Friday, January 4, 2013

A running post

Obviously this can't be any more cliched, but this week has been back to the grind. I'm actually thinking of it more as a "getting my feet wet" three day little baby mini week before the real real world starts on Monday. 

I am trying to focus on the positives. In 2012, any time I got an email referencing a date, I just wrote the event down in my planner. Now, checking the date is my favorite thing to do at work.

We got the full size version as well, so checking the date is equally fun at home.

After two full months of listening to nothing but Christmas music, I didn't know what to do during my first shower of 2013. (I'll run without music, but showers get boring). Then I discovered my new favorite Pandora station: the Wicked station (Broadway musical, for those who somehow don't know). They play showtunes and Disney tunes, and now all is well.

Tell me you wouldn't be excited to hear this in the shower.
I just signed up for my spring marathon, the Lower Potomac River Marathon, so prepare yourself for a running - heavy post. I did this race last year, on a whim when Kara gave me a free entry, and I liked it so much that now it's my target race. It's a no frills race with no bands on the course, no massages at the end, very few spectators, no chip timing, and the swag is a plain old cotton t-shirt, not even a tech tee. I love it because it's small, and anyone who shows up, shows up to, not for any of the fancy stuff. Added bonuses: gorgeous views, good friends joining me, and the most important amenity any race can offer - unlimited indoor bathroom use before you begin. I'll take that over a Rock and Roll race any day!

With a marathon just nine weeks away, it was time to get serious about training. My friend Matt made me a training plan that's kind of frighteningly tough. 

Not working made training so much easier and more enjoyable, so I have no doubts that I could easily destroy my PR if I became a woman of leisure. But since in real life I'd just be homeless without a job, that isn't an option, and I'll have to do things the old fashioned way.

Monday: 8 miles, 9:03 pace.
Tuesday: Here's where things got scary - the plan called for 11 miles with 6 at half marathon pace. Um, say what now? I warmed up with an easy mile (9:17) and then went for it. My actual half marathon PR was an 8:27 pace, but that was April 2011. McMillan said I should be shooting for 8:21. My splits were 8:31, 7:52, 7:37, 8:07, 7:53 and 8:04, so I'll call that a success. I finished up the last four miles at a nice easy pace. 
Wednesday: 5 cold miles at 9:09
Thursday: 6 miles at 9:23
Friday: a much needed rest day - my legs were really started to feel like lead on Thursday's run. 

Somehow I managed to forget that I'm signed up for a trail race tomorrow, and I never would have known if Matt hadn't pointed it out to be at work on Wednesday! It's a free race, there's no way I would have forgotten a race I paid for. 

There's a 50K option (~31 miles) and a 25K option (~15.5 miles) and I can't decide what to do. My longest run since JFK has been 14 miles, so 31 is a huge jump, but can I really have lost that much endurance in less than two months? On the other and, avoiding injury is obviously preferable. My schedule calls for 18 miles so I could do the 25K and add on a few. 

Please help me and vote: 50K or 25K?


  1. I'm with you on the no fancy pants nonsense at races. Let's talk real amenities. Like, um, indoor bathrooms. And not running on a highway next to semis before you get to run for your semi-coagulated chocolate "fondue."

    Those were some speedy miles on Tuesday. Sounds like SOMEBODY is going to have a nice marathon PR in March.

  2. You know my opinion. Don't let the bullies get to you!

    I can't say that I've ever taken a long enough shower to get bored...

  3. The marathon sounds like my kind of race! I can't even imagine running far yet though, especially this weekend on a trail. You seem to be killing it on your running so I'm sure you'd be able to do well in either. Is it multiple loops? I hate those so that would be my deciding factor but if those don't bother you, go for the 50K!

  4. I'm going to be the unfriendly voice of reason and point out that if the plan says to run the miles at HMP, you shouldn't try to beat the prescribed time or else you're negating the benefits of the training plan.


    My showers are barely long enough to rinse. Listening to music sounds so ritzy. You really are living the dream.

    I'd run the 50K option, but I like pain.

    1. I agree with Kara in the first paragraph...try to stay close to the goal pace, not beat it (or not by much). So, since I agree with sticking with the plan if going out of your way to "have" a plan is your thing, I would go with the 25K option. The plan called for 18...not 175% of 18. :-)

  5. I obviously have nothing helpful to say about the running, but I will say that the calendar looks great on your desk! Do your kids love it?

  6. I'd run the 50k because you CAN...and not many people can say the same!

  7. Personally, I'd be conservative and do the 25K. Two months is a pretty long time. But I'm always injured and thus super conservative. Also, I don't run nearly as fast as you, so that sounds like a much larger jump to me than it would be for you.

  8. 25K, definitely. You just said Lower Potomac is your target race.

    More of my 2 cents -- keep those easy runs easy! 9:45 or slower pace. And don't run too fast on the HM paced miles. Some of those splits are 30 seconds + faster than HM pace!

  9. Congrats on the Tuesday run! Don't listen to Kara too much - she's just trying to spread discontent because she doesn't get to sleep or run hardly anymore.

    I would choose 50K, especially if you can bail out & switch partway through. Even if not - you can always stop after 20 or something, and still have a great long run in.

    Pluswise, looking forward to seeing you in March!

  10. If you are doing am I! I know you are in MD so maybe. Anyhow, just go run and see how you feel. I missed the cutoff last year so I am going for the 25k to just beat my time. It gets very muddy in the second half.
    Whatever your race...have a great RUN!!


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