Sunday, January 29, 2012

Long Runs Getting Longer

Yesterday I met 11 other girls from North Texas Runners at Arbor Hills for a run. The actual trail trails were closed because of our recent rain, so we stuck to the pavement. We ran 2 mile HILLY loops, so it was double duty hillwork and long run. My plan called for 7.5 miles, but I knew I'd probably go a little long because of the loops- and my stellar math abilities told me that 2x4=8. :) We ran the first loop together, then in the second loop I caught up to Fiona who was leading the pack. I'd forgotten how well we run together- she was my 5am running buddy through the summer. We took walk breaks every mile, and a little more in our last mile since I'd technically met my quota, but my average pace was still just over 11. That's faster than my other long runs, especially figuring in the hills... but it didn't feel like it. We finished with 8.5 miles. Next week calls for 9, so not much of a bump unless I go long again.

I got some input from another runner who I respect very much and am taking to heart. She pointed out that it's quite ambitious for me to try for a sub-2 half PR one weekend, run TIR the next weekend, my 20 mile longest run the next, then taper for a marathon. I certainly don't want to get injured again! I think I'll know how my body is holding up by my 17 mile long run 2 weeks before Rock n Roll Dallas and I'll make the decision about sub-2 way closer to that date. It's sort of like the marathon. It's flagged on my calendar but I realize my health will dictate what I can do.

I was the last person on Earth to be tagged for the random 11 things going around running blogs. Thanks, Pam. I am planning to get to this in the next day or two.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Been a Long Time Since I Came Around

What motivates me to come here and write is when I am doing something I love- training. Training requires a race and a goal. Sometimes the race is the goal, sometimes they're separate. I committed to running the Texas Independence Relay a little while back, during a night out with my girl frunners. It's a 203 mile relay from Bastrop to the San Jacinto monument. I don't know which legs I'll run, yet, but according to the site teams of 12 end up running about 17 total miles each. I'm really excited about that weekend so I've been leery of signing up for any other races that might cause me to get injured again.

Over the past week or two I've decided to go ahead and run the Rock n Roll Dallas half marathon again. It was my first, last year, and still stands as my PR (hopefully just due to hot weather and injury standing in the way of better times at the other races). It's the weekend before TIR. It seems like almost every runner I know is going to be running RnR and I know I'd be sad to not race that day. I'm going for my sub-2 goal that day, assuming the weather is right and my body is healthy. I've been reading Jeff Galloway's book and I came across the training plan to go sub-2 using his run/walk/run method. I think my increase in mileage and speed at the same time are what caused my stress fracture, so as of right now I'm thinking of following his distance recommendations (longest long run is 17 miles) but not doing the speedwork. That will also shorten the number of weeks in the plan to exactly what I have left between now and the race. I'm hopeful that run/walk/run will keep me off the injured list and allow me to run the faster pace that I'll need comfortably because I'll have the walk breaks. We'll see- since I'm not following the plan in it's entirety I know I may not be ready to go sub-2. Part of me just holds onto my sub-par training for last year's Dallas RnR and the fact that my time was only 9 minutes over 2 hours.

But then I started thinking (at about 3am today)... I'd run 17 miles before the half. Many novice marathon training plans take you to 20 miles for the longest run. It seems like a shame to take myself to 17 and not go get my marathon. The Oklahoma City Marathon is April 29th. It's within driving distance, a little farther north so maybe a little cooler than Dallas at that time... although who knows, the end of April could be hot or cold here or there. But timing seems like it could work.
  • Run 17
  • Taper next weekend
  • Race the half
  • Run TIR
  • Run 20
  • Taper for 2 weeks
  • Run my first marathon (NO time goals. Promise.)
The marathon is super tentative. I'm hoping sell out is not a concern and I can make the decision to register a month or less before the race.