Training for Tuesday: That Thing I Said I Wasn't Going to Do

Welcome to the first Training for Tuesday of 2015! Or, as I like to think of it, That Linkup Where I Talk About the Opposite of What I Planned to Talk About.

On today's agenda is sharing my training - that's what this linkup is for right? Right. Except I've been being really vague and shady about what I'm actually training for. I know it's not quite time for Humpday Confessions yet, but I gotta get this one out today:


The marathon just keeps singing its siren song and I can't seem to stay away from 26.2. Why is this such a shocking revelation? Well...
  • I said (like a month ago) that I was going to take the marathon completely off the table for 2015
  • I said I would never run a marathon I've already run
  • I said I would never run the Shamrock marathon again
  • I said I would never run the Shamrock marathon, period, even one time (oops)
…just to name a few.

I know I said I was swearing off the marathon for this year to focus on the 70.3 (since I called off a 70.3 last year due to being burnt out from marathon training). But this is different: I trained for a marathon from June 2013 - January 2014, and then I trained for and ran another marathon in March 2014. My 70.3 would have been in June 2014. That would have put me at literally one full year of hardcore training. This year the timeline is much more spread out: I'll spend January-March training for the marathon, and then my 70.3 isn't until 6 months later in September. It's still a big commitment, but they're far enough apart that I think I can take some time to breathe if I need to before starting up another intense training cycle.

I said I wouldn't run a marathon I've already run. But this is different: Virginia Beach is home. While I loved running Charleston for my first marathon and have so many other marathons in other places that I'd love to do, I'm at a place right now where I want a familiar route and a familiar race. I love runcations and seeing new places, but what I really want is a race that's just…home. A race where I don't have to worry about finding a place to stay or where I can get coffee in the morning. A race where I have friends at the start line and familiar faces at the finish line.

I said I would never run the Shamrock marathon again. But this is different: I need a redemption marathon, and I need it to happen at Shamrock. My first marathon is my PR and, knowing how conservatively I ran that one, I know I have it in me to run a better one. I absolutely know I have it in me to run a better race than I did at Shamrock last year. This will be my 4th year participating in Shamrock weekend: it was my first half in 2012, then I ran the half again in 2013 (took over 30 minutes off my time from the previous year!), and of course last year was the Whale Challenge (8k on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday). After a not-so-great experience last year, I really want to do better this year.

I said I would never run the Shamrock marathon, period, even one time. I have no idea how this is different. I can't explain why I did it in the first place, so I definitely can't explain why I'm doing it again. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment (Shamrock has never been particularly kind to me), maybe I just really want to be a part of the running community I've so desperately been missing, or maybe I have just really lost my marbles.

But really, what is different? It's still a marathon, so the required training is all the same. Considering I had such a hard time getting through training before, that's probably not a good start, right? But this time, I have a much different game plan when it comes to training, specifically long runs. I've finally figured out how I can run a decently non-hilly route where I live, and I have several opportunities to do long runs in Virginia Beach. Out of the 5 really long runs I have left (13.1, 14, 15, 18, and 20 milers), only one of them (the 18-miler) will be just me, by myself in Blacksburg (and there's even a possibility I'll be able to run it in Virginia Beach, maybe even with my dad). The 15 and 20 are "competitive training runs" (which are like races, except the point of them is to get ready for Shamrock, so in that sense they're not really standalone races), the 14 is a 10-mile race that I'll be doing (after I run 4 miles to the start), and the 13.1 is Rock n Roll DC with a bunch of fabulous ladies! I did several races as part of training for my first 2 marathons, so I think having these races to look forward to and having people to be around and run with will be a big mental advantage.

I'm also taking my training much less seriously than I ever have before, which sounds like it would have catastrophic consequences, but I'm not so sure that's the case. I don't mean that I'm not training - the ever-present aches and pains in nearly every square inch of my legs and feet will testify that I am - but I mean I'm not centering my life around my training like I have in the past. I understand that I have other commitments that I didn't have during training for my 2 successful marathon training cycles, and I'm working around it the best I can. Training is most certainly a priority - as it will be as far as I can see, whether I'm training for a big race or not, since that's just part of who I am - but it isn't the priority. I suspect that part of my Richmond problem may have been over-training, and while part of me worries that I may be erring slightly on the under-training side this time around, I'm hopeful that I can put in enough work ahead of time to get ready for the race while staying sane in the process. I may not have a couple of 20+ milers under my belt on race day like I have in the past, but things are different this time, and maybe that will actually be the thing that gets me to the start line in the first place.

After my failed attempt to train for the Richmond Marathon last fall, I've been really hesitant to say that I'm trying again. I haven't even signed up yet for Shamrock, and I probably won't until much, much closer to the race - my spot in the half is secured and depending on how the next 6-8 weeks go, I'll upgrade to the full if and when I'm ready. Or you know, maybe I'll be back next month to tell you about how I dropped out of another marathon. I hope not. I'm cautiously optimistic. 26.2 miles is a long way, y'all.

