Monday, November 28, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 2

To aid in my quest to run a four hour marathon on March 18, 2012, I'll be writing training recaps each Monday, documenting the previous week. This is week two!

Hell yeah, marathon training! I know it's only week two, and thus might be too early for such a declarative statement, but I have been rocking the running lately! While I once again had some scheduling weirdness (this time due to Thanksgiving - I should probably just accept that every week will be weird in some way and adapt accordingly) I managed to complete all four of my runs and two kettlebell classes. Still only made it to one yoga class, which is basically tragic, considering how much I love yoga. This week, two classes will happen.

This week, I moved my long run to Sunday yet again. I had planned to do long runs on Fridays but Sunday seems to be working out. The only difference it makes is when I take my rest day. As long as I'm getting those long runs in, I'm happy. 

Monday: Rest and recovery from my ten miler on the day before. 

Tuesday: Speed work! The dreaded mile repeats. My plan called for 3 x 1600 meters in 8:23, with 800 recovery jogs, plus a warm and cool down, for a total of six miles. My splits:

1 mile warm up: 9:30

1st mile fast: 7:26
0.5 mile recover: 11:30
2nd mile fast: 7:55
0.5 mile recovery: 11:57
3rd mile fast: 8:04

1 mile cool down: 10:50

I thought I was maybe hitting an 8:30 pace on the fast sections and worried that this workout would be a failure. I even gave myself a mid-run pep talk, something like, "Don't worry, Chrissy. This is your first time doing mile repeats in forever. You have plenty of time to get faster." Clearly, I have no idea how fast I am actually running, ever. I was really shocked to see that I ran my first mile in 7:26 - no wonder I felt like I was going to die! So this workout was a success, speed-wise, and an indication that I seriously need to improve, pacing-wise. 

Wednesday: 30 minute kettlebell class at the YMCA. Still obsessed with kettlebell. 

Thursday: Nathan and I headed out early for an easy run around the neighborhood before the madness of hosting Thanksgiving started. The plan called for five at a 10:28 pace, but I always run faster with Nathan and ended up with an average pace of 9:05. The weather was perfect and it felt so good! 

Friday: A much needed yoga class at the YMCA. It was a 90 minute Vinyasa class taught by a woman named Battle. No joke. It was a good class and I got to do a headstand, though I had a hard time with some other usually easy poses, which I am blaming on the Thanksgiving hangover. Before class Nathan, Erica and I lifted weights for about 20 minutes, and later that day we walked the dogs 4 miles around Greenfield Lake. It ended up being a really active, yet relaxing, day. 

Saturday: I had grand plans to run a 4 mile trail race this morning, but when I went to sign up the night before I saw that registration had ended two days ago and there was no race-day registration. Bummer. Also, procrastination doesn't pay. I consoled myself with an easy 4 mile run around the neighborhood (plan said 10:28; I said 9:18!). After my run, I headed to the YMCA for a 45 minute long kettlebell/aerobics class, which kicked my ass. Spent the rest of the day reading on the couch.  

Sunday: For this week's long run, my plan called for 12 miles at a 10:28 pace. I ended up with 12 at a 10:13 pace, which I consider close enough. I did this run in my neighborhood, alone except for my iPod shuffle. I don't usually take music on my shorter runs, because I think we should all be able to spend 30-60 minutes alone with our thoughts, but for a two hour run, I figured a musical distraction was acceptable.

Looking at my splits, I am most pleased with the middle part of my run, and the consistency of my pace. The last three miles were my fastest, but that's because I really wanted to be done. I knew a mimosa and a huge breakfast burrito were waiting for me at home, and I was eager to get there. Overall, a great run on a beautiful morning!

Mile 1: 9:56
Mile 2: 10:11
Mile 3: 10:02
Mile 4: 10:23
Mile 5: 10:23
Mile 6: 10:25
Mile 7: 10:25
Mile 8: 10:26
Mile 9: 10:14
Mile 10:10:11
Mile 11: 10:04
Mile 12: 9:46 

Total miles: 27! 

Final thoughts: This is less about training (which is going fine) and more about blogging. I just realized that this post is extremely long. If you made it this far, do you like this format for training updates? Would it be better to just update throughout the week and not bombard you all at once? I kind of like doing it this way, but not if I'm just scaring off my readers. Thanks for your thoughts, and onward to week 3!


  1. Hi Chrissy! Great training week! I love reading the longer training posts bc it's nice to see what else is going on in a person's life aside from the running. Sure, someone might get 50 miles in one week, but they might not have dogs or friends to deal with:) 

  2. Great training week! I prefer the one-week recap of training possibly because that is what I have done in the past but also possibly because I get a fuller picture of your training this way. 

    What are your thoughts about running so much faster than your program is calling for at this point on your easy runs?   

  3. Thanks for the input, Raquelita, and for the great question! I know I am running way too fast on the easy runs, but honestly, these speeds feel pretty easy to me. I figure - and I could be wrong - that as long as I am not pushing myself too hard on these short, easy runs, as long as I can still hold a conversation and finish feeling strong and energetic, then it's still considered "easy" even if I'm running too fast. I know that long runs are more about time on your feet than speed, so I am making an effort to slow those down, but otherwise I'm choosing to run by feeling rather than numbers.

    Then again, I'm certainly no expert when it comes to running/training and I could be doing this all wrong. Definitely something to think about. :)

  4. I like it this way :)

    Great week and thanks for sharing!

  5. Hey, I had the same question as Raquelita!  For what it's worth, I am very much a run-by-feel runner.  Perhaps it's a matter of how in tune with your body you are and how comfortable you are making decisions based on feel rather than the clock?

    I also like the weekly update format--I think it works well for a long training season like marathon training.

  6. I love this! Go you. It's making me want to start training for a marathon again. In fact, I'm meeting some friends this evening to talk training plans. I really like the weekly recap too. You've inspired me.

  7. For your Tuesday workout was the .5 recovery the mile pace and not how long it actually took you to do a half mile?

    1. It was the pace for the half mile - so I was actually running for half the time posted. :)