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(Most current run, click on link for full training log)
This upcoming April 21st, I'll be heading back to the Boston Marathon for a second crack at the historic event. The last time I went was 4 years earlier in 2010. My training (2010 Boston Build) overall looked really good on paper but turned out to be a bit too long, as I was flat and tired by race day. My overall experience for the 2010 Boston Marathon was a good one and I tried to take all the positives from the weekend and remain happy. But something has always bothered me about that race, 1) I did under perform compared to my current fitness at the time and 2) I didn't try for every second, minute possible on race day. Basically by the 10k split I was already physically and mentally wanting the race to be down and had already slipped from goal pace/time. But instead of trying to still fight through and make it the best possible day I just threw in the towel and ran it in. It's frustrating now to look back and now I ran well over half the race at half of a race effort and still run 2:35:10.
Well my chance to erase that effort will come this spring. There is a lot of changes from 2010 to now. Most importantly I'm a dad now, something that is #1 in my life. Marian, Clara and me have moved from Charleston to Green Bank, WV (Pocahontas County). I'm working full-time as a Physical Education teacher at the local high school. That is a lot of big changes compared to 2010, when I all I really had to do was "running" related part-time stuff. I was coaching on the collegiate level at the time and was being sponsored/paid to work for Strands.com online training site daily. Marian helped me coach, also was sponsored/paid to work for Strands.com and also picked up a half day teaching position that covered all of our insurance needs. Looking back we really were living the dream for a runner, not only did we basically get to make training one of our main focuses but we also had "running" related work to more then make a enough money for the way we live. (Keeping in mind one of our major expenses at the time would have been gear and travel to races and Strands of course covered all that on top of the monthly stipend they paid us).
We were living the Dream!
With the changes, it's not as easy to train anymore, time is not as available as it once was, and to be honest running isn't as big of a part of our lives anymore. All that isn't a excuse, or even a complaint. Life is great and we both wouldn't change a thing with the way things are today! But with all the changes, it does make our training more recreational then it ever has been. We have less time to train, we have to try and make the best out of lower mileage which can be tough but if done right very doable in my opinion. For me, with Marian also being a runner and both of us not wanting to limit too much family time I'm down to a one run a day runner, I'm finding it saves a lot of family time to hit the treadmill for light recovery mornings a few times a week, I will try to take advantage of a big Sundays of combining a hard workout with the long run to try and get a 2-for-1 type of benefit.
One big thing that hasn't changed even with my less focus on running is that my motivation to race remains high. Looking at other positives, sometimes during marathon buildups in the past the 100mile week average for long stretches (high of 120 in a week) left me spent before race day more times then not. The mileage might have been correct, but somewhere along the line I would over step the effort of a workout and usually never fully recovery by race day. My hopes are to be able to top out at roughly 75miles a week (on singles) this buildup. The hope is consistent weeks around 65-75 miles will not only be enough to get me to a personal best fitness but it will keep me fresh throughout.
For a quick reference to where I currently stand. I enjoyed my last summer of putting in high mileage on a lot of double runs. My summer average was over 95 miles a week, with the focus on easy hilly running. It was a solid summer of training towards a potential fall marathon before I hurt my back/glute 2 weeks before CDR. Against the advice from Marian and even my dad I started that race in mild pain only to see things really flare up only 3-4 miles into the race and I dropped out. I tried to run (even hard at times) the next few weeks before mentally and physically I had to give in and take a break. The next 3 weeks was mostly off and also with little relief from my injury. When I first started back the pain remained but I put in weeks of 31, 38, and 42 miles as I hoped slowly building up would be the way to go. After another increase of mileage (51miles), I finally found some small relief but it was the following week when my mentor teacher at the high school (Coach Sheets) had set me up with a PT in Lewisburg that things really changed. Since seeing the PT and figuring out my pelvis was rotated out of alignment (most likely from the Charleston to Pocahontas County move) and getting some readjustments and stretches from him things are turning around!
That brings me up to this point where I'm at now. Starting a 24-weeks til Boston Marathon Training Plan! My plan is to follow Pete Pfitzinger Advanced Marathoning Training Plan for Monday-Saturday training as I like the mix of harder/longer days with the shorter recovery days that he focuses on. My only change is instead of following his Sunday Long Runs, I will use Jack Daniels Running Formula Marathon Training Plan for the Sunday Long Run/Workouts. I like how Daniels mixes in Tempo running with the long runs, which like I said earlier can help me get more bang for my buck on the Sunday run since it will be the main focus of the training week!
Weeks to go, 24 to 21:
Mileage totals 57miles, 61miles, 63miles, 63miles
4-week Total: 244miles
4-week Average: 61miles per week
The first 4-week cycle towards the 2014 Boston Marathon is complete. Coming off the injury I wasn't expecting too much out of this cycle but was hopeful to gain some positive momentum by the end of it, which I did! Overall I completed a couple tempo workouts, built the long run up to 16miles (twice) and covered another 10 runs that were over 10 miles in distance. I'm probably the least fit I have ever been 20 weeks out from a major marathon but I think once I get back into consistent harder workouts the race-ready fitness will improve quickly.
Weeks to go, 20 to 17:
Weeks to go, 16 to 13:
Weeks to go, 12 to 9:
Weeks to go, 8 to 5:
Weeks to go, 4 to Boston Marathon: