This year I will be beginning the season with the beautiful town of Bend, Oregon’s inaugural marathon.
The course will take me through the heart of Bend and off into Cascade Lake Scenic Byways towards Seventh Mountain Resort to finish at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. ( It wouldn’t be a proper marathon if there wasn’t a big party afterwards). My dad is going to be running in the half marathon while I compete in the marathon. That is one of the wonderful things about my family is that they aren’t afraid to join in the crazy along with me; and if truth be told I am pretty sure I inherited the crazy from my parents as they have a tendency towards pushing the limits.
I started officially training for the Bend marathon at the beginning of February and now 4 weeks later am feeling very strong.
February was a month of base building and working towards getting my everyday running splits back down into the 7:30-7:45 min/mile pace.
Week 1: 33.2 miles
Week 2: 31.6 miles
Week 3: 45 miles
Week 4: 55.7 miles
I have this goal to get down close to the 3 hour mark for completing a marathon which would mean a 13 min personal record. Yes it is a lofty goal but not out of reach; that is the key to my goals, I like to keep them just within finger tips reach.
On top of this base training I include some pretty heavy strength training so February has been a month early mornings and long evenings at the gym in order to get everything in around working. Strength training has been the biggest beneficiary to my training and it is why I believe only after a couple of weeks of running I am able to put in a consistent hard 40-50 miles a week without feeling like I am going to break. I spent much of the off-season lifting in order to increase my strength and power, and I believe it has worked. Each run feels stronger, and more confident as I know that I have the power to push even a little bit harder.
A typical week of training looks something like this:
(AM): the one day if I don’t feel like working out in the morning I don’t.
(PM): Leg day at the gym ( one of my favorites!! I love the power that I have gained in my stride due to strength training my legs)
(AM): Morning run-starting this week they will be intervals at the track
(PM): Lifting-usually chest and biceps.
(AM): Morning run-8 miles
(PM): Back or shoulders day at the gym
(AM): Morning run – 7-9 miles depending on how I am feeling
(PM): Lifting at the gym
(AM): Morning run- 4-5 miles. I usually keep this one short as I have long miles to put in on the weekends
(PM): Lifting at the gym (usually arms)
1-2 hour spin class followed by 13 miles running.
Sunday = Long RunDay. Sundays are my day of relaxation and for me that means lacing up my tennis shoes and seeing where my feet take me and for how long.
While I do follow a semblance of a training plan I also leave it up for my interpretation. I have found over the years that I perform better when there isn’t a rigid schedule that I have to follow; if there is a day I would rather go to spin class than go for a run, or would rather go for a run than lift that is what I do. By adding the availability for spontaneity into my programs I found I enjoyed the process a lot more and coincidentally began to see rapid progress in my results.
Often I get asked the question as to how do I keep it up? How do I manage the schedule of double workouts? For me the answer two-fold yet simple: 1) I love what I do, the joy of running and the peace I obtain from it. For me exercising isn’t something to just stay healthy or because I know that it is good for me but it is a lifestyle; it has become a part of my soul. 2) I have the most amazing support system. Between my family, I mean my dad is going to run with me, and my fiance I am blessed with people who are always there for me. My fiance is a huge reason I am able to continue to push forward like I do. His belief in me and the strength he provides me makes me feel as though I could get through anything.
It’s always more fun when you let your feet take you on a journey with other people. I am blessed that I have found those that have the same goals, dreams, and hopes that I do.
Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed ~Paul Coello
Keep dreaming everyone!