September 6, 2012 § 6 Comments
The whole purpose of beginning this blog was to document my marathon training while living this crazy place called Mommyland.
It’s with relief that I am now coming full circle as training for race number two officially begins on September 24th.
In the space between the last marathon and now I have worked and re-worked the plan making educated and experience based substantive decisions, which I will do my best to follow.
1. I will again be following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 schedule, but instead of three-day mid-week runs, I will be combining the mileage to run only two. This will mean that those mid-week runs will be longer, but I’ll have more days in between to rest and recover. I am hoping that exhaustion from too many successive runs in a row (which was an issue last time) will be resolved with this plan. I will also use the Galloway system of strategized walking, as I do believe it works and will help me go farther with more control.
2. I’ve agreed to help out my most favorite yoga instructor on Saturday mornings by checking in her students in return for a free pass to her phenomenal class. Last marathoning go around I was so consumed by the run that I neglected my yoga, neglected a huge piece of what grounds me to my life. Agreeing to be at the studio every Saturday will ensure that my yoga practice is built into the schedule. It will also give me an opportunity to re-build the dusty resume and re-establish the fact that I am consistent and committed and pretty competent at tasks in which I’m given.
3. Long runs, then, will have to happen on Sundays or Mondays (last year I ran long on Saturdays). The most gratifying runs are the long ones, for me. I am looking forward to those hours and hours on the road, out there on my own two feet, floating alone inside my own busy brain.
4. I’ve been off of sugar for twelve whole days, off of Diet Coke a week longer, and I’ve been much more careful about the overall contents of things like cereal and yogurt and so-called healthy snack bars and drink supplements. An ongoing process, I am sure there will be much more written about my emotional connectedness to food as it’s the one part that I still haven’t fully figured out. I should mention another change, too. I will NOT be getting on the scale anytime in the near future. More about that to come.
And so I am ready to go.
The last factor (of which I have no control) is with mother nature.
Yes there will be days in the next months that I will have no choice but run in the drizzle and/or rain and/or the early morning freezing cold. I can handle all that. It’s part of the challenge.
This heat, though, needs to go.
September marks a new beginning for me in so many ways and the muggy humid air has gotten very very old.
What races are you running? What will your training plan look like?
August 31, 2012 § 13 Comments
Running is important to me, keeps me sane and levels my pre-diabetic blood sugar.
I am in no way a professional, rather a mere mama who likes to run, likes to learn, appreciates a good challenge and crossed the finish line at her first marathon (less than six months ago) feeling both elated and defeated simultaneously.
Having signed up for my next marathon, Miami 2013 ( Jan. 27), I continue to run and learn and hope that I can strategize differently (better) for a faster time and more consistent race (less tired/more energy at the twenty-mile marker).
My training for Tobacco Road was strictly running, little cross training, following the Novice 2 plan by Hal Higdon. The Higdon plan is pretty straightforward consisting of a four-day run week with the long run exertion at an easy comfortable pace. Walk breaks are acceptable, especially through water stations, though I worked hard to run without them.
In the months between my two races, there has been the time and opportunity to test out different theories, the latest being the Galloway method using the run/walk/run ratio.
I like Galloway. I like running with my 10:30 pace group (although our walk/run speed is closer to 12:30).
But my problem with the plan that has nothing to do with running and everything to do with what goes on in my head.
For starters, none of the Olympic marathoners I watched this summer stopped to walk. If they didn’t stop to walk then running an entire 26.2 can be done. So shouldn’t we try?
Unfortunately, I am not an Olympian and my ability to keep a pace that results in a happy finish time requires walking. Strategizing walk breaks, then, would be a good way to go for the next race. If I could just get my head to accept it’s okay.
Having just received the current Runner’s World magazine in my mailbox, I came across an article by Alex Hutchinson about the Hansons; brothers who run marathons and train Olympic runners.
Their philosophy is in, “cumulative fatigue,” teaching your body to run fast on tired legs and “push recovery,” meaning that if your hard runs are easy, then your preceding runs were not hard enough.”
This makes sense, but how can the average mama bear use this strategy in her isolated/no trainer on the payroll training?
By putting mileage on your legs and going out with a little bit of fatigue, you can prepare your body for going farther distances. This makes sense to me.
Push Recovery doesn’t seem as clear.
The Hansons’ plan calls for a “nine-day hard-easy-easy cycle.” What does that mean? Does that suggest you run for a total of nine days and rest for the next two? That your runs should be hard, then easy, then easy, repeated for a total of nine days?
So here I am, constantly learning and testing the strategies with the hope that I finish Miami strong and happy with my performance. Not a professional in any way, but a lover of the game completely!
Are you in training? What does your training plan look like? Do you know anything about the Hansons’ plan? Share!
March 17, 2012 § 9 Comments
I knew there wouldn’t be much sleep the night before the race, but the adrenaline has already kicked in, which surprises me a little.
