I have been on a continual training cycle since May 2014. At first, I was just building my milage back up. After the Hartford Marathon in October 2013, I took a long break in my training. I was somewhat burned out and my interests were lying elsewhere. I began to build my milage back up, 30-40 miles a week in May 2014. I was running the Fairfield Half (last weekend in June) and coming off a year of an increase in speed, I was excited to race it.
After Fairfield, both BF and I (may or may not have convinced him) were selected to run the Chicago Marathon in October. I had a solid base so I began running higher milage, higher than I’d every run before (capped at a 45 mile week) to prepare for my fall marathon. I was hoping for a big PR and to re-qualify for Boston. This training cycle also marked the first time I made my own running schedule. I even raced a half 2 weeks out from Chicago and set a new PR of 1:32:xx
I had a few setbacks due to my Crohn’s diagnosis, but otherwise come October, I felt rested and ready to run. I had an amazing race with a PR of almost 20 minutes.
Immediately following Chicago, I signed up to race the Philadelphia half marathon (6 weeks later). I took 3 recovery days post-marathon and got back to training. I wanted to race hard and PR in the half. I introduced a speed/tempo workout once a week and increased my milage to a peak of a 50 mile week. I PR’ed by over 5 minutes and came back from Philly on a running high.
In preparation for Boston’s challenging course, I started an 18-week training program in December. But training this winter was A BEAR. I ran on the treadmill for 90% of my runs. Including a 16-miler. Lets just accept the fact that I used an insane amount of data to watch Netflix on my phone. Just trying to stay sane. Thanks Mom! I’d hop on the treadmill Monday – Thursday at 4:30am to get my workout in before work. I’d go to SoulCycle on Friday morning, followed by a short run (again on the treadmill – ugh) to get my body used to running on tired legs. I would plan to do my long runs outside over the weekend. But thanks to the worlds worst winter, no exaggeration obviously, I think I only did 3 of those scheduled runs outside. I had planned for 3 x 20-milers. I only did 2. I wanted to peak at 70 miles. I peaked at 62. Towards the end I lost some steam. I took the breaks when I needed to. I accepted the fact that some days I just physically could not run outside, and mentally I could not run on the treadmill. I know I have a more focused and intense training cycle in me, but this winter wasn’t it and I’m okay with that. I finished Boston strong and most importantly, injury-free.
I’m running the NYC Marathon in November. This is going to be my goal race. Sure I’m running the Fairfield half again this summer, but I plan on enjoying it. I’m stepping away from the “must PR” mentality. I know those of you who know me are laughing. I’m competitive to a fault. But I’d rather be running healthy in November, with a total fire under my you-know-what, than burning out in August/September when I need my running spark the most. So that was the long winded way of saying, I’m running for me now. I’m still going to sketch out a general plan of weekly milage I’d like to hit, but I’m thinking it’ll be capped at 40 mpw. If that means 4 x 10 mile runs then perfect. If that means 7 x 5 mile runs, then so be it. I need to spend the time strength training, stretching, resting, NOT running, to help get me ready for a strong training cycle this summer. I want to get back to the basics. I want to run because I want to enjoy the fresh air….I don’t want to be staring at my Garmin.
Does anyone else find it hard to get out of the “training” mentality? What is your favorite form of exercise BESIDES running? I love love love SoulCycle but I NEED to start loving yoga …