February 3, 2010

Wake Up, Legs!

So, I can finally chill for a moment and reflect on my own training. This week in Room 9A, we are reading about women in history, today specifically Gertrude Ederle (first woman to swim across the English Channel). In the story, she tries to cross once and doesn't make it. She starts training in a new way, and makes it the next time. She reflects on what went wrong and attempts to correct it. While I don't think anything was WRONG in my training, I think my legs forgot how to go fast. After 20 marathons, sorta back-to-back, they were used to those long slow miles. I'm using past tense right now b/c I thinking (hoping mostly) that my legs remembered and learned how to go fast. Here are the overall goals of my new training plan:

*In early weeks (now) work on short, fast intervals. This should improve my form, leg turnover rate, and cardiovascular system.

*Decrease mileage ever so slightly to allow my body the space it needs to recover from these newish type of workouts. (I haven't really done these since college.)

*In the 2nd half of the training, I will zone in on marathon specific style training, and ramp back up to around 100 mpw. However, I will not stay at 100mpw as long as I did last cycle.

So, here have been my key workouts for the past few weeks:

Week of Jan. 18- 10 x 400 in 86-90 sec.; 12 x 200 in whoknowswhat (track markings botched) 87mpw

Week of Jan. 25: 6 x 800 in 3:00-3:00 (wanted faster, but no luck); 4 x (2x200, 400); 87mpw

Week of Feb 1: 5 x 1000 in 3:45 (6:00pace); 15K race; 75mpw

In summary, I'm sort of on a roller coaster of feelings right now. Most of the time, I'm not even focused on my own running. I am totally flying by the seat of my pants with the track job. Instead of sitting around thinking about my own paces, races, and every step, I am worried about my athletes. (Did you catch that? I said MY athletes. Hehe.)

Also, I've been battling this sinus stuff, which got better, then worse, now better again. On top of that, I feel this weird strain near my groin/pelvis. Stretching helps, but the slight pain always makes me super worried b/c I'm really not a 'get injured' type of runner. Crazy thing of it all is that the faster I go, the less I *feel* it.

I'm racing the Double Bridge 15K this weekend. I have a love/hate relationship with this race. It is the ONLY 15K I've ever raced, and running over the bridges is beautiful! Plus, I get to see Speedy Anna. The hate part is that the bridges are like glorified hills- HARD! My last few races have been such bombs, that I am sort of dreading this race in a way. I know that I haven't had too many successes lately with running (um, or life in general), and that just puts the pressure on even more.

I know a few Brooks ID people read this, but I'll just say that I have no idea why I was chosen for the Bluestreak program. I mean, I am totally, totally honored (and geeked out/excited), but there are TONS of more talented, faster runners than me. After reading the description of Bluestreak, I was kind like, "Um, me? Is this is mistake?" So now I sorta feel like I might let someone down besides myself. Surely someone did their homework enough to know that my running is a constant roller coaster. (Well, my whole like is really like that, not just running. Haha.) Anyway, that's another stressor for me regarding my own running.

I could write a whole post of RW's Kara Goucher article, but I'll just say a few things about that. I love that girl. That article makes me love her even more. I am so, so, relieved to know that even elites have these glooms of self-doubt. The whole time I was reading the article, I was thinking, "Me, too! Me, too!" Even someone as fabulous as her has those dread feelings. "Everyone has their weakness. Mine is confidence." I could've written that myself; in fact, I may have at some point. One of her quotes really stuck with me. She said her word for one season was fighter. Then she says, "I wanted to fight. I wanted to scrap all the way to the finish." Oh, I love it. I got my RW magazine on Saturday, and I've honestly read that article every day since then. The thing that inspires me SO much about her, besides her blazing speed, is the way she got a grip on those demons and reined them in. I'm also inspired that someone so fast, cute, and PERFECT can be so humble. Reading about her suggests that maybe I am not so weird after all. I can't relate to those blazing times she's throwing down, but I can totally relate to all the feelings she's described. It's comforting not being alone in your own thoughts sometimes. I love this picture of her, too. She's beautiful, fast, and shows real emotion= totally rockin' girl! (Bonus points for sporting pink running clothes!)

