I have two big items on my race calendar in the next couple of months—St. George Marathon and Hood to Coast Relay. My key race coming up is the St. George Marathon on October 1. I was so focused on this race and felt really good about training for it.
Now, with eight weeks to go, I am not feeling quite as confident. I officially launched my business this spring and taught my first Body Back class (an 8-week boot camp program). That took two days a week away from my running, so my mileage totals didn’t increase like I would normally want them to. Then a few weeks ago, my hip really started to bother me. It was so bad that I could barely walk. I took about two weeks off to rest it and let it heal. After rest and a great deep massage, I feel better. My hip still feels tight, but I am stretching more and stopping when I need to. I was pretty conservative coming back—I would rather come back slowly than risk a major injury.
Add a vacation into the mix and I am behind the eight-ball on this one. My running group has already run eighteen miles. The longest I have run during this training cycle is a half marathon in June.
But today, things started looking up. I joined Kelly and Kim on their speed work session. They have been doing sets of Yasso 800’s for several weeks now. I didn’t go at first, because I like to keep speedwork in the second half of a training cycle, focusing on building endurance during the first half. I decided to join them today, because I felt like I needed to keep something on schedule for this plan. and I wanted to see how I felt.
The group is up to 9 X 800m. I didn’t really think I could do nine. When I did them before Long Beach, I don’t think I worked my way up to nine—maybe six or seven. I figured I would do what I could and listen to my body. We warmed up for a couple of miles and then started on the 800’s. I felt surprisingly good! With my goal of 3:50ish for the marathon, my 800’s should be at 3:45 or less. The first one was 3:24*. Not too shabby. I skipped the fifth interval, opting to stretch my hip while the others continued. I rejoined them, completing four more. My last interval was my fastest! We started and Kim, who is always faster than I am, seemed a bit slow on this last repeat. I kept right with her. With about 200m to go, I passed her, thinking she was slowing down. When I looked down at my watch and saw 3:19, I knew that she hadn’t slowed as much as I had pushed that last one. While I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, those eight 800m intervals gave me a lot of confidence. I definitely felt better than I did last year while training for Long Beach. They were hard, but they didn’t kick my butt!! Awesome!
I have a long run this weekend. I am hoping to get 16-18 miles. Normally, I wouldn’t suggest making such a jump, but I feel good. I ran eleven altitude-affected miles on vacation in Mammoth, which was probably the equivalent of 14 or so in terms of time on my feet. We’ll see how I feel. I may keep it closer to 14 miles.
I am SO happy that Hood to Coast is going to break up the rest of my St. George training. I think it will help keep me from stressing too much. I am part of Nuun’s Team 2, which has been named Nuun Platuun. I have been getting to know my teammates on Facebook (and through their blogs) and am really excited. My van is going to be so much fun!!
I have not been really “training” for HTC. Some of my teammates have done two-a-days and three-a-days, but I can’t really do that with my husband’s work schedule. I am hoping to get one or two night runs in over the next month, but I am pretty confident that my strong running foundation will get me through my three legs (Leg 6, 18 and 30). My mileage total is just over 17 miles.
What advice do you have for “catching up” to marathon training after an injury lay-off?
What advice do you have for a 12-person relay? Do you train for it? Any secret packing advice?**
Coming soon…answers to my Q&A. It is not too late to post questions.
*The 800m intervals were: 3:24, 3:27, 3:37, 3:38, 3:32, 3:34, 3:34, 3:19 (!!)
**my packing obsession has begun and my “list” is sitting on my desktop.