Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's a Major Award!

Bonus points if you get the reference from the title! Okay, so you know how you see those various "awards" that float around blogland all the time? Just as an example, off the top of my head, I can recall seeing Liebster Awards come around on a semi-regular basis where bloggers "nominate" other bloggers to spill the beans about themselves and then pass along the "award". Well, I haven't been nominated for *that* award...BUT if there was an award for world's worst blogger...I would surely be nominated for that one hands down! haha

I've been seriously neglectful of this little space, but is life and I would love to say that I'm going to stop the neglect, but I can't purposely put a lie out there. How about this...I will certainly try to do better. :-)

So I've been in marathon training for a bit now...I'm on my fourth week of marathon training actually, if you can believe that. Time sure does fly, eh? And if I had to give myself a grade so far it would definitely be in the average range - probably a C but maybe close to a D. In other words, I could be doing better at this whole training thing, but then again, I'm trying the best I can for the most part. Let's take a look at it for a moment...

I've been doing the Train Like a Mother Finish It plan from the book "Train Like a Mother" written by two of my favorite ladies in the running world: Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. These gals are real people living life; in other words, they have kids, and families, and responsibilities and yet they still train for, and complete, some pretty amazing feats! Just last year Dimity completed an Ironman Triathlon!! And Sarah, well, she does all kinds of half AND full marathons! And she's pretty speedy too...I can highly recommend anything that they do and if you want more of them, check out their Facebook page, their website, their podcasts and so much more!

Anywhoo...all that to say that the training plans in their book take into consideration the fact that most of us have other responsibilities outside of just logging miles in preparation for a race and that fitting it all in is going to be challenging, but achievable. But that doesn't mean that the plans are EASY, especially when you are talking about a marathon. Here's what they say in the plan overview:

Week 1:
Easy 3 miles with 4 strides - I did 3.25 miles on the treadmill and it all felt great!
Easy 3 miles - I completed 3.22 miles on the TM with an average pace of 13:57...not great, but easy!
Tempo for 1.5 miles - My tempo pace target is 11:07-11:29 and my actual pace was 11:09 - nailed it!
Long Run 8 miles - Completed 8.1 miles but definitely didn't nail the pace on this one as it was windy and cold and I was going up a pretty big hill at the beginning/end
So it was a pretty good start to marathon training! I did make a big mistake though when I went for a 5.8 mile hike/walk with my son and DIL on Sunday because it was a rest day and I really should have taken it as such...I paid for it big time during Week 2.

Week 2:
Easy 3 miles - Only completed 2.5 miles on the TM
4 miles with 2 at Race Pace (RP) - completed the 4 miles, but didn't hit race pace at all
Negative Splits for 6 miles (3, 3) - Only completed 5 miles and didn't negative split it
Easy 4 miles - Hey, I actually nailed this one! 4 miles...but then again, it was easy so no prescribed pace. LOL
Long Run 10 miles with Strong Finish - This run was a DISASTER. I chose the wrong trail to run on, the sun was out in force, and my legs were really feeling the cumulative miles. I only completed 9.4 miles and was nowhere near my long run pace and believe me when I say that simply making it back to the car WAS a strong finish! HA!
This week definitely made me re-think everything about this whole marathon thing. There were many times I wondered what exactly I thought I was doing and if I hadn't bitten off more than I could chew.

Week 3:
Fun Workout - I can't even tell you how happy I was to see a "fun workout" on the plan. The book outlines what these might be, but I didn't care...I took it to mean that I could do something fun so I did the Lolo Fitness treadmill app that has you do walking intervals at varying inclines and paces. And it was wonderful!
Easy 5 miles - Nailed it! I find it so strange, and hard to believe, that I completed 5 miles...on a Tuesday...before work. Just weird...those kinds of miles are usually reserved for long runs on the weekend.
Tempo for 2 miles - Total fail on this alarm wasn't on for some reason so I overslept, didn't have time, didn't have energy, so I just did a walk with my Mom around the 'hood for about 2 miles at a very slow pace of 19:26. 
Easy 4 miles - Another total fail...didn't do it and didn't even attempt it at all. In my defense, this was a hellacious week at work and I was just wiped out. I did run around taking pictures at our annual work softball game, so lots of squatting, walking, etc. 
Long Run 11 miles with 5 at RP - Stayed pretty much on pace and did 11.2 miles around the lake trail and it was fabulous!! 
Week 3 was the first week where I really feel like I totally dropped the ball. As I mentioned, it was a tough week at work with a lot of stuff that I was responsible for happening, so life got the better of me. I feel like I made up some of the lost ground with the long run on Saturday though and thoroughly enjoyed myself the entire time I was out there. There is going to be a casualty from that run though as I have the second toe on my right foot looking like the toenail is going to be a goner in the near future. I'm kind of surprised that I'm only 3 weeks into training and one of the toenails has already bitten the dust! But it is what it is...we'll see how many more join that one along the course, eh?

Week 4:
Easy 3 miles - Fail...didn't do one at all, but I did do a considerable amount of walking at Disneyland with the kiddos! That counts, right? hahaha
Easy 5 miles - Again, fail...didn't even try. I was wiped. I had a blister. The excuses could continue.
Tempo for 3x1 mile - Only managed to do 2 of the 3 repeats, but nailed the pace on the two that got done. I can tell I am going to have a hard time fitting these higher mileage days in during the workweek...but I'll keep trying!
Easy 3 miles - TBD
Long Run 12 miles with 6 at RP - TBD...I still need to figure out how this one is going to work because I have 12 miles on the plan, but I also have a local 5k race, so I need to add some miles before and after to get the 12.
Week 4 has continued my less than stellar record that began during Week 3, but I am bound and determined to right my wayward ship. 

I still have a long way to go and now is not the time to start slacking off. The reality is that work is going to continue to be busy, but hopefully not as busy as it was last week. I am going to start getting my Fridays off starting in June, but that comes with the price of 10-hour days which tend to completely wipe me out. There are definite challenges, but I am determined to keep going! After all, time certainly isn't slowing down or waiting for me!

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