Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 1

Although I've been registered for the Ogden Marathon since the hour it opened, the race became official for me just yesterday as we finally effin' booked plane tickets and made hotel reservations for the race. Why exactly this means there's no turning back now, I'm not sure. But there's no turning back now!

And I guess last week I started my official 12-week training plan, but that's neither here nor there.

Actually, that's precisely why I'm here. Time to crack open this hunk 'o junk blog and try formulating a word or two now that I may or may not have some content to work with.

Time to train!

My good running buddy and sweet friend in general, Aron (aka Coach Z-Bar) a la runner's rambles, was kind enough to take time out of her hectic I'm-training-for-a-50-miler-while-working-a-full-time-job-and-caring-for-4-pets-and-a-husband schedule to build a training plan centered around my specific goal for Ogden. Coach-approved mileage, paces, rest days, and all -- this is a brand new marathon approach for me and I'm excited to give her plan a try!

And here's where I'm going to cut to the chase.

My goal for the Ogden Marathon is to run 3:30. Sure, I'm passing up my 3:33 goal for now, but for good reason. I know I can do it & I want to train specifically for it.

Well, and the Ogden Marathon is working to my advantage with an ever-so-slight downhill, and with very little climbing to worry about.

Naturally, there are some caveats to this dream of a race:
  1. The race starts at elevation and ends at elevation. My little sea-level ass will more than likely feel this effect. Still working on how to conquer this one.
  2. I don't have a ton of long stretches of slight downhills to practice on here in San Francisco, but I'm finding as much flat ground as I can to train on. Close enough, right?
So, in effort to try to revive this dying blog, I'll start by attempting to outline my training specific for hitting a 3:30. My marathon goal pace (MGP) of 8:00 is out there and I'm set on doing it, so I might as well keep myself in check, right?

In sum: Ogden Marathon training, week 1

Goal: 8 mi. @ MGP + 15 to 45 sec. (8:15-8:45) + 10x100m strides/15 sec. recovery
Actual: 9 mi. @ 8:13

This run was pretty much right on. I hit consistent 8:15s and picked it up during my strides to knock my overall pace down a bit at the end. The newb in me didn't realize you can run strides DURING the last mile, so I accidentally added on a bit of extra after finishing the initial 8. I'm learning!

Tuesday: Rest. WHAT IS THIS? Resting during the week. Ha.

Goal: 9 mi. @ MGP + 15 to 45 sec. (8:15-8:45)
Actual: 9 mi. @ 8:14

My first mile was too fast, my second mile was too slow, the rest were just right, and the average is pretty close. I'm sure I'll get the hang of this pacing thing soon & I was happy to be on the lower end of this pace goal.

Goal: Rest
Actual: 6 mi. @ 9:56

Met up with a few San Francisco Marathon Am-bad-ass-adors at Lululemon's run club to lead a short group run followed by an SFM registration party! I got to ascend some sweet hills with Aron and Alisyn, and the casual pace was welcomed on this day of rest.

Goal: 5 mi. recovery (9:00+)
Actual: Rest

Goal: 13 mi. @ MGP + 30 sec. to 1 min. (8:30-9:00)
Actual: 13 mi. @ 8:21

Close enough! I started this run after sleeping in a bit too late, and by the time I hit the streets, it was unseasonably warm. Toward the end of the run I was antsy to get off the hot pavement, and I picked up the last few miles on the way home to knock the pace down slightly and get to my morning coffee faster.

Goal: Rest
Actual: 4.5 mi. @ 7:48

What I forgot to say about Saturday is that I was actually SUPPOSED to do some pace miles during that 13-miler & I totaaaalllly missed that part of my training plan. So I made up for it and ran some "fast" (for me) miles on tired legs to simulate what I forgot to do the day before.

Overall, I finished Week 1 with 42 miles of running, and I'd call my paces successful. This coming week slightly ramps up a little, but for now I can tell I'm loving these rest days. I am actually getting laundry and other chores done during the week (imagine that)! It's fun doing long-ish runs after work, too, as I'm usually not one to do much over 6 miles during the week. This training plan is all sorts of new for me, and I'm excited!

