Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hanson's Method: Week 4

I knew that using a different approach to marathon training would be a challenge, but I guess I'm a little surprised with myself at how I've adjusted better than expected, but far from perfect.  As someone who has for their entire running career only run three (on the rare occasion four) days per week, this has been an adjustment to the say the least.  There have been some new aches and pains that have crept up, but each has passed with time as it adjusts.  The one lingering issue is shin splints.  The last time I had shin splints was years ago...forgot how much those suckers hurt!   

There have been a few struggles so far that I want to document in the hopes that in a few weeks I'll be able to look back and feel like I've been able to conquer those.

1) Sunday running - Sunday has always been a day of rest for our household.  So far 3 out of my 4 Sunday runs I have moved to Mondays.  The schedule kind of allows for it the first five weeks so that is all about to come to a screeching halt.  Not sure what it is but I just can't make myself even like the idea of getting up on a Sunday for a run.  I know they are great recovery, blah blah blah....I'll get over it eventually.  I know that I will start doing the Sunday runs on Sundays, but I'm also quite certain I'll never stop whining about it. 

2) Where do I fit cross-training and weights/core work into this routine?!  Again, another thing that totally falls into the "it's not you it's me" category.  I'm already running 5 days per week now, and that is soon about to be 6.  If I have to wake up at 4:30 every morning, I'll have to drink a Spark every hour on the hour....Spark Power Hour?!  Heyo!  My job is super understanding of my training schedule but I don't think they'd be so understanding of a two hour nap every day.  I need to find a job where I can get paid to be a mediocre marathon runner in training.  Anyone hiring?

3) The most daunting part of the Hanson's Method (in my opinion) is when you take a glance at the full schedule and realize that starting in week 6 you only have one "off" day.  From another perspective, it makes me feel incredibly lazy in regards to what I used to consider marathon training.  Don't get me wrong, nothing about any sort of marathon training is easy but I definitely did less than most.

Let me put #3 into perspective for you.... my peak week of marathon training for San Francisco consisted of 32 miles and that was during week 17 of 24.  With Hanson's, I will reach a 39 mile week by week 6 of 18.  Peak week for Hanson's is week 15 where I will reach a total weekly mileage of 57 miles.  That makes my head spin!  While I am a long ways off from that point, if/when I get there it will be a major milestone in my running career.  I never EVER would have thought I would be able to physically handle that many miles in a week.  Time will tell and we'll just have to see how the rest of this story unfolds!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I told you guys I needed a whistle...

For months and months now it has been weighing heavily on me the need to give back.  Not just financially, but with time.  Brandon and I enjoy giving back financially to a few charities throughout the year.  Often times it is for our four-legged friends or donating to friends who are running/racing/cycling in honor of various organizations, all of which are fantastic causes!  Lately though, I have wanted to give my time to something that I felt I really could make a difference with.  After a little research I found an organization called Girls on the Run - DFW and was completely in awe of the program they have started.  Ironically they just happened to have an opening for the coaching position at a recreation center located about ten minutes from our home, divine intervention?!  I contacted the local director and a few days later, voila, I am a coach!

Girls on the Run is a program for various age groups (I will be working with 3rd-5th grade girls) and we meet twice a week.  Each class works to build self esteem, through health education and of course running!  The program culminates by running a 5K, a REAL race!  I remember how exciting it was as an adult to run my first 5K, so I cannot wait to take this journey with the girls.  This past weekend I spent a day going through training and was surprised to learn just how much running these girls actually do.  I didn't get into running until well into my adult years, but I so wish there had been a program like this when I was younger.  Running has given back to me so much over the years and has played a huge role in my confident, determined, healthy, and persevering approach on life. 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a wee bit nervous, after all, as someone who doesn't have kids working with a large group of them is a bit of uncharted territory and requires me to step way outside of my comfort zone.  Good news is, my excitement for this adventure far out weighs the nerves!  I hope and pray that I can shed a bit of positive light into this group that is constantly surrounded by negativity and thoughts of what the media tells them they should be. 

Girls on the Run was recently featured on msnbc and did a great feature on what they are all about! (msnbc article)

The fall classes are open for registration and there are locations ALL over the DFW metroplex and across the US! - locations list

"The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." 
Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Officially an RRCA Certified Running Coach!

I've neglected my blog over the last few weeks because I've spent every last ounce of energy on work.  We knew that July was going to be a busy (and downright miserable) did not disappoint in the slightest.  The goal was to stay afloat, maintain our sanity, and not punch anyone.  Success.

However, in the midst of that madness I was able to attend my RRCA coaching courses this past weekend.  To be honest, it was way more intense than I ever expected.  The amount of knowledge they pour into you is crazy but I was loving every second of it.  Our instructor, Cari Setzler, was great at not only teaching the assigned curriculum but shared so many personal stories about her successes as a runner and as a coach.  Not to mention she's a dog loving veterinarian, bonus!  She was so knowledgeable on all of the new studies and information that are surfacing about running and in particularly about modern training technique.  Everyone has their own opinion of course, but it seems like the art of training is starting to change.  We discussed techniques from the infamous Galloway method to the modern day "renegade" training of the Hanson's Method.  Nutrition, physiology, fartleks, tempo, intervals, different pace types, running form, disordered eating  ....I could go on and on and on!

Last night I sat down to tackle the 100 question exam and to be really honest, it was harder than I expected!  I'm a visual learner so the test actual helped cement the information in my brain.  Proud to report that I passed with flying colors, a 95 to be exact.  Cari said they usually see an average of 91-92 on the tests...just sayin' :)  I passed, now what?  I plan to continue working with the people that I do now but with a ton of extra knowledge in my back pocket.  (I hope to add more to that list soon, more on that later.)  My husband wants to run his first full in Spring 2014 and wants me to coach him!  They say that if your marriage can survive wedding planning and buying a house, that you can survive anything.  I'm pretty sure having your wife as your running coach may soon top that list!  One of the biggest things I realized this weekend is that now I want my own coach!  Admittedly I am one of the most stubborn people on the planet, so having an outside opinion to guide me through the process would be so nice.  I've always flown solo at the full marathon distance.  I lay out my own training and I run all of those long lonely miles by myself.  Sometimes just having someone who has "been there" is such a great resource.  
I was a little sad the course only lasted two days because I could sit through that stuff for days on end.  I've always loved to learn and now I crave more.  Oh how I wish I could back to college!  The RRCA is hoping to offer a Level II course and continuing education classes in the near future...I will be all over that!

Now I need a whistle.