The Training Plan 2013

Some people finish projects well ahead of their due date while others of us seem to flourish under the pressure of a looming deadline. Running is more fun for me when there’s an event approaching, a goal.

My next event is now just 18 weeks away. And, there are thousands of runners all over the country beginning their 18-week journey the same as I am.image

I have decided on Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 marathon training program which peaks at 50 miles/week and three 20-mile runs. I have never done so many 20-mile runs and this part of the program scares me just a little. No matter how intimidating that first 20-miler, you know there’s the reward of the taper as soon as it’s over. This summer it will take me five weeks to get through the 20-mile runs.

Monday’s are cross training days and Friday is always a rest day. Every other Saturday is a pace run and the first long Sunday run this week is 10 miles leading up to the first 20-miler in week 11.

Interestingly, there is no speedwork in this plan which suits me just fine. Once every three weeks, 3/1 training is encouraged. This means you run the first three-fourths of your long run (say the first 12 miles of a 16-miler) at an easy pace, then do the final one-fourth (4 miles of a 16-miler) at a somewhat faster pace–though still not race pace.

Four days/week I will continue the core strengthening learned during base building – two days of Core H and two days of a Better Myrtl. These sessions only add about 10 minutes time to the running part of my day and are well worth the effort.

The part of this training plan that has given me the most angst over the weekend is my commitment to practice Tai Chi and Kung Fu each day. Angst may be an understatement.

As I sit here still amid chaos, I can’t imagine carving out even more time for training. There are eleven boxes I can see from where I sit, pictures still leaning against the ottoman that have no wall space left to be hung onto and we won’t even discuss the state of affairs in my closet.

Nonetheless, I’ve put together a tentative schedule for Monday – Friday leaving Saturday and Sunday to focus on running.

Tai Chi is easy to practice. The forms can take up to 10-15 minutes to perform and no matter how many times I repeat them, there’s always something that needs more work. For Kung Fu this week, I’ll work on the 12 animals, the circle of 8 animals, five element fists/kicks, and 15 minutes of walking the circle. I’ll spend some time with the punching bag in the garage to practice putting all of my body weight behind the hits and kicks.

We met several couples over the weekend that were preparing to retire to our area. They were all a bit worried about how to fill their day and asked what I did to keep busy. Their eyes got wide when I tried to explain there were never enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted. When my husband told them I don’t even make it to the shower before noon they were a little skeptical that I’d be much help with their transition.

I read the book, Jackie after Jack, by Christopher Andersen. When Jackie took the job as junior editor at Viking, the cab driver recognized her one morning and said, “Lady, you work and you don’t have to?” She simply said, “Yes.”

When you find something you enjoy doing, you should just go do it. Everything else will fall into place somehow…. hopefully this includes the boxes and pictures in my family room.

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