Can I also just mention that I'm super stoked for this gorgeous race!? Just look at these pictures I found by photographer Nick Sokoloff!

11 weeks until marathon #7!


  1. Look at you! When I met you last year, we had almost the same PRs. Now your MGP is a whole minute faster than my next one that I won't be aiming for until the fall! Holy cow!

    Anyway, so far I think this plan definitely agrees with you, and it will be fun to watch. Regarding altitude, I ran Tucson as my first marathon and it's basically the same elevation and course profile. I trained at 50 feet above sea level and never noticed a difference in Tucscon. And this is from someone who got altitude sickness two years in a row during the Tahoe Relay.

    1. That is so good to hear! I keep reading & re-reading varying opinions on the altitude thing, and basically what it sounds like it boils down to is genetics -- some people get altitude sick, some people hardly notice. After hearing your story, though (and knowing that Tahoe is quite a bit higher than Ogden/Tucson) this gives me hope that it'll be nothing for me, too -- we are pretty much twins, afterall. :)

  2. Nice runs for sure but what does it mean that your paces were generally on the fast end? Perhaps your goal paces need to be brought down in line with what you're actually running? Maybe a 3:25 is more in order? Or is that asking for trouble?

    1. I see what you're saying, Alma, and most would probably agree with you -- but mentally I'm really struggling with running alllll of my runs so much slower than my goal pace. Right now I've been trying to keep them on the faster end, but that might change as the weeks click by & I become worn down. I would LOVE to say that 3:25 sounds reasonable given these paces, but for right now I want to work toward 3:30 and reassess as needed once I get into more heavy mileage. Week 1 is probably not a good time to judge how the next few months will go. :)

  3. Good job, girl ;-)

    You are going to be amazing in Ogden!

  4. Wow, those are some amazing runs! I think your goal is more than attainable. Plus the scenery will help keep you going for sure. Looks like a great race.

  5. I'm so excited to follow your training for Ogden! I KNOW you will crush that 3:30 goal :)

  6. Great training week! Whenever I sign up for a race it never seems official either until flights and a hotel are booked. I usually always double check I can cancel the hotel week of, if needed. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet.

  7. When coming up to race at altitude from sea level or low elevations, the general rule seems to be: get to altitude a week or two previous to aclimatize. Since most normal working folks don't have the luxury to do this option, the second option is this: arrive at altitude as close to the race as possible, race well, then collapse afterward. :-) So, if you can arrive the afternoon before the race is actually better than arriving a few days before. You also have your tickets already, so this may be a mute point. It will be critical, too, to not go out too hard at the beginning. Go out too hard at altitude, even it it's your normal pace at sea level, it will be very difficult for your body to recover your pace. Make sure you review this aspect with your coach. With good planning and preparation, you will do great and have fun running in a beautiful place! :-)

    1. Thanks, K & S!! I actually am showing up just in time for the expo & the race is the next morning. I hope you two are right!

  8. Looks like a sweet race! Excited to see how your new training plan works out for you. :)

  9. #7 YAY!!! Looking forward to following your training!

  10. You've got this in THE BAG!!! Good luck!

  11. I cannot believe how fast you have gotten over the last 18 months. You are going to rock it!! Look forward to hearing about your training - you have always been one of my running idols :D

    1. I can't really believe it either, actually. Shooting for 8-minute miles is so fast! And you are so sweet. :)

  12. Ah, those pictures looks SO pretty! I love pretty races, obviously. :)

    3:30, here you come!

    1. Obviously you need to put this one on your list. How does this year sound? ;)

  13. WOW...those really are amazing pics...what an exciting place to run!! Those are some fantastic split times as well...i have a feeling you are going to be JUST FINE;)

    new follower...looking forward to reading more a bout you and hearing about your upcoming race!