Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Detroit Marathon Countdown: 17 Weeks

My marathon seemed so far away when I registered for it back in January.  It still seemed so far away earlier this month when I was running DX-A2 saying, "Oh, I haven't started training yet.  My marathon isn't until October."  Thankfully I decided to look at a training schedule and count the weeks because BAM!  Suddenly here I am on week 2 of an 18-week training plan!  Looks like that marathon isn't so far away after all.

This is one of Hal Higdon's marathon training plans, recommended by some experienced runners who seem to know a thing or two.  Training is new for me and those of you who read my blog know that I do not train.  Never have, not for any distance I've run.  Which is why I've never run a marathon before.  But even I know, you HAVE to train for a marathon!  Although this is my first time running 26.2 miles, I've run 4 halfs and a few 10Ks this year, plus my weekly mileage is substantial enough that I felt I could bypass the Beginner and jump to the Intermediate training schedule.  (There is also an Advanced.  All of his plans can be found on his website.)  Here is the one I'll be following:

I love that the long run is on Sunday - that's the best day for me to get that in.  Monday is perfect for cross-training because I have a cycle class.  I'll definitely be making a few adjustments to the schedule, though, to accommodate Boot Camp and my other cycle class.  The Tuesday run is a little shorter than Wednesday so I'll flip those two, giving me less mileage on Boot Camp days.  I'll take my "rest" day from running on Thursday instead of Friday.  That way I can cycle on Thursday and do my run on Friday.  I'll have to do both Boot Camp and running Saturday but I can take it easy with the running part of class and focus on strength.  (*The aforementioned changes are not sanctioned by Hal Higdon and results are not guaranteed if you follow my deviation from the plan!  wink wink)

I'll see how it goes.  I've never done this sort of intense race training so I may find that one of my classes has to go.  I believe that cross-training is important, however, and I love the social aspect of group exercise.  As long as I get enough rest and refuel and rehydrate properly, I should do okay.  In fact, I already run most days now AND do my classes without a problem.

Two added challenges, however, will be the increased speed on Saturday (race pace) and increased distance on Sunday.  These are two elements that I don't incorporate into my weekly runs now and I think they are going to be key in helping me reach my goal.  What is my goal, you ask?

Boston 2015.  Shoot for the stars, baby!

Are you training for a marathon or have you recently run one?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On the Run: Flirt with Dirt 10k 2013

After tripping over a tree branch (oh who am I kidding, it was probably my own foot!) on the trails at Stonycreek a few weeks ago, I was a little nervous about Flirt with Dirt yesterday.  This race has a lot more trips hazards, switchbacks, and narrow trails and let's be honest, I am NOT the picture of grace.  Unlike when I fell at Stonycreek, this is pretty tight so if I fell here, I'd likely trip up someone else and piss off a whole bunch of people.  (Not to mention myself.)  SO, my anxiety level was a bit higher than in a road race and my eyes were glued to the ground as a I ran.  The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should have been wearing my glasses . . . But what fun would that be?

I'm still new to running trails and am not comfortable passing people, so there were a few times in the first half when I was stuck behind some slower runners.  With all the switchbacks, ups and downs, and roots in the first few miles on the narrow mountain bike trail, passing people was sometimes nearly impossible anyway.  I would have loved to get ahead and pick up the pace earlier on but alas, I did not.

I made up for lost time in the second half and finished strong - 1st in my age group, 4th female, and 34th overall.  And seriously, my goals in this race were to stay on course (unlike last year), stay on my feet, and have fun.  I had a couple of close calls but most definitely accomplished all three.  And leaving with some cool swag certainly didn't hurt!  Race day success!




 Somebody That I Used to Know / Gotye 
Little Talks / Of Monsters and Men 
Vertigo / U2 
Kiss with a Fist / Florence & the Machine 
Dear Rosemary / Foo Fighters 
Machu Picchu / The Strokes 
Sixteen Saltines / Jack White 
One Engine / The Decemberists 
From Now On / The Features 
Take the Heartland / Glen Hansard 
Supermassive Black Hole / Muse 
Mercy / Duffy 
Immigrant Song / Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Feat. Karen O. 
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground I / The White Stripes 
Chop and Change / The Black Keys 
E.T. / Katy Perry

* Same as last year - that's what happens when you forget to sync your new playlist.  Boo!

