Monday, June 30, 2014

Marathon Monday: Training Plan


People always ask me "how do you stay so motivated?" or they will tell me I am crazy for running so early in the morning and they just don't seem to understand how or why I don't skip runs. During my half-marathon training I only skipped one scheduled run (due to an injury) and I cross-trained that day instead.


Honestly, there is no easy answer or magical advice I can give you as to how or why I don't skip my runs. It is definitely a combination of a few things.


1) I am extremely goal-oriented. The only thing I love more than setting goals is reaching them. That feeling of accomplishment is like a high for me...also, I am a little competitive so the thought of not completing a goal or giving up early is more painful than actually putting in the work.


2) Honestly, I don't always want to go for a run (especially after a long day or if it's really hot/cold outside) but that feeling goes away about 5 minutes into a run. I always, always feel better when I am done. I constantly have to remind myself that once it is done I will be really glad I did it. Some days I will procrastinate for at least an hour before getting off my butt and getting out there.


3) When I plan my runs I treat them like appointments that I can't cancel. This is especially true when I am training for a specific race. When I tell myself (or my training plan) tells me that I have to run x number of miles, there isn't another option except to do it. I don't have a choice. I have given up many nights out (or gone home early) because I had a long run the next day. I have gotten up REALLY early because I wouldn't have any other time during the day to get my run done and that is just not an option.

Reason #3 is why I continue to sign up for races that require set training. For me a 5k or 10k doesn't require very specific training, I just know that I need to be running somewhat consistently. The half distance and my fall marathon all require a structured training schedule, which I not so secretly enjoy :)


Once I decided to sign up for a fall marathon I knew I was going to need some help setting up a training plan. For my half, I found a training plan, and tweaked it to best fit my needs since I wasn't just running 1 half, I needed to up the intensity a little bit and prepare my body for 3 halves in a months time. Also, my schedule gets busy and I have to be able to move things around to fit with the time I have.

I have looked EVERYWHERE for training plans for my marathon and I haven't really found one that fits my needs. I have 15-16 weeks from today before my marathon (depending on which race I do) and it is getting to be crunch time. Last week I followed (sort of) a plan on Runkeeper, but I wasn't sold on that because I couldn't switch my days around. I need the flexibility to run my long run on Friday (during summer vacation), Saturday, or Sunday and I need some speed work built in. I also looked here for a training plan (this is the training plan I used to help me create a plan for my halves) but again, nothing on there was the right fit.

I think I will most likely end up creating my own plan (based on all 500 I have looked at online) again. I am not exactly sure what that plan will look like just yet, but I do know it will include a weekly long run, speed work at least 1 day a week, a day for yoga, and the ever dreaded weight training. I was hoping to have this plan completed and ready this week to share here AND to get started with. I am still following the plan on my RunKeeper for now, but I will probably switch to my own plan next Monday. The good news is, I have a pretty good base set up, so it's not a huge deal if I don't follow a specific plan right away.

My goal for this next week is to get my training plan solidified and written down in my planner (in pencil of course) and get started. I will share my plan with you next week, because that always manages to keep me focused as well. If I share my goal on social media or my blog then the chances of me following through are 150% :)


I wanted these posts to kind of be a written account of my marathon training, so I could look back at the journey when I am done. Week 1 of somewhat "official" training I have to say I am still feeling pretty good, and still VERY nervous about the task at hand. I don't think it has hit me yet that I am really going to be doing this. It seems so far away and like I have all the time in the world to get ready...but deep down I know it will be here before I know it. I just hope that I can keep this up and be as prepared as I can the day of the race.

Hopefully next week I will have a set plan ready to share with you and hopefully I will have signed up for one of the marathons. I think that is when panic will officially set in!




Monday, June 23, 2014

Marathon Monday

When I first decided to do Twelve in Twelve for this year's New Year's Resolution I figured I would run a few 5k's, some 10k's, and maybe a half-marathon. Never did the idea of running a marathon cross my mind or seem like something I could do. However, after completing the Heartland 39.3 challenge, it hit me...if I can do something that I previously viewed as impossible...I could probably take on this challenge as well.


So here it is...today marks the first day of marathon training. For the next 16 weeks I will be working towards running my first (and probably only) marathon. To say I am nervous is the understatement of the century. I have waves of confidence where I am SURE I can run 26.2 miles and then I have those days where running 4 miles is a struggle...but deep down I know that if I fully commit to my training I CAN do this! Not only can I do this...I really WANT to do this.


