allegedly i will be running the houston marathon! this will be my second marathon. i ran chicago in october of last year and in a LOT of ways it feels like way more than a year ago. so much has happened in my life since chicago, not just personal life wise but fitness-wise as well. when i decided to move to houston one of the biggest hangups i was having was the fact that i wouldn't have any friends there besides tex. coming from dc where i had a really solid group of loved ones around me ALL THE TIME, this made me pretty nervous. i decided i'd sign up for houston and start looking into training groups so that i could maybe make some friends with similar interests in my new city. that was all well and good but...
...then moving hit. i had some phenomenal last runs in virginia, loping around my favorite trails near my apartment but pretty much after the nike women's half was over, running just wasn't my thang. i knew my body needed a break and i was more than happy to give it one. in no way have i given up on working out though. i haven't been quite as consistent with hitting the gym but overall, throughout my summer i managed to fit working out in as often as possible, it just had a different focus. i've been loving weights lately. my favorite workouts are (without fail) the strength training days where i do minimal cardio, and i've been really learning to enjoy the elliptical when i do want to get some of that in. this probably coincides with my renewed love for reading because i can still flip through a book while pushing myself on the elliptical but if i'm doing anything but walking on a treadmill, a book is a no go.
a few weeks ago, when tex and i got back from seattle/sonoma, i decided it was time to buckle down and start building up my training base since official marathon training starts (for me anyway) soon. on my plan's first week was an 8 mile run. uhhh, excuse me? no way, boss. i realized that a marathon is not a joke. despite the fact that i ran one less than a year ago, i had to come to the brutal realization that i am not in running shape right now. and you know what? that's okay! i'm not "out of shape" by any stretch of the imagination, but i definitely couldn't go and bust out 8 miles without dying - unless i were in a car. so i did some research, i crowdsourced twitter, and i wrote up a little "base building" plan for myself.
my plan includes three days of running a week (my marathon plan is currently a 5 day a week plan but i will PROBABLY make it four days a week based on my knowledge of myself and my running abilities). my weeks have been looking something like this:
sunday: "long" run (the term long is extremely relative right now, but they're long for me right now)
tuesday: xtrain / strength training (typically upper body, usually chest, shoulders, triceps)
wednesday: shorter run (i'm trying valiantly to do abs after this run but...it rarely happens)
thursday: xtrain / strength training (legs)
saturday: shorter run / back and biceps
(champion rester, party of one)
things that are important to me to keep in a plan: 1. two days of full rest. i need it, my body needs it. congrats to all of you who rest one day a week and those of you who believe in one day of "active rest" well...to each her own. i'm a two day rester and that's what works for me. 2. three days of strength training. as marathon distances progress, i don't want to skip strength training. i'll figure out a way to make it work (which is probably why i'll only do 4 days of running). this is especially important because i'm doing best body bootcamp again and i love those workouts. it might drop down to two days but honestly, i'm loving strength training so if marathoning takes a bit of a backseat i'm not that worried about it as long as i get my long runs in.
i'm envisioning my actual training weeks will look like this:
sunday: long run
tuesday: short run / strength train
wednesday: mid-distance run
thursday: short run / strength train
saturday: xtrain / strength train
i like the way that looks. my plan right now has me running shorter runs on saturdays before my long runs so that might get plugged in for xtraining but more than likely i'll be giving my legs a breather and ellipticizing on those days.
have you ever had to build your base back up? was it discouraging for you?