Monday, February 18, 2019

Illinois Marathon Training: An Update

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I stopped doing my typical weekly mileage recaps on this blog.  This was not planned, nor intentional.  Life has gotten away from me in the past few weeks, prompted by some big changes so the weekly recaps moved further and further down the list.

At the end of last summer, I took a baby step towards a career goal I had of starting my own business.  This baby step meant that I changed my status of my full-time job to part-time to accommodate a few contracts that I had through my newly formed LLC.  This situation worked out fairly well initially, however, increasingly felt that I was working all of the time - two part-time jobs does not equal a full time job.  I also felt that my job-as-safety-net was doing more harm than good in furthering my business goals.  My husband and I had been planning for the eventual time that I would quit my job since making the decision to go part-time and, at the end of January, I gave my notice and my last day at my reliable, steady-income job was in the early days of February.

So now I am self-employed.  A weird transition that I mostly love, and sometimes have panic-fueled insomnia over.

Through this all, I have been trying to stick to the marathon training plan, with decent success.  However, our nice mild winter that we had in December and the early days of January disappeared.  Snow storm after snow storm followed by ice storms. Record low temperatures (polar vortex anyone?).   Weather is showing up to be on my bad list time and time again, forcing me indoors, and cancelling any plans I had to truly race shorter distances (both my planned 5k and 10k have come and gone sans my participation).
Here I am, with eight weeks of marathon training under my belt, yielding 340.8 miles. 

The Good

  • Despite all of the above, I am still logging miles.  Currently my mileage total of the first 8 weeks is slightly above (~16 miles) that of my last marathon training cycle, even though I'm following the same plan (Hanson's Marathon Method, Advanced). 
  • I have had some great workouts that give me hope such as:
    • A ladder workout (400m-800m-1200m-1600m-1200m-800m-400m) where all of my paces were sub-6:00 without going all in.
    • Two tempos right at goal marathon pace (6:30)
  • Realizing that I logged >312 miles with a fractured rib (which now is thankfully healed).
  • Getting out of the winter cold for a few runs in the Atlanta area.
  • Having a flexible schedule which somewhat allows for picking an optimal time of day to run. Funny enough the only early morning workout I have done in recent weeks was one that I did with my coach while I was on vacation (to accommodate his work schedule).
  • My fatigue level is almost non-existent, which is a stark contrast from this time last cycle
  • Logging miles even though many days I do not look forward to running.  We can do hard things!
The Not-So-Good
  • My speed and tempo work has been all over the place.  Once the snow and ice arrived, I was forced to do it on a treadmill and for the life of me, I cannot run as fast on a treadmill.  I recognize that much of this is mental, however, physically at speeds faster than a 6:45 pace, I feel entirely out of control on the 'mill and am worried that I will fall off.
  • I have had more 5 running day weeks than I would prefer.  (Training plan = 6 running days/week)
  • My left hamstring is still a nuisance.  I don't really know what to say about it.  I am not in severe pain, and most days I am not in "pain" at all, but it doesn't feel entirely right.  Additionally, the location of discomfort has moved around some.   I am mostly convinced that the left hamstring is playing a big mind f*** with me.  (For the record, I was under the care of a physical therapist who did a running assessment, etc etc and nothing crazy showed up.)  
  • I was doing my PT exercises very well...until i wasn't.  (I know, I know...)
  • I have been struggling with a sinus/cold virus for the past several days.
  • See "panic-fueled insomnia" above.  
  • Logging miles even though many days I do not look forward to running.T  his is highly correlated with weather.  Some days I can deal with running in the snow ("Look! It's so pretty!") and other days, I just cannot ("Please for the love of GOD CAN I RUN MORE THAN TWO STEPS WITHOUT SLIDING AROUND?!").  And then, when faced with the dreadmill, I sink even further into negativity.
That is where I am at.  I am going to keep showing up, trying to accomplish the days work and see where it gets me.  I am very much looking forward to leaving for our annual trip to FL on Saturday and running in some HEAT.