Friday, February 6, 2015

Boston Training 2015: The First Two Months

It's been fun to compare my training this year with that of last year's. I can't tell you why I am so much more excited to get out and run, and why I'm actually excited to be out each night, after work, in the cold and dark, to do so.

I'm getting in most of my runs and I haven't been making up excuses like I did all last year (except this week because work was mentally draining and demanding). I really think it has something to do with the fact that I am working with such dedicated kids this winter by coaching the indoor track team. I leave practice feeling like I HAVE to get out there and work after seeing them put in such an effort. Those kids work hard and are strong and to see them improve every time they race has been fuel for my own training. I want to get stronger, just like them. Core work, miles, and dedication.

I've been going home most nights to get in my workout, no matter the temp or how much wind, and have been adding core and strength almost every day. I know I won't be in this city forever, so I look forward to running the streets each day. In fact,  last week I ventured out a few times to explore areas that I hadn't been to yet.

Last Tuesday morning I got to run with Tom because we had a 2 hour delay. He took me to a totally new part of the city I hadn't yet seen. It was invigorating to get out of the door and be done a 10 mile run BEFORE work!

Last Friday, after an interesting end to the work week, I reluctantly put on my shoes and headed out. Half way through my run I found myself going on an actual trail in Rock Creek for the first time since being here. I got to the top of a hill and stood there for a few minutes letting the setting sun hit my face, the wind blow around me, and the peacefulness of the woods consume me. I was in my happy spot. I was thankful. Running has saved me so many times over the years and has given me a huge appreciation for the planet we live on. It saved me on Friday from the stress of life and gave me a break from reality.

I headed back to the trails the next day and felt actual warm air radiating up from the bare dirt - a feeling I haven't felt in weeks. Again, I just stood there, letting the heat consume me for a few seconds before journeying on in the cold.

What is different about this training from last year's Boston training is my first two weeks. We were in Vermont again for the holidays, but rather than going to the gym every day we ran outside: in snow, in ice, in rain (my first speed workout was at the end of a rainy day), in cold, and in some warmth. We saw it all, and it all came back to fuel my workouts upon return to DC. If it was 22 degrees after work I knew I could still run outside because I had done it in Vermont. I'm mentally tougher this season and as a result, am psychically stronger as well.

Like everyone else and their sister, I ordered the Believe Training Journal and started it before my Boston Training. Once the New Year started I said goodbye to my online running log on DailyMile, yet somehow converted to Strava while trying to stay away from duplicate records. I love the Believe Journal: I now record more details like the fruits and veggies I'm eating each day, my more personal thoughts, pains, strength and core work, and running routes. The training has become more personal - I own it. I'm not comparing myself to anyone else.

Here's a look at my training for the firs two months: 

December 18th (start of training) to December 31st: The Buildup
109 Miles
10 easy runs
1 track workout on the roads (12x400s)

January: Build the Mileage and Strength
175 miles
12 easy runs
2 Track workouts on the road
4 Tempos (6-7 mile tempo runs plus warm up and cool down)
4 "Long" runs (that aren't that long)
1 intense core session with the track team
1 circuit day inside due to bad weather
4+ core sessions per week

I haven't been doing any track workouts on a track. Right now my thinking is this: I'm racing marathons. I don't run track. I'm racing Boston, which is full of hills and mostly down hill elevation and it is a course that goes in a straight line.. Why should I get my body used to running fast, in circles, on flat ground? Instead, I'm choosing to torture myself by picking routes on speed days that are full of hills. I need to feel the pain on the hills, both up and down, to get my legs used to those Boston hills. I also find that I run faster because I'm not concerned about hitting times on a track. The track holds me back, but on the road I can run free - except during rush hour when the sidewalks are packed with people - but that is a whole 'nother story.

This week was my lowest week. Demands at school left me mentally drained each night, not to mention the fact that I had been doing work since 5:00 am. By 7:00 pm, I was done. I'm not upset though, knowing I need to take care of my body. Starting this weekend I'll get back on schedule and will stay focused for the next 72 days that remain.

1 comment:

  1. Love seeing your training, and the fire you have right now! You are a wonderful role model for students and the team...and for people like me reading this! I really hope we can meet up in Boston again, it was so much fun last year!