On June 16th, I will be running the San Francisco Marathon to raise funds for, and awareness to, the Adenoid Cystic Carcinomia Research Foundation (ACCRF) in memory of my father, Gene Carlson. Here I will be writing about my training leading up to the big day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Official Training Guide!

If the training plan I chose to use for the San Francisco Marathon arrived in the mail, this must be official, right?  Here it is!

I'm really excited about using Run Less, Run Faster for this marathon which was recommended to me by my good friend Cathie.  Cathie used the plan for a marathon last year and she is currently knee deep in it again for the Rock-N-Roll Marathon which she will run in DC this March.

I have to admit, I was (and to be honest, still kind of am!) a bit skeptical about this plan because its method is a complete 180 of how I trained for marathons in the past.  The basics: three "quality" runs per week - speed, tempo and long - and 2 aerobic cross training workouts.  Only running 2 days during the week then a long run on the weekend is going to take a lot of getting used to.  When training for previous marathons, I ran as often as I could and with the help of a friend, some of those runs were planned for speed drills and long runs.  The rest, admittedly, were what runners call 'junk miles'.  Just getting some miles in for no real purpose other than to up the weekly mileage.  Run Less, Run Faster believes that all runs should have a purpose thus the speed, tempo, and long run only. I am looking forward to seeing how this plan works for me mainly because the reason why I 'retired' after running the Boston Marathon in 2011 was because my body felt totally beat up.  So many training miles for 5 marathons run over a relatively short time of a little over two years took it's toll.  I've got a few nagging issues - my right hip screams at me more often than not, a cranky lower back, and I've got a wonky left foot that is not as loud as my hip but making itself heard non the less.  For those reasons, I think getting rid of the junk miles is going to be just perfect for me.

This is a 16-week plan so my official start date will be a long run on Sunday, Feb. 24th.  Right now, I'm doing what I call 'training to train'.  The first long run on week 16 is a 13-miler so going into this plan cold certainly wouldn't work!  I've joined Cathie for her run 2 workouts (tempo runs) for the pas 6ish weeks which has been a good primer.  I'm slowly trying to build up my long run too.   A couple of weeks ago I did 13 miles then last Sunday I did 14 and yesterday, I managed to knock out a 15-miler.  I'm feeling pretty proud of the 15-miler because since Jason is out of town, I had to wait until Sunday night after getting the kids dinner and settled.  I feel like if I can slog through 15 miles on the treadmill at night, I can mentally get through anything.  We'll see about that.

Ready to make my training cards!

As a side story, when I got the book, I (again!) took Cathie's advice and decided to make index cards for all 16 of the speed runs.  Mainly because they tend to be a bit involved - run a certain distance at a certain pace, have a rest interval for a set distance, run another distance at a certain speed pace, etc...  Trying to remember it all while in the middle of it on the treadmill just wouldn't work for me.  Anyway, I sat down with the book open to the pace charts and my laptop open to a site that gives treadmill speeds for miles per hour and my cards.  I kept losing my place going back and forth from computer to book to cards so I grabbed a bunch of bananas and a chip clip to keep the book open.  As I started to write another card, it suddenly hit me that this is something Dad used to do every single night when he ate dinner - he would have a good book to read but wanted to do so hands-free so he always used bananas and a chip clip.  Always!  Apparently he felt my frustration and nudged me to the kitchen for some much needed supplies! 

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