Healing – And a Plan! :)

The foot has healed great.  I was able to run 2 miles yesterday, plus an hour elliptical. Today I was able to do 6 miles, plus 45 minutes on the elliptical.  Super excited about that – it means I’ll be able to resume training as normal next week (obviously cognizant about how the foot is feeling and careful not to re-blister or cause the healing skin/foot to endure too much pounding).

So, what will the plan entail?  Good question!  Jerry was in touch with me tonight, so I have a general plan.  This week, there’s nothing written.  Just run, and run easy (although not too slow, he warns me) – 80-85 miles with a day off (15 miles/day).  Striders, strength, and flexibility.  I am in desperate need of all three he suggested, as confirmed by today’s post-workout flexibility attempt.  My strength session yesterday was harder than it should have been as well.  So I’m excited to have that be my focus this week (just getting back to a rhythm).  Plus, I love just running “miles”!!  So, yeah!!

Our total plan for Fargo will have a max of 120, just above the max for New York.  After this week, then, I’ll average 100 miles/week.  Hope the weather accommodates!

Other mid-cycle goals will be to target a sub 17:20 5k.  Now, that’s not the speediest in the world, but I am truly NOT a greak 5ker.  This will be a great goal for me to motivate me to get to the track and work on my speed, since I know in order to lower my marathon pace I simply need to become faster.  My current PR is 17:27.  I’d love to have a PR in the teens.

When Jerry emailed me, he first emailed with goal paces.  I opened it and immediately showed Nate.  Wow… Jerry thinks that the Olympic Trials A standard might be in reach for this fall.  Yikes!  I was content chasing a course record at Fargo (currently 2:41:52) and just snagging the standard.  But, if I have learned ANYTHING through this journey and with Jerry, life and running is all about setting crazy goals.  You never know what you’re capable of achieving until you set yourself up for it.  I never would have imagined making the ’12 Trials, signing with Brooks… so a marathon sub 2:37… well, maybe?!?

Here are the things I told Jerry I think I need to work on (from my email to him),
soliciting his advice for other items (if you’ve been reading this for a
while and have other observations, let me know!):

1. Picking up the pace as the race goes on, or that
long run strength in general (i.e. those 20-22 milers where there are 3 miles
of Tempo at the beginning and end – I feel like right now I don’t have the
strength to do the end one)
      –  I
feel like I’ll get that long run strength back fairly quickly once a block of
training starts.  Getting faster through a long/hard run… will have to
work on that!
 2. Not pushing the pace on the days/weeks I’m
feeling good.  I think this put undue stress on me (on top of those high
mileage weeks), broke me down more than necessary. I think it’s best to
stick to the paces written (+/- just a few seconds), even if I’m feeling
really good – so that I can stay feeling good!
I think I should alter the paces on my easy days
just a little bit.  Some can be slog-through-the miles slow, some should
be a little quicker (i.e. below 7:30s – closer to what Daniels
4.  Nutrition/weight.  Now I know I should
target a lower race weight.  I’ll hate this, but just have to get it
done.  I can also work on the fat burning part – so will probably take
my plan and map out 4 depletion first runs and 2 more further depletion PM
runs per week (per info from an elite mens marathon study on what they do
nutritionally).  I do so much better when things are just laid out in
black and white.  [long blog post to follow this week on things I’ve explored with a doctor friend.]
5. Ability to randomly pick up the pace.  I’ve
lost a little of that snappiness.  Probably something as easy as striders,
some plyos? Into the schedule.
6. HILLS.  I think it’d be beneficial to write
in a few hill workouts this winter/spring.  I did more in prep for NYC,
but only on my easy runs in RW (and here in NF I’d try to pick a more rolling
route), but I can tell I’m not as good of a hill runner than the others around
me.  Maybe not the biggest issue, since Fargo will be flat… and Chicago as
well (unless we decide to do TCM).
7.  Assuming I can stay healthy and feel good
throughout the cycle, let’s keep mileage a little higher through the
taper.  I’m scared to say this, but I think cutting mileage severely
leaves me feeling flat.  I’d likely also keep the doubles through the taper, just reduce the
duration of doubles.  Seems like when I start to cut those out, my body
doesn’t quite know how to take it.
8.   Cut out the junk in my life that doesn’t count
for anything.  Be efficient at work.  Prioritize sleep.
9.  Work on flexibility a little bit more.
10.  Strength 3x/week.

So, there you have it… have to say it again, I am so excited to chase my spring and fall marathon goals.  It’s going to take a LOT, but I’m on board to give everything I have. 

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