished my highest mileage training week ever; almost 38 miles. I'm celebrating this moment. I usually don't celebrate much. Instead I fixate on the next tough week or wotkout, worrying about my ability or the impact my chronic disease is having on me. But I'm trying to change my ways and celebrate some things:
  1. I ran my first "long" run of this training cycle today, and exceeded my goal pace. Long runs are supposed to be a bit faster than easy runs in the Hansons plan (10:15-11:00 for "easy", 9:53 for "long").
  2. I did today's run after volunteering at a local trail race, which required hiking a couple of miles, managing Maple, and screaming for 2 hours. (This kind of thing usually requires a day of rest to recover from, so the fact that I ran 10 miles afterward is quite an achievement for me.)
  3. I ran almost 38 miles this week, my highest mileage week ever. 
  4. This week's training went perfectly.
  5. I'm not injured! Nothing hurts!
  6. This week I hit 1000 running miles for 2012.
  7. I've finally landed on the Asics GT2170 as the right shoe for me, and my feet and legs are finally happy. (It took me a while to learn that this minimalist trend doesn't work for me and my corkscrew legs.) 
In other news... I got to run with my girls on Tuesday at the track, which was excellent, even though Ruth tried to kill me with a nutty sprint finish on the last interval. Maple did a track workout on Tuesday and then she joined dailymile and is now tracking her runs. And someone flipped a switch somewhere and now I am SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME.

Here's my training for the week:

74 easy6.4 (speed - 8x600)off7 (5@MP)4 easy6.5 easy10 long37.9

Next week will be very similar to this week, with some additional miles on Monday and Friday. Bring it!

21 October 2012

Week 6 of Disney Marathon Training

Before my boring training report, here's something exciting. Sean ran a 50 mile ultramarathon! Maple and I worked at the finish line while he was running, and we were there to see him when he finished, 12 cold and rainy hours later. When a run seems long to me, I think of the 1000 training miles he put in, and the 50 miles he ran in one day. Amazing. Here's Maple handing him his medal. He's planning to run a 100-miler in the spring.

I ran my first (since college) double yesterday, and I felt amazing afterwards! In the morning, Maple and I did a 5k race with two of my friends from work. It was gratifying running with friends and practicing encouragement for newer runners. Maple rocked it, her first ever 5k; she finished in about 39 minutes. She ran farther than 5k though, because she kept running ahead of us for about 200 yards and then running back, over and over again. Here's Team Pinkettes after the race (I had already taken my pink headgear off):

Then in the evening I ran 5 miles easy, to make my 8 mile total (per my training plan) for the day. It was warm and beautiful out. I love the way everything smells in the fall, and the way the yellow and orange trees look in the fading sun.

The new training plan is going well. I've had some aches and pains as I ramped up the mileage between weeks 5 and 6. The Hansons plan seems to break the rules by going from 24 to 39 miles in one week, but they also prescribe lots of very slow miles, which I think is why it might work. (As you can see below, I didn't quite make the 39 miles in Week 6, opting instead for a more modest 33 miles.)

On Tuesday I did a track workout in my favorite track shoes, Brooks PureCadence. Unfortunately my posterior tib tendonitis (PTT) flared up, probably because the workout was 6 miles total, and I usually do about 4. So no more PureCadence for me on the track. I didn't notice the PTT during the track workout, but two days later I had a painful tempo run. On Friday I cut my easy 4-miler short, and by Saturday the pain was absent, but it flared back up a bit on Sunday. Ice, ice, ice. My feet seem pretty happy right now with my Asics 2170s, so I'm going to stick with them.

Here's what I ran for the past two weeks. (You can see all the gory details on my dailymile site.) I started the Hansons program during Week 5.

5off4 (speed - 3x1600)off4 easy5 easy4 easy7 easy24
64 easy6 (speed - ladder)off7 (5@MP)2 easy3 + 5 easy6 easy33

In the Hansons plan, you run 6 days a week (after Week 5). Easy runs are done very very slowly, between 10:30 and 11:00 pace. This sounds slow for me, but the overall mileage is higher than I was doing before, so it doesn't end up feeling that slow because I'm more tired than before. Speed workouts are three miles total, but with rest intervals and warmup/cooldown, you end up running 5-7, and you do them at 5k pace, which for me is around 8:00. Long runs aren't too long so far, but the idea is you go into them tired because you ran all week. Starting in Week 7, you run the long runs a bit faster than "easy" pace; for me it says 9:53. So far this is working out well, and I'm really enjoying all the S L O W easy miles.

