LA Marathon Training

LAMarathon

I’m not really sure why I wanted to join the cross country team in college. I just did. To my surprise though I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t ballet. It wasn’t modern dance. It wasn’t horseback riding. It wasn’t swimming. So, really I have no sane reason why. The 100 miles per week training program was enough to scare off any rational person. But, who ever said runners were rational?

It was those months in San Diego, those 100 mile weeks, those long runs through La Jolla, that crept in and started taking root. From those days until now, I can’t really remember a time in which the word “marathon” wasn’t floating around the back of my head. I’ve started training several times but I have yet to stand at the starting line. It’s time to fix that don’t you think?

Back in November, after thinking waaayyyy too much about, should I or shouldn’t I, I finally decided to man up and just do it already. What else was I waiting for? Thanks to some friends I took a look at some of the training plans by Hal Higdon and then modified them to fit my needs. For example, if I don’t get in at least a short run on Monday mornings then I’m “off” for the rest of the week. Also, I’ve found long runs more enjoyable on Saturdays than Sundays. So, what does the training schedule look like? It looks like this:

Marathon Training Schedule
Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
11/3 1 3 mile run 3 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 6 mile run Rest
11/10 2 3 mile run 3 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 7 mile run Rest
11/17 3 3 mile run 4 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 5 mile run Rest
11/24 4 3 mile run 4 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 9 mile run Rest
12/1 5 3 mile run 5 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 10 mile run Rest
12/8 6 3 mile run 5 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 7 mile run Rest
12/15 7 3 mile run 6 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 12 mile run Rest
12/22 8 3 mile run 6 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest Rest Half Marathon
12/29 9 3 mile run 7 mile run 4 mile run Cross Rest 10 mile run Rest
1/5 10 3 mile run 7 mile run 4 mile run Cross Rest 15 mile run Rest
1/12 11 4 mile run 8 mile run 4 mile run Cross Rest 16 mile run Rest
1/19 12 4 mile run 8 mile run 5 mile run Cross Rest 12 mile run Rest
1/26 13 4 mile run 9 mile run 5 mile run Cross Rest 18 mile run Rest
2/2 14 5 mile run 9 mile run 5 mile run Cross Rest 14 mils run Rest
2/9 15 5 mile run 10 mile run 5 mile run Cross Rest 20 mile run Rest
2/16 16 5 mile run 8 mile run 4 mile run Cross Rest 12 mile run Rest
2/23 17 4 mile run 6 mile run 3 mile run Cross Rest 8 mile run Rest
3/2 18 3 mile run 4 mile run 2 mile run 2 mile run Rest Rest Marathon

When I had started I was walking the girls 3-5 miles a day every weekday and we were out hiking most weekend. I didn’t consider myself to be in bad shape but I did consider myself to be a novice. It has been years since those freshman college days afterall.

This training schedule has been working pretty good so far even if the long runs leave me feeling sore. Lexi always wants to go out much faster than we should but we still manage to keep a really good consistent pace mile after mile…after mile. The hardest part of this whole thing has not been the mileage but the running in the dark. Whether it’s a 5am run or a 6pm run it’s tough. When the alarm clock goes off and it’s still dark, and cold, outside I like to hit the snooze button once or twice. And I’ll admit there’s been a couple of times in which I’ve turned it off completely and told myself I’ll run after work. It’ll be warmer, right?!

I thought the miles would be tough. Really tough. Just me and my thoughts for possibly hours on end. But, thanks to Abby and Lexi and the never ending supply of great audio books, I’ve found that there’s plenty to keep me busy. I try to spot things like cats, squirrels, the odd possum, small dogs, before the girls do so that I’m prepared for what they might do. When we first started they, Lexi in particular, had a bad case of ADD and would stop, or practically stop, in order to stalk said creatures. Now, though, it’s much easier as she seems to have learned to focus on the run and gets less distracted by cats and dogs. Possums though are another story. We rarely seem them so it’s always a surprise.

Audiobooks also help to keep me going. I know a lot of people who say they can’t focus on the “story” when it’s being read to them. Fortunately, thanks to road trips with my family I have the ability to listen to them for hours. If it’s a particularly good one we hate having to stop. We’ve been known to get where we needed to go, park the car, look at how much is left on the disc, look each other, and let it keep playing for a few minutes. They’re kind of addicting. Plus, the options are endless. Lately, I’ve “read” such things as  A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Life Code by Phil McGraw, The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, etc. Some of them I’ve loved and couldn’t stop listening to and would actually like to read again and other’s that were just okay. I just loaded The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith and One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds to my iPhone so I have plenty to read this week.

 

I much prefer running when the sun is coming up or going down, I mean who wouldn’t?! We’ve had some amazing sunrises and sunsets this winter. Totally makes it worth it! To run before the neighbors all get up is another preference. We don’t have to deal with traffic, parents walking their kids to school, car exhaust, and, most of all, small annoying barking dogs. We’ve had far fewer “encounters” with those small little ankle biters early in the morning and that alone, has convinced me more than once, to get my butt out of bed and lace up the ol’ running shoes.

Speaking of lacing up the ol’ running shoes, I think it’s time for a new pair.

Cheers-

Susan

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