So two Saturdays ago I ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon. I asked a fellow runner there — who had run like 136 marathons or something absurd — what he recommended for the spring. His first suggestion was the Asheville Marathon. I haven’t run a marathon in North Carolina, so that sounded good to me. Last Monday I registered and mapped out my training plan. This first week was a recovery week, of course, with lots of rest and extra protein in my smoothies (I used the usual Vega All in One plus Wild Foods whey protein). But I didn’t want to completely let myself go and become one with the couch because there’s another race around the corner. I’ll spend these first few weeks getting back to fighting weight, strength training, and doing shorter long runs. Here’s a recap of this past week.
OK, now that I’ve wrapped up the Mississippi Blues Marathon (recap here), I’ve decided to get serious about picking some spring races. As I mentioned in my Mississippi recap, I ran a good portion of that race with a very friendly and seasoned 3:50 pacer. I asked him his suggestions for spring marathons and…
This past week was obviously Christmas week. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! I had approximately (no, exactly) five Christmases: one with my immediate family, one with each side of my extended family, and one with each side of my husband’s family. Although it was lovely to see everyone, it took a TON of energy out of me. I also had no fewer than three meals prominently featuring macaroni and cheese.
I had anticipated being busy and tired around the actual holiday, so I got in some workouts earlier in the week before heading out of town. I also did pretty well on Christmas Eve at my parent’s place, with some walking (while listening to Serial), horseback riding, and hitting balls at the driving range. I unfortunately did not make it to yoga with the fam as I had planned (aka, I unfortunately could not drag my family to BOTH the horse farm and the yoga studio, so I had to choose one).
Here’s the full summary…
I’ve finally cancelled my gym membership. There are just too many free running paths and too many (expensive but really, really) good boutique studios.
Even though access to the gym was unlimited, I found that when I made it there (rarely), I didn’t get as much out of it as Orangetheory or a reformer pilates class. I just sort of wandered around for 25 minutes, lifted a few weights while trying not to get in people’s way, and struggled to find something good on the TVs while stair-stepping and wishing I was outside. The yoga instructors were good, but it was hard to fit the classes in with my work schedule and even harder to motivate myself to get up early for a class I hadn’t specifically paid for. (There is always that calculus in the dark hours of the morning, when my bed is so so warm – losing the $30 I paid for my pilates class and sleeping for another hour, or sucking it up? Money is a pretty good motivator.) The barre classes at the gym were too crowded and were generally not as good as barre at Xtend Barre and Barre3. The spin instructors couldn’t keep a beat. I don’t like setting my own weights or counting my reps, so I only really like lifting with a trainer or my husband:
Now that I’ve freed up my conscience and an extra $100 each month, here are some of the great things I’m looking forward to…
I turned 30 this week! And that’s about all I accomplished. It was a busy week at work, plus there was RAIN! And coldness! And family obligations! I could make a million excuses, but whatever. Back at it next week.
Here’s the summary…
As I mentioned last week, I was ready to start No Sugar November on Sunday. I stocked up on No-Sugar-November compliant snacks such as apples, bananas, Babybel cheeses, avocados, and some olives. But physically, I was hurting from dropping my computer on my toe on Saturday night. (I swear I am not a complete baby. I’ve run through lots of pains. But this toe thing was something else! Even putting on a shoe was tough.) Luckily the pain subsided after a few days.
Short Recap: This week was not what I would call “spectacular” from a fitness and nutrition perspective but I am not really in the mood to beat myself up about it.
- NSN Day 2: Halloween candy at every turn in the office. But I resisted! Leftover frittata for lunch and devoured a Shophouse rice bowl for dinner. Feeling mostly in control.
I’ll start by saying that there are millions of philosophies about race training. Here I’ll share what has worked for me, and what I am planning to do for the Mississippi Blues Marathon, but this is not the only way (or even the best way) to train for a marathon. I’d love to hear thoughts about what has worked well for other people.
In short, I like to make a rough sketch of a training plan for each marathon so that I don’t get completely off-track, and so that I can anticipate holidays, travel, and work events and prepare accordingly. Usually I just jot it down on a calendar or in a Googledoc (or now, in a blog post). The most important runs for marathon prep are the long runs, so I make sure to note what my goal long run is for each week, and then I have the option to do that run any day during the week (but usually Saturdays or Sundays). I don’t generally write the week’s non-running activities (Orangetheory, pilates (upcoming post!), barre, yoga (also upcoming post!), swimming, etc.), or my run commute, in my training plan, and while I do sometimes put in shorter runs, all of those are subject to change. Each week is different, and I vary based on my own schedule and how I’m feeling. Missing a few runs isn’t going to totally kill your training. Really. I take at least one, but usually two, rest days each week. Continue reading