January 10, 2011

The Change Up

I’m now entering my 7th week of Jeff Galloway’s “How to Qualify for Boston” program. The first 6 weeks have been awesome – and a BIG ramp up in mileage. I ran 3 days a week for the first 3 years after my return to running in 2007. I had a few weeks here and there in 2010 where I ran 4 days a week and threw in some Yoga too so it was with a little hesitation that I decided to really step is up this year and give this new, more intense 5-day a week training schedule a shot. My IT bands, hips and knees are getting stronger with each week. It seems the more I run, the more I want to run. Rest days are strangely becoming increasingly hard to actually rest so I am alternating Hard and Intense Yoga workouts (Kinect – Biggest Loser Challenge) for various lengths of time; anywhere between 50-80 minutes. It is with great respect for my body that rest days are now termed “Vera – don’t you dare run” days. Sticking to the plan and staying healthy are the overarching goals that will keep me on track and avoid overuse injuries.

My next marathon time goal is 4:30, after having set a PR by 38 minutes (4:57 finish) at the Santa Barbara International Marathon on Nov 6 of last year. My 4:30 goal might seem like a big reach but between a combination of being under-trained, tackling big hills and terrible GI distress for several miles in SB, I am confident I can get there by race day in mid-June. I think it’s obvious that for someone in my age group, 4:30 is not my BQ time but it is a big step forward. Not just in terms of my finishing time but also in feeling this new schedule out. Should this plan get me to my next goal, I will use the structure as I continue on my BQ journey.

To give you an idea of just how different the last couple of months have been for me, here is a typical training week from the beginning of 2010 followed by what I did last week.

March 2010 – Peak training week prior to tapering for a Half Marathon
Monday: nothing (I run almost all of my long runs on Sundays so Mon were rest days.)
Tuesday: nothing (still in “I have to protect my IT bands mode”; took 2 rest days at times)
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: nothing
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: nothing
Sunday: 14 miles
Weekly Total: 23 miles – This was about my average weekly mileage until Dec 2010 when I started the new Galloway schedule.

January 2011 – 6th week of new Galloway BQ schedule.
Monday: Yoga 82 minutes on Hard – intensity and duration is dependent on how I’m feeling after a Sunday run (LSD or mile repeats or marathon pace work)
Tuesday: AM – 4.1 miles on my own; PM – 2.23 miles (Galloway group pacer)
Wednesday: 3.1 miles
Thursday: 5.05 miles
Friday: Yoga 52 minutes on Hard
Saturday: 3 miles (Galloway group pacer)
Sunday: 12 miles
Weekly Total: 30.5 miles– This is my highest mileage week since the last week of Sept 2010 (if I don’t count the week of the SB Marathon).

Pretty notable change, isn’t it? With all the success and progress I’ve made using Jeff’s other programs that only require 3 days of running per week, I am excited to have a smartly laid out 5-day a week running schedule that is going to get me to my ultimate goal of 3:50 for BQ. I know I have a long way to go, but I’ve got nothing but time to get there.

In the meantime, our Galloway Training Program members are making leaps and bounds with each week. Their progress is amazing and I am so proud of each and every one of them. Just 11 weeks until our target Half Marathon at the Great Race of Agoura! We are running in the Bandit Buddies 5K in Simi Valley next month to gain familiarity with the pre-race process, possibly some jitters, and experience what it’s like to actually be in a race – picking up goodie bags, pinning bibs on and the all-important rule of maintaining your pace at the start, trying not to let the excitement of the event lure you into racing out too fast, only to peter out at the end.

Hubby and I are just 4 Sundays away from the Surf City Half in Huntington Beach. We have not participated in this event previously, but I have heard great things.  I am preparing myself for the 2-week taper I’ll do beforehand which starts in just 2 weeks!! I have a feeling this could be the most mentally challenging taper I’ve been through considering how difficult scheduled rest days are getting for me. My strategy is to cut my BQ schedule in half, eliminate double-workout Tuesday and keep my LSDs truly at my LSD pace.

This will be the first time I’m running a race having gone for a run the day before (due to the Galloway Group Agoura half marathon schedule). The last couple of races I’ve run threw new challenges my way, both resulting in PRs and some major Lessons Learned. Maybe that’s why I’m not feeling nervous about my performance. I know I can handle whatever comes my way, expected or unexpected. Now for the big question – do I expect a PR at Surf City? Is it reasonable? I am going to try to shave just 2 minutes off my Half PR which would get me across the finish line at 1:55. I guess we’ll find out if it’s reasonable next month.

Schedule for this week: A little higher intensity with a few less miles
Monday: REST. Although I did take 2 10-minute walks at work today, I need a complete day of rest after 8 days without a break in my schedule.
Tuesday: AM – 4.25 miles on my own; PM – 2.25 miles (Galloway group pacer)
Wednesday: 4.55 miles (Jillian iFit program for the TM; lots of speed and hill work)
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Yoga - intensity and duration dependent on how I’m feeling
Saturday: 8 miles (Galloway group pacer)
Sunday: 6 miles with 4 hills (Easy to find a course for this where I live!)
Weekly Total: 28

Hope everyone has a great week!


Johann said...

I like that you are taking your time to build up for your BQ. I'm sure you've got the right approach. Well done with your training last week! Just keep going, you'll get there!

Katie said...

Wow - looks like a solid week!

Candace said...

I found your blog through DM. Go Vera!