Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Pfitz training cycle is nearly complete!

If you count this last of five marathon recovery weeks, that is. Then, it's right back on that hamster wheel again!

Until then, I've got a few more free-wheeling days left. I'm going to do something I haven't done in a LONG time, and race a 5K tomorrow. Actually race myself to try to bring down my PR, set way back in March. Every other 5K since then except for one involved pacing either my nine or six year old at various local races. I don't often get to enter that exquisite world of hurt that is pushing yourself to your 5K limit.

Of course, living in the land of 360 days of sunshine a year, we've got rain, snow and overcast skies in the forecast. I'll ponder a bit how badly I'd like to have a chance to win a free running skirt in a drawing for submitting a turkey trot photo th, racing in a skirt, and then head off to join the other locals trying to offset all the eating that will take place later in the day. Whether I crash and burn or race well tomorrow, I've decided to go balls to the wall, and not the slightly restrained tune-up racing done in a Pfitzinger marathon training cycle. In the words of BQ gal Nat Nat, you have to run a 5K on the vomit ledge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The party's over.....

And it feels good!

There's only so much eating nonstop and indulging every food craving, including the infamous Sonic Tour of 2008 (sorry, Facebook friends), that a girl can do while doing a handful of recovery runs in the first two weeks following a marathon. I packed on somewhere in the area of 5-7 pounds in that short time, which I'm not freaking over. It's time, though, to get back to my regular programming, eat my normal stuff, and get back into regular runs.

I started today with my first GA run since the marathon, and it wound up being my best run since the marathon, feeling better than all of the dead legs recovery runs during the prior two weeks. When I got to the strideouts at the end of the run, I realized that it's the first run I've been able to enjoy from beginning to end since the race. It's a great feeling to be back! Even better is the fact that I can get outdoors for Saturday's nine-miler and off the treadmill, since my fabulous husband isn't going anywhere this weekend, and can get the kids up and ready while I'm out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting Over The Post-Marathon Slump Hump Day

I think I'm finally turning a corner and starting to feel like a normal runner again!

This is my third week on the Pfitz recovery schedule, and after two weeks of dead legs, they seem to becoming undead. One thing I really like about the Pfitz schedule is that it actually HAS a recovery training schedule.....not just the training plan, the high of the marathon, then nothing, like getting spit out onto the side of the New Jersey turnpike with no direction after like in Being John Malkovich. It's giving me something to do without confusion over whether I am doing too much, or not enough.

I counted out the weeks from the Eisenhower Marathon, and although I didn't plan it that way on purpose, the five week recovery schedule ends perfectly with exactly eighteen weeks after until the next marathon. I know it wouldn't have been hard to tweak a schedule and make minor modifications, but it is encouraging to know that this really was a good timeline I chose for the next big race.

For now, it's time to get ready for a local turkey trot, and prepare myself to get thumped by our local big dog girls. Just kidding. I don't ever go in preparing to get thumped, but we've got some great local competition on the women's side, and it seems I'm always looking at their backs. I like it, though-I feel like I'm doing okay when I am able to SEE them at all. It's been about four months since I last ran a 5K for myself that didn't involve pacing one of the older girls, so we'll see how I do. It should be nice and cold, so this means it'll be a "no excuses" day so long as it's not raining or snowing hard.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Attempt #2 To Slay The Dragon

I think I've settled on a spring marathon, and looks like the scheduling will work out!

It'll be the Eisenhower Marathon, in Abilene Kansas. This race will be the antithesis of every megamarathon, will barely 160 runners last year. Runner feedback on overwhelmingly says the organization and course support from the volunteers is second-to-none, though, and the small field means I would be able to just focus on my race without having to play dodge 'em, like at MCM. Granted, dodge 'em isn't THAT bad, but one less thing to concentrate on when I will be trying again to squeak through sub-3:46, and won't have a huge cushion against that time if things are going well. If I can arrive healthy and uninjured at the start, and repeat the things I did right at MCM with nutrition and hydration, then I think this race could be my big day that punches my ticket to Boston 2010.

Training will start the week of December 7th. This should be good timing-I'm recovering slowly, but am losing the dead legs day by day. I think I'll be chomping at the bit and energized to get going again then. Even though I'm impatient to try again for the BQ, I think it was a great call to just take a pass on Rock and Roll Arizona. Besides being tapped out financially after the trip back east, I don't think I could physically recover fully, get trained back up, fully tapered and ready for a 100% effort in ten weeks. Some people can do that and rock it....I think I'd just be inviting injury and burnout since I know I'm kind of slow to recover, and need my rest days...I'll never be a "streaker" with daily runs for years.

I think Pfitz worked well for me the first time around, so after a little bit of thought and Q and A with other runners, I've decided that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'll follow Pfitz 18/55 again with a few minor tweaks. I've heard some poo-pooing on this plan lately and suggestions that it is the cookie-cutter plan du jour, but I don't know that any other plan would've had me within seconds of a BQ right to the end. It was the right intensity and mileage for me, so I don't worry about what the big dogs have to say about it, though I did consider their opinions and thought about other options before deciding to stick with what works. Others can do it without injury, but I don't think my body would react favorably to entering that 70+ mpw zone. Pfitz gives me good bang for my buck, so we'll give it another go.

This'll be a notable trip to my April marathon for another'll be the first child-free trip for my husband and I since having kids! It's kind of funny that we'd hoped the trip would be to Boston, but it's all good because it's cheaper and closer. My dad will come out to visit with the grandkids and keep an eye on them, and we'll drive on out the Thursday before, returning west on Sunday.

I even found this kickass little bed and breakfast that boasts the unofficial title of "Inn of Champions." They've had several marathon overall and age group winners and placers stay there since the marathon started a few years ago, so I can't help but think that's a good sign.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to the Daily Grind

It's so weird to not have a marathon training run scheduled this week! Kind of nice, actually, that I do have a pretty relaxing recovery schedule over the next week or so. Nothing hurts, nothing is excruciatingly sore, but I can feel that the marathon was a whole different beast. The legs are just very, very tired, and heavy feeling. I paced my oldest at the GOTR 5K Saturday, and it was surprisingly hard work to get through on her race pace. Granted, it was not a recovery pace, and kind of more in the range of my general aerobic pace-but still MUCH more difficult than a 3.1 mile run at that pace normally would feel.

Off to adult jazz tonight. We'll see if that loosens me up a little bit. Then we'll try a 5 mile recovery run tomorrow.