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now what?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I have been in love with racing since I lined up at the start of my first 5K. I don't think I even liked running then. I liked the racing. So I signed up for another race and then another and somewhere in the mix I feel head over heels with running.

My first HM was Monster Dash 2011. I didn't even sign up. I ran the Twin Cities 10 miler in the beginning of the month and then a friend offered me her bib for the end of the month. No real half training plan, no fuel, no idea what pacers were, wore new socks, no app, no Garmin and ran a 1:55. Not bad!

Since then I have learned a ton and raced lots more. My halves range from 1:51 to 2:00. I really really want to get that 1:49. I think I have s good shot next Saturday at this year's Monster Dash. (Last year I was a spectator at the event and really wished I had run. By that time i knew it was a speedy course, almost all downhill!)

The only problem is that I haven't run over 6 miles since the marathon 2 weeks ago. I rested and ran easy the first week. Last week we were supposed to run 8 on Tuesday, but we ran into a dog at a busy intersection and took him home a few blocks away and then had to get going so only managed 6. Worth it! It was a good adventure and we got the dog home safe and sound. But not enough mileage. Yesterday I could've done 10, but went to an apple orchard with kids and friends instead. Obviously, a way better choice. But again, only ran 6.

I know I'll be fine next week. This just all has me thinking. I have never followed a HM training plan. I have raced them during marathon training. I have added in a 10 or a 12 mile run to my normal running schedule a few weeks before a race. Maybe if I really want that 1:49 (or 1:47 if I feel greedy!) I need to actually put in the work and follow a plan. Crazy idea, huh?

I dug out a calendar and printed out Train Like A Mother's Own It plan. Get Lucky HM is 3/15/14. So... training begins end of December??! Not sure I want to commit to that. I am very type A and I like to check things off lists. When I commit to a plan, I am hard on myself when I miss a workout. Not sure that I want to be that intense all winter.

But then I flip flop and think: you need to challenge yourself. You should try out this intense plan now so you know if you can handle it for a full. We're thinking Chicago 2014. Training would start in June.

I gotta put the work in if I want results. But I also don't want to burn out.

This is the ultimate goal after all. But still, my wheels are turning. What would you do?
Train hard?
Take it easy?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    mmm... Burn out? Train hard? Burn out? Train hard? I get what your saying.
    Sure- sign up for another marathon again if you want too. I loved reading your post about the experience! Marathons are always a learning experience. If you feel burnt out- try to adjust the run to how you feel. Take a day or two off- 18 week programs are LONG... and hard to stay motivated. Maybe plug in a few 5k's or something just to keep yourself interested and that could be your speedwork for the week...
    Have fun planning! :) Or not- the choice is yours :)
    Have fun!
    2828 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13962463
    I never realized until now how I fit half marathons into full marathon plans - it's never a formal half plan for me either. I bet though with training a 1:45 or sub 1:45 is in your cards. I look at my winter training as a way to keep my fitness up for spring halfs and ten milers and to lay a great base for the next fall season - I won't tell you not to put pressure on yourself because I am the same way. It will be fun to encourage each other through winter training - I love running the snow and it's an excuse to buy sweet new gear:)
    2831 days ago
    I'm with you--I love races. Fell in love with races at a 5k and have been addicted ever since.

    As for your decision--do what works for you. If you have a goal and you want to reach it, it will take some sacrifice. But if running all winter (that does not sound too appealing) is not worth it, train for a race with better weather conditions. You will stay active but you don't want to drive yourself crazy or stress out over perfection. Remember, you don't have to be perfect to be successful. So, think about what it would involve, make your training plan fit you, your goals, your situation, and go for it! It doesn't have to be this month or even this year. Make a plan for you and you will do it.

    You are already a success and will continue to succeed. This is your lifestyle now and that will not change.
    2833 days ago
    I need a race and a plan. At. All. Times. Otherwise, I am winging it and that's no way for a Type A to get around. Some people don't get that. I start with a plan that I download into an Excel file. Then I build around the races I have on my calendar, travel plans and other life events to develop the plan around me and my needs. Every 4th week is a cut-back in volume. It allows me to train as I need to for reaching my goals without overtraining or feeling pressured for missing something. I don't miss anything. Make your training plan work for you!
    2833 days ago
    I'm not a follow a plan kind of person... for some reason, if I think I "have" to do something, I won't want to do it. But if I give myself flexibility to do what I want, I generally end up running just as much if not more. At any rate, give the plan a try for the march half and see how it goes. If you find yourself hating running, you can always bail on the plan and do your own thing. If it works out well, then you know you can use it for Chicago 2014.
    2833 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13357087
    I appreciate that you are always checking in with yourself to push for the next goal in the best way possible. There are days you can feel strong and committed to the challenge ahead, and days you need to extend grace to yourself that you have other priorities. Be kind to yourself!
    2833 days ago
    I always download a plan & follow it to the best of my ability. Life happens and your running has to make allowances for that. I like the mid-week tempo or fartlek speeds they give.
    I think you are experienced enough that you could probably make your own plan.
    You've got the mileage down, easy-peasy, its the speed of the race you are working on.
    I love that you aren't sitting at a 1:50 looking toward a 1:40. Your goal of 1:49 is so doable.
    I've got confidence in you & your mad skills. You'll get it!!

    2833 days ago
    Comparably training for a HM is less time consuming and all encompassing like a FM so I say go for the HM. I - much like you - need a race to keep me going, keep me motivated and without a plan I kinda putter along half halfheartedly so I think keeping your "eye on the prize" so to speak is a better way to go. However, with that being said, only you know what your upcoming schedule is and with the fam - because I definitely know how that goes entering into the holiday season - I would definitely take the time to assess and go from there...

    Whatever you decide, do what is right for you...and although I have to remind myself of this sometimes...these races are not going anywhere! They WILL be there when you are ready so do not stress yourself, you will meet the goals you have set forth.
    2834 days ago
    That's the problem with training plans one finds on the web. They say nothing about fitting them into your training the rest of the year.

    Your concern about burnout is very valid given how you talk about pushing. There are some good books that address this topic. An experienced coach may be your best bet.

    As an aside, what's so special about a 1:49? Everyone I know aims for the round numbers (i.e., 1:50) You only see 1:50 pacers, not 1:49 pacers, right?
    2834 days ago
  • LEWILL1982
    I am not doing very well with a training plan for the Thanksgiving half marathon. I'm up to 5 miles comfortably. I need to get on track, but I would say, do what makes you comfortable. The plan might help you determine your paces to help you get that 1:47. I have a goal to hit 1:59, just don't think it will be this year if I don't start getting my miles in. Do what's realistic for you, if you feel pressured , you might start to feel resentful. Good luck, you'll figure it out.
    2834 days ago
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