Newport Marathon Training Plan

The themes of marathon training for 2014 are nutrition, a little bit of speed work, and a whole lot of fun!

Since I ran my first marathon in December 2013 I have tried to keep my long run miles up a little bit. I have done a couple of 15 milers, a half marathon, and an 18 miler. I don’t want to start training for the Newport Marathon (May 31st) at the beginning of a training plan. Especially since I hope to break my time of 4:40, and even 4:30. I want to use this time to get stronger and faster.

All that said, I am already following this plan below, and I am going to try to continue this. So far my body feels good, and my energy levels feel good too. I am turning 40 in a few days, so I am no spring chicken! But I will say that at 40, I feel more fit that I ever have in my life.

I am going to try to keep up one long run a month (18ish) until April, with the other weekends being 10-15 mile long runs and I will train like usual with a couple of 20 milers and probably a 22 or 23 miler. My midweek runs are already at what I’d like them to be at, 2 @ 8 miles, 1 @ 5 miles, 1 shakeout run before my weekend long run, and 3-4 easy miles the day after my weekend long run. I have been incorporating one day of speedwork also.

The other aspect of my training is nutrition. I generally try to eat whole foods, no gluten, and very few grains. I eat a Paleo-ish diet. I eat pretty clean 80% of the time. I have lots of stomach problems so it is very important for me to remain healthy and to eat foods for fueling. My body always lets me know when I get off track. It’s a constant struggle, but I am determined to stay well. I have been a little lax in my diet in the past few months, so I am going to tighten up my nutrition and see if that helps my running too. I plan to write more about nutrition and to gain more skill in my cooking. I love to cook anyway, so this will be a fun challenge for me!

All in all, I am excited for 2014 running.

Why not go for it?

So, I signed up for marathon #2 and marathon #3 last week. I have really been on the fence about what my running plans and goals for 2014 should be. After finishing my first marathon in December, I have been trying to keep my long run up, I have done a couple of 15 milers, a half marathon, and an 18 miler. After the 18 miler I decided that I really do want to try another marathon.

Part of the decision came down to the idea of just going for it! I was waffling about whether or not to try another marathon, and I realized something. Why not? The marathon is definitely a distance to be respected and the training as well. I do not want to let opportunities slip by my in life. I want to make the most of everyday. Sometimes this will mean mistakes, failures, setbacks. But other times this will mean success, the value of a hard earned goal, and personal achievement. I’m going to make the most of my running. As long as I am enjoying it, I will continue!

So I signed up for a fairly local on in Newport, Oregon. 1000 runners, and the route runs along a bay at the Oregon Coast. I am excited about this one. My goal is to have a marathon PR, not really difficult to do when you have only run one! and you are running on another flat and fast course.

I finished in 4:40 at my first marathon and I would love to beat that time, and perhaps break 4:30. I feel like 4:30 is achievable because the 4:40 was considering several stops along the way for pictures and to figure out my gear because it was an extremely cold day in Sacramento. I loved the experience and I loved the training. It was difficult, but achievable. So, Newport Marathon, May 31st, here I come.

I also signed up for the Portland Marathon in October 2014. It will fill up soon, so I wanted to get in. One of my closest friends is going to run it with me. It will be her 2nd marathon and my 3rd. We have no time goals, just have fun running together.

I really feel like writing a manifesto right now…

Truly. I have been considering so many things lately about what I believe, how I think things should be in life, and in my faith, and in my home, and in my church, and in general. My thoughts are all jumbled and I am struggling with what is appropriate to say and what I need to let go and move on from. Of course part of it is what is the mature and high road to take, especially considering social media and the like. Sometimes I really hate being the bigger person. But I must. My relationship with God demands it, and if I have any hope of being a better person in life and molded to what he wants me to be, then I must rise to what God wants from me. I do want to write some things though. I just haven’t landed on how to write them constructively. I have topics that are burning inside of me. So I will wait. I will wait until I have chewed on this more and until the words are clear and hopefully positive and uplifting, rather than small and inane.

For now, I leave you with this. I really love my crock pot. I have no idea what I ever did without one. It is such a lifesaver on busy days, and I daresay that a roast tastes the best when slow cooked all day.

Good night!

To Run Fast(er)

I definitely do not have fast running genes. I am slow and steady. It has taken me a long time to make gains on my pace. I try not to focus too much attention on it because I run for the love of running, not because of how fast I can run. The minute I get done with a race (event) and I am crushed because of my pace is the time I need to reevaluate my running goals. Being bummed about not meeting a time I thought I could make is one thing, but to be crushed by it is completely different.

All that being said, I do like to challenge myself to improve. I want to be better at running and to see gains in time, or running different types of races, things like that keep me interested in running. It’s what makes me love it. It is a sport you can never perfect. There is always room for improvement in some fashion and I need that.

During my marathon training last fall I got used to a slower pace. Those miles racked up and I was tired! I also got used to the long run pace of 10:15-10:45 per mile. It was nice to run slow and easy. I was also very nervous about injury and I wanted to give my body a chance to recover during the week when I was preparing for the next long run.

Of course after the marathon there was recovery time and a reverse taper. Now I am back to my usual routines of running. It had been awhile since I had done any speed work and I have rarely done any of that. I ran tons of hills during marathon training, but not many intervals or other speed work.

Last week I planned to do some intervals and it was fun! It felt good to turn it up and run faster than usual. I loved the feeling of pushing it, and also of the fatigue after the run. It reminded me how it feels to go faster and that there is so much variety in running and the fun of running fast on some workouts and long run pace on others.

