My strategy in this six week accelerated training cycle is to ramp up mileage for three weeks and then focus on speed for three weeks. That will give me the week of the race to rest, and then we go! Do not try this at home, kids. I am honestly just winging it. Here’s the summary of the last two weeks of Operation Hurry Up and Get the Mileage Up!
Week 2 of 3
A few weeks ago at my track group I chatted up a lady who is older than me (she’s 55), runs 6 days a week, and does several marathons a year – including Boston in April – and asked her how she is doing it. Her answer: she does one hour of strength training five days a week. The older I get, the more important this stuff is. Here’s some of the lower body workout I did with Trainer this week. Sheesh those jump squats. Added on another 8 miles that morning and hoped to hit 30 this week for the first time September 15. Come through, body!
Slow long run. Your girl’s legs were trash.
Market-to-Table lunch after my long run. I treat the stuff I eat directly after my long run seriously. It’s important that my body gets properly refueled and feels strong after I put it through a lot of pounding.
There’s a fun place at the mall called Asian Box that is inspired by Asian street food. Chef Grace Nguyen’s theory is that Asian street food stalls were the first sustainable restaurants since everything was fresh and sold each day. Everything is thoughtfully made and produced — from its hormone free and organic veggies and proteins to its plastic cups made from 100% compostable material (corn!). This is the Garden Box: Extra organic tofu, coconut curry, steamed veggies, brown rice, pickled veggies, scallion oil, fresh bean sprouts and herbs, crispy shallots, chopped peanuts, and Asian Street DustTM. My body and heart are happy after eating this!
Total Miles: 31
Long Run: 13 miles
Week 3 of 3
Trail run for the Last Run of the Decade! Seems right that it should be with Trainer.
I started out the decade running my first marathon in over 10 years in a very underwhelming 5:08 and declared “Never again!” Turns out Never only lasts two years. In those two years I had gotten it into my head that I wanted to qualify for Boston, but when I told a running friend I wanted to run a sub-4 marathon (I couldn’t voice that I wanted to BQ ‘cuz that was too crazy), he blurted out “You can’t do that.” I got it down to the 4:30ish range but stagnated for years until I got connected with Trainer. When I told him that at 48 years old I wanted to BQ and that he had to take 30 minutes off my marathon time, this dude didn’t flinch…We got it done one year later, and I ran a 3:52 marathon, qualifying for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
So shout out to my coach and buddy Paul Pratt @flashyp_. This morning I told him that in 2020 I wanted to PR. At 52. Crazy, right? Why not!
The strategy with Trainer is that while I’m building up my mileage, I am lifting heavy-ish. Just getting my body strong to withstand the pounding. Here is some of the stuff we did.
Below are the stats for the last three miles of a 34-mile week. This is the most weekly mileage I’ve done since 2018! I was able to negotiate an increase in mileage with Trainer, so that I will be into the 30s for my half marathon training cycles this year. As a distance runner, my life centers around my weekend, specifically the Church of the Long Run. Preparing for the run, the actual run, and the recovery from the run; it is definitely A Thing. A while ago I listened to a podcast about the long run and some different ways to do it, and one thing I had never thought of doing was splitting it up, but there are some advantages to it — like running with better form. Yesterday my schedule didn’t allow for me to do the 14 miles in one session, so I did 11 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. I was quite surprised by this 3. I expected it to be a struggle run since I didn’t get much rest and it was the end of my highest mileage week, but my legs felt springy! This threw me for a bit since it didn’t make sense, and then it hit me: I had been doing both my mid-week longish run (7-8 miles) and my weekend long run on rolling hills along a path that had a bit of uneven terrain — and now I was on flat pavement. No wonder the run felt easier. Running that route must have helped with getting my endurance back because I thought I’d be staggering to the finish, but my last two miles of a 14-mile day were at 8:34 and 8:35. Great way to wrap up the accelerated base building phase!
Total Miles: 34
Long Run: 14