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. 


  1. Love that you are slowing down your long runs. You will be happy with that decision. Not enough people listen when they hear that.

    Can't wait to hear how this new training plan goes. I have heard the Hansons training program is great. Tough, but great. :)

  2. Hey Portia! Finally got the chance to check out your running blog. Amazing--You guys are truly inspiring. I tried running again (for the first time in years) after seeing you at Aunt Janet's 90th party. But I quickly gave up and resumed my couch-surfing and potato-chip-eating lifestyle. See you at Thanksgiving? xo your cousin Sarah

  3. Robin - thanks for the encouragement on the slowing down. It was hard at first but now I'm enjoying it.

    Sarah! Hi! You are a real runner and you were so inspiring to me back in high school and college. Libby still has that picture of you and Emily and Liza in the kitchen and every time I see it I'm inspired. Get out there and try again!