Patience. Endurance. And more patience.

It’s been surprisingly difficult to get back into a regular running routine, considering how much I missed running from August through October. I had a rough goal of achieving 40 mpw over the past few weeks. But then I found myself skipping planned runs. Or, rather, I had no plans. So not running was easy to do on many days.

Coach Sandra is still traveling and that’s fine. I told her a few weeks back that I was dropping plans for a spring marathon and that I just needed to get injury-free before I could think about making any significant training or racing plans. Building mileage and getting rid of my remaining adductor problems have been the only goals on the horizon.

Still, one needs a plan. In my case, a specific one. “Run 40 mpw” isn’t enough structure for me. So I’ve mapped out runs for the next five weeks. Two of those weeks consist of the “pre-race” schedule Sandra had put into my original plan over the summer. The others include one tempo or fartlek session midweek and a long run on Sunday. Mileage is 35-45 mpw. I have one doubles day. This at least resembles real training, and it’s reasonable to think I can stick to it. I’m giving myself a day off from running about every 7-10 days.

I have races penciled in, despite my better judgment. First, the NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler in early February. That’s completely dependent on how the tempo/fartlek efforts go. If I still have adductor pain, forget it. But if not, I’ll probably go for it. Then, in very soft, highly erasable pencil, the Cherry Tree 10 Miler a couple of weeks later.

That one is probably not practical, based on my run today. I did 11.2 miles in Central Park, although I’d planned to do 12. I ran a bit faster than the previous run two weeks ago (and it was very windy today), and four of them were well under 8:00 at a not ridiculous effort. But I don’t have real endurance yet. I was cooked at 10 miles and made my way out of the park via a shortcut.  I’ll try for 12 next Sunday, down from my original planned 14.

It drives me crazy not to have something to work toward. So I’m going to loosely train for the NYRR Colon Cancer Challenge 15K. That’s 10 weeks away. My best time in that race is 1:07:18 in 2009, and that was doing it as a tempo effort training run with 6 miles tacked onto either side of it. Incidentally, I have no fucking clue how I was doing runs like that two years ago. It seems impossible now.

Running a decent 15K would give me opportunity train for endurance and speed, which training for these 4 milers won’t give me. But I figure I can punt if I’m still struggling with longer distances and just do the Colon Cancer 4 miler instead as a measuring stick against whatever I do next month.

I’m not ready to jump into marathon training yet, physically or otherwise. I need to feel like I can run 50 mpw consistently without getting reinjured. But, looking a bit farther ahead this season, I’m thinking a run at the half distance in Long Island in May (and hoping we don’t have another freak heat wave) is not a terrible idea.

In totally unrelated news, we had a good New York Running Show episode this evening, in which we (Joe, Amy, Brenn and I) covered all things related to training in Central Park (and some racing tips), as well as a discussion of whether men should wear shorts over their tights. We had 83 downloads of the show last week. That’s up from around 50 a few weeks ago. Explosive growth!

6 Responses

  1. This seems as good a forum as any to say that I really enjoy the NY Running Show. It has just the amount of banter I can handle in a podcast. And it makes me feel good that there are other people who can talk about that kind of stuff for an hour and not get bored of it.

    • Thanks for the positive feedback, Sarah. We are trying to keep it interesting, informative and NY-area relevant. I’ve always questioned whether we can do this on a weekly basis, but so far I think we’re keeping to that credo pretty well. I’ll stay involved as long as we do, and as long as the other guests will continue to laugh at my stupid jokes.

  2. Yay, thanks Sarah!
    I’m doing the Colon Cancer 15K too, hoping to crush my 2009 time of 1:10. I hope you get there too.

  3. I really appreciate this post. I, too, have recently discovered that a training plan is what motivates me to get out and run. I’m signed up for Cherry Tree and the Colon Cancer 15k as well. (I’ve done Cherry Tree before, but not the other.) I’ll be setting out a plan for both today and sticking with it. Good luck to you!

  4. I’ll be at the Gridiron 4 miler hoping to go sub-30:00. I’ll also be at the Coogan’s 5k in March. Looking forward to listening to the show. Sorry I couldn’t make it last night.

  5. [...] was actually happy to come across a blog post today by Races Like a Girl, in which she says essentially the same thing.  I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone and [...]

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