Well, we’re back from our trip to New Hampshire/Massachusetts. Oh, how I will miss seeing Red Sox logos every frickin’ place I look. The wedding was really nice, and I was right on with my veggie-pasta premonition. Here’s a quick shot of it, and one of me and Erin all dolled up. Imagine how good it would be if my mug weren’t in it!
We were seriously missing our smoothie after a weekend of on-the-road eating, so today we had a big one with banana, frozen cherries, and Amazing Grass SuperFood powder. I’ve been really happy with the Amazing Grass powder; it doesn’t affect the taste of the smoothie at all. Come to think of it, I should have brought a few of the packets on the road with me, but then I’d have had to mix them with water, and I just don’t know if I’m ready to take my relationship with Amazing Grass to that level.
Marathon Training Starts This Week!
Yesterday marked exactly 16 weeks until the Wineglass Marathon, where I’ll be making another run at the goal I’ve been chasing for seven years, qualifying for Boston. Which means my official training starts tomorrow. I explained my tentative training schedule a while back in How I Plan to Qualify for the Boston Marathon, but now I have a much clearer picture of what I need to do to get across that line in 3 hours and 10 minutes.
I have mixed feelings about my chances to actually do it this time. On one hand, I feel extremely confident because my new vegetarian diet (and resultant weight loss) has allowed me to run faster than I ever have before, even with limited training due to a knee injury early this year. My recent race times of 19:16 for a 5k and 1:34:27 for a very hilly half marathon are indicative of the fitness level associated with a 3:05 to 3:10 marathon.
But even though a 19 to 20 minute 5k is what you’d expect from a 3:10-marathoner, it’s not even close to a guarantee of a 3:10 marathon. To run the marathon without breaking down after 15 or 20 miles requires intense training and a significant mileage buildup, and preventing injury during such training is perhaps more difficult than the exercise itself. And that’s where I’m not so confident. Although my knee seems to be healed and hasn’t affected any of my runs in a long time, the substantial rest the knee has required has prevented me from building up the mileage base that I had hoped to have at this stage. I’ve managed 10-20 miles per week for the past few months; the mileage required by my training program will eclipse this amount in the first week.
The Training Program to Get Me To Boston
- 3 workout runs– 1 track workout, 1 tempo run, 1 long run.
- The track workout consists of short (quarter-mile to mile), fast intervals at prescribed paces.
- The tempo consists of 20-45 minutes of running at a relatively uncomfortable specified pace.
- The long run consists of 13-20 miles at a pace which gradually increases so that at the peak of the program, I’ll be running 20 miles at the pace required to qualify.
- 3 Core Performance strength and core workouts, done on the same days as running workouts. These are a series of dynamic plyometric exercises designed to improve running form and prevent injury.
- 3 between-workout days, when I’ll do either easy runs or cross-training (swimming or biking), depending on how I’m feeling.
- 1 rest day.
- 1 day of weightlifting, if I can fit it in and not feel overworked on between-workout days. It will consist of front squats, deadlifts, quad and hamstring extensions, and light upper body lifts.
So that’s my plan. Certainly there will be plenty of modifications along the way as I figure out what works and what doesn’t. The absolute must for me is avoiding injury, since I feel that my conditioning level is already fairly close to what’s required. But an injury that sidelines me for two or three weeks is all that’s needed to derail the whole thing, along with another season of my Boston dreams.