My training cycle for CIM is essentially 18 weeks. The first 9 weeks were spent training for the Rock 'n Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon where my longest run was 11 miles and my weekly mileage peaked around 25 miles. Since San Jose, I have essentially been preparing for CIM. I continued on training with my Fleet Feet group for CIM.
Our group is small, only 10 people, which is a huge difference from the Fleet Feet group in Sacramento that had around 90, but I have really gotten to know everyone which is nice. We are continuing on with the run/walk method which I am currently preparing a post on. I briefly mentioned in the past I had mixed feeling about this but after my 17 miler two weeks ago where we ran for 5 minutes, walked for 1 minute I am more and more convinced it works (more below on why).
The long runs this training round are as follows:
10 miles - DONE
15 miles - DONE
17 miles - DONE
10 miles - DONE
This is the first time I have followed a plan with such drastic cut back weeks but so far I am really liking it. I feel like my body actually does better with more recovery time and when I go back out for a long run I feel stronger and my legs feel well rested. My peak mileage weeks are right around 40 miles. I know many plans out there have you doing between 50 and 60 many of the weeks but like I mentioned above, I have found my body responds better to the less is more philosophy. When I start doing that many miles my legs just can't recover between runs and my performance suffers significantly. Each runner is different and you have to make a plan that works for you!
I won't bore you with the specifics of each run - just do a quick summary of each week.
Week 1 - TOTAL MILES: 10 (should have been 20)
I got in all my recovery runs (3 miles, 4 miles and 3 miles) after the San Jose 1/2, however, I missed my long 10 mile run as it was the day after Levi's Ride. My knee was bothering me a little after the ride and since I knew I had a long training cycle ahead I didn't want to aggravate it. I hated knowing I was already missing a "long" run" but also knew from the past it would be better not to push it.
Week 2 - TOTAL MILES: 24.6 (should have been 26.5)
This week included a 4 mile interval/hill run, a 4.5 mile run, a 3 mile run and a long run of 15 miles. Got them all in except the day of the 15 miler was the same day as Nike so instead of 15 I did 13.1. I figured riding the century the day before made up for the missed 1.9 miles.
Week 3 - TOTAL MILES: 29 (goal 28.5)
This week included a 4 mile interval/hill run, a 4.5 mile run, a 3 mile run and a long run of 17 miles (ended up being 17.5). Saturday night the weather forecast was threatening torrential rains, however, luckily we only got caught in the rain for the last two miles. It was pouring but it was kind of refreshing! The course took us out in Pleasanton and Livermore - in fact, many of the streets were ones I trained on for Foxy's. The run was awesome and I finished in 2:53:57 - a 9:56 pace, and yes, this was doing run/walk! I looked at my CIM 17 miler from last year and saw that my pace was a 10:10 and that was running the whole time. I was really excited because I was the first girl in our group to finish and I am never first when it comes to running. I am a little nervous since this seems like more of a "race pace" for me than a "training pace" as I know you are supposed to have your training runs almost a whole minute to minute and a half slower but I was feeling good so I went with it. What do you guys do? During a long run do you just go with feel or try to keep a consistently slower pace than your "race pace?
Week 4 - TOTAL MILES: 23.7 (should have been 24)
This week included a 5 mile interval/hill run (mine was only 3.7 but I did an extra mile on my long run for 11 instead of 10), a 5 mile run, a 4 mile run and a long run of 10 miles. Since our long run was on Halloween I made sure to dress the part.
Our coach said he was going to meet us around mile 5 with water and Gu. Around mile 4 we turned onto a beautiful, fairly deserted, wooded road. The lady I was running with and I had just been following the guys in front of us instead of looking at the directions, however, this road seemed to be a pretty straight shot and we never saw any roads coming off of it so when we lost sight of the guys we weren't worried. When my Garmin said we were at mile 6 I commented that 1) we had yet to see our coach and 2) we would probably be turning around soon as we only had 4 miles left in the run and I felt like we were more than 4 miles away from where we started. Just as soon as I said this our coach actually pulled up. He said we had missed a turn back at mile 4.5 and if we kept going we would have ended up running 15 miles. He ended up giving us a ride back to the turn we missed and we finished our run from there. Ooops! I guess we were just caught up in chatting away. Total 11 miles in 1:44:09 - a 9.27 pace. Again, doing run/walk and again, speedier than I hoped. I know for this coming weeks 19 miler I need to SLOW IT DOWN or I am going to die.
I am really excited for CIM in a few weeks! So excited in fact I did a crazy thing and already signed up for a marathon next year. The Big Sur Marathon is one I have been eying for awhile but to be honest I was a little intimidated by it. However, when I looked at the website the other day it said it was 96% full. I knew if I wanted to do it next year I had to register for it that day or else it would sell out. After a brief poll on Facebook I just went ahead and did it. I know it will be challenging and definitely won't be a race to PR but I am excited for the challenge and the course looks phenomenal. I also signed up for the Oakland 1/2 Marathon which is the end of March. It will be a nice training race for Big Sur.
I actually have been thinking a lot about next year already and have made a rough schedule of some things I would like to do. Of course until I know the results of the bar any plans before March 1 are kinda of hold but it is fun to plan and look ahead. Any suggestions?