Friday, September 14, 2012

Did I Mention I'm Training for MCM?

So it occurred to me that I talked about last week's 14-mile run and mentioned my marathon goal pace but I failed to mention that I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon! I can't believe how close it is - 6 weeks from Sunday I will be in Washington, DC for my very first 26.2! Training has been going well - I'm definitely the tortoise and not the hare and have spent more than a few agonizing moments calculating and recalculating my time to make sure that I am going to be able to "Beat the Bridge" (I'm mostly reassured that I will!). Ever since I decided that I was one day going to run a marathon, I knew that I wanted MCM to be my first and I knew that I wanted to do it with Team in Training, which I am!

My TNT experience has been AWESOME so far...except for the fundraising aspect. Apparently I suck at fundraising and clearly overestimated the support I would get from my family, so with just a month to go before the deadline, I am still scrambling to raise nearly $1500.00. YIKES!!!! I definitely have to step it up in the next few weeks to get it done.

Not sure there's anyone out there reading, but if you've made your way over here and want to help me out, you can visit my fundraising page to make an online donation. Thank you in advance, you are awesome!!!

My main goals for my first marathon are to finish in under 6 hours and stay healthy doing it. I was having so much trouble with my calves and plantar fasciitis, I took a month off running after my second half marathon because I was in so much pain. I was terrified I would break down during marathon training! At the start of training, I switched shoes from my Brooks Ghost neutral shoes to Asics GT-2170 stability shoes, and also worked on trading my heel-strike for a mid-foot strike.  Not sure if it is the shoes or my form or both, but I am definitely doing better. There is still some pain but not nearly as bad, so I am just crossing my fingers that I can keep it at bay as my mileage keeps going up.

I read other runners' blogs and compared to many who are training for a marathon, my weekly mileage has definitely been on the lower side. I would love it if I can increase it in the future (assuming I decide to do another one of these things...TBD!). Early on it was quite low but there was a lot of hiking going on - J and I went on a backpacking trip at the end of July for her birthday - 20 miles in 3 days. My running miles increased after that:

Week 9: 18.5 miles
Week 10: 22 miles
Week 11: 18 miles
Week 12: 22.5 miles
Week 13: 21 miles
Week 14: 28.25 miles
Week 15: 30 miles (after this Saturday's 16-miler)

Now that I just went back through my training log counting up my miles, I realized that I should probably go ahead and order a new pair of shoes before marathon time! Wow - people who put in 40-50 mile weeks or more must go through a LOT of shoes! I don't know if I can afford that, LOL.

I have not been following any specific plan exactly - I've sort of used the plan the TNT coaches provided (we do group long runs on Saturdays) combined with the Hal Higdon novice plan weekly runs tweaked to fit my schedule. Right now my weekly plan looks like this:

Sunday: cross-train
Monday: run
Tuesday: strength, swim
Wednesday: run
Thursday: strength, run
Friday: REST
Saturday: long run

I've been able to stick with it for the most part each week. Getting my cross-training in on Sundays has been hard as my Saturday runs have gotten longer - I feel like I need a little more rest. My goal is to try and do something fun on Sundays, like kayaking or hiking. This Sunday I will be taking a 90 minute stand-up paddleboarding class - SO EXCITED!!! I'd also like to get back to hiking, which fell by the wayside after our trip (I'm sure the Big Red Dog would love it if we did that, too!)

Overall I am very pleased with the way training is going. Not only am I in uncharted territory on my long runs, but I am really improving on my other as well. I run 4/1 intervals during long runs but am working on no intervals for my shorter weekly runs. So far I've gotten up to 5.5 miles, which was my longest training run last spring before my 8k race (when I felt speedy and strong), so I could soon be setting a distance PR for running with NO walking! It feels great to push it and know that I can do it!

Of course, I am frustrated about the lack of movement on the scale, but I knew going into this that my weight loss goals were going to have to be put on the back burner during training. Still frustrating, but I'm dealing with it and ready to HIT IT starting October 29!

Well, guess I had a lot to say about training today! I'm excited and nervous about tomorrow's 16-miler, but my plan is to NOT nap the day away afterwards but to stay "quietly busy," so hopefully I will find some time to sit down for an update. My fundraising page needs one, too.

Wish me luck! Go Team!

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