Monday, September 30, 2013

Updates and A Change of Plans

A few updates since I've royally sucked at posting because of my crazy schedule - my apologies to the family!

Dallas Marathon Training: One of the biggest things I've learned as a runner is that things don't always go as planned.  As I approach week 9 of Hanson's Marathon Method I've done a lot of thinking and reviewing of the upcoming weeks.  Lets go back and review the recent months shall we....

June 16, 2013 I ran the San Francisco marathon which means I spent the first half of the year in marathon training.  After San Fran, I took one week off to let the initial aches and pains subside and then I gradually started getting back into running.  3 weeks post full marathon I raced a 10K, and then a week after that I ran a 15K.  In retrospect, I can now admit that I did not allow myself enough time to properly recover.  DOMS settled in and that is around the time I started gearing up for the Hanson's plan.  I have loved the new approach that this method has taught me.  I'm actually loving the running 5-6 days per week!  I've seen huge progress in building my base mileage.  However, I implemented this plan at the wrong time.  I wasn't 100% when I started it and my body started shouting that at me around week 6-7 of training.  I've been working my way through a series of aches and trying not to let them reach the point of no return.  At the beginning of last week (Week 8 of training)  I completed a 6 mile run, and while the run wasn't bad, the overall feeling of tenderness in my lower legs led me to take an entire week off.  Sometimes you just have to know when to say "uncle" and give in to some rest days.  I refer to it as "growing up" as a runner.  Although the "rest" days did include going to the fair, landscaping projects, and a stomach bug (that I'm pretty sure brought me inches away from death) there was at least no running involved. 

So that brings me to today which is my one-week off point.  My legs are feeling rested.  My feet don't hurt when I get out of bed in the mornings, and while my right plantar still isn't 100% it is a heck of a lot better then where it was!  So what now?  The Showdown Half Marathon is coming up on October 12th and while I don't plan on going after a PR in this race, I do hope to have a good showing but more importantly to be pain free!  Last year at this race I was wearing double knee braces and in a lot of pain.  My finish time was 2:27, a reflection of that pain.  So this year I choose to celebrate being pain free and knee brace free!  Thank you to Chirosport of Dallas for putting me back together, getting me out of knee braces and orthotics, and back on my feet.....and overall putting up with me.    

I was going to wait until after The Showdown to make the call but I'm following my gut instinct and pulling out of the full marathon on December 8th.  It's not the right time with everything else I have on my plate.  My heart just isn't in this one.  Part of me thinks I'm mentally bored already with the thought of running 26.2 miles in Dallas.   I mean, my first marathons were in New York and San Francisco....I've set a pretty high bar for scenery!  Another reason I am backing out leads me to my next update....

30th Birthday Plans:  While my birthday isn't until February, Brandon is already making plans for my gift - Operation See The World on Foot continues with a trip to the Bahamas and running the Bahamas Half Marathon!  To say I'm excited would be a huge HUGE understatement!  I don't want to risk injuring myself with a full marathon and not being able to run this half....it's the Bahamas for crying out loud.  Run a half marathon and then recover on a beach with a frozen beverage(s) that has an umbrella in it?   Yes, please.

Fall Racing Schedule:  Now that I'm not racing another full just yet and don't have that pressure, I get to pick from a plethora of other fun races!  The fact that I am really excited about this confirms that I am making the right decision.  The Showdown is the only one that is confirmed, the rest are tentative on how I feel:
  • October 12 - The Showdown Half Marathon
  • October 26 - Allstate 13.1
  • November 3 - DRC Half Marathon (this was my first 1/2 four years ago, so I'd like to run it again!)
  • December 8 - Metro PCS Dallas Half Marathon
 There is a big group of folks training for the Metro PCS half, if you would like to join let me know!  We have a wide range of paces, so the more the merrier.

Girls On The Run Coaching:  Last but certainly not least, I am entering my third week of coaching with Girls On The Run and we are having a BLAST!    It's incredibly challenging to map out your lesson plans, making sure we cover everything, and of course making sure we're getting the distances in, all within our allotted time frame.  The girls are so sweet and are always up for a new challenge!  They ran their longest this last week covering 1.25 miles.  The biggest challenge is trying to convey the importance of pacing.  Everything is either sprinting, or walking, and they won't try the in-between.  We are working on it and have plenty of time to get it all figured out!  I leave you with words of wisdom spoken from a 5th grader last week when asked what they have learned about themselves so far in the program:

"If I just try new challenges, I might be surprised at what I'm capable of and can do way more than I thought I could."

I must be doing something right  :)