Hey friends! As I jam out a quick little running update, I see an email sitting half-read that reminds me the OKC Memorial is only 100 days away. Well, less than that now, because that email has probably been languishing since before the weekend. Less than 100 days to prepare for the most fun 26.2 miles of the year!
Truly, you guys, I am excited. Three years ago I was excited to run my first half marathon with my little brother and our nephew (our nephew ran the full). Two years ago I was over the moon to accomplish my first full. And last year, of course, the Crying Games. This year? My goal is to finish really strong and possibly even under four hours. That’s what I’m busy working on, at least.
In order to work safely toward my sub-four goal, I have been following the Hal Higdon Advanced One Marathon Training Plan. Not at all because I regard myself as an “advanced” runner; just because I am more than comfortable with the long distances and feel ready to incorporate structured speed workouts. Last year I just sort of blindly cried out to the Universe, “I’d love to be faster!” then crossed my fingers and went on a stupid diet and hoped for the best. Things didn’t go so great, so this year let’s hope that an actual plan and more measured approach will yield some results.
So far so good. I just completed week four of the plan, and here are the boring details:
Monday: 3 miles outside in the back field, at an easy pace, followed by weights and staying active all day around the W.
Tuesday: 6 miles at an easy pace, again outside at the farm, again followed by staying active. (Easy pace this week started around 10:20.)
Wednesday: 3 miles of sprint/walk intervals on my treadmill, then 30 minutes on the elliptical to cool down. Thought I was going to die. My ribs felt like they had ignited into little black and red flames. Sprinting at a 6:30-7 min pace is HAAAAARD.
Thursday: Busy day! Between chores, housework, and my first day teaching a gardening class, I grabbed 2 quick miles outside at a pace I refer to as “Stress Relief.” It was twenty minutes of bliss.
Friday: Long run! This was something I looked forward to all week, much more fun than shorter speed sessions, haha. I ran 12 miles at my favorite little loop in Harrah at an average pace of 9:12. This was surprising because it felt much easier than that, you know? Like, luxuriously slow? I had a lot of energy left but needed to get home, or I might have kept running. I was happy to realize that after just a few days of speed work and rest my legs and lungs were better conditioned. Zero soreness the next day. Awesome.
Saturday: Ran 6 miles outside at the farm, again at that accidental 9 minute pace!! I wasn’t even trying for this; it was just natural and happy. So, yeah, that felt cool.
Sunday: Rest day. Handsome and I actually took a little road trip then later went to a Thunder basketball game in OKC, so my legs barely moved at all on Sunday.
Having more or less skipped over the first two weeks of the plan in favor of Handsome’s stay-cation and the remnants of holiday cheer, really what I just shared was my second week of consistent running, not my fourth. 32 miles total, and I feel better than ever. My pace is back up to where it was before the autumn recess. My jeans fit better. My tummy is flattened out. I feel generally good. Just overall energetic and strong. Bonus points: I am sleeping like a baby for 7-9 hours per night. That is unheard of! And I am doing this with no sleep aids of any kind. Maybe a big mug of chamomile tea here and there, that’s it.
Thanks for checking in and enduring another running conversation! I feel happy to be on a good path and will soon have lots of health and wellness things to share that are more than just miles. Stuff like book reviews, recipes, interviews, and online resources. Hope to see you again for some of that.
Are you signed up for any of the Memorial events? What training program have you chosen?
Run While You Can