What do you do when you're stressed out? Do you reach for the large spoon and the jar of peanut butter? Lace up the running shoes and take it out on the pavement? Grab a pen and write it out? Grab some iron and work it out?
I've not posed a question to my readers before, but I'm honestly curious as to how everyone handles stress. So, lay it on me! I'll even put the peanut butter spoon down...
I think I do a combination of all of the above. But, not all at once. Week 3/15 of spring semester of dental hygiene school has just finished, and I already cannot believe the length of my to do list. Numerous projects, six board exams, many clinical hours and long days. Oh, and did I mention round 4 of marathon training?
This was my, "Let's rock this!" face before taking my first board exam last weekend. Nerves and coffee had me a little excited. Anesthesia written exam is complete. And I aced it! I'm ready for my next 5 exams! -Or am I? Next up is my clinical anesthesia board at the end of February.
Today begins week 3 of Round 4 of marathon training. This time around, my focus is on injury prevention and keeping my sanity. As aforementioned, I'm busy. You're busy. We are all busy. Isn't that the point? We're always busy. We're always moving, doing, thinking, planning. But we are never too busy. I am a firm believer that if it is important to us, we will make the time. This goes for anything: meditation, relationships, eating well, studying, sleep. Not just running or exercise.
With this in mind, Round 4 of marathon training has been created with the intention of balance. My previous training plans have included running 5-6 days a week with only the mere thought of cross-training in there. This time though, I'm only running 4 days a week and spending 3 days a week cross training at the gym. This is in hopes of providing a more rounded training plan without completely fatiguing my body. I'm currently compiling a good runner's workout, and hope to be able to share what I come up with soon!
As for the running, I've taken and tweaked a number of marathon training plans, and formed one that actually works for my schedule. Sundays are my long, slow, distance, (LSD) run day with the runs ranging from 12-22 miles. Saturday is my mid-pace run with distances from 6-10 miles, depending on that week's mileage. Monday-Friday is a little bit up in the air, as my school schedule does vary. I just make sure I get at least two days in at the gym, a fartlek run, and a hill repeat or mid-distance run in.
A fartlek run is basically 'speed play.' For me, this means running for one minute and sprinting for 30 seconds and then repeating this for the duration of the run. Yikes. With hill repeats (HR,) I run to a pretty decent hill near my house. I sprint (or, erm, run hard while thinking that I'm sprinting. When, in reality, I look like a turtle wading through peanut butter) up the hill and then walk/light run back down. I repeat this however many times specified.
Here's a gander of what training is going to look like (Clearly subject to rearrangements and many changes...):
We Run For Cupcakes Marathon Training Plan
|1||Jan 12-18||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45min||Hill Repeats 5x||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 12|
|2||Jan 19-25||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||6-8||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 14|
|3||Jan26-Feb1||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||HR, 5x||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 16|
|4||Feb 2-8||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||6-8||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 18|
|5||Feb 9-15||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||HR, 6x||Rest||Mid-pace 6-8||LSD 20|
|6||Feb 16-22||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||6-8||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 16|
|7||Feb23-Mar 1||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 45-60||HR, 6x||Rest||Mid-pace 6-8||LSD 22|
|8||Mar 2- 8||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 45-60||4-6||Gym||Mid-pace 6-8||LSD 16|
|9||Mar 9-15||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 45-60||HR, 7x||Rest||Mid-pace 6-8||LSD 20|
|10||Mar 16-22||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||6-8||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 18|
|11||Mar 23-29||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||HR, 8x||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 16|
|12||Mar 30- Apr 5||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||6-8||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 14|
|13||Apr 6-12||Gym||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||HR, 6||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 12|
|14||Apr 13-19||Gym||Fartlek 30-45||Gym||Gym||Gym||Mid-pace 4-6||LSD 10|
|15||Apr 20-26||Gym||4-6 easy||No run||3-4 easy||No run||No run||RACE!|
A moment of gratitude. In the 2 1/2 years that I've been a runner, I've never been able to coerce someone to run or train alongside me. Granted, I've had many a runner join me in the same race. I've helped spark that running fire in a number of wonderful people. I have also had runners that are training for the same race. But never someone following the same training plan, experiencing the same
agony joy that I am.
I am so thankful to be able to say that I have a training partner with me to prepare for the Bend marathon. The same guy who kicked my butt at a 6 week fitness challenge is now getting his butt handed to him with marathon training. He is now part of the We Run For Cupcakes team. We do our Monday-Friday runs on our own, as the half-state distance between us prevents us from doing everything together. We then run Saturday, Sunday together.
Let me be honest, though. I don't always love running with someone by my side. Especially long runs, when I just tend to tune out.
We just finished week two of marathon training. We ran 14 in Forest Park on Sunday. I'm never a very happy camper the first 3 or so miles of any run. It takes me about that long to settle into the run, and the self-talk is generally of the negative variety. Never mind the fact that we were also running those first 3 uphill.
I'm not a very competitive person. At least, I don't consider myself one. Until a certain someone comes along with natural running talent and can just bound up these trails without being winded, while I'm back here wondering if someone stole one of my lungs.
That's what happened Sunday. First 3 miles. Uphill. I'm trying to calm my mental demons and settle into a steady rhythm. And yet, it is all I can do to keep up with Eli! I'm thinking to myself, "Hey man, these are my trails. This is my domain. I was going to teach you about running. Why are you already showing me up?" The inner 5 year old in me screamed, "It's not fair!"
No, no, I didn't say that out loud. I surely was thinking it though! He did the smart thing and ignored my complaints. We laughed about it later, when I finally settled into the run. Maybe I am competitive...?
So, here it goes, here it goes again. Marathon training, round 4. I'm very much looking forward to this challenge in physical fitness and balance of time and energy. At this point, I don't have a time goal in mind for finishing. Ideally, I would love to finish in under 4:30.
Bend Marathon, here we come!