Well, as I had hoped, I finally did finish my marathon training calendar. It wasn't finished Sunday, but I did have it done fairly early on Monday. I'm attempting to attach it (I'm rather proud of it) . I think posting it will help keep me honest. It's also taped to my fridge. All 7 pages of it!
Crissie's Chicago Marathon Training Plan!!!
Once I finished reading a couple Marathon books and perusing training plans on various websites, I put together what I'm hoping will be a solid plan that will get me across the finish line in a decent enough time.
Most of what I read indicates that anything more than 16 weeks is really going to burn me out. Problem is, I'm freaking out NOW, and the race isn't for another 6 1/2 months. SO...since I get very antsy when having to wait to do something once I've decided I'm actually going to, I came up with a multi-step plan.
The first 6 weeks are my Base Building Phase. I'll spend the next 6 weeks (it technically started this week) focusing just on running for a specific distance; between 3-6 miles per run, 4 days per week. I'm not concentrating on pace or anything like that - just making sure that running those distances feels fairly easy.
On June 14th, I start my Endurance Building Phase. I'll spend 8 weeks building my endurance, doing quarter mile repeat runs every Wednesday (sprints up to 4 mi in distance), and long runs that build up each week and focus on a pace that is planned to be 1.5-2 minutes off my goal race pace. Add in a couple easy runs (pace unimportant) and two cross training days, I'm still running only 4 days per week, but the goal for this is building my leg strength and endurance.
On August 9th, I'll begin the Stamina Phase, which is 6 weeks. I'll trade out the quarter mile repeats for tempo runs - runs that may be shorter (no more than 8 miles), but at a pace that's much tougher than my goal race pace. My Saturday long runs will continue to be 1.5-2 minutes behind my race pace, but these are the runs that start building up in length - up to a 21 miler on August 28th that I'm going to start whining about now.
On Sept 20th, I'll start the phase that I'm looking forward to the most - the Taper Phase! It's 3 weeks of easy runs, light cross training, and lower mileage.
At the tail end of the Taper Phase is RACE DAY!!!! So while I have been scared to death the past couple weeks that I was obviously out of my mind when I decided that this was a good idea, I now don't feel as nuts. Now that I have a distinct plan, I feel better. I even typed out the tips I read in the books or online to make sure I get the most out of each workout, don't over do it, don't get injured, and hopefully actually enjoy some of this.
My first training run was SUPPOSED to be yesterday, but I wasn't feeling very well (it was also 111 degrees with the heat index). By the time I started feeling a little OK, I had to take the big monkeys to Tae Kwon Do class (which doesn't get out until 8pm). I was hoping to run afterwards, but I started feeling icky again, and skipped it. I felt completely depressed about it since I had JUST finished this awesome training plan and was very pumped to get it going. Alas, I must learn flexibility at some point (not the yoga kind...the kind that makes me feel like it's okay to deviate from the established plan once in awhile - I'm not so good at that).
So I decided that Tuesday is a Rest day, that I'd run my first training run on that day (today) instead. So I did! I woke up this morning and had some coffee (long story, but a new and amazing espresso machine that I recently got and am in love with. I'm my own Starbucks!!!) I wasn't hungry, but know from experience that I cannot run on an empty tank. I have no idea how some people can roll out of bed already in their running clothes, toss on shoes, and head out for a run. Unless they're still sleeping, I just can't see this ever working. So I forced myself to eat half a banana, wait 30 minutes, and took off. Even though it was morning, it was very humid. Weather was only 77 degrees, but it's really, really muggy. It didn't bother me too much, except I felt sticky. I started feeling a bit thirsty near the end of the run. I didn't bring water with me because it was only a 3 mi jog, but I'm thinking it means I didn't hydrate well enough before I went out. My energy level was fine, so for that distance, coffee and half a banana will work for me. My legs felt fine and I'm still in mad love with my shoes, so no issues there. I didn't push myself as hard as I know I can go, but being that I haven't been feeling great (and therefore not eating too much), I'm not gonna worry about that today.
So...now that I've written a bloody novel here, I'm going to stop. Otherwise I'll have nothing to say tomorrow!