I showed you mine, now you show me yours? Link up below to share how your training is going!



tracytris

21 comments :

  1. Good luck training! Even if you said you'd never do this one again, I'm glad you are :)

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  2. I think putting it out in the universe that you want to run and train is the best!! Can't wait to see how training goes for you! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  3. Yay for a new round of training. I think a redemption run is just what you need. I also remember saying "I will never run a marathon. Nothing longer than a 5k." :-) My how I changed my tune!

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    1. Haha so true! Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell myself about all the races I've run that I never thought I would!

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  4. I think not making training the main priority will be good. Other things come up, and (personally) I think people who make training the #1 thing in their lives are kind of missing the point. To each his (or her) own of course, and what works for me won't necessarily work for someone else, but I think getting to the point of burnout just isn't fun, and it sounds like you have a great attitude about so I'm sure you will do great!

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  5. All of your reasoning and justifications show just how much you really want to do it, and I think that's probably one of the most important things when doing a marathon! You're not doing it for anyone else, you're doing it for yourself. What I'm learning about running and training and all of that is how much can change in just a month when it comes down to progress, priorities, everything. So excited for you!

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  6. you can totally do this! you need to stop using words like fail and maybe I'll drop out - if anyone can do it, you can. You and Alyssa are both super dedicated and I am 100% sure that you will do it and PR the shit out of it. (but if you don't that's ok too, I'm just trying to be motivating lol). But seriously - I think spreading out your training so you're not super burned out will help, not to mention you know what your body is capable of and how far to push it. you can do it! :)

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  7. You can totally run a marathon this March! Especially with the training runs you have planned. I think it's doable. Plus, then you can redeem the other Shamrock races that sound like they weren't the best for you. You'll rock it!

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  8. I love when you come to these linkups and talk about the opposite of what you meant to talk about. It feels like tradition at this point ;)
    Anyway, proud of you for putting this out there. I know and I've always known that you're going to do whatever feels best, feels right, and is the smart choice for you. If there's something pulling you to Shamrock and the marathon in specific, you gotta go for it. Same way I gotta go for City of Oaks. 2015 is going to be a challenging year in that you'll probably run, bike, and swim more miles than you ever have before, but I think your slightly more relaxed attitude and level-headedness will be key in getting you to every finish line you want to see. Beyond thrilled for you.

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  9. Yeah!!!!! Even though you did it before it will be a new set of challenges! Good for you! You are going to do fabulously!

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  10. isn't it funny how the minute we say we aren't gonna do something, we end up doing it? life has such a sense of humor about absolutes we set for ourselves.

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  11. In the words of the great Justin Beiber... never say never :)

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    1. Woo back at ya! You'll be partied out by the time I come stumbling in to the post-race party, haha!

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  13. I say go for it! Sometimes the best decisions are going against all of the voices in your head saying no! Also, racing in your home town is 100% a valid reason to run a repeat race.

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I moved away last summer and I miss running at home SO much. I always planned on at least doing the half at this race, but why limit myself to 13.1 miles of running at home when I could do 26.2?! ;)

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  14. Yay!! I'm so excited for you! I took the training for my first 2 marathons very serious, and I don't think that hurt me at all. Now that I'm training for #5, I guess I feel like I already know what I need to do to get there. And that has worked well for me. You're lucky to have running partners for your long runs, I can never get anyone to do long runs with me! You can do this girl!

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  15. Can I just say that you are one badass runner!! I totally get how addicting running races is though. From 2010-2013, I don't know how many half marathons I ran... One every 3 or 4 months I think! I just started getting back into the running groove from popping out a baby, but haven't yet signed up for a race. I can't decide if I want to try to do a super fast 5k or go for a 10 miler/half again... Help! Do you tend to like slow and steady or fast races?

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    1. Thanks girl :) So, six months ago I would have said long distance all day every day, but now I'm not so sure! There is something about long distance that I really do love, but at the same time, short fast races are super fun! Of course I've gotten faster the more I've run, but something happened this summer and it was like a flip switched and all of a sudden I could run faster short distances (and I was having more fun doing so). So that's what I did this fall, I ran some fast (for me, at least) 5ks and 10ks and even some pretty fast (again, for me, haha) halfs, but obviously now I'm back to slower, longer distances. I don't know what to tell you, I'm torn too! Although, one advantage of shorter, faster races is that training isn't nearly as big of a time suck!

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  16. I totally get wanting to redeem yourself, so I think doing this marathon again will be so awesome for you!! I actually looked into doing that one, ironically, when I was trying to plan a blog meet up last year but it didn't work out. Maybe I'll eventually do that someday and run with you! :) I also think it's a great idea to not take your training too seriously. As beginners in training for a new run, I think anyone takes it overly seriously--I know I did for 5K AND 13.1. But when you get used to running and it's no biggie to run 3-4 miles, training becomes apart of your day rather than your day getting in the way of training. I think you're going to do great!!

    Also, sorry I didn't link up this month--I went back to Ohio and neglected the blog world for a few days. Next month I'll have more to post about anyway!!

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  17. I missed this months link up but will be back next month! I am SOOO excited for you and I know you will rock it! Just because you "failed" the last marathon attempt doesnt mean you will this one. I think you rock girlie and I can only hope one day to dream to even think about attempting a marathon haha so go you!!

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