Friday, November 14, 2014

A gigantic Summer recap.

I've mentioned my summer and fall training a few times over the past several months but haven't gone into much detail.
(To be honest, right now at this very moment I'm reviewing my training journal for the first time since sometime in July..... I jot down mileage and stuff for future reference- like for blog updates apparently!)

Post Pineland, in late May I had to S-T-O-P. I knew I needed a few weeks of no serious running, I knew that I was not going to have much time anyway and I decided to just roll with it during the month of June and see what happened. I also was transitioning to being coachless for the first time in over a year. Many changes....
I tried the easy life of calm walks, but after coming across this decided that straight up rest was key. 

Jeeeeeezes. I was just trying to have a nice nature walk. Officially done with THAT!!
I want to be clear- my unique training schedule came by choice. I chose to prioritize my equestrian life and business and SANITY over high mileage. I absolutely own that- I'm not crying "oh poor poor wittle me with no time to train...!" No way- I made choices.

I made choices like this. Solid.
So: During the month of June I eeeeeeked out a whopping 47 miles. A good restful month.

When July rolled around I was up to my eyeballs in work. My weekends were packed with shows and camp crap and horse stuff and chaos!

All the horse shows!!!

 Around this time I came up with what was going to be my new "training plan" and I have stuck with it. It looks like this:

AM: UGH! I have no time to run. Zero miles it is.
PM: Ok, this looks promising. A small window of opportunity opened up!
-If I had an hour, I'd run for an hour. If I had 30 minutes I'd run fast, if I saw some hills I'd call it hill repeats, if it started to thunderstorm I'd run like the fucking wind and call it tempo, if it was hot and I felt tired I'd run slow and not care, if suddenly I had an extra 20 minutes I'd sneak in a couple extra miles and call it a long run. And that was that....

In July I had something close to 70 miles. 
And any form of cross training, other than sleeping, had been kicked to the curb. 

When August arrived, with fall marathon season knocking at the door I started to cram in some weekend long runs.
Oh, and in August there was that time where Eric and I got married. Pshhh, NBD obvs....

N. B. D.
 Anyways... My mission for my long runs was to cover territory that I had never seen before and this was hugely amusing. I ran on some crazy ass roads, climbed huge hills, got lost, had adventures and loved every minute of it! Usually, I'd just head out the door and follow my nose- hitting up logging roads, back roads in the willy wacks, mountains and the occasional un-passable piece of property. As crazy as this was- THIS IS THE WAY TO RUN!! Get out there and see some shit, laugh at your foolish adventures and have a hell of a good time.

Well. This is what I call a "good time". How about you?

In early August I decided that running Chicago was not a good idea financially, and while that was a bummer I signed up for MDI (my favorite race) which really eased the disappointment 
I covered about 135 miles in August.
I did not even one DROP of cross training. 
I also did a 1 mile race and a 5 mile race that made me feel very fast. Oooooffff!

September rolled around and I knew I was going to make a choice, mid month, to take about 10 days off. (yes, I hear marathoners everywhere literally cringing right now....) I had some late season horse showing to attend to and business was booming. Who wants to stress about squeezing in miles when you have a bunch of other cool stuff to do? Not me. So I took those days off and it was just A-OK.

This trumps excessive mileage!
During September I also cracked out a 1:43 Half, making me feel like I was reasonably well on track for MDI.
My long runs were feeling good and strong too. I shoot for at least 1 full minute over marathon pace, if not slightly more for my long runs and they were right on target despite the huge hills. I also never stop my watch while running- so all of my long run paces included water stops, potty breaks and the usual stuff that we all deal with. The clock doesn't stop on race day, so I never stop it while training!
(I also got into Boston 2015- yay!)
September logged in at 94 miles. 

Once October arrived I was all about taking care of business.
If business means running maybe 4 times a week that is.
(I think 4x a week is my magic number though for real. days off are critical.)
I had one almost fail final long run 2 weeks prior to MDI. Around mile 4 of what was supposed to be 17 I felt like complete crap so I stopped. Then went out the next evening and killed it. (I'm not a hero, I just am not going to push 17 miles when I feel like crap... sorry.)
I had a crummy MDI, we all know how that went. I'm still crying over not getting my lobster claw medal!
Girls with faces THIS angry don't deserve sweet medals!!!
Then I went on to have a perfectly fine completely unplanned LOCO race. What I'm most pleased about is my fabulous recovery from that. nothing like a low mileage training plan and a race where a PR was not an objective to get a girl back on her feet! Maybe running a fast 19 the week before every marathon is the key to my future amazing success...??
I managed 140ish miles in October

So what on earth is the takeaway message here?
For me, at this moment in time running really needs to be something that I like to do. I run for my own personal enjoyment and while part of that is meeting my competitive goals another part is enjoying my training!
I have motivation to run most of the time but I'm really flexible, if it's just not the day for it that is perfectly fine. I am continuing with my relaxed training plan. I want to clarify that just because the plan is relaxed my running is not! I take nice easy days, of course, but I always think of something challenging to do. I like the spontaneity of hitting the road not really knowing what the run will bring and deciding as I go. I know that there is a lot of work involved in getting marathon ready and I absolutely put it in- just on a lower mileage scale than some.
(I will not ever, ever be a 70-80 mile a week runner. There is not enough time in my day or dollars in my bank account for PT. I am not an elite athlete... Seriously.)
I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed running as much in years as I have enjoyed the past few months. I look forward to it, there is no part of it that I dread and my paces and endurance are holding up and getting stronger (and I'm 100% injury free!)
After my race a few weeks ago I feel ok about being creative about my Boston training too. With winter right around the corner flexibility becomes even more critical, and that is something that I have become pretty good at over the past 6 months.



  1. Ok I didn't really have anything to comment here but I cannot let this crappy ass spammer ^^^^^ be the only comment on your blog! Jeesh. You are a crazy girl, mastering the art of sneaking in a race and rocking it! I hope to see you at a race/run sometime soon! It's been too long.

    1. Hah! I know that my blog has officially fallen off the face of the earth when all I get are spam comments! Thank you for making me feel more legit :-)