WARNING!!!! The following post is a bit of a pity party. You have been warned. Read at your own risk!
About two weeks ago I went out for my long run on Sunday which was to be a half marathon followed by a five mile run back to the start. By mile 10 of the half I was having really bad knee pain (from my IT band) so I didn’t run the 5 miles back to the start. The next weekend for my long run I set out to see how far I could go before I got knee pain and this time I did 7 miles before it started hurting and at 10.5 I had to stop running. This weekend it got worse. After only 3.5 miles I could no longer run.
I have received many nice words of encouragement in my social media circles and thank you all for that. But at this point I am pretty certain that I will be pulling the plug on the Boston Marathon this year. Yes, I could go and walk/run it just for the experience but that isn’t the experience I wanted. It will be quite a costly trip when you add in hotel, air fair, car rental, and food. I just don’t want to spend all that money to not have the race I know I am capable of when I am healthy.
I believe (as do those I am close to) that I will qualify again. Before my IT band started acting up I was running well. If I can get healthy I really do feel I can run that fast again. I am very lucky to have the support of my loved ones with this tough call. I am not pulling out because I won’t PR; I gave up on that goal a while ago. This isn’t the Boston I worked hard for. I will qualify again and I will run the race I am capable of running.
Now someone pass me some Kleenex so I don’t get tears and snot on my keyboard.
When I tackle a training plan for a race I usually find that I can’t attack 100% of the plan details. For instance, when I did the FIRST plan the first time (no pun intended) I really only watched my pace on the long runs. I found the paces for the other shorter distances just too hard. I guess that is why I do better at longer races versus shorter races. Now that this is the second or third time (I am losing count) that I will be using this plan, I am really going to make an effort to hit all the paces in all three workouts. I am basing my paces off a 24:00 5K (which I sort of ran back in October). Here is what I should be running…
400M – 1:46
600M – 2:42
800M – 3:36
1000M – 4:32
1200M – 5:30
1600M – 7:27
Short Tempo – 8:00
Mid Tempo – 8:15
Long Tempo – 8:30
Easy – 9:35
Half Marathon Pace – 8:33
Marathon Pace – 8:53 (I want a sub 4 hour marathon time)
I truly believe that I can train at these paces for all the interval and tempo runs. I am a little less confident for the long runs. It has been a really long time since I have run more than 12 miles so the first four weeks of the plan will be very telling. The weekly long runs start like this: 13, 15, 17, then 20. You end up doing five 20 mile runs over the course of the plan. You get right to it!
My wall of motivation in the kitchen
My 16 week plan for the Boston Marathon started this week. I am really looking forward to training for a marathon. Originally my goal was to PR in Boston and hopefully run 3:30. I just haven’t been running that fast lately and I don’t think I can get too much faster in the next 16 weeks. My goal for Boston is to have a controlled run and do it in 4:00. I think this is achievable so my goal marathon pace will be 9:00 min/ mile.
I am using the FIRST plan which is good for me because it is only three runs a week and allows for cross training. The general weekly plan is:
Monday : Swim
Tuesday: Run (speed work)
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Bike (trainer ride)
Friday: Run (tempo)
Saturday: Bike (trainer) and Swim
Sunday: Run (long run)
I will need to find a way to get some longer bike rides in as well so I can start ramping up for Challenge Penticton training which will start shortly after Boston is done. I have very limited time for running so this will be interesting.
**And week one will be a little interesting because I am doing this on Saturday and Sunday!
I originally qualified for Boston in October of 2011 and my time to train for the Marathon is finally here (well, in two weeks)! When I started running in 2005 and completed my first marathon in 2007 I had aspirations of making it to Boston one day. As I ran more and more I couldn’t wrap my head around how I would ever run fast enough to qualify. I started with a 5:22 marathon and worked my way down to 4:21 by my 5th marathon. I had pretty much dismissed the hope. Then in the late summer of 2011 my speed was picking up as was my endurance. About 8-10 weeks out of the Portland Marathon I really started to believe I could do it. Amazingly everything fell into place on race day and I had a great race!
So now I am two weeks from starting my 16 week plan (I am using the FIRST method again) and I am getting excited. I really miss marathon training. It is hard and long but very satisfying! (#TWSS, couldn’t help myself) I am excited to concentrate my efforts on one thing instead of three like I had to with the Ironman. I just hope my body can keep up with my head during this training cycle. I really want to nail this plan. I have done it before. And I believe I can do it again. So I have two more weeks until it starts.
The picture above is kind of what my training weeks will look like but maybe 2-3 hours longer. I finally found a schedule I think I can handle so once I start it will just be a matter of not getting overwhelmed with the plan as a whole but, rather working on a week by week basis. I think I will do the video logs like I did for Ironman St. George for this cycle as well as the written weekly summary. That worked great for me to set small areas of focus each week and stay in the present.
Could these be the solution?
As my miles start to creep up as I train for a half marathon and eventually the Boston marathon my confidence is being shaken. I am having pain in a new place. And I don’t know what to do. A year ago I could run all I wanted and nothing hurt. I am not sure what is triggering this. But I have a list of possible suspects and the possible solutions.
- IT band again (don’t really think it is ), but the solution of stretching, foam rolling, and hip/glute strengthening exercises would help regardless.
- Shoe issue. I ran for YEARS in plain old stability shoes (Asics mostly) and NEVER had a problem. I have been trying to fix my heal striking and therefore have been running in more minimal shoes and right now I run in Newtons. Maybe I am just such a heavy striker that I can’t make the switch. The possible solution is different shoes and for this weekends run I am gonna bust out my moon boots (Hoka’s). They are not the sexiest looking shoes but I don’t really care anymore.
- Increase in track work may be tougher on me than I thought. I have recently started doing organized track workouts and I LOVE them! Running with a group really pushes me to run faster than when I do them on my own. The running on a track may be too repetitive. Solution, mix it up with trails. This is tough because of my schedule constraints but I just may have to make it happen.
Hopefully I can figure it out soon. I want so badly to have a strong Boston as well as a strong Challenge Penticton next summer. But all I really want is to run…