I Have a Plan!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged, but I have some good updates to share:

(1) My week of cross training was a success!

(2) I finally settled on a Marathon Training Plan!

In my official “week of cross training” I was able to get in a 30min swim, 2 30min bike rides on the stationary bike and 40min on the elliptical! On top of that, I was able to keep up with my running and clocked 24.5miles that week.

I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with adding cross training into my training this past week as well, partially due to a new gym buddy! I was able to some how convince my boyfriend to come to Jack Rabbit  with me and get fitted for his first pair of running sneakers. I guess my months of begging payed off, I’m slightly relentless. My boyfriend is a software engineer (aka computer geek — I mean that in an endearing way!) and running and “gym” activities are not in his normal scope of life. Sure if I asked him to walk around the city with me for 5 hours or go for an outdoor bike ride, he’d be totally up for it; but non-outdoorsy focused exercise is an unnecessary chore to him. Last Saturday though, I got him to commit that he would at least TRY running and working-out with me. We went on a shopping trip to Jack Rabbit where he bought a fresh pair of Asics and then headed over to Modell’s for a pair of shorts and long pants. Modell’s was having some awesome sales so of course I didn’t leave empty handed either — a girl can always use another pair of running tights and a warm zip up!

Champion Cold Gear Zip Up

Luckily we have a free “fitness center” (I say that in quotes b/c it really just consists of a couple of treadmills, a few bikes/ellipticals and some weights) in our building. So last Saturday after our shopping spree, the boyfriend somewhat reluctantly headed down to the gym with me to try out his new gear. He made it for 30min. of run/walking on the treadmill, clocking in 2.5 miles and then road the bike with me for about 15min. I was shockingly impressed that he stayed longer than 15min! I’m not going to say he completely enjoyed it and he did say he felt nauseous after running for the first time in years, but  I’ve been able to get him to regularly come back with me to the gym this week without any arguments. And to be quite honest, getting my boyfriend to workout has been a catalyst for getting me to do cross training. See I know the only way he’ll work out is if I suggest it and go with him — so I’ve been riding the bike, lifting weights and doing the elliptical a little more just so I can get him to the gym. What can I say, I’m a big advocate of exercising for healthy living, so if that means I need to work out twice a day, then so be it.

Now to the next good news — I’ve picked a marathon training plan! I’ve decided I’m going to try and follow the Runner’s World (free) Smart Coach training plan. I picked this plan for a couple of reasons:

1) It includes 4 days of running — not too much or too little

2) It’s based off of my individual racing times and incorporates speed work/tempo runs based off of my Half Marathon PR time

3) It didn’t start me at running 3miles as a “long run” — I just couldn’t fathom digressing and lose all the training I’ve done already!

Here’s a screenshot of what Smart Coach has put together for my first month of training:

My goal is to try and stick to the distances and paces Smart Coach has planned for me — including the SLOW paced runs. I think think the slow runs are important for keeping endurance up without wearing yourself out. I will allow myself to miss one of the shorter/slower runs each week if needed, because I honestly think 3 days of running will be fine for me (but I’m shooting to do them all). The speed work/tempo runs look pretty ambitious to me, but I completed the first two weeks of it and I hope to keep up! When I went out to do the speed work set for this week (1 miles @8:51mi/mil pace for 3 miles) I seriously thought there was no way I’d be able to do that — but I did! I hit the splits exactly 🙂

