The Modified Marathon Plan

September 19, 2012 § 7 Comments

Monday is the big kickoff to my 18 weeks of marathon training. Instead of doing too much running this week, I am instead mentally preparing for what is to come and also giving myself a tiny break before the big works begins.

I have modified Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 to suit my needs.

Here we go…

Week Mon. Tues. Wed. Thur. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Rest 6 Rest 5 Rest yoga 8
2 Rest 6 Rest 5 Rest yoga 9
3 Rest 6 Rest 6 Rest yoga 6
4 Rest 6 Rest 6 Rest yoga 11
5 Rest 6 Rest 6 Rest yoga 12
6 Rest 6 Rest 6 Rest yoga 9
7 Rest 8 Rest 7 Rest ? half
8 Rest 6 Rest 9 Rest yoga 15
9 Rest 6 Rest 9 Rest yoga 13
10 Rest 8 Rest Thanks! 6-8 Rest 17
11 Rest 9 Rest 9 Rest Rest 18
12 Rest 9 Rest 9 Rest Rest 13
13 Rest 5 5 5 Rest Rest 19
14 Rest 5 8 5 Rest Rest 12
15 Rest 8 Rest 7 Rest Rest 20
16 Rest 7 Rest 7 Rest Rest 12
17 Rest 5 Rest 6 Rest yoga 8
18 Rest Rest 5 Rest Rest 2 RACE!

After filling out the tables on my plan I am surprised at the massive mileage I will be expected to run over the course of the next eighteen weeks (even though I’ve done it before).

Of course, I will constantly be checking in, giving myself breaks when needed and/or modifying based on schedules and sick kids and all the other life issues that infringe on my running time.

Note that I have accounted for  the City of Oaks Half marathon (week seven), Thanksgiving (week 10) and also for the final weeks of training when I have a feeling I will want to run shorter mid-week distances more often (weeks 13 and 14 for sure, 11 and 12 are tentative).

Are you in training? What does your plan look like?

Anyone running Miami and feel like being a virtual buddy? 

XOM

My bib from marathon #1. Can’t wait for Miami’s.

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On the Train Again

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?

XOM

ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. Joanna, from Poppy’s Style and I are running it! Anyone else want to come to the party?

The Hansons’ MarathonTraining Plan

August 31, 2012 § 12 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!

I took Grace for a run with me this summer. I tried to teach her the run/walk method in the hope we would go a couple of miles. She was having none of it and ran full force until she was too tired (complaining of hurt feet) and wanted to go home. There’s time, and I see track and field in this kid’s future!

My Top 8 Favorite Bloggers

January 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

It turns out that one of the nicest pastimes for a mom at home with kids is blog surfing. It’s cheaper than Internet shopping and fills that lonely place inside that vies for adult conversation. I wished I’d discovered it sooner.

In honor of some of the fabulous bloggers who have inspired my own posts, made me laugh out loud, and sent words of encouragement based on things I’ve written, I decided I should list my favorites.

Here they are:

1. Acoursetothefinishline.wordpress.com Theresa writes about training for a marathon while working in education and struggling with infertility. We have a lot in common, since I myself survived the last two. It turns out that she is a bit ahead of me on the marathon training front (we both are using Hal Higdon’s Novice 2), so she’s been a real asset with tons of good advice! Also, I love love love her wit! As I continued to read and we began corresponding a bit, I’ve found that she is also a super girl. My first blogger friend! I think we should all send her positive sticky baby vibes…. she is ready and deserves one!

2.  Losingweightinthecity.com Theodora is one of the first bloggers whose posts I ever read. She had me hooked from the beginning with her story of initial weight loss while living in New York City to her running adventures, most recently with the New York Marathon. I love her writing and also live vicariously through her, since my own time as a young woman in NYC ended over 12 years ago. Scary how time flies!

3. Littlebittybakes.com Liz is adorable! A runner and a baker, she blogs about her life and her recipes. I love her pictures and her passion for what she does. For me, a true disaster in the kitchen, I feel like her recipes are do-able; not too hard for the average bear, like me. I am dying to make her Chai Spice Oatmeal Crispies. Also, could her URL be any cuter?

4. Monicarodgers.wordpress.com Monica is one of two bloggers (on the list) that I actually know in real life. We grew up together during our Summers in Maine, but I put her on my list because I love her voice, her writing, and her take on life. She is incredibly talented in so many areas, most especially as a mom, which is evident throughout her blog. Check out her car seat covers, her photography, her musings. She’s amazing!

