A Sluggish Six

Two weeks away, and I cannot start questioning my training or my plan.   Today, I started comparing my plan to the one on the Hanson site, and yeah.  I’m on track to finish strong.

So, yesterday, after our weekly morning donut fest, and afternoon Easter brunch, I was simply going to skip my ten mile tempo run.  I looked into Harley Guy’s face and explained that maybe I’d do today’s run yesterday and switch it up.  He said nothing.  So, while he was getting ready to go home, I started getting my gear on for my run.  I secretly committed to doing the 10 miler.  At this point, 14 days away, I just didn’t want to mess with the plan.

I started out at 6pm, and went out west to hit the trail we have that gives me 4 miles before I get to my regular start.  The golf course was closed, so I added another half mile on, and found the trail.  This trail is fun to run on, but so gross.  It’s the sewage ponds.  A bug actually flew into my mouth.  I don’t even want to know where that bug had been.  I needed to hit a 12:04 pace.  When all was said and done, I nailed it, but I was hot, and I had eaten too much during the day.

This morning, 12 hours later, I had to do 6 miles.  My legs feel like lead.  I couldn’t get even a decent LSD pace going.  My quads hurt, my left hamstring was tight.  It was a very sluggish run.

I have no plans to go anywhere the next 13 days.  I am taking care of my ailing dog, my kids and I are on Spring Break, and I am heading to my TNT kickoff party on Wednesday.  This weekend will be very low key, as I leave next Thursday for Clovis & San Luis Obispo.

Today’s run was sluggish as hell.  I need 24 hours to rest the legs.   I’m ready, but I have a lotta runs left before Earth Day.

It’s That Time Again.

There are two times in the Hanson training cycle that brings me to my knees.  One is about half way through…when you realize, holy shit I have a lot more miles to run.  Just as soon as you get through that, and you continue to ramp up the voluminous miles week after week, you sort of accept that you are just.  Running.   A lot.  You do your life, but you do the miles…over and over again.  It’s really not a problem…because you know you have to do them.

The second time, and I recognize this…is right before the steep taper that is Hanson.  Short and sweet.  Less miles but you are still running 6 days a week, right up until that last week.  It’s weird, because you’d think you’d go a little crazy DURING taper.  But, in this plan, it’s right before taper…when you can barely make one. more. training. run.

Take this week and compare it to last week.  Last week, my tempo 10 miler in the rain in Clovis, was perfect.  Spot on Marathon Pace.  Wednesday, I did 16 miles.  I was tired…after running 10, 6, 6, and then 16.  I recognize this, because the whole goal of Hanson is to have you run on tired legs.  Yes.  Always.  On tired legs.  So, that 16 on Wednesday, I finally remembered it was like running on 22 miles of work.  It was hard, but I did it.  Mightily.

After a rest day…truly 48 hours of nothing, I was ready to go.  This Sunday’s tempo slayed me.  Every mile was hard.  It was sunny and windy, and I erroneously thought if I went after noon in the chill, it might be easier.   Not so much.  The wind was like, a 30 miles an hour wind.  And, every corner I turned, I was running into the wind.  It was almost as if the gods moved the wind right into me just the moment I turned.

That ten miler was hard.  Yesterday’s 5 miler was hard.  FIVE?  Really?  Today’s 8 was hard.  It’s all hard right now.  I have  the rest of this week to look forward to.  10, 5, 6…and then rest.

Three weeks away, and what a normal taper looks like is not so much these days.

I remember it well.

in which i become a smart bear.

This picture made me howl.  It’s exactly the image I want to share what this week looked like.

Last weekend, I deviated from my SLO marathon plan and ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  Here’s what the plan called for:  What I did for the week of 1-29-12 was jack my schedule.  Which meant, of course, that everything was shifted around to compensate for my tired legs.

Sunday, was the Half Marathon, and Monday I drove from LA to my home, a 300 mile drive.  Not only did I not have time to run, my legs just would not have allowed it.  On Tuesday, I ran the requisite 6, and was fine, but by Tuesday night, after wearing compression socks all day, I knew I had to make a change.

There is something very powerful about writing your own training plan.  For the first time in my marathon career, I had written my own plan, based on the Hanson Training Plan method.  I switched long runs.  I meticulously put tempo paces and 5K paces and set the plan on paper.  In writing the plan, you own it.  There is no one looking over your shoulder…no one to be accountable to but, well, YOU.

So I made a decision to rest on Wednesday.  I ran it by my two gal pals, and they both agreed:  Rest was exactly what I needed.  I didn’t feel guilty, and I was not worried.  By Thursday, I thought I would be okay to go.  And, I did.  I had 5 miles on the plan, and set out for my regular run.  It took 4 miles, but FINALLY, my legs settled in.  So much so, that I ran about a half mile more than I needed to.

Yesterday, I was to do Speedwork, but found a Massage College in Modesto that did full body massages for $20 …for an HOUR.  Seriously?  Instead of going to the track, I sped out of my house at a 10:15 pace and ran 2.8 around the block.  Jumped in my car, and headed off to the Masseuse.

Ran, Massage, Spa.  Worked late into the night.

Today, I sit here at the TNT Water Station that I’m running for our team.  I am reflecting on the week.  I made unplanned changes.  And, I paid the price.  It’s over, and I have a standing Friday appointment for a massage, until the marathon.  I have my plan that I’m re-writing to reflect last week’s changes.  I have 3 weeks to change the paces, then, according to Hanson, I’m locked in until the marathon.

Week 10 starts tomorrow.  Halfway there, and I’m loving complete ownership of this.  Happy weekend!


