T minus 18 weeks. The Training Plan:

Ok, training is underway.  Before I can lay out the training plan, let’s go over a few key details of how I plan to tackle this entire thing – not just the mileage.

MY EXPERIENCE:  I’m married, mom to two teenagers, and have many pets. I have full time job which requires a lot of office time and a lot of travel, and cyclical crunch times.  The marathon will conveniently happen right in between two crazy crunch times at work, but heavy mileage training will happen during my busiest travel season. (Logistics of that predicament to be determined.)   For about 6 yrs, I ran 1 to 3 miles at a time, a couple of times a week, when the weather was good, if I had the time, and if I felt like it. More recently, I’ve run two introductory half marathons – one in September 2012 and one in November 2012.  Most recently, I ran a half marathon on July 14, 2013 (though this one was a bit discouraging – read below.)

MY PACE:  at my fastest, I managed to maintain a 10 min mile in my first and second  half marathons. That is my *fastest* pace.  That is me pushing myself.  That is me running as if I am on fire.    Fast = 10 minute mile.  My comfortable running-by-myself-enjoy-the-scenery-not-late-for-work pace is more like a 10:30.   Or, in tough conditions like a mid-summer half marathon on July 14 in 85 degree heat and 10,000% humidity with water stops that ran out of cups and raging tendonitis in both feet, it was a miserably slower pace (that I will not document in writing – but it was pretty slow.)

MY TEAM:  I am part of a threesome. I’m not clear on how this got started, but my two running buddies (also colleagues from work) are the pair that brainwashed me into thinking that there was something *good* about running more than 1-3 miles at a time.  It will be impossible to write about this effort without including references to Janet and Margaret (or, on days when I’m really tired, really hurting, really second guessing this whole thing, they will be a.k.a Trouble1 and Trouble2.  Since I’m just getting started, they can be Janet and Margaret in today’s posting.  🙂 )  Margaret is a seasoned triathlete and marathoner, a wife, a mom, and professional administrator with a huge job. And she just moved far, far away to another part of the country. (But she’s still in the team!)   Janet has had a life goal of running a marathon and already has lots of experience in distance running with multiple half marathons and a 20 mile race behind her.  She’s also a wife, a mom, and professional with a huge job. When the two of them gang up on me, I end up with a marathon registration in my name (and drinking margaritas and swallowing a whole plate of loaded nachos.)

TRAINING SCHEDULE:   Well, the training schedule sounds a little different depending on which team member you might talk to.  Janet (Trouble1) seems to think we don’t need a Novice/Beginner training schedule since we’ve run half marathons. She thinks we can do the intermediate schedule. I disagree.  Margaret (Trouble2) is trying to convince us that if just ran 13 a mere two weeks ago, we can just keep adding two miles to our weekend runs …  I disagree.   I am a beginner to the marathon. I like the beginner schedule.  I have 18 weeks.  In the beginner schedule, that means that I need to run a total of 14 miles this week with distances of 3 or 4 miles. I LIKE THAT. I’m going with the beginner schedule.

OBSTACLES:  I have tendonitis in both feet (right in the arches of my feet. I’ll find out the technical term.) Basically, this means that after about 4 miles, it feels like I am landing on hot knives.  Yes, I am seeing a physical therapist. Yes, the PT would like me to take time off.   In the meantime, he’s taping my feet, I’m doing the icing, the exercises, the fish oil (PT recommended for the healing aspects), ibuprofen if I can’t bear it, and the shorter runs. Let’s hope that’s enough to heal.

Thanks for reading my first post! Stay tuned for more…

2 thoughts on “T minus 18 weeks. The Training Plan:

  1. Hey there Whitney – don’t be discouraged by the old port half – everybody was slow that day. The high humidity increases your perceived effort so what ends up being a relatively slower pace feels quite difficult – at least that what happened to me. 🙂 My time last week was much slower than a half I ran in April & I haven’t been slacking in my training (of course the local dairy queen did open up in mid April but I’m sure that is totally unrelated to my slowing down!)

    I’m excited to follow your blog! Good for you for undertaking a marathon!

  2. Woo Hoo!!! Amazing!!!! Totally excited for you! I am just reading Jeff Galloway’s book about the benefits to a running / walking program. Or course, I’m only gearing up for running 3 miles… which makes your 26.1 even more inspiring!

    And to the Soule family and friends: I’m sure I can wrangle up some free room and board in Wayne PA (about 30 minutes from the city) so we have a big group cheering Whitney on in person in Philadelphia!

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