I think my long run on Saturday was the worst long run I’ve had to date. I headed out at 9:30am to meet Kristine for a 12mile run in Central Park. Despite passing out at 10:30pm the night before, I was still feeling a big groggy (too much sleep? Or was it the 2 glasses of wine I had?). My legs were also feeling heavy. I had run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and only gave my legs 1 day of rest — they wanted more. And to top it all off, it was cold! To the standard runner it was probably a beautiful day, but to me who’s ALWAYS cold, it was a less than ideal running day. The temperature was about 35 degrees and with a light breeze it felt more like 30 degrees. Since my fingers get unnaturally cold that borders of hypothermia, I wore some hand warmers. We ran up to Central Park at around a 10:15min/mi pace, which was probably too slow for Kristine and too fast for me at the time. The first two miles were torcher — my legs were heavy, my nose was oozing snot and my breakfast (peanut butter sandwich) was moving around in my stomach. I tried to keep my distress to myself, but I probably failed. By mile 4 my stomach was finally settling down a bit and my legs were loosening up. The hills in Central Park were killing me though and I kept saying to myself “I really don’t know if I can do this today,” followed by myself responding with “you have to do this today. You’re training for an F**ing marathon, you need to be able to run 12 measly miles! You WILL complete 12miles.” My training plan had me set for a pace of 10:59mi/miles; I was trying to take it slow, but at the same time I wanted to stick with Kristine as long as possible, so I kept it around a 10:20mi/mile pace. In retrospect, I should have just slowed myself down all the way to the prescribed pace, especially since I was battling hills with the long run (on top of not feeling so great in general). We tackled Cat Hill, we tackled Harlem Hill and we tackled all the little hills in between on the Central Park 6 mile loop. After one complete loop I ran a little farther up to 72nd street and then headed out of the park to head home towards Murray Hill. I lost Kristine somewhere in the park around 59th street when we sped ahead. I hit 12miles by 42nd street and walked the rest of the way home. Despite wearing hand warmers that were supposed to last 7 hours, my fingers were frozen cold by the time I got home. I was kind of upset about that — what am I supposed to do about my frozen little fingers when it’s 20 degrees and I have to run 20 miles!!! I guess I’ll just have to stick with my skiing mittens and deal with the bulky (but warm) hands.

This week I have 14miles for my long run, which I plan to do on Thursday due to the Holidays — Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be traveling and making the rounds celebrating Christmas! I’m mentally preparing myself already for it to be a much better run than this past week’s 🙂

QUESTIONS: How was your run this weekend? Any cures for cold fingers??? How are you planning to get in your exercise/training over the holiday weekend??

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10 Responses to I Have a Plan!

  1. idk how you survive this cold! ahhh

    congrats on selecting the plan 🙂

    no running for me hehe.

  2. PorcelinaTweets says:

    This looks like an awesome plan, I am HUGE fan of smart coach, as are my clubmates, so I am pleased you picked it! I see you have lots of tempos in there – I HATE tempo running though it is by far the best way to train, how do you manage yours? I always have to do tempos by either doing a race or having a buddy with me!

    You’re right, the slow, shorter runs are important, especially for recovery and keeping your legs moving, but don’t always beat myself up if you miss them. Some people call them junk miles don’t they? But are any miles junk miles?!

    As for the cold fingers, I am not sure I am afraid! We get cold spells over here but nothing has harsh as your New York City winters….

    E

    • haha I read your comment on my phone right before I went out for my first tempo run this morning and you scared me! It wasn’t that bad, although it was a little tedious. I just put my headphones on and tuned out to music. It also helped that I knew how far I had to go visually and I wanted the run to be as quick as possible so I could get into a warm shower haha…I need to work on my tempo runs actually being “tempo,” though, because right now they’re more of “run fast, get tired slow down, repeat”

      • PorcelinaTweets says:

        Ah sorry!! Not my intention 🙂 – seems like you have cracked the tempo though – go out when it’s cold to make you run faster! Love it!

  3. Candice says:

    I’ve never heard of Smart Coach–it sounds really cool! Do you think it’s better to use something like that instead of a more generalized “marathon” plan? Congrats on committing to a plan and race! 🙂

    • Hi Candice! It’s hard for me to comment on what’s “best” since I’ve never run a marathon before, but in general, I think it’s best to come up with a plan that’s geared towards you (how many days, how far you can run right now, etc). That could also mean taking any standard plan and altering it a bit to suite you, or just finding a generic one that fits you!

  4. I got Bryan to run with me once. And by “with me” I mean sprint ahead then walk. I wish we could work out together more. I hope you guys get to do it often!
    That looks like a pretty awesome program you got for free. I need to learn more about tempo runs from you whenever I am able to join you again! Its getting cold though…

    • I’d be happy to teach you about tempo runs! I’ve been so bad about making plans lately and have just been “going with my own flow” — so maybe that’s a good New Year’s resolution for me, don’t be flaky and make plans. Anyways, my point is that we need to get together after the holidays, no excuses! And the cold hasn’t been so bad, just layer up

  5. Pingback: Hello 2012! | sweatpassionandtears

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