I’d already been up to pee at least five times during the night (hydrating, et al.) and it was so hot in the girls room (where I slept) that Grace tossed and turned until eleven. I was up before five when I gave in (or gave up, depending how you look at it).
Only a hormone being excreted from my adrenals could be responsible for my alertness at this hour. I am, after all, heading out for my first marathon in exactly twenty-four. Adrenaline combined with mixed emotions packs a powerful punch.
Hope to rest tonight, but it’s looking bleak.
Off to drink something green!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
March 16, 2012 § 8 Comments
I’ve always liked the number thirteen, primarily because it’s been given such a hard time. Friday the thirteenth has never done me wrong. The thirteenth day of most months (when I pay attention to the calendar) is usually just fine.
But the number two has played an interesting role in my life and deserves it’s moment to shine.
My first address in my own San Francisco apartment: 2222 22nd Avenue
The first baby I ever loved (Marcus my nephew) born: 11/22
My daughters’ birthday: 11/22 (God’s work that they were born on the same date, nine years apart)
Number of siblings I grew up with: two
Number of birth siblings I discovered last year: two
Days until race: two
Marathon: Twenty six point two
Two is on the line for numero uno in my heart.
Let’s hope that last point two doesn’t mess it all up considering the state I’ll (surely) be in with the finish line in sight.
Only thirteen is hoping otherwise.
March 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
I never really knew my grandparents. They died before lasting memories could be imprinted on my heart.
I did have surrogate grands, though; Grand Marty (my namesake) and Gene Sir Harlan. If Brian and I had a boy baby, Harlan was one of the top names on the list.
Gene Sir used to strum his guitar and sing a twangy country tune, which we would beg for him to repeat over and over and over again.
It popped into my head this morning and went like this:
Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
‘Cause I get better lookin’ each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a heck of a man
Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doin’ the best that I can.
I’ve decided that I’m going remind myself of that message to keep my head in the right place as the race creeps closer. It is a mental game after all (not just physical), which is hard to remember as the miles grow well into double digitland and the legs begin to feel like jello.
To know me is to love me, I must be a heck of a gal
Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doin’ the best, and I’m gonna run fast, insecurities be damned, gonna strap the boobs down, and I”ll be body proud, cause Im doin’ the best that I caaaaaaannnnnnn!
March 7, 2012 § 6 Comments
Wonderful Wednesday began with a glass of lemon water while listening to Pete’s Sumatra brewing in the machine. I’d forgotten that I’d planned to drink a smoothie for breakfast, so I measured out exactly one cup of Special K and another cup of milk (skim, of course).
After a disastrous attempt to get my girls to match their skirts to their shirts to their socks, I gave up and they got in the car looking like red-eyed rag-a–muffins. I dropped them off and headed home for a fairly quick three-mile run.
Much like my girls and their pre-school fashion drama, I’ve been kvetching a little about my own race day outfit. The CW-X pants are out, my beloved Dash tights have gotten a little too roomy in the legs and I must resist the urge to wear shorts with my “how I love thee” compression socks. The socks would be wonderful, but shorts would leave me with the seriously chafed thighs; a horrendous and rashy mess. I tried my Lululemon Inspire crops today, but they slide down too much. I may prefer a low waisted jean, but when it comes to my running pants the higher the better!
This weekend I have scheduled a call with my first marathoning hero and second Scibelli sister, Sandra. We are going to go over the list of things I need to take on race day and I’ve written out my array of questions, for which I need some help to answer.
For example, there are different theories about how one should pace their race. Some people feel you start slowly no matter what and speed up when the mileage gets higher. I tried this in training, but found that I was so tired later my overall speed was really terrible.
I also attempted a long run where I did a form of speed work; would run comfortably for a bit and then speed up for a certain distance before slowing down again. This seemed to leave me feeling pretty good and I was happy with my time, but it may not be the best strategy.
With twelve days to go I don’t have much more to do.
It’s a nice feeling to just have to focus on the day-to-day tasks, relax a bit, sleep more, and stay committed to eating clean.
Now I know why so many people told me to enjoy the taper. It’s really quite nice.
February 1, 2012 § 17 Comments
I have been lamenting the fact that I’ve turned into one of those moms who pick their kids up from school in sweat pants, wet hair up in a pony bun, and Ugg boots. It’s tragic actually, much worse than moms in mommy clothes; leggings, flats, and cute tunic sweaters. At least they are put together.
The hours when the children are in the care of their teachers are spent running. Once back home, there’s only time to shower quickly and throw on something before racing out the door again to return to the germ factory known as The Three’s Room.
Maybe it would be better to pick them up in my gear? I do love my gear, but I like being clean much more. Not to mention it’s a health issue, as wet running pants (no matter how wicky) are not good for girlie parts.
Here are some of my recent favorites: