We are officially in week 2 of training! 14.5 weeks to go until we again take to the starting line of the San Fran Marathon!! I can't believe time has gone by so quickly! I remember so vividly the details of that day, the pain, fatigue, and of course, the picture that summed it all up.......
San Fran - trying to keep my eyes open
San Fran - trying to keep my eyes open
Well, let's not repeat that face this year! While I feel like we were well prepared and well trained and had put in the miles needed to complete and possibly PR, even before the leg cramp at 4 am, I know I did not feel as strong going into San Fran as I did the Long Beach or Napa Marathons. In fact, Long Beach was by far our strongest and most well run marathon. We did indeed Run the whole distance, even running through aid stations, and stayed on our planned pace the entire run. I was at a comfortable race weight, meaning..and this is just my personal measure of "comfortable"...I can run long distances and not feel pain in my hips, lower back, collar bones (where sports bra hits), ect. I think most of us have that 5-10 lb fluctuation, especially this time of year coming out of winter. Long Beach is in October...after doing long runs all summer in 80-90 degree weather, I went into it at my lowest and most comfortable running weight. Long Beach MarathonWhile I was lean, I definitely had more muscle mass in my quads, hamstrings, and calves. How??....and what is the point of this rambling???
The goal this time around in training for San Fran is to replicate our training pattern used for Long Beach. San Fran was more mileage oriented. We put in just over 400 training miles for San Fran. More than enough to get the job done. Most of those miles, however, were done on the Iron Horse and Ygnacio Valley Loop trails....flat. Long Beach training was done entirely at the Lafayette Reservoir, excluding long runs. We logged 372 training miles for Long Beach. With most of those miles being "Reservoir"miles, it was more than enough to get the job done, and feel strong while doing it. If you are not from around here, or not familiar with the Lafayette Res, well, it is anything but flat. Here is the elevation profile. There are 2 short, flat sections that I can think of, but other than that, you are going up, or down. It is an amazing leg workout!! Especially considering I was pushing a double jogger full of Emma. Here is a peek at our Long Beach training log....All the 5 and 8 milers you see are Res miles. We kept our long runs on the Iron Horse and flat. Consistency, dedication, focus, keeping our nutrition on point....we were on top of our game for Long Beach. Let's face it, it was our first marathon, and we were a bit terrified. We were determined to do everything possible to ensure we could complete this thing that was a "marathon". We feared it, respected it, and because we weren't really sure of what "it" was, we wanted to give ourselves every possible advantage. We were going to run every mile of our training miles, never missed a single run, payed attention to everything that went into our mouths, ratios of fat/protein/carbs, set out our water bottles in the morning and made sure they were all drank before we went to bed, never, really...never missed a strength training workout-4 a week......you name it, we did it. And it payed off.
Since then I think we are WAY more relaxed about the distance. We've done it. We know what it feels like. We know our bodies know how to respond and what to do and how bad it will hurt. I think going into Fresno's Two Cities Marathon, we had a 'Been there, done that" attitude. Granted, we also knew we were pushing the limit of what we should have attempted our first year of real running. I would not recommend doing 4 fulls a year for new runners, or full complete training cycles a year the way we train. I think my burnt out attitude showed going into the Surf City Half.Surf City Half MarathonI was content with the lack of training we had done. I had no desire to attempt a PR. I walked when I wanted, stopped and chatted, took pictures....if you know me at all you probably knew something was up. The truth of the matter is that I don't really enjoy running a race if I don't feel strong. If I go into a race knowing I am not at the top of my game, it bugs me. I am not just physically weaker, it takes a huge mental toll. I think that showed through with each marathon last year. The more run down and beat up my body got as the year progressed, the less I enjoyed it, and the harder it was to stay mentally focused.
I miss going into a race and knowing I am the strongest I have been. Knowing I chose the hardest route possible for training runs. Knowing I was on top of my nutrition from day one of training. Knowing I have done the time in my workouts, and chose the heavy weights because it hurts more and I liked it. I miss standing at the start and knowing I am in the best shape possible. Period.
So, here we are. Starting a full 16 weeks out from game day. The first 4 weeks are more about establishing our "routine" and less about following the miles they have on the schedule. Our run pattern is short/medium/short/long, with mid week runs at 5 and 8 milers. Long run will be 10 this weekend. We are far enough out that we will hold for 2 weeks at each long run, so we will do 10's for two weeks, then 12's for 2 weeks, ect. We will be at the reservoir as much as possible for our 5 and 8's. That is 2 and 3 laps around. It is more difficult now that Em is too big for the jogger because it means she runs a lap w/us, and then Brian and I will have to alternate following laps, one stay at the park w/kids and one run, then switch....but it is doable.
I am so looking forward to attacking this training cycle. I am not content to go into San Fran with a "just want to finish" outlook. I want to finish strong, run strong, start strong....I don't want any race photos where I look like I am on deaths door. I may not be able to control whether or not I get a random leg cramp during the night before, but I can control every run and workout and thing that I eat between now and then. It's totally up to me to get it done and do all I can to be standing at that starting line feeling 100% confident. It may sound like an "All or Nothing" outlook, and it is. I have always known that is how I function, all or nothing. That is how I got to 276 lbs...doing nothing. And...that is how I lost 120 lbs...giving it my all. I have always been all or nothing, and have found over the past 2 years that when it comes to running and training, it has to be "all" or I am not content. So here's to diving into the next 14.5 weeks, 100% "All"!!