So, when the tough gets goin' fight and scrap your way to the finish!


  1. Sounds like you have a lot going on and I hope the new training plan works out for the best!

    I love your last statement about fighting your way to the finish. When we met at the Flying Pig, one comment has stuck with me ever since that race. Around mile 19, we talked about how I was trying BQ by hitting a PR of 18+ minutes. You responded with, "even if you don't BQ, you'll always have next time and you will still have a big PR today". My immediate thought was what do you mean "next time" and if I "don't BQ". In my mind, I was already set that I was going to BQ and there wasn't anything that was going to stop me (even the 0.25 mile course extension). I've followed you on RWOL and this blog and I think self confidence is your only limiting factor.

    Believe in your training, believe in your fitness and, like you wrote, "fight and scrap your way to the finish". I know you can do it and once you know the same, then you will be hitting PRs in all distances. By the way, the same attitude can help in almost all aspects of life. Enjoy and can't wait to watch your PRs drop!

  2. Anonymous2/03/2010

    wow you definitely have a full plate! awesome speed workouts. i am a firm believer in doing them even though i think they pretty much suck most of the time. they'll definitely get your legs moving quick!!

    woot to YOUR athletes. again i will say that i wish i had you around when i was growing up to look up to as a runner. better late than never ;)

    and good luck with the sinus issues. i'm always battling a chronic case of 'em during the winter so i can commiserate with you. be careful with it though as i left one un-treated a few years ago and developed pneumonia. eeek! take care :)

  3. I read your blog and am trying to de-lurk so you know I am reading, but I wonder if your mileage is just too high? I ran a sub-3 hr marathon on 65-75 MPW and more track workouts. Just a thought.

  4. I hope adding speed does the trick! It's all about finding the right recipe for YOU. If nothing else, it'll spice things up a bit.

    And I too love Kara Goucher. Part of that is because I agree, it's a little easier to relate to her than to some of the other famous runners.

  5. +1 to loving Kara Goucher. I guess it goes to show that even the most seemingly "together" of us still have plenty of moments of doubt. Good luck with your new training plan.

  6. I love how you're taking the experiment-of-one approach to training, and devising a plan of attack designed to help you in the areas where you most want to improve. I'm really interested to read about your 15K-that's a distance I've never raced so it'll be cool to hear your thoughts, how you paced, etc.

    Add me to the Kara lovers as well. She just seems like such a real girl-one that I can jump up and down for when she does well, and that I just wanted to hug after Boston last year.

  7. Anonymous2/04/2010

    I think adding speed work is a great idea. You know you can go the distance, so there's no reason to make that your main focus. A sub-3 is so in your future!

    Good luck with the 15K this weekend. I understand those feelings of doubt and dread, especially attempting to do better at each and every race but remember - this is a sport and it's supposed to be fun! Have a great time!

    Add me to the Kara Fan Club as well. I think she's awesome!

  8. Anonymous2/04/2010

    Kara is such an amazing woman as are you, I look up to you both! I've had that hip/groin pain before too, but unfortuantely don't have any suggestions on anything to try. Good luck in your 15K!


  9. Good luck with your 15K this weekend!

    I like your idea of adding some more speedwork in. I hope it pays off for you!

    I hope you have had more luck in getting some meets lined up for your athletes. They are lucky to have you as their coach.

  10. Anonymous2/05/2010

    Hi! I just found your blog and what caught my eye is that you are a runner and a teacher - ditto to that! I got back into running about 9 months ago and it has helped out the new teaching part of my life so much :) Will continue reading your blog for sure!

  11. I really like your analysis of your training and the changes you are going to make. I think that starting out with the fast stuff and not staying at 100 mpw for as long is a fantastic idea!

  12. i couldn't find your email so i'm responding to your email here. that's hilarious that you saw paul. did he see that you beat him? janjohnson06@gmail.com