The theme of my Bellingham Bay Marathon training is “I’m Back!” I’m Back has so many meanings during this first week:
- I’m back at Refine, my favorite workout class in the world, after a 3+ month break thanks to a neck injury
- I’m back to speedwork, something I’d been scared to attempt after slowly returning to running following said neck injury
- I’m back to marathon training – finally! – after being forced to switch my original plans and instead run a marathon later in the year
It feels really, really good to have a plan and a focus. Coach Abby created a killer plan that is so totally different from what I received from my last coach, it’s almost hard to believe. There is a much wider variety of runs, every single run has a purpose, and runs dedicated to speed have a goal. As nice as it was to run by feel the last time, I am determined to run a faster, stronger marathon this time around and for me, that means tangible goals to work for.
I’m aiming to go to one Refine class a week while I get used to training and getting back into strength work. I took it very carefully last week – I went to Brynn’s class and will only go to her for the next few weeks. She founded Refine, and is so knowledgable and smart, so I trust her to stop me from doing an exercise I shouldn’t or if I’m doing one I should but seem off. She helped me feel very comfortable at my first class back, which I was terrified for, and knows my strengths and weaknesses well. I kept it easy and didn’t pick up a kettlebell at all, but still got an amazing workout.
Week 1: May 19 – May 25
- Monday – Refine
- Tuesday – 2 mi warm up, 6×200, 1 mile cool down (4.14 mi)
- Wednesday – Rest
- Thursday – 1 mi up, 20 min On/Off, 1 mi down (6.15 mi)
- Friday – Plyos
- Saturday – 8 mi
- Sunday – Easy hike with pup and husband (just under 4 miles)
Total (running) miles: 18.29
Summary of Week 1 running:
The first run: 6×200, was tough but good. The biggest takeaway from this run was learning the nuances of my new watch, the Garmin FR 220. During my first 200 my watch beeped and I stopped, thinking the interval was over. Really, it was beeping to tell me I was off pace and needed to speed up (I set it to give me these alerts). When an interval ends, the beep sounds different. Obviously I had to actually use this function to learn this, and now I know.
Another thing I know now – if I choose to set my desired pace range (and I might not for future runs for awhile), make the range REALLY big to avoid the watch constantly beeping and flashing my current pace. I need to focus on effort and not be distracted by my watch telling me every second that I am too slow. That was really annoying.
The second run: 20 min on/off also very tough, not helped by the fact that there was 94% humidity that day! Good practice for the summer though. I was happy with my on pace (8:36) especially considering the weather, though I was not happy with how brutally miserable I felt the entire time!
The third run: 8 miles. My first “long run” of training! I put that in quotes because in a few weeks, 8 miles will feel like a short run and I really look forward to that time. This run, however, felt long. Another humid day with some drizzles along the run, I focused on enjoying this one. After two challenging running workouts, my first Refine class back earlier that week and killer plyometrics the day before, I embraced this more relaxing run. The only goal was to get the miles in, and I ran a route that I love. I got to run past all my favorite cool-looking apartment buildings on the waterfront and into Liberty State Park. After two miles in the park I turned around and headed back the way I came. Since I kept it easy for the first 7 miles, I decided to pick it up for the last mile, running that one more than a minute faster than the miles before it. I ended the run feeling great about my first week of training!
And now I’m in the middle of my second week. I took advantage of the empty roads yesterday and drove to a track for my track workout – but that’s a story for next week’s recap, along with a little dietary change I’ll be making for the rest of training.
I’m so happy to have a challenging plan again. I spend so much time looking over my workouts for the next few weeks, thinking about how they might go, getting excited for different types of running workouts than I’ve done before. After my neck injury and being out of commission for so many months, I’m so excited to be training once again!
Do you miss having a training plan during the times you don’t?
Reminder: I am also running the NYC Marathon for the American Cancer Society’s Team DetermiNation in memory of my Aunt Dale, who died almost two years ago from kidney cancer. I will wear her name on my team shirt as I run 26.2 miles through the boroughs of my home city. I appreciate ANY donation to help me reach my goal – even $5. Thank you! http://main.acsevents.org/goto/dorigray