Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The heat wave that wasn't and my training plan revisited

This past Memorial Day weekend, I had my first good, post-race long run, and that made me happy.  This was shoehorned into the middle of a very busy, albeit nothing-special sort of weekend. Oh, we packed a lot in: a race, runs (of course), yardwork, house work, lots of games played, a cookout and visit with the GPs, and even a couple of short bike rides.  But we didn't have any big, huge thing we did for the holiday weekend.  The weather for two of the days could easily be classified as stinking hot, and that - combined with the threat of storms (that never really materialized) - seemed to put the kibosh on any fancy plans.  Anyway, it was good.

As to the long run...

I woke up bright and early Sunday morning with the hopes of at least partially beating the heat.  After all, it was supposed to reach 90 degrees and they had canceled Sunday's Madison Marathon prior because of the forecast.  I thought I was in for a load of hurt.  

I filled up my water bottles, got my Gatorade squared away in little baggies, grabbed my Clif Blocks and a cooling neck thingy that I got for free at the Kazoo expo and had yet to try, and headed out to High Cliff State Park to run a mix of road and trails - hoping once again to maximize the shade potential of the wooded park.

Well, I got to the parking area, got myself ready as best I could before leaving the car, stepped out, and ....  brrrr..... It was CHILLY!  What the ...?  So, in a slightly confused state, I began my thirteen-mile long run.  In the end, I don't know what happened with the weather.  It was never that bad.  Although warm towards the end, the bulk of the run was pleasant with a cooling breeze sweeping through the area.  The shade, of course, helped, but I was out in the open a fair amount, too, trying to add miles by taking advantage of the park's bridle trails, but it never got that bad.  In fact, I never even got the chance to try out that cooling neck thingy.  I guess that will have to wait until later in the summer.

The run itself was great.  It was the first long run I have had since Kalamazoo that actually felt good.  I was a little worried about my achilles, but that hung in there just fine.  In fact, I probably overstressed about it a little too much.  Overall, though, I felt refreshed and ready to run, and that was a good feeling.  So, I am curious what that means.  Does it take me three weeks to really recover from a race, or should I not draw any conclusions from that?  I'll be interested to see exactly how the the next race recovery goes.

I ran five miles on road in my Cortanas, then I switched to the New Balance 101s to run the last eight miles on trail.  I know I am supposed to be wearing mild support, and the NB shoes offer none.  I also know I am supposed to be getting used to lower heel stack height and the NB shoes offer some (14 mm, I think), but they just feel right to me.  The 101s are over a year old, but I love that I can feel the trails under my feet when I run in them.  I probably do need some new trail shoes, but I dread starting the whole shoe buying process again.  Ugh.

My average pace for the run turned out to be 10:50, which I think was just where I needed to be.  I walked the hills for the most part in deference to my achilles, but mostly I felt good.  Around mile 11, I noticed I was getting a little tired, but that's okay.  It was mile 11, after all.  If I can run 11 miles before feeling pooped, I consider that a good thing.  My plan was to eat 3 Cliff Blocks every three miles, and that worked out well.  I don't know if I need that many that often, but it gave me something to do/look forward to.  

A training plan revisited...

As promised, I ran my training plan by Hubby, and I got the seal of approval from him with a couple of tweaks here and there. I am really happy with how this plan looks, so we'll see how it goes.  Generally speaking, I am starting at this point with a long-run base of 13 miles.  I will now start building up two weeks, then step it back one week for the long runs...So:

Week 1 - 13 miles
Week 2 - 14 miles
Week 3 - 7 miles
Week 4 - 15 miles
Week 5 - 16 miles
Week 6 - 8 miles

And so on.  Based on this schedule, I will fit in two 20-mile training runs before the Jungfrau Marathon.  I like this for two reasons: one, it is more advanced than any other schedule I have done, but more importantly it allows me some wiggle room.  If for any reason, things don't go as planned (and that NEVER happens, right?), I can drop one 20 miler and buy myself two weeks of time.

During the week, the schedule will look like this for the most part:

Monday: 6K row
Tuesday: track workout (a class I signed up for)
Wednesday: 4-6 mile group run
Thursday: 6K row
Friday: 6-mile run
Saturday: REST
Sunday: long run

Now, every third week (when I drop the long run mileage in half), I also drop the mid-week workouts to about 70 percent, so hopefully I will get a bit of a break there.  Also, the Friday before my longest long run in any three-week cycle, I will be doing a 3-4 mile walk on the treadmill at incline instead of a run.  These will probably be done at 12-15 percent incline.  Finally, the Fridays before my shortest long run in any three-week cycle will be at an increased mileage - to match the long run.  So, for example, in Week 6 when I run only eight miles on Sunday, I will be running eight miles on Friday, too (instead of the scaled back 4.5).  This is to give me some longer tempo runs, which Hubby deems important.  Yeah, we'll see how that works out for me.  

Changes may come, of course.  Hubby was a little concerned about the track workout Tuesday evenings, followed by a group run Wednesday mornings, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about that a bit, too.  Speed work - after all - seems to be my achilles heel (pun totally intended).  But, I am hoping, that if I take the Wednesday run slowly and not really worry about keeping up with the group - and drop the mileage if I need to - then maybe I'll be able to pull it off.  We'll see. I am ready to ditch this plan for something else at the first sign it isn't working.

Anyway, I am very excited about the training plan, and I hope it goes well.  Don't ask me where the training plan is from, because it is sort of a mix of what our running club does for its summer training runs, what has worked for me in the past, as well as what has worked for Hubby.  

So, that's about it for now.  Beyond my own running, Hubby is about to enter an unknown world as he attempts to run his first 100-mile race event this weekend.  We have a lot of excitement in our household because of that, and I can't wait to see where this adventure leads.    

Some random pix for you to enjoy...

What my kids did over the weekend...

What my feet did over the new meaning to cooling your heels.

What my tummy did for lunch,....the best black bean, corn, sweet potato, kale burrito ever!

Happy Running!

By the way, had to edit this to tell you about a giveaway by Yo Momma, ..... well, not YO momma .... Yo Momma Runs actually.  Check it out for a chance to win a pair of Aspaeris Compression Shorts! I am shouting this out far and wide, because I really want to win.  :)


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Where is your header from? Absolutely beautiful!

    Sounds like you have a solid plan in place for your marathon. On the recovery part--I find it is different for every race. It's so tricky--I find I need to play it by ear every time.

    Great that your kids did a race!

    1. Thanks for stopping by yourself! The header is from the summit of Pikes Peak - it's the turnaround for the full marathon, and the finish for the half marathon (which I did last year). It is breathtaking - literally and figuratively. lol

      I think I am discovering that with recovery. I wish there was a formula I could count on, but that doesn't seem to be the case. :)

      Yeah, the kids LOVE racing. They love the idea of it more than the actual doing, but they get excited every time. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!