Monday, January 08, 2007

The Return of the School Day

Hip hip hooray!

I am sure that in 15 or so years I might lament the days when my kids were little and yummy and home all the time but right now I am so happy that winter break is over. And believe me, they are just as excited as I am. Both kids were quite eager this morning to get back to school and to their friends. Though, Carmella did briefly worry that she might have forgotten all the rules. As if.

At any rate, I like to think that we love each other so much we respect each other's need for space.

And with the return of school I officially started training today. I can't really say that I haven't been training but I can say that I have not been wearing my watch or blogging about my runs. And I know that some of you, Lala, are happy about that. But your running log vacay is officially over.

I have less than eleven weeks until the GA ING marathon and my first attempt in 2007 of meeting my 3:30 marathon goal. After my run today though I am not feeling terribly optimistic about that goal. I think it might be a tad too ambitious but lofty goals and all that; I'll aim high just this one time. I am telling you right now come March 25th and even if it is a perfect day I won't be surprised if I can't do a minute faster than 3:37. And, honestly, I will still be pleased with that as a 3:37 marathon will be 15 seconds faster per mile than I did at Outer Banks. I think 15 seconds off a mile for 26 miles in 4 months would be pretty darn good.

Still, I am pressing forward to push those miles down to an eight or sub eight for the marathon.
I even bought a book.
Haven't read it yet but I do feel faster just owning it. Even a tad superior.
It is called . . . Advance Marathoning. The hoopla around this book and those that follow its marathon plans religiously tout faster marathon times. However, since here I am 11 weeks out and the shortest plan in the book is 12 weeks with the 18 week plan being the ideal I am obviously not going to be following it religiously--and that is assuming I actually get around to reading the book before GA ING. So, yeah, it probably won't work as well for me. But again, having it sit there on my bedside table is making me believe I am getting faster and as I've said before 90% of running is mental.

As usual I don't have much of a training plan other than to run and run a lot and hope for the best results. The most sound advice I have been given is to do what I did for Outer Banks but maybe peak the weekly mileage a tad and do my longer runs faster--as if I don't try to do them as fast as I can manage anyway. And that is probably what I will end up doing.

Here is what I accomplished in the past 6 or so weeks of maintenance and recovery:
Long runs: 12, 16, 17, 15, 10, 10. All at a 8:00-9:15 pace. The 10 milers might have been sub eight as they usually are.

MPW: 38, 42, 45, 46, 31, 43 with 4-6 days of running.

Cross training and weights: 3 times a week of 30 minutes on the elliptical and 20-45 minutes of weights.

Speed workouts: On the treadmill; 1-2 a week of 4 miles in roughly 30 or less minutes. All negative splits--runs of increasing intensity. I start at a 8 minute pace and push it down to finish doing 6 minute mile pace. Some mile sprints sprinkled throughout the week too. Those are in under 7 minutes.

Mid length runs: 6-10 mile runs about 2-3 times a week 7:30-8:15 pace

My Achilles tendons have been bothering me off and on. I think I have a mild case of Achilles tendonitis. I am just going to push through it since a few days rest didn't seem to make a difference. Tendonitis in various places seems to be my body's injury of choice. I have pretty much had a case of "tennis elbow" in every tendon in my leg and foot at some point since I started running. That and piriformis syndrome and Mortons Neuroma seem to be my biggest running complaints but none have ever been serious. Ignoring it, ignoring all the injuries has been my treatment strategy thus far and I see no reason as to change that. I will admit that the Achilles is proving harder to run through than when the tendonitis was on my foot or hamstring.

The way I figure it is that there might be people out there who run completely pain free-- and sometimes I am even one of them-- but I know more runners running through an injury than not. So, I figure who am I to complain? And I have to say that normally, after the first mile or so the pain dissipates. Endorphins make everything all better. And if they don't? I cut the run short.

So, how are all my other running compatriots doing with their training, recovery or maintenance?


  1. I have no doubts you'll accomplish 3:30 as you're a mentally tough runner! The BIG secret is getting to the starting line fit and healthy...keep a close eye on those Achilles!!

    I also have the "Advanced Marathoning" book and have used the training schedules for the last two years. I don't follow the schedules religiously, nor should anyone, but it does have great ideas.

    I'm in my last week (5 week postmarathon schedule from Advanced Marathoning natch) of marathon recovery and slowly adding miles to my training with the next big race being the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon in April, which I'm striving to run at 8:00 minute pace or better. Not sure how high my weekly mileage will be at this time, playing it by ear (or legs).

  2. Hey Bruce! Thank you for your vote of confidence! My achilles didn't bother me at all yesterday during my long run. Just a little stiff in the leg this morning but should be okay for a recovery run.
    But agreed, staying injury free is half the battle.
    And, for the record, I would think an 8 minute pace for the half sould be a piece of cake for you.