I will be 30 in October and I can't imagine a better present to myself than the feeling of accomplishment when I cross that finish line after running 26.2 miles! I know this sounds crazy to some...and yes it kind of is. Running 26.2 miles is not really a "present" that most people want...but honestly, if I am ever going to do this now is the time. It fits perfectly with my New Year's Resolution AND it is right before my 30th birthday...how cool is that?


Along with my marathon training I will be posting each Monday (hence Marathon Mondays) and just kind of share my thoughts, feelings, etc. After running my marathon I want to be able to look back at the "journey" and see how far I have come. I'm not sure exactly how I will come up with 16 weeks worth of things to talk about...but I will do my best :)


So there you have it...my public commitment to running 26.2 miles for fun...and you know me, once I say I am going to do something absolutely nothing will get in the way of me accomplishing it :)



**I haven't decided which marathon I will be running yet (which will change my training schedule slightly) but it will either be the Kansas City Marathon on October 18th or the Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita on October 12th.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Twelve In Twelve 2014: May

May was a big month...it was the month that I ran the Running with the Cows half-marathon and completed the Heartland 39.3 series. 
 
Back in February when I signed up for this series, I had so many doubts...I talked myself in and out of running this series no less than 500 times... When I finally committed...I have to say there were a few moments of panic...I hadn't even run one half marathon, the longest distance I had run at that point was 7.5 miles...and here I was committing to 3 half-marathons in the span of a month. I knew that this goal of mine was lofty...but I also knew that I could do it.
 
 

 Turns out...I was right....I did it :)

Nothing spectacular to report on this race....it was another scorcher and when they said "rolling hills" what they really meant was that it was uphill, in the snow, both ways :) It was my slowest time of all 3 races (yep...even slower than Rock the Parkway) but for some reason, this time I just didn't care. When I hit that ever feared "wall" I decided I wasn't going to push myself and ruin the experience of the race...so I slowed my pace, stopped at the water stations to walk, and just told myself that my time didn't matter.

 I can think of a million different reasons excuses as to why I didn't do as well in this race, but honestly, my legs were just tired....and I didn't feel like running anymore.


 
 Now, don't get me wrong...I didn't do terrible (1:59-still under my original goal of 2 hours) but I just didn't "race" like I had 2 weeks prior during the Garmin half.
 
Even though it wasn't my best race (time wise) it was definitely a fun one. One of the best parts was my good friend Lindsey showed up at our apartment the morning of the race (like 6am) to surprise me. She had gotten in touch with AJ earlier in the week and planned to come along to cheer me on. Seriously...it was the best! I'm a lucky girl to have so many supportive people in my life.
 

 
Also, in the month of May I started trail running. I bought a pair of trail shoes and a hydration belt (that looks REALLY cool) and I figuratively and literally "hit the trails"
 It's probably no surprise to those of you that know me really well...but I fell on my second time out on the trails and then a week later I rolled my ankle. I don't think I am coordinated enough for trail running. Too many things to trip over :) I'm not giving up on this new venture...yet...and I am hoping to get up the nerve to sign up for a trail race here pretty soon.

 
 
I also hit 400 miles in May and bought myself a Fitbit as my reward....but then I actually took it back 6 days later. I don't know what I was expecting...but I wasn't really all that impressed. I had read hundreds of positive reviews and had only heard people rave about...so I guess I was expecting it to cook me dinner or something. I'm sure it's great for some...but honestly, I don't care how many steps I take in a day (plus I am not sold on its accuracy when it tells me I have already gone 10 steps before I have even gotten out of bed) and I am not diligent enough to record my water and food intake...plus I am not sure I even want to know how many calories I eat in a day ;)



When I returned the Fitbit I exchanged it for a cute laptop/teacher bag and still have money leftover...which I am sure won't burn a hole in my pocket!! I'm already making plans for how to spend it ;)
 
As far as stats for May...yet again...I don't have picture proof...you'll just have to trust me on this one again :)

May: 95.8
Year: 420.8


Looking forward my goal for June is to run at least 25 miles per week and run a total of 100  miles for the month. This shouldn't be too difficult since I am participating in the Runner's World Run Streak and I already have 29 miles for June and it's only June 6th :)

My race for June is the Jazz in the Woods 5k...and I have to say I am REALLY excited about this one! My cousin Sheila will be visiting from California and we will be running it together!

 
Totally random...but all of the blogs I read (all 32,000) end with questions that they want their readers to answer...I'm not really sure how many of you are out there or how many of you care to comment after reading...BUUUUUT...if you are out there and you do want to interact with my blog....I could definitely use some help :)
What should I reward myself with when I hit 500 miles?