Right now I'm targeting a 4-hour marathon, which means 9:09 pace. This is going to be my A goal. As my training progresses, I can reevaluate, but this is what I'm aiming for.

My MS has been pretty quiet lately. I had some minor dizzies during Week 5, but I got some extra sleep and recovered. Running more miles now actually feels great. I'm trying to stay on top of my strength work, doing arms, legs, and core twice a week, and hip exercises 3-4 times a week. The hip stuff is definitely helping my hip pain that I had a few weeks ago. They are sore from doing the strength work, but they don't actually hurt anymore.

Next week will be much like this week, with the exception of the bad footwear choice. My long run stretches to 10 miles, and I'm really excited to see how that feels.

09 October 2012

Disney Week 5: Change of Plan

I've just started Week 5 of training for Disney, and I'm really excited. Look what I found on my pillow when I got home from work:

Sean knew that I was jonesing for this book and he surprised me with it today. Isn't that awesome? My enthusiasm for the marathon had been wavering, what with all the painful running. But a new marathon book puts me right back in the game.

I'm doing well energy-wise (wahoo!) after that lame Week 1. Weeks 2-4 were pretty solid, but I did skip some runs (and cut others short) because of yet another flirtation with injury. What kind of marathon runner is chronically injured while running 22 miles a week? Yikes. My hips have been sore and twingy, but I think (I HOPE) I'm on the mend now. It was either the Hokas or the reduction in hip-strengthening exercise frequency; mistakes I have since corrected.

I tend to be compulsive about things, so skipping and shortening runs is not something I generally feel good about. But since I've run a marathon before, I'm not too worried. I'm confident that if I can get to the start line uninjured and not exhausted, I'll be able to finish the marathon. Maybe I'll even run fast! A girl can dream. So the focus this time around is staying healthy rather than completing the training perfectly. It sounds like most marathoners have to adjust their training for various reasons, even the really fast freaks of nature. 

Back to the book. Last week, while waiting to get ART on my butt, I grabbed a free Competitor magazine in my chiropractor's office. (The butt ART was somewhat embarrassing but amazingly effective by the way.) The mag had an excerpt from the new Hansons Marathon Method book, and I was intrigued. I really admire Desi, and the whole Hansons vibe seems really cool. The article talked about the 20-mile long run being an arbitrary distance, a magic number that doesn't have much basis in science. They suggested that 16 miles was probably the very longest that mortals should ever run in preparation for a marathon, and I was like, "Oh yeah. I'm in." I found one of their training plans online and started in on it immediately, but I had a lot of questions, which is why I wanted the book. And then my amazing husband dropped it in my lap.

Today I did my first workout from the new plan: 3x1600 repeats with 400 jog between. Have I mentioned how much I love the track? I feel SO amazing after a track workout. I wish I could do speed every day. The rest of this week is scary though. I have tomorrow off, then I have SIX RUNS before my next day off. I usually only run five times a week, so I'm not sure what will happen, but I'll pay attention to my body and rest when my hip tells me to. The best thing is that my "long run" this weekend is 8 miles. Oh wait, I have two of those. Back to back. Hmm, maybe this plan is going to be kind of tough after all.

At least the crank fest is over. I stopped the gluten-free diet because let's face it, no matter how good it is for me, I eventually get tired and cranky and hungry to the point of ridiculousness. I'm back to eating my 90% vegan "normal" diet and I feel much better. Also my family has begun sleeping at home again. My footwear of choice right now is the Asics 2170 (and the Brooks PureCadence for the track). 

I'd love to say more about the hopelessly exciting details of my training, or my PT exercises or my diet, but Project Runway is on and I'm missing it. 

Here's my recap of the past three weeks...

Week 2: 26 miles, 5 runs (9-miler and hill repeats)
Week 3: 20 miles, 5 runs (5@9:05, 5x800@7:30)
Week 4: 23 miles, 4 runs (5@9:07, 9-miler, hill repeats)

My MP runs are getting slower, but that's because I'm being responsible! I even started wearing a Garmin - my new Forerunner 10. It's pink! I like it. GPS still sort of annoys me because the pace jumps all over the place, but I WILL LEARN TO LOVE IT. I swear. I'm determined not to go too fast on my easy runs, because I want to live through the next 14 weeks.