Friday, October 14, 2011

A different kind of training cycle

This training cycle has undoubtedly been... different.

First, the numbers...

[excluding race week]
[stats from my last training cycle shown in red]

# weeks: 18 [18]

# runs: 111 [117]

total distance: 1370 KM (851.3 mi) [1547.9 (961.8)]

average run distance: 12.3 KM (7.6 mi) [13.2 (8.2)]

total time: 5 days, 6 hours, 41 minutes [5 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes]

average pace: 5:33/KM (8:55/mi) [5:34/KM (8:57/mi)]

average overall weekly mileage: 76.1 KM (47.3 mi) [86.0 (53.4)]

weekly avg. excl. recovery/taper (13 weeks): 84.9 KM (52.8 mi) [92.8 (57.7)]

highest weekly mileage: 95.5 KM (59.3 mi) [105.0 (65.2)]

highest monthly mileage: 369.7 KM (229.7 mi) [415.3 (258.07)]

# runs 30K (18.6mi) or more: 9 [11]

# runs 32K (20mi) or more:  6 [8]

longest run: 35.0 KM (21.7 mi) [42.2 (26.2)]

races: 10 - two 5Ks (both PRs), two 10Ks, two half marathons (one PR), one 30K (PR), one duathlon, two triathlons  [6 - one 5K (PR), one 10K (PR), two half marathons (one PR), one 30K, one marathon (PR)]

Beyond the numbers...

Early this summer I got distracted by something new and finally answered a call from "the dark side." I supplemented my running with cycling and swimming, and caught myself losing some of my marathon mojo in the process.

The heat and humidity were beating me down all summer long and I also had several setbacks (infected nail bed, sinus infection, hamstring, ankle), missing far more runs than I ever have before. My mileage suffered and my quality workouts just weren't as strong.

I continued tackling the training plan, trying to make the most of it and adjusting week-by-week to accommodate the cross tri training. I was having fun, but often feeling guilty for neglecting my run. Several people assured me that it was okay to let marathon training take a back seat after the killer training cycle and BQ race I had just completed, but I still felt conflicted.

Six weeks or so ago I would have said I had zero hope at a marathon PR this time. But then a ran a few races (including half marathon and 30K PRs), which indicated that I might be in better shape than I thought. I still think it's only a slim chance, but if things come together on race day as they sometimes do, I'd say I at least have a shot.

It's a bit disappointing going into my "A" race without a concrete time goal and confidence in that goal, but it's also refreshing. I will show up at that start line ready to run and give it all I have. I have no idea how it will turn out, but do we ever?? Hopefully I will finish marathon # 9 with a smile on my face and pride in what I have accomplished this year, regardless of the time on the clock.

At the very least, I will celebrate the fact that the next marathon finish line I cross will be this one.

Look what came in the mail yesterday!


With all that being said, I may not have any specific expectations in terms of finishing time this weekend (and still haven't figured out a race plan) but I do have an idea of what I hope to achieve. Is it realistic? Time will tell.
A+ sub-3:35 (BQ)
A sub-3:37:18 (PR)
B sub-3:46:06 (slowest 2011 marathon time)
C "upright & smiling"

Live tracking at - bib # 2798

2 more sleeps!


Anonymous said...

marlene, even tho ur numbers may not be as high as last training cycle, they are still amazing and really high.

i think you will do amazing. i like that you are going into this with a very positive attitude and just waiting to see what the marathon gods have in store for you!

with that being said, i think u r awesome and will do amazing!

best of luck!!!

The Unexpected Runner said...

Good luck this weekend, but most importantly HAVE FUN! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

Jason said...

I am going to bet my favorite swim cap that you crush this race.

You may not feel like you are in Marathon Running shape, but I will guarantee you that you are in better shape. Your body has learned different ways to get air because of your swimming and cycling. Your fast twitch and slow twitch muscles have had extra exercise so the ones you don't touch during running only will not be able to be accessed when the going gets tough.

There is so much more that you can do now thanks to your triathlon training.

2 More Sleeps

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Your numbers don't tell the whole story. You are so much more focused and fit because of the tri training. I believe the best runners also happen to be the most well rounded athletes. You,my friend are no longer merely a runner. You are an athlete who's body can do whatever your mind tells it to. Go out there with that awesome smile and attitude and bring back which ever goal you choose! I'll be cheering for you!

ShutUpandRun said...

Woohoo! Good luck, will be tracking you. You have an amazing base of fitness right now. Go get it!

Robin said...

Definitely Goal A....I think you are more ready then you realize. Just because your training wasn't the same as the last cycle doesn't mean you're not ready. All that cross training counts for something too, and might actually be of more benefit....Trust yourself. Good luck on Sunday. (Great mail day huh?)

Jen Feeny said...

You're going to totally rock this girl!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runners Fuel said...

You are going to do great!! I can't wait to read to recap!

Johann said...

You have done so much this year it is amazing. I'm sure you'll have a great race. All the best and enjoy!

Elizabeth said...

It's so interesting to look at the breakdown of different training cycles. You've posted some pretty impressive numbers, especially considering the summer heat! I bet you'll have a great race! Good luck!

Laura said...

I wish I had HALF your training under my belt!
Hope to see you Sunday and ROCK it like you usually do!

JC said...

I quite simply cannot read your blog without being inspired! I know you will rock this race! good luck :)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Go get it lady.. You are so inspiring!!

Anonymous said...

Those numbers aren't too different, especially considering the "dark side" activities that totally jumped in and stole the spotlight! I can't wait to see how you do - that C goal is a given, and I hope you enjoy the race, too :)

cheers to another 26.2!

Heidi said...

Good luck!!! Your numbers really are quite similar, but you had so much cross training. I think that benefits you WAY more than just miles and miles and miles of running. Wishing you the best.

Allie @ The Constant Pursuit said...

GOOD LUCK! You are going to be great - I think you are REALLY going to surprise yourself during this race. Even though your mileage is lower, your quality of workout is probably higher and cross training is SUCH a blessing. I always feel strongest during tri season where I am swimming/biking more and more out of shape when I just focus on running. You're going to rock!

PS - I am so jealous of your new bike. I want.

Teamarcia said...

Look at this cycle as not more or less than but different. And in many ways enhanced by the tri training. My money is on you for another crushing. Good luck and have fun!

J said...

Good luck Marlene! With all the "cross training/tri training" you are in such good shape! I cannot wait to see how you do! Hope you have a great race!

Char said...

You seriously deserve a PR with all that training under your belt. You are one committed and dedicated athlete!

Lisa said...

Holy put in a LOT of miles (or km's) in your training. I have a feeling that your 2013 will be achieved. There is something to be said for adding some cross training

Good luck!!

Oh..and Happy Birthday!!!!

Anonymous said...

I seriously get teary-eyed every time I see that BQ photo finish!!!

kristen said...

Good luck Marlene! I really hope the wind cooperates and that you have a great race!

N.D. said...

can't wait to hear how it went!

runninglawyer said...

Congrats on another A+ race!!!! You did AMAZING!

Finallyfit2011 said...

Tall Mom and I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday and Good Luck in your Marathon

Unknown said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear how it went! A+ I hope!

Richelle said...

The suspense was killing me, so I checked out your race stats online. Congrats on achieving your A+ goal! I think that the added cross-training of swimming and biking have increased your overall fitness and made you faster than ever. Awesome job!