Upcoming Events:
Tough Mudder - June 29th
Warrior Dash - July 27th
Merrell Down & Dirty - August 25th


Friday, June 7, 2013

On the Run: DX-A2 1/2 Marathon 2013

Are races sort of like childbirth?  (I've never birthed a child so I can't say for sure.)  Does the exhilaration of a finishing a race make you forget anything that might have sucked about the race itself - hills, heat, bumpy road, or just the fact that you were running for 13.1 miles?  The runner's high is so intense that by the time that shiny finisher's medal is hanging from your neck, you're already geeked about next year's race.

Last weekend I ran Dexter-Ann Arbor for my third year in a row.  Because I'd run it twice already, you'd think I'd remember how tough it is but for some reason I'd blocked it out.  I knew the last mile was rough but somehow I forgot just how tough.  And long.  I swear it's somehow farther than a regular mile!  I also forgot that there are other hills besides that last mile.  Ah well.  

I decided to run with the 1:35 pace group, led by the winner of the Martian 1/2 Marathon.  He ran that in 1:12 so this was just a jog in the park for him!  My goal was to run with the group for most of the race and then break away near the end to finish ahead of the team.  That plan fell apart pretty quickly.  I stayed with them for the first 2 miles but by mile 3 I wanted to go ahead.  I'm just not used to running with a group!  I struck up a conversation with another runner and we broke away from the team.  Because I tend to run faster when I get talking, we picked up the pace and the next 5 miles passed pretty quickly.  At that point, my heart rate was over 190 and I knew I couldn't sustain that pace for the rest of the race.  I slowed down and grabbed a sip of water at the next station.  5 miles to go.

My new goal was to not let the pace leader pass me.  With 2 miles to go I heard him behind me.  That's when the race really gets tough.  It's all uphill, there was a headwind, and I was tired.  Before I knew it, he was racing ahead of me and there was no way I could catch up.  He'd made great time, though, because surprisingly I finished just under our 1:35 time.  My pace was 7:15/mile, which was 15 seconds per mile better than last year's time.  Woot woot!

So, as I was running those last 5 miles, I was thinking about how glad I am that I'm not running another half until September, how challenging this race is, how sore my legs were, how much I don't want to run my marathon if I can't even handle picking up the pace at mile 13, yada yada, yada.  And then I crossed the finish line, saw my time, and all those thoughts were gone and I couldn't wait to run this race again next year.  And yes, when I do I'll still wonder how that last mile is so damn long!



Vanilla Chia Pudding (this recipe, minus the cocoa), banana

Get Ready / Mayer Hawthorne 
All the Time / The Strokes 
Beanbag Chair / Yo La Tengo 
Bulletproof / La Roux 
Dear Rosemary / Foo Fighters 
Little Numbers / Boy 
You Called Me / Mayer Hawthorne 
We Come Running / Youngblood Hawke 
The Edge of Glory / Lady Gaga 
Change / Churchill
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) / Kelly Clarkson 
Mercy / Duffy 
Panic Switch / Silversun Pickups 
We Found Love / Rihanna 
I Will Wait / Mumford & Sons 
I'm Shakin' / Jack White 
Hurts Like Heaven / Coldplay 
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor / Arctic Monkeys 
Crushcrushcrush / Paramore 
Kick Drum Heart / The Avett Brothers 
Under Cover of Darkness I / The Strokes 
One More Night / Maroon 5 
Work Around It / Them Swoops 
Blood for Poppies / Garbage 
Chop and Change / The Black Keys 
Can't Hold Us / Macklemore 
Love the Way You Lie (ft. Rihanna) / Eminem

Upcoming Events:
 Flirt with Dirt 10k - June 8th 
Tough Mudder - June 30th