It Goes On

So.  Here I am at the end of 6 days of running.  God.  I love the Hanson plan.  It’s mind-numbing…and I need that right now.  It’s not, “Shall I run today?”, but “How many miles am I running today?”  Like, there is no discourse in my head about if, but when.  

Cliff Notes for 30.3 miles this week:

  • Running 6 x 800s on a treadmill at 10:00 pace is a little sketchy when you have to pay attention to not falling off the thing.
  • If you put a Nuun tablet in a bottle of water, it may very nearly explode.
  • Out and back.  Out and back.  Two 4 milers.
  • 6 Miles does not necessarily mean you have to stop at 3, walk and drink.  There were lessons to be learned this week about sipping as you go.
  • Paces.  They are there for a reason.  Because by the time you get to LSD, you’d better understand what MP + :45 feels like.  
  • Half Marathon Pace is easier to run when you are not crying.
  • Running lunch break, taken at 10am, is easier to fathom than 3pm.
  • Old Lady hunched over her walker says to me, “I wish I could still do that.”  Gratitude.
  • Some music needs to be taken the hell off the iPod.
  • Wave.  At everyone.  One day this week, I waved like a lunatic at every car.  It helped.
  • The Dollar Store knee high socks work great for arm warmers, but not as good as Zensah.

*Note:  I was lighter.  Not in weight…but in spirit.  My sticks are tired, but not beaten to a pulp.  They are strong, and the familiar tightening of my quads feels amazing.  I face tomorrow’s off day at a water station the TNT team.  I made my running coincide with easier weekends out of town.  Though it no longer is necessary, I relish the off day.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” (Robert Frost)

a six mile learning lesson


I had to run six miles today.  Yesterday was my first off running day in six days.  SO, like the old days, I had something relatively unhealthy for dinner.  I used to justify my over-eating, or eating of the wrong crap.  Like, look.  I ran.  So I can most certainly have a Big Mac.

I had some Chinese food.  And.  Not the real stuff.  The Fast Food–fast and yummy and greasy type.  Thinking of course that I’ve run all these miles, and have taken 12 pounds off.  So yeah.  Gimme the Panda.  Plus, a week or emotionally draining conversations and old connections.  I earned this, right?

I had a relative amount of decent calories yesterday.  I hadn’t really had too much food.

This morning, I woke up with the salt and MSG hangover.  That slimy feeling in your mouth that means you have something nasty in your system.  I never realized it before, because I ate like this all the time.  But.  Since Hanson training started, I’ve been a little more clean with the food.

I flushed.  I drank Nuun.  I drank more water.  I took Advil.  I waited until noon to lace up.

The first mile I was sweating much more than I ever had in a regular training run when it’s only 47 degrees outside.  I had to hit an 11:00 Half Marathon Pace.  I looked at the watch, and I had to slow down.  I was going to NAIL this.

My stomach didn’t cooperate at Mile 1, but after that, I didn’t stop.  Not even for water.  Because I knew if I did, I would most certainly have  stopped, or slowed down.  So I drank off my belt, and kept running.

It was a great run.  But, it only happened because I was not going to let my bad choice of food compromise this day.  I powered through, and then made a clear decision.  If I’m going to cheat, it will be on a Friday night.  The night BEFORE a rest day.  Not after it.

Off topic:

  • I am so grateful for the number 8 & 9.  If you know this number #xa, you know what I mean.
  • Sponsorship:  Blessed.
  • I seem to run better and faster with a broken heart.
  • Friends hold me up.  I thank you for that.

Week 7 of Hanson training began with a learning lesson.

what lies in between…

(Even the author of the image is too lazy to correct the spelling)

NORCAL training starts Tuesday. No, I’m not really doing much. I have a minimal base. I’m eating what I want, staying up late, relaxing in the spa, visiting Harley Guy and trying to navigate a now-not-new relationship. I’m applying for jobs, waiting once again for my house to foreclose…preparing for the breadlines, with no insurance, job, home…trying to steady my boys for an apartment, for leaving our dogs…and not getting resentful in the process…working on sobriety, praying, going to 4 baseball games or practices a week, making homemade pancakes and stronger coffee.

But I’m not really running.

Because the Hanson plan, if you remember from the 2011 LAMarathon, is all encompassing. 8 milers, three days a week. Longish runs but more regular tempo runs. Six days of running.

For the next eighteen weeks.

I have my Honey Milk. I have my Honey Stingers protein bars. I have a newish pair of Mizunos. My hats and gloves are put away. Chapstick, sunscreen, and gum. Ready. Salt tabs, coconut waters, Gatorades. All stocked.

I have my training plan (NORCAL MARATHON page on top).

I’ve had another family mtg with the boys, asking them how they feel about training for marathon #5. They rationalize that it will be okay since I’ll be training all summer, instead of mostly through the school year.

Harley Guy has started looking up 5k and 10k races, because this plan emphasizes a LOT of those weekly in the beginning of training.

So this may well be my last week of late night. I’m psyching up for weeks of 5am wakeup calls. Of giving up Diet and all soda. Of carb loading on Friday nights.

In what appears to be laziness, I’m really preparing myself mentally and emotionally to toe the line once again on September 18. To beat my body to cross the line. To feel alive and hopeful, even when my view is limited, and my fears are noisy.

Five days to nurture and nourish. Because I can.

Links I have found helpful for this training cycle:

RunEricRun a runner’s thoughts on Hanson SOS

RunnersWorld Hanson Article no run more important than the next

Let’s Run People talking about the Hanson plan

Run Works More talk about the plan from experienced runners

Running Times Article on the Hanson Plan