I started writing this post in my head as I was walking home from what was supposed to be Day 1 of my new marathon training cycle, when all I could think about was “Kristin, this is definitely how not to train for a marathon”. Notice I said “supposed to be”? Yes, well, I’ll be pushing that back a week. I haven’t run at all since the Bainbridge Half, which was March 22nd, so roughly three weeks. My achilles tendonitis has been bugging me and to be honest, I wanted a break. I’ve been running and racing non-stop for a while and my body was not holding up well, throw in my crazy work schedule lately and it just wasn’t in the cards. It was a much needed and very welcome break.
I didn’t have a plan for when I was going to start running again, I knew I wanted to work on improving my 5K time before I got back into another long distance training cycle, but when a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in trying out a new marathon training plan he was working on, I figured why the heck not. The first workout consisted of 8x400m repeats with 400m recovery intervals, and a half mile warm up and cool down. Easy-peasy, right?
Wrong! You see, I haven’t done speed work in a while, a LONG while. And I think I have runners amnesia (is that a thing?). In my head, I ran a marathon, then another, then some more, so this should be easy..
(Side Note: I’ve never watched How I Met Your Mother, but with all of the hoopla on Facebook surrounding the finale, I got curious and started watching it from the beginning. This scene seriously cracked me up when I saw it!)
So, back to this workout. I went out to do it Tuesday night and for some reason my watch reset itself and no longer had any GPS data on it, so it didn’t recognize the distance I was running.. and said I was at a 35 minute/mile. I know I’ve slowed down, but I’m not that slow! So I came back home, updated the software on my watch, and figured I’d try again the next day.
I headed out last night and felt great during my warm-up. Then when I started my first 400m, I got about halfway through it when I realized I forgot to reset my watch to show my lap distance instead of total.. so in my head I thought “this is less than a 5 mile workout, I’ll just walk back to where my 400s start and fix my watch and start over”. So I did. Then I ran the first 400 in 1:47. Mike had told me not to run all out, to run faster than normal but to try to run as efficiently as possible, to lengthen my stride and use my arms more. I tried to do that, but since it’s been so long since I’ve done speed work I wasn’t really sure what pace I should be at (and I know I wasn’t supposed to be worried about the numbers on my watch, but it’s hard not to!). I learned very quickly that the pace that felt okay for the first 400m would not feel okay for the others. I jogged back to my starting place and started the 2nd one. Ohhh it hurt! I ran it in 1:55 and spent the last 100m or so wondering what I was doing to myself. I felt sick and almost immediately regretted the pre-run whoppers and beer with dinner (don’t judge, our ‘fridge was leaking so the filtered water was turned off, what’s a girl to do?!). I jogged back to the start again and considered throwing in the towel but I wasn’t even halfway done so I decided to do another. I ran that one in 1:50 and my body was screaming at me the entire time.
running my first marathon – my goal this time is to blow that time out of the water!
I know I ran these too fast. Those paces were fine for me a few months ago, when I was consistently running 4-5 times a week and doing speed work once a week. I was running 800s in 4:00 and had built up to 6 of those, so these would have been cake then.. but then is not now.
So, new plan. Instead of calling this Week 1 of marathon training, I’m going to still do the rest of the workouts this week that Mike gave me, but make a conscious effort to not kill myself or make myself miserable. Then next week, I’m going to officially start marathon training, and I’ll run all 8 of the 400s, even if I do actually puke at the end. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?