Sunday, March 04, 2012

Change of Plans

I created my  own marathon training plan with 18 weeks to go.  It is a combination of Runner's World Smart Coach, Hal Higdon and a couple of other articles I read.  I haven't been happy with it.  I keep feeling like there is so much focus on the one weekly long run that the overall mileage is underwhelming.  I have been cross training so hard that I cannot hit my miles or pace for the key runs.  With all this, my confidence in my plan is failing. 

Ever since reading an article, Marathoning the Hansons' Way, a couple of years ago, I have been intrigued by the Hansons' Less is More Plan.  The idea of running medium long runs back to back hit a chord with me.  I keep looking at it and thinking "next marathon."  It scares me.  The idea of going into a marathon shooting for a PR with only 16 mile long runs freaks me out.  Yet, I see the evidence that it does work. 

This afternoon, I pulled out my copies of the Hansons Plan, Pfitz 18/55, Hal Higdon Advanced I, Smart Coach and my original plan.  I laid them all out on the floor.  I counted miles, analyzed paces and speed work.  I worked them around to work on my weekly schedule. 

Then I made a decision.  I choose the Hanson's Less is More Plan.  I am nervous about this.  Yet, there is so much about it I like.  I like the running on tired legs.  I like all the marathon pace runs.  I like the bits of speedwork.  It took a bit of work to move the days around since I cannot run long on weekends, but I can do the long run on Monday with the moderate long on Sunday.  Not perfect, but it works for me. 

I remind myself that I have run 23 mile training runs before every other marathon and it hasn't gotten me where I really wanted to be--sub 4.  So, why not try a new approach.  This may be what works for me.  It may not be.  All I can do is give it all I have and trust the training!  This week's super easy, brainless, treadmill miles seemed to make a difference in motivation and drive. And the body seems willing again.  So, with 13 weeks until the Newport Marathon, I am ready to get moving.

Friday, March 02, 2012

A Lesson in Listening

This week has been all about listening. Reading about listening to my body and working on implementing it. I had a cut back week last week, but the fatigue and lethargy continued. I set out thinking that is would pick up and headed into the week with high expectations.

It began on Monday with a disatrous long run. It started out as a 18 miles run with a friend. It was cold and it took a while to warm up. My lungs weren't happy. And neither were my legs. I don't know if it was late fueling or mental fatigue. My splits started out a bit faster than normal, but ended up slowing quickly. About mile 10, I started feeling a groove, but that didn't last long. I have never had fatigue like this even in the last miles of a marathon. Then the nausea started. Yep, that was a first, too. Ginger candy helped some. At this point, I urged my friend to go on if she needed to get done. We were starting and stopping and that is hard on someone having a good run. She wanted to stick it out. I could see she needed to move on, but was too kind to want to leave me. About a mile later, we passed the golf course where my hubs was playing. I did something I have never done before. I quit. I sent my friend on and went looking for the hubs. Finally found him at the 6th hole and caddied to the finish. The jogging to find him and walking the last holes were incredibly hard. I haven't ever seen a PGA caddy sitting on the cart path, but this caddy did.

That run shook me mentally. It shook my confidence. I took Tuesday completely off. Wednesday dawned and it was cold and wet. I couldn't bring myself to go outside. Loaded a movie and headed to the treadmill. One hour, fifty minutes and nine miles later, I was a sweaty, happy mess. Normally I hate the treadmill, especially mine. Nearly 20 years old and a broken incline that is locked at 1.5%--I think--makes for a slow, boring run. But it was good. I kept it easy and kicked the speed around to keep it more interesting.

Thursday, I was so tired. Bad sleep, low grade fever and achy. Took another day off. Yeah, another day off and no cross training at all this week. Maybe I am justifying laziness, but I am choosing to say I am listening to my body.

This morning was another cold morning. I had to psyche myself into running at all and headed back to the treadmill. An hour later, I was again a hot, sweaty mess and glad I had done it. I have never enjoyed running on the treadmill, but these runs have been exactly what I needed--easy and brainless. I am actually looking forward to getting back on the thing tomorrow. Go figure...

At least, I am looking forward to running again. So tired of the weather. I am so tired of cold and wet. So, I am listening to my body and running as it wishes. I will run easy until I am ready to run a good speed workout. I don't know if I am running as slow as my paces say. Does a treadmill lose calibration? I am trying not to get caught up on that. My effort feels about a 10 minute pace so I am sticking to that even though the treadmill is saying something different. Then again maybe I am just overanalyzing again...