This past weekend I went to cheer on my dad (and a bunch of other people I know/don’t know) at the Duke City Marathon. I came bearing big race signs and I wore my Chicago marathon shirt so people wouldn’t think I was a non-runner just because I wasn’t racing! (just kidding…sort of…).
My dad had a great first half and finished in 2:06:something! AND he wasn’t even sore the next day! Pretty sure an addiction was created.
I rarely spectate at races (I know I should probably be volunteering more), so it was interesting to experience it from the other side. For one, cheering is kind of awkward. I have the same two phrases, and I was stressing the whole time that I was saying the wrong things and causing runners to lose motivation in the home stretch.
I was also pretty stir crazy, standing there with my race signs watching all of the runners coming into the finish line area. I wanted to be racing!
But two weeks after Chicago, I’m still not able to run. I have nagging issues in my calf/shin area. As far as I can tell, it is just muscle tightness, but it is pretty annoying. I’m doing all the usual rehabbing efforts, but I have to keep in mind that supposebly it will take 26.2 days for me to be all better.
Luckily, I don’t have anything to train for until the second week of November, so I’m able to not run without affecting any future race times.
I’m trying to really enjoy this time off, but boy am I really taking it off. My workouts have included walking the dog, “weight lifting” (and by weight lifting I mean squats and curls), a single elliptical workout and my 1st swim lesson (attempting to put my head underwater without plugging my nose with my fingers…I think progress was made!).
I’m amazed at how sluggish I’ve become just from not working out regularly. I always feel tired and I can feel my body slowly getting more lard-esqe. Luckily I think I’m over the post marathon blues because of the excitement over the upcoming holiday season (OMGSOEXCITED), otherwise the combination of not working out and depression might have driven me to eat lots and lots of ice cream and potato chips.
On the plus side, all this lack of activity has given me the chance to reflect on what I’m going to do now that Chicago is over and establish what my goals are for my upcoming races.
First, in mid-November I will start half marathon training for Rock n’ Roll Arizona (January). I’ve decided I want to train into running a fast half (1:35 or 7:15 average pace). 9 of my marathon miles were sub-8, so I feel like this is a reasonable goal to reach for. It will require a lot of speed work (more 400’s instead of 800’s! Hooray!), but it is nice to have a base established.
I will start training for Boston the week following Rock n’ Roll. I want to have a completely separate training plan for each of these races. Instead of the 16 week training cycle, I’m going with a 12 week cycle. After a training into a fast half, I should have the speed, so I’ll just have to work on re-building the endurance and focusing on becoming a strong downhill/uphill runner. Unlike Chicago, Boston is not flat. That little tiny hill felt epic at the 26 mile marker at Chicago. I’m dreading the Newton Hills.
I’m not quite ready to call my Boston time goal. I obviously want to put in my best effort and train hard. EVERYONE is fast at Boston so I’d at least like to not feel like the one slow person in the bunch. But now that I’ve qualified, I don’t know if I want the same pressure to hit a certain goal. I kind of want to see how Arizona goes before I start thinking about whether I’m ready to prepare for a sub 3:30.
I do also want to learn to swim by the end of the year, per my bucket list. Saturday showed that I really have a looooong way to go. But with coach Aaron leading the way (did I mention he’s also an accomplished swimmer?) and a new-found confidence that I can do anything I put my mind to, I think it can be done. I’ll consider myself sufficiently schooled in swimming if I can make it across the pool and back using proper free-style stroke, and employing a solid breathing strategy that doesn’t include keeping my head above water at all costs.
I also want to get back some of that muscle definition that I’ve lost ever since I started running half marathons last year. It was near impossible to do any quality weight lifting while training for a marathon because my muscles always felt fatigued, but now that we’re back in half marathon land for awhile, I want to focus on a supplementary workout program.
I’m also excited (surprised but excited) to see most of my marathon buddies signing up for a second round! We must all be nuts. But it will be awesome to follow everyone’s training again come spring!
What’s your winter/spring race schedule? (or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere…your summer/fall schedule!).
I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!