Last year got a pass – no marathon training, what-so-ever. No thoughts of 26.2, no long runs exceeding what would prepare me for a half (13.1), no plan-B and caving and signing up for a race even though I said 100x that I wouldn’t.
no. No. NO. Rest. Recharge. Go out late on Friday nights and enjoy vacations without any fitness footnotes and run without any focused plan.
Some people don’t need a full year to do that, and well maybe I didn’t either but damn it felt good. The year effortlessly filled itself with other things that I happily handed my attention to, and that was that.
After a few short races mixed with the RW hat-trick weekend last fall, it was clear that this break had served its purpose. The legs were like, “Yeah we GOT IT. Rested. Recharged! Etc. etc. HOP TO IT!”
Spring marathon research began and we decided on something slightly local but slightly far away (mini road-trip!). We found something that is nice and hilly – why not throw in a little challenge? – but that also rewards us with views of (and subsequent drinks from) wine country.
Charlottesville Marathon – April 5, 2014
Marathon #5 is booked! What now?
I wanted a different approach to this. I want to learn and not just go through the motions for the 5th time. Twenty miles is twenty miles is twenty miles. It’s hard and your mind will have a lesson to learn every single time. But what else is there? What workouts have I not tried yet? In what ways have I not pushed myself yet? And, open poll: who will push me to do it?!
I decided to run a different road for the first time,
with a Coach navigating the way.
There are two goals with this*, but first and foremost there is a Finish line
Right now I’m 90% through week 1 (one long run to go!) and if you compare the last 5 days of workouts to those of any other training cycle I’ve done? They have but one similarity: I’m running. And, well, if that weren’t the case we’d have some questions needing some answers.
There are a lot of numbers being through around that I have yet to absorb, but hey! I don’t have to! It’s a beautiful thing. The reigns have been handed over and I just go into Training Peaks to record things like “well I was chatting my face off” and “it was a balmy 12*!” and “bad news: I forgot to turn the auto-lap back on”. And then the next day on the calendar tells me what to do & I do it!
Easy peasy? Not so much. I’m not one to brag about how well I stick to training schedules or instructions, because I generally don’t. But that’s part of this challenge and what I’m already loving about it. The comfort zone is expanding and knowledge base is growing and running feet are like, “whatever man, just tell us where to go.”
I’m enjoying the process, which was the plan.
What do you think about working with a running coach (whether you have or haven’t)?
*More to come. Checking a box soon.