Monday, December 15, 2014

The Road to 26.2: Week 1

One week down on my marathon training journey, and I'm feeling quite good.  The training load this week was fairly close to my maintenance routine, so it felt like an easy start to the training plan.  My first week workouts looked like this:

Monday (12/8):  Cross training and strength work.
I walked for 45 minutes at a brisk pace and did 15 minutes of body-weight strength training: squats, core, and ceremonial push-ups.  An anticlimactic but important start to the training plan.
Tuesday (12/9):  3 mile run.
Emily and I took our usual 3-mile morning run.  Though I nearly overslept, I made it just in time and counted that as a victory.
Wednesday (12/10):  5 mile run.
I ran 3 with Emily and then added a couple more on my own.  The miles felt too quiet and a bit lonely after we parted ways.  For the past year, 93% of my runs have been with my BRF, so it will take some time to get used to the solo miles.
Thursday (12/11):  Cross training and strength work.
Plagued by kid germs, I walked for an hour on our treadmill and did 15 minutes of body-weight strength training: squats, lunges, core.
Friday (12/12):  3 mile run.
Easy neighborhood route with Emily.
Saturday (12/13):  8 mile run and strength work.
Emily joined me for 6 then I added a couple extra solo miles.  Later, while the kids napped, I did 15 minutes of strength work, focusing on core and arms.
Sunday (12/14):  REST!
A much-needed day off from working out.  I'm feeling good, but my body appreciated the break.

The biggest lessons I learned this week related to food.  Around mile 4 of Wednesday's 5-miler, I remembered that I need to eat more before any run over 3 miles.  As an early morning runner, I can get away without fueling before a 3-miler, but beyond that, I need some extra calories.  I'll remember to grab a banana before this week's middle distance run.  I also made a concerted effort this week to improve my daytime eating habits.  I've gotten lax with my food choices, especially at lunch time.  Finally admitting that chocolate chips are not adequate lunch food, I'm trying to take more time to make better decisions about my mid-day meal.

My neighbor's tree, one of my favorites.
All in all, it was a solid week of training, and I'm happy to have the first week of the plan under my belt.  At the end of Saturday's long run, I stretched my calves on our front steps and thought about how 18 weeks feels both long and short: a long time to focus on one race, a short time in the grand scheme of life.  During my reverie, I snapped a picture of my neighbor's tree, thinking that both it and I will change remarkably over the next several months.  I hope to capture a picture of the tree each week as an external sign of the passage of time and progress towards the starting line.  Here's to hoping I can follow through on that plan ;)