Tuesday, November 16, 2010

marathon training in the meantime

I have so much to catch y'all up on. A great weekend, a 12 hour video shoot, my last three days of outfit photos, and the best damn dogs in the world. Alas, those posts require photos and my camera is at home, which means you'll have to wait. In the meantime, let's talk a bit about my other favorite topic - marathon training!

Last week's training was a wash - I went on one run, for a weekly total of five miles. But I've already forgiven myself and moved past that, as these things happen and sometimes you have to put your grown-up obligations first. This morning, I set out for another five miler and it was rough. My average pace was about 10:30 and I didn't feel warmed up until the half way point, despite the fact that it was a perfectly cool and wet late autumn day.

Looking at my race reports, one thing stands out - I was so much faster last year! Setting PR's and averaging in the low 9:00's on easy training runs. I think the main difference is that last year, I usually ran with my friend Amy (yoga instructor with the longest legs in the world) or Nathan (boyfriend and speed demon). This year, my schedule and Amy's don't quite jive and we only run together once in a while. Nathan is injured and before that, was following a different training plan. Which means that I've been running alone. Running solo doesn't bother me - I like having the time to think, be on my own, and just enjoy the feeling of my legs pounding the pavement. But it's easy to run at a slower pace when there's no one there pushing me to go faster. Too easy, from the look of my race results.

So the challenge now is to make myself run faster. I'd been running three times a week and feeling badly about it, but now I'm beginning to think that three runs is enough - if I start cross training again. I re-read No Meat Athlete's review of Run Less, Run Faster, and that seems to be the premise of the book. (Though I should probably read the actual book!) Last year, I biked all the time and I'm sure that was another contributing factor to my speediness. While I'm not quite ready to take on the roads of Nacogdoches again, I can start going to spin class at the Rec Center. I need an exercise that will boost my cardio and spin is perfect for that. (Tuesdays at 5:30pm - who's with me?) I've also gotten back into doing core work and push-ups in the morning, and this weekend I discovered that I can do one chin-up! Exciting times, my friends. Exciting times.

So that's the plan! I'll let y'all know how it works out and if I can get my times back in the 9's. If you have any tips for getting faster, please feel free to share them in the comments! Zoom, zoom!


  1. I would totally go to spin classes with you but I've decided not to get a membership at the rec center to save some money.

    I know how you feel, though. I look at how slow I am now compared to how and I feel soooo OLD! I used to run two miles in 13 minutes. Not anymore!

  2. ...compared to how "fast" I used to run. Don't know how I left that part of the sentence out. Oops!

  3. Funny - my brain filled in "fast I used to run" and I didn't even notice you left it out!

  4. Your slow is my fast :) I think the strength & core and the cross-training with spinning should help out.

  5. I am also a lot slower than I was last year. I think part of it is that I came into this training season without the same solid base that I had the year before and part of it is that last year I was running a couple times a week most weeks with someone who was quite a bit faster than I my natural pace. I'm sure the extra 5 pounds I'm carrying this year also doesn't help.

    Enjoy the cross training!

  6. @QVR - Maybe I should think of my current slow as my old fast? ;)

    @LHdeM - Now that you mention it, last summer I trained for a fall half, and then trained hard for a winter marathon. My training this time around has definitely been more lax, especially considering I didn't run for most of the summer. Hm... something to think about!