Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boston: 4 down, 12 to go! Checking in.

This one's for the numbers geeks =D.

After four weeks of running this crazy training plan (Who wrote this thing anyway?!). I had my first scheduled cutback week. Now I have some numbers and a few conclusions.
At this point, I am feeling pretty optimistic about how things are going. I am 1/4 of the way through this training cycle and am happy to say :
  1. My body seems to be adapting to the weight training very well. Special thanks for the comments on my last post, (especially Jill, who weighed in with some encouraging personal experience as well as some coaching research). My "easy" run Friday (following Thursday afternoon's heavier-than-usual weight session) felt incredible! It was all I could do to restrain myself to an easy pace.  I can finally say that DOMS really isn't an issue in my legs now, as there was still no soreness Saturday morning (today).
  2. There are NO injury issues going on right now. It probably helps that I am not trying to introduce a new day of speed work during this cycle, and that I have covered this amount of mileage recently. We shall see how things go as I continue to build in the miles...In contrast, while training for Eugene a year ago, I had issues with achilles tendinitis, and some sort of tendinitis in the front of the foot/ankle, so I was always wondering if it would spell my death for the marathon. I don't feel that way in training at all right now.
  3. I seem to be hitting my goal training paces for most runs. But then again, it can be kind of hard to be certain sometimes with my complicated system. The graphs below show my paces as a cumulative pace for each run including warm-up, cool-down and whatever I did for speed that day. For instance, I just plug in the total time spent running and the total distance and the computer calculates the overall pace. I keep the interval/tempo times in my notes separately.  Again...we shall see how this continues with added mileage. I hope to pick it up a bit in the next few weeks. I am also conscious of the fact that I could be topped out speed-wise and that this might be as fast as it gets.

Today's cutback long run was 16 miles. My goal was to keep it easy: no progression, just easy on the body. It felt like that's what I did.

Ironically, I was listening to a podcast from and the guest was mentioning that you should not be trying to "smash out" your long runs at this point in training (12 weeks out); and, that you'd be better to back it off a bit even if you feel like you could hammer it. The point being that you might bring yourself to peak at the wrong time in your cycle. Just what I needed to hear. Despite that, I finished faster than the last 16 miler, felt rested and all on 4 hours of sleep (I did feel sleepy- and I need to get better rest, but the legs were good to go.) 
                Longer tempo runs mean longer warm up/cool down.. 
Last year's stats... just because I can't help trying to draw comparisons with the only other marathon I have prepared for. (note the 4 day week makes for a few less runs on the chart).
And so..I am happy to report that there is not much to report with running.

My main goal for the next 4 weeks is to continue following the original plan and avoid accidents, such as :
  • tripping over rocks or toys
  • falling into potholes
  • running into stationary objects
  • twisting an ankle
  • breaking a toe
  • suffering a stress fracture
  • getting mono
On the home front. I am also excited to say that I have stuck with my meal menu for three weeks! In that time frame, I have reduced my shopping time, prep time, stress and had dinner on the table at a much better time most evenings. HOORAY!!

I did make a change in plans twice, once when I knew I didn't want to cook omelets  and we had left-overs, and another time when I had less ham left than I hoped, so I made ham and pintos. Please note. Beans are not an ideal dinner suggestion for the night before a long run, at least in our home :D


  1. If I might be so bold, there IS one gaping hole in your training so far... all those "untitled runs."

    Run of Death. Saturday Saunter. El Senor Run. Pothole Plunge. If I am going to peruse your log I need something to work with. Thank you for your consideration.

    (what a great start! better knock on some wood!)

  2. Looks great! I"m so glad things are going smoothly for ya! And good job on sticking to the menus plan!

  3. i do love numbers! and those are pretty impressive!

    eesh. 12 weeks huh? 16 feels like there is plenty of time...but 12? that feels like its right around the corner. and yet SOOO exciting!

    thanks for sharing the info about taking the long runs easy at this point in time. i'm getting ready to head out for my first of 4 20-milers and that's just what i needed to hear.

  4. I think not getting mono is pretty much ALWAYS on my goal list! Your numbers are so impressive - way to go! Had to LOL at gary's comment, though, I totally agree that your runs need names.

  5. I LOVE your goals for the next 4 weeks....I praise the heavens when I can attain those for the next 4 hours ;). Looks like things are boring in the running department - HIGH FIVES for that!!! You're doing great, girl....12 weeks is going to fly by, and you're going to be so ready! :)

  6. You are doing so great - your running is STRONG!!!

  7. I love running stats! Your training looks great! Here's to no tripping or other injuries.

  8. You are truly amazing and really achieving the goals/plan you set out to do! I can't believe this is only your 2nd marathon. You are sucha a gifted runner!

    And, a big congrats on your meal calendar!! Sounds like everything is falling into place!!

    Lookiing forward to following the rest of your journey!!

  9. I have had a bad week for running-wise, had random things on my mind. So this became a cut-back week without intention. NEXT week, I am going to crush it. I only have 10 weeks until the Vernonia race...

  10. I'm not the best numbers person but I find this incredibly interesting:)

    My legs feel like 200 pound tree trunks right now. DOMS definitely still an issue for me-ha!

    You're doing just amazing with your training. I'm so impressed with your dedication. Interesting about the long run and peaking too early. I need to do some more research in this area!

    I was teasing about the $400 gas bill but gas is a MAJOR expense for us with all the traveling. Need big vehicles to haul all this stuff around and stay safe through the snow drifts.

    Oh yes-no SFX's. Not fun. "Running into stationary objects" Ha ha! I got a mild case of pneumonia during my Boston training-not fun either! Stay healthy!!!!

    Hope the rest of your weekend goes well!!!

  11. thanks for commenting on my blog, I'm now following yours. so exciting to read someone's who is going to boston and is such a speedster! love your goals for the next 4 weeks...all the accidents you try to avoid...I try to avoid those every 4 seconds lol

  12. this is awesome! such good progress. I have learned that my long tempo runs require at least a 15 minute warm up so glad I am on the right track. Keep those ankles safe on the trail and keep up the good work. I am excited for you!

  13. The numbers look great. Boring is good. Honestly that is something that I look for when I am running. 12 will go by in a flash. Keep on truck'n

  14. How did I miss this I'm so bad about keeping up on blogs these days so sorry for my late comment. I still love reading your're one of my favs! You are so dedicated. Right on. How do you have all your runs in this chart? what is this from? a garmin? forgive me for my ignorance if you already mentioned it. I can't wait to see you rock Boston! You inspire me so much! I think I'll be doing some Jillian today...that is about as good as my strength and core training get for me...and some plyometric type jumps and whatever my brain training book has planned. Hope you're having a great day seeing new lambs with your kids! ;)

  15. Seems like things are really going well. That is so good. Always wise to take it easy, just relax and run. Take care these 4 weeks!

  16. I am one of those numbers geeks! Girl, you are on fire!! Way to go!!! Your training plan is crazy awesome and that is so cool you have been able to stick the paces! Yay for meal planning....I need to copy you!! NO INJURIES...WAHOO!

  17. And do watch out for Legos - aren't those the worst for bare feet?! Sounds like your training plan is going great and I really like your new blog photo!

  18. LOL at gary's comment! 1/4 of the way done! Congrats on having a successful cycle so far!

  19. Hope you continue to stay injury free and great job on sticking w/ the menu plans!

  20. Rad! Sounds like everything is going according to plan and pain free. Woohoo!!


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