I didn’t post a weekly recap because all I had to say was that I ran five times for 21 miles, did strength training twice, and it was cold. But I did take some pics, so here they are because you can’t let runfies go to waste.
I thought I’d save the juicy stuff for this post to talk more about the training I’m starting this week. I had my dates wrong. Half marathon training doesn’t start later this month. It starts this week!
I talked last month about my big, scary, five-year marathon goal. It’s so far from where I’m at now that I know I have to put in a lot of work to make it happen–which thrills me! It all starts now, with this next training segment for my mid-April race, the local Boston Trail Half Marathon. I’m going to work toward a pretty scary time goal for this race. I honestly have no idea if my time goal is possible, but I’m excited to give it a shot. And I know that if I struggle with it during training, I’ll be able to adjust.
Hansons Head Coach Luke Humphrey said in one of his live chats through the HCS Run Club that even if you don’t meet your time goal during your goal race, you did the training and that’s what matters to build your fitness and foundation to get toward your long-term goal. I think my race anxiety has lessened over time, but hearing him say that immediately made me feel much less pressure. Not sharing my time goal publicly also alleviated pressure during my marathon training, so I’ll not share my time goal for this training either.
I’ll be using the advanced plan from the Hansons Half Marathon Method book. (For my previous reviews of it, see this one from October 2015 and this one from April 2016). As much as I loved working one-on-one with Coach Melissa, I will not be working with her for this segment only because it’s too expensive. But I might use the less expensive group coaching option through the HCS Run Club, where I’ll still be able to interact with Melissa and the other coaches. That’s what I’ll be doing for marathon training next summer too.
I chose the advanced plan because I’ve done the beginner plan twice and am comfortable with more mileage and a ramp-up in overall intensity. The advanced plan differs from the beginner plan in that there’s only one week build-up before the three hard, weekly SOS (something of substance) workouts start; there are five weeks of build-up in the beginner plan. The advanced plan also has more mileage in general.
I think that most runners–at least, most I know–favor less mileage. It’s always interesting to me how training really needs to be tailored to the person. Personally, I would not do well running only a few days a week. I need the near-daily de-stress of my morning run to function. A day without running just feels off to me. I love the routine of running six days a week. Plus, my body seems to love it too. I’ve been using the Hansons’ method since August 2015 and have never had any injuries or even many aches and pains with frequent runs and higher mileage. Just the opposite–I always feel my best when I’m running a lot. In fact, I think that’s my biggest strength as a runner. I may not be really fast and I may not do well in races, but I’m consistent, dedicated, enjoy higher mileage, and am willing to work hard.
Another new thing for this training segment that I’m thrilled about is that I’ll have a great training partner. Joanna has not only decided to use the Hansons’ method for her spring half marathon, but she’s also planning on working toward the same time goal as I am. So we’ll be able to share a lot of runs at the same pace. I did many of my Thursday tempo runs with her during my marathon training since she also runs early in the mornings before work. We’ve also run races together. We always seem to run better when we run with each other.
So I’m excited to get back to running six days a week, I’m excited to get back into the structure of Hansons’ training, I’m excited to train with Joanna, and I’m especially excited to start my tempo runs to see how my goal pace feels. But I’m also a little worried. Last winter the snow and ice derailed many of my training runs. This year I’ve committed to using the treadmill when it’s unsafe to run outside, but that scares me. I haven’t run on a treadmill at all in the past two years, and only once or twice since I started running two years before that. It’s different, I’m not used to it, I’m not sure how I’ll do, and it will disrupt my schedule since I’ll have to drive to a gym instead of running from my front door. I’ll just have to make it work.
As for blogging, I’ve been considering quitting. You can see by how long it takes me to comment and respond to comments that I just don’t have a lot of time for it. I get all these offers to review products but always decline because I know I won’t have time to write a review. I know I could easily make some passive income from it, but just setting all that up would take more time than I have. However, I LOVE being part of this awesome, supportive community. I’ve met so many good friends, both online and in real life. I was telling Joanna and Jamie on our run this past Saturday that I’ve never had any negative experience through blogging. I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned this, but so many people have taken the time to email me separately instead of just commenting to offer support or advice or just kind words. Everyone–at least in the community that I follow–is so nice and supportive, and I don’t want to lose that. So, if you can all deal with only one or two posts a week and my taking forever to respond to comments, I will continue to blog.
I’ll be doing weekly training recap posts, but I want to make them more substantive than just noting how many miles I did and what the weather was like. I’m curious to see how I handle this advanced plan, as well as if I can turn a scary time goal into a real possibility over the course of training. So I’ll focus more on my journey–my struggles and triumphs–for this training cycle.
So here we go! Is there anything more exciting than the beginning of training?!