Here we go again!

Well, well. I’ve found myself back at the beginning of a training cycle once again. Only this year I won’t be training for a spring half. Instead, I’m stretching the long runs a bit longer, and for the first time, I’ll be training for a spring marathon. Yikes! Even typing it feels a little scary, maybe because we’ve had two harsh winters back to back that make me a bit concerned on what this winter will bring. But it’s time I put on my big girl shoes (with the help of few friends) and get back on the road to running a 4:30 marathon!

Now, if you remember, in the fall of 2014, I ran the Wineglass Marathon. Training was amazing, my head, heart and legs were ready to run a 4:30 and I truly believed I could do it. Unfortunately, my head got the best of me, and I hit the wall hard at mile 16, and again at mile 20, and well, the race didn’t turn out anything like I had imagined. I still pulled on a 21+ minute PR, but my dream of running a 4:30 marathon was crushed. I vowed to never run a marathon again, at least for a long while. Then 2015 happened, and instead of training for a marathon, I got married. Which in retrospect, was a lot more fun. So even though running was a complete disaster, I won the more important prize.

But, it turns out, when you get a bunch of runners together, add a bit of wine, and the post run break high of loving running once again, you decide you want to run a marathon. So over the past few months, four of us have been researching races, narrowing down schedules, and we finally decided on a spring marathon! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running the Coastal Delaware Marathon on April 24th!

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I’ve trained for three marathons, and have run two, so I’m not completely new to the distance, but I still find there are things that need improvement. Over the next 18 weeks, I’ve set out a plan, made some changes from previous mistakes, but also kept what I excelled at. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Mileage:

During Wineglass training, I hit 100+ miles for three out of four months of training. Because of this, I felt that my running was much stronger. With longer runs during the week, plus more days on my feet, my long runs (15+ miles) felt much easier that I expected them to. So I plan on upping my mileage, running 4-5 days per week and expanding my long run to 22 miles.

I’ll be using the Runner’s World training plan I used last time, but I’ll be making some minor tweaks to accommodate longer runs and my schedule. I’m hoping with more mileage, I’ll be more prepared and I won’t panic about the distance mid race like at Wineglass.

Cross Training:

This is something I severely lack. I was good about it during Wineglass, but I need to step it up again. Unfortunately, my commute gets in the way of being able to join classes after work. Considering I don’t get home until 6:30, and even later during the winter, making it to class on time is almost out of the question. So, it looks like I’ll be doing much of this on my own. I’ve decided to try the following

-Monday: Yoga (at least 30 minutes)

-Tuesday/Thursday: Lift

-After every run: Abs

Hopefully I can stick to this plan and see some improvements. We’ll see how it goes.

Diet and Hydration:

The biggest thing that can turn my run from a great one to a horrible one, is my stomach. I’ve found a few things that work for me pre run and during, but there is always room for improvement. The biggest improvement I want to make is no longer eating dinner at 9:00pm or later. Again, thanks to our long commutes, we eat much later than normal people. But when you get home at 6:30, workout until 7:30 or 8, it’s rare to eat at a decent time. Regardless of what time I eat, I still should be eating healthier.

I also need to stay hydrated. I’m aiming to drink at least 50 oz of water a day, hopefully more. It shouldn’t be too hard during the week, but weekends could be a bit challenging.

Sleep:

It’s no secret that I struggle with sleep. On average, I get about 4.5 hours of solid sleep a night. Some days I’m not even sure how I function. The more sleep I get, the better I can recovery and the more motivation I’ll have.

 

And of course, here’s a look at the training planned for the next 18 weeks. I hope to stick to it as close as I can, but I also need to prepared for life to get in the way at times.

JC_Stone_50k___Coastal_Delaware_Training_-_Google_Sheets

So here we go. 18 weeks, lots of miles, and fingers crossed for a mild winter. It’s time to start marathon training!

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