Monday, June 25, 2012

Marathon Training: Week 4 - Pushing It

Week 4 of marathon training.  Fifteen weeks to go.  That’s 103 days, if you are counting.  It’s really amazing what the body can achieve when you set a plan and path before it.  After three weeks I am starting to see changes in how I feel when I run.  Legs are feeling stronger.  My foot doesn’t protest as much (I am crediting the stretching and cross training at boot camp for that).  I am waking up flippin’ early every single day.  Sleeping in until 7am feels like a LONG time to sleep in.  Who am I kidding?  Naps on the weekends are the norm now – even just a short one makes a difference on the long run days!  I am even more disciplined about rolling the golf ball on my foot.   Good thing my cubicle is in the corner; not everyone can get away with bare (or sock-feet) at their desk, with a rolling golf ball, no less.
The shirt says - "Is that all you got?"  I don't wear it very often but I really felt like it today :)

So anyway, I am thinking about “pushing it.”  I read a lot of the training plans and books, and advice from all sorts of places.  One of the same tips I read over and over is to NOT over run on training days.  If the plan says run 3 miles, then run 3 miles.  Not 4, not 5, but 3. So far this has been hard for me to do.  At first I was pushing myself because I was catching up from being out of tune from my injury and being a slacker.   I thought I needed an extra mile or two  to make up for the sluggish performance.  Plus I was taking more walking breaks in my earily runs, so I extended the distance.  I also tend to overachieve and try to “bank” miles for the future.  Like, what if I don’t run the full miles the next time?  Can I count that extra mile I ran two days ago and call it good? No, turns out you can’t – but my efficient self likes to think I can.  Looking back, I don’t think I did myself any damage, and apologies to Hal Higdon for not following the mileage rules to a tee.*
However, going forward, with the long runs all upwards of 9 miles henceforth, I think I am going to adhere to the “no more than the plan calls for” rule.  Invoking the sage advice from Coach Martha – the goal should be to show up at the start line well trained, rested and NOT INJURED.  There is pushing oneself and then there is PUSHING oneself.  Try to differentiate one from the other.  Hah!  I think I have a better chance of not injuring myself and being happier at the start line if I don’t overdo it.  Besides, just adhering to the plan is actually pushing it, because there are a lot of long runs in my future and there's a ton of discipline involved!  I am already thinking about how I am going to PUSH my family to meet me on some of these long runs so I have support (and fresh water bottles and a snack) along the way.  That would be at week 10 when the long run is 15 miles (and all long runs after that are double digit).  They are not coming to Chicago for the marathon, so they can get their cheering done during training!

So onward to Week 4 – and while I won’t be PUSHING it….I will be pushing it.
Run on.
Ranch Santa Margarita Lake - 3 laps, and some little loopsy-loos.
 *Today was a double work-out morning, where I was to attend boot camp followed by a 3-mile run (3 laps around RSM lake). boot camp, we ended up running a mile around the lake - with push-ups/dips at 1/4 mile intervals.  I worked hard on that mile, and was figuring "hey, i will count this lap as one of my 3 for later."  After I had that thought I kept waffling about whether that would be "fair" or right.  Turns out I ended up doing 3 very good laps of running after boot camp - it felt so good and I was so happy.  So although I was almost going to NOT push it, I ended up patting myself on the back instead.  Whooya.
Yup, it's pretty much flat as a pancake.

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