5. Examiner.com/running-in-new-york/lora-johnson How could I not include Lora? She is the main reason my readership has gone up and writes her own terrific blog full of really great running information. A lot of her information is regarding area specific (Brooklyn) races, but she also has written some terrific pieces about helping women runners stay heathy and (one of my favorite topics) cool running gear.

6. Aliontherunblog.com Ali’s writing cracks me up. She is a runner who lives with Crohn’s disease and has raised money through Jack Rabbit Sports’ organization called Run For The Rabbit. She was chosen to represent them and her charity is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. One of my oldest/dearest/bestest friends in real life lives with Crohn’s, so I feel strongly about Ali’s cause. Plus, she sells adorable I Heart Sweat running shirts, with the proceed’s going toward the charity!

7. Cleaneatingchelsey.com Chelsey has the most positive and healthy relationship to food that I’ve found in a blog! As her URL proclaims, she eats clean, but her good habits were spurred by a corn/gluten/lactose intolerance. Despite it, though, I never get the feeling that changing her diet was/is a chore. She loves food and doesn’t eat stuff out of a box! One day I hope to be more like her. Until then I’ll keep reading her blog for motivation and hope that one day her philosophy might rub off onto me and my not so great eating habits.

8. Cafeganesh.com Jennifer is the second blogger that I actually know is a real person. She is a yoga teacher in Raleigh and a Lemondead (Lululemon girl to my non-Lulu obsessed readers). I have been lucky enough to attend two of Jennifer’s classes, but haven’t been to more, solely because this marathon training is a real time sucker. When I saw her last (at the store) she reminded me that I really should come back, and she is right. Until then, I’ll keep reading her blog which is filled with fantastic posts like Pull Your Head Out of Your Asana! She has a great voice; knowledgable about her work and hilarious, too.

Hope you enjoy these writers as much as I have.

Happy reading!

The Uncertainty Principle

November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sophie woke up at five complaining that her ear popped. Sure sign of an ear infection, which requires an early morning trip to the pediatrician.

Today is a rest day and I’m glad. I myself woke up feeling a little weary. I skyped with my sister Gabby last night and told her about my day. She worries that I’m pushing myself too much and doesn’t quite get the whole, “training for a marathon,” thing.  I hope she’s not right. I have a tendency to, “burn the candle at both ends,” but training for a marathon is supposed to be taxing, right? Especially living in Mommyland, right?

After our talk, I went back to look over my training plan and I’m pretty sure I need to adjust. I like the Hal Higdon Novice 1 because it seemed “do-able,” but Novice 2 looks closer to where I am.  Novice 2 bumps up the mileage about week 7, which is a concern because I’m trying hard to adhere to the 10% rule. This leads me back to Gabby’s question, “Am I pushing myself too much?” I’m in a quandary.

I think I’ll stay on target for the rest of this week. Tomorrow I’ll run 5, vinyasa yoga on Saturday, with Jen at Evolve Movement, and an 11 mile (long) run on Sunday. My weekly total will be 27. I’ll see how I feel on rest day Monday and then change-up the training plan if necessary.

Today I’ll take care of the girls, maybe do some laundry, eat right and try not to dwell on the uncertainty that comes along with this endeavor.

Rest Day Tuesday

November 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today is a rest day and rest days are hard for me. I feel strong, so I want to run! I know, though, that in order to ensure I’ll get through marathon day without injuries (or at least as few as this old bod can manage), I’ve got to follow the rules. As I mentioned in my first post, I’m following the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan. The plan starts with lower weekly mileage than I’ve been running, so I began at week 8. I spoke to my endocrinologist about this and he agreed that I should start where I actually am, and not go backward. My long runs, before making the final decision to run a marathon, were about 9-10 miles. I’ll probably run 10 one week and then bounce down to 6-7 and work my way back up until I actually hit Novice 1 week 8.

In addition to HalHigdon.com, I like the mileage build up plan on marathontraining.com. I started in the middle of the build up plan too, but I’m not sure if i’ll be able to keep up with the actual marathon training plan. It’s really long mileage, much longer than the Novice 1.

I’ve looked at lots of other plans, including Runner’s World and Jeff Galloway, but the two I’m sticking with at the moment seem to be working.

A good friend of mine told me to find a group to run with. Unfortunately, the Jeff Galloway group is winding down it’s season. The other groups in Raleigh have runs that won’t work with my lovely schedule. A few mom’s at the girls’ pre-school have offered to run with me, but I know for a fact that they are MUCH faster than me. It is possible to run with them, during the week, but, I’m such a chicken. I don’t want to hold them back or to push myself too hard.  No, at this point I’m going to go it alone. I won’t lie though, it would be nice to share the experience with some like minded mama’s!

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