Marathon Season 2015

My summer boyfriend and I got back together again on Sunday as marathon season 2015 officially began (and my social life/free time/late Friday bed times officially ended for the next 18 weeks).

If I’m being completely honest, I’m a little less jazzed about this marathon season than I have been in the past. That past month has been a bit rough in the running department for me. While I’m (mercifully) not fighting any injuries at the moment, I’ve been plagued by disappointing and/or harder-than-expected runs since May 9, with only two runs I would in any way label “good” during that time frame. I have a laundry list of reasons why this may be the case, including the fact that my weight is not where it should be if I expect to perform well, the fact that the weather has not made it easy to adjust to conditions I would consider challenging (heat and humidity are always my nemeses, and the all-or-nothing approach Chicago has taken to both of these conditions this spring/early summer has made it difficult to acclimate), or the fact that I could possibly be burnt out from my half marathon training cycle. What I know for sure is I’ve been bonking pretty consistently regardless of how far I’m running (I’m looking at you, post-vacation four miler. How on earth did I bonk on a FOUR MILER?!), and it’s been discouraging, to say the least.

I took all of last week off of running because I was sick of having runs that made me angry and frustrated, choosing instead to focus on other workouts while I had the freedom to do so, and I think that was another thing that was contributing to my dread about marathon season: the idea of being locked into a training cycle for 18 weeks. At this time last year, I didn’t know if I’d be able to train at all, so my only real emotions related to the whole situation were fear and concern. Since I (knock on wood) have yet to sustain any substantial running injuries this year, there’s nothing stopping me from training, and staring down this summer has been…less than inspiring.

(I’m also running Ragnar with my marathon training group this weekend, and real talk: we haven’t even gotten into our vans yet, and I already am sick of these people. Haha. I’m sick of the emails, I’m sick of draining my bank account for a stupid relay I didn’t even want to do in the first place, I’m sick of the lack of coordination, I’m sick of the leadership…yeah. I’m in a really great mental place in terms of Ragnar, as I’m sure comes through quite well in this 😛 ).

Regardless, I’ve paid far too much money to the Bank of America and the Chicago Area Runners Association to not go through with marathon training just because I’m not bouncing off the walls with excitement, so here we are. I have a few goals for this season of varying levels of ambitiousness. In no particular order:

1. Only obtain boyfriends of the real variety over the next 18 weeks, not the fake variety.
— By which I mean, don’t get hurt and end up in PT. Hahaha. Obtaining an actual boyfriend in the next 18 weeks would be fine by me, but is certainly not an actual goal of mine for marathon season. As much as I love my physical therapist, I love not being in PT so much more.

2. Take care of myself by strength training to prevent injury, eating appropriately both in terms of quantity and quality, and going to bed on time instead of withering away on OkCupid (<– my life is a joke.)
— Honestly, this should not be as big of a struggle as I tend to make it. I really think it boils down to shifting my priorities: particularly, making taking care of myself more of a priority than the Internet, which truly has been something I’ve struggled with since…ever? It’s just so easy to get caught up in the rabbit hole, and I’d really like to stop wasting my time on my phone/laptop and instead spend my time doing what I need to do to have the best marathon season I can have.

3. Do speed work.
— Tragically, one does not get faster by writing blog posts about how one wishes one were faster. One gets faster by working, and I, historically, have not been good about actually wanting to, you know, work during marathon season/the summer. No more! It’s on my training calendar, written in pen. I’m doing speed workouts this year, even if it’s hot/humid/terrible. On the topic of my training plan, I have, once again, taken CARA’s training plan and completely torn it apart like the expert I suppose myself to be (maybe this is why I keep having bad marathons…) to make it fit how I’d prefer to train. As it stands, I plan to run three days a week, practice yoga one day a week, and do strength/HIIT workouts in some capacity two days a week (I’m including my dance classes and climbing in this category). This means my mileage will be pretty low (if I follow things perfectly, I’ll top out at 32 miles/week), which, some (many) (most) would argue is way too low if I expect to do great things at the Chicago Marathon this year. Fortunately, I don’t expect to do great things, just better things, and I think (hope) this will keep me from getting injured/burnt out.marathontraining2015

4. Make it to the start line healthy, fit, and run a 4:45 or faster.
— A 4:45 would be a 12 minute PR for me, but would also still be about 15 minutes slower than a 10:30 marathon, which, in theory, I should be more or less capable of running. I’m really, really, really x1000000 hoping that my strength/HIIT workouts combined with speed work will give me the ability to run A. LOT. faster this year. I have a half marathon the first weekend of taper this year, and while I ABSOLUTELY do not plan to race it hard or even think about getting a PR, I would like to do a sub-2:10 at that half, which, based on the 2:13 I ran at the Spring 13.1, doesn’t seem *too* ambitious as long as it’s not OMGSOHUMID (which it freaking had better not be on Sept. 27).

5. Do my PT exercises.
That’s probably the loftiest goal of all of these, if we’re being real. I’ve been terrible about regularly doing my PT exercises…like since the end of 2013. Haha. I would like to think if I do consistent strength training in general, I won’t *need* to do my PT exercises, aside from maybe the really specific ones.

So. There you have it. My 2015 Marathon Season Goals, published for all the Internet to see/hold me accountable to.

Now, if anyone wants to take my spot in my Ragnar van…

Am I insane? Do these goals seem realistic?

8 thoughts on “Marathon Season 2015

  1. I think you’ve done an excellent job mapping out very realistic goals. I think that your self-awareness regarding your feelings towards running and realizing that you may burn out is crucial to having a successful fall marathon. I think you’re doing a great job and I’m excited to see what’s to come!

  2. I am feeling super blah about running right now too which makes me super glad I am not signed up for a race anytime soon. Although I am a little jealous of your Ragnar- I’ve always wanted to run one! I hope it turns out okay and you have a blast. I think as long as you follow your training and try not to get burnt out you will surprise yourself and do great at Chicago!

  3. Can’t wait to read about your training! We can get through this together, girlfriend! (and not only get through it, but get faster!)

  4. I SO relate to the feeling of being angry and frustrated with runs, and feeling locked into a training plan that provides little or no room for flexibility. That aside, I think that experience helps a lot. You’ve done this before, so you’ll know more when you’re red-lining and when you truly need to back off. And I think your goals are very realistic.

    I didn’t realize that Ragnar was this weekend! I’ve never run it, but I’ve heard stories from others about how much planning and coordination it takes. Anyone that has the gusto to do an ultramarathon relay blows me out of the water!!! I wish you the best of luck this weekend and I hope everything goes smoothly!

    • Yep, Ragnar is this weekend! Historically it’s been last weekend, but for whatever reason they moved it this year. Probably for the best – this was I could take all of last week off, which would not have been the case if I had had Ragnar last weekend!

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