I’m so excited to keep improving this year and to see where it takes me. If you would have told me that I could one day run a marathon, or a 58 minute 10k, or a 5k with 8:30ish pace I would’ve said you were crazy. Anything is possible and everything is possible. I’m going to keep on trying, and improving with realistic goals all along the way.

1.1.2014

I usually have some internal resolutions each year. Mostly they consist of ‘be nicer’ or ‘be more patient’. And then I forget about them three days later and I am back to my impatient and non-nice self.

This year I don’t necessarily have any resolutions, but they are mostly loose goals or internal growth stuff. I have things I want to do, but I don’t have substantial objective goals. It feels sort of nice.

I know I want to keep growing spiritually, but that is a daily occurrence and not something that I take on because it’s a new year. Funny how recovery has changed me in that way. I used to have resolutions every year or even every day when my life was a mess, but now, I just try to grow each day, regardless of whether it is a new year or not.

I also know I want to run another marathon. Or maybe two. I would like to do some bike rides with my husband too. Last year we rode two century rides together and I would like to enjoy some shorter distance riding with him and not push up to the level of century riding. I would rather focus training on marathons and cycle as a cross training and relaxing activity with Jason.

Last year I changed jobs twice. My resolution this year is to not change jobs at all. They were good changes, but it is very stressful making those big moves and I am ready to settle in to my job and build my career more. Plus I am a half-time worker, so I will not give that up. It means more time raising my kids, running, being a wife and a woman.

I want to relax more. My job changes have resulted in more time, so I am not going to fill that time with commitments, something I am famous for doing. It’s almost like I have something against allowing myself to rest and enjoy some personal pursuits. I am learning this now though. I think. Hopefully.

I will grow family relationships more. I am not very good at extended family relationships and I want to be better. I’m pretty independent and sometimes that translates to not being very accessible to others.

I will spend time and energy on people that make me feel good and better about who I am. I can’t stand the superficial, and the inane. I strive for a real and authentic life, and when I see people not living in that way it makes me angry. Isn’t that so silly? If I would stick with the vast group of friends and my family that help me to be a better person, I wouldn’t struggle with this. Facebook just may need to go. We’ll see.

I got my writing back in 2013. I lost it for several years. I want to keep doing it. It makes me feel good and I enjoy being creative with my words.

I want to keep cooking and learning about nutrition. I have been able to heal my gut this year and I am looking forward to continuing my personal health. I love cooking and I love whole foods. I might even blog about it more.

2013 was an awesome year, I am ready for what 2014 has in store.

Maintaining the Long Run

I need advice on maintaining fitness between marathons. 

Now that I ran my first marathon, I am looking at 2014.  I know I definitely want to run another one.  I also don’t want to give up my long runs or lose too much fitness in between.  I worked HARD to train for it, and I want to maintain at least some of the fitness even as I am not officially in training right now for a marathon.

I am looking at an end of May 2014 marathon.  What should my long runs look like between now and then to maintain a decent fitness base?  Also, how can I vary the long run distances so I don’t get burnt out on maintaining the long run?

Thanks for any advice you have!

Refreshing Friday Run

I don’t often do speedwork.  I have been legitimately scared of it for some reason.  I run lots of hills and use that as my speedwork.  My other MO is to go out for a run and if I’m feeling it, I will speed up and do a tempo run.  Sometimes that makes for weird splits on my runs, because I will start out really slow and then when I get the high, I start going faster and faster, sometimes I finish up over a minute faster on my last split than I was on my first or second one.  So, essentially I trick myself in to speedwork by not actually calling it that.  It’s kind of like how my kids hated green bean casserole when they were little, but after I changed the name to tater tot casserole, they suddenly loved it!  (I do shudder at the thought that I actually made such dinners at one point in my life.)

When I was training for my marathon, I really didn’t do any speedwork except hills.  I got very worn down during my training since it was my first marathon, and I only had it in me to get the runs in, and I stopped fretting about trying to combine intervals, etc. with my training plan.  When I began the training, I thought all the advice I heard about just doing the first marathon to finish and not worrying about speed, etc. was a little overkill.  I figured since I have a few years of running under my belt I would be a little more advanced for marathon training.  Not so, my friends.

Then I tapered for the marathon, ran the marathon, and sort of reverse tapered.  I am almost 3 weeks post marathon and feeling good.  I feel recovered and I am putting in mileage again.  It feels good!

I went out today for a 5 miler.  I planned to do some intervals.  I have never used my watch (Garmin 610) to plan intervals before, so I thought I would try it out.  I made up my own plan, and did a 1 mile warm up, then 3 minutes faster than 5k pace, and then 5 minutes of rest in between.  I did 5 intervals, and ended up running my 5 miles for the day.  It felt so amazing to run fast!  It has been awhile since I ran anything close to 5k pace, and it felt good to kick it up and run hard.   I loved that my watch notified me when my intervals were up.  I will probably play around with it more and try lots of different scenarios for intervals.  I was tired when I got home, but also energized.

I signed up for a half marathon in January, so I am going to run hard the next couple of weeks and then do the half.  It’s a local one, the Cascade Half Marathon.  It’s insanely expensive for a local fun run ($45, but there is a t-shirt) , and in January so the weather is unpredictable.  It’s also a flat and not very scenic course.  But hey, it’s a half marathon!  I am excited to run it, because the only half marathons I have done are one that I ran/walked with my daughter, and then a trail half marathon as part of my marathon training.  So I really don’t have a road half marathon time established for myself.  It should be fun to see what I can do.  I’m thinking I will be somewhere between 2:05 and 2:15, we’ll see if my predictions are correct.