In case you missed it, I made a pretty YUGE (sorry, gross) announcement on the blog last week. I’m heading to Prague the first weekend in May to run the Prague Marathon! Yes, note that I said marathon. As in 26.2 miles. As in…I haven’t done a marathon since November 2015. I’m beyond excited about this and feeling incredibly optimistic and positive, and I can’t wait to share my training with you! I’m working with my friend Bobbi, who just so happens to also be a running coach and one of my Nepal travel buddies, and she’s put together what I think (and hope and pray) is a doable plan. Let’s get through this one without a total meltdown of my spine, shall we? PS: This recap will be longer than my other ones since I’m talking about some pre-training stuff too.
Pre-training: Sometime in early-mid December, I decided to start really making working out a priority in my life again, despite work being crazy. I vowed to spend one hour a day working out, even on my most crazy work days (I had four projects due in December!). Sometimes it happened and sometimes it didn’t, but I definitely made strides in my running and even got back on my bike on the bike trainer. I also did some barre videos at home. As I shared, I started using Aaptiv to mix up my workouts and ended up really loving it! I even packed workout gear and worked out a bit on our trip to Europe, and I came home feeling strong and ready to get going. I hit my hour a day plan every day once I got home!
Nutrition: I decided to start logging what I ate in a Word document each day for two reasons: first, out of pure curiosity. I usually think I eat pretty healthy, but do I really? It’s no secret I’ve put on some weight in the past few months with the stress of work, and I want to put the kibosh on that. Second, I know that nutrition is a super important aspect of marathon training, and I wanted to inspire myself to eat more vegetables and less sugar. I knew if I had to write it down (the good, the bad, and the ugly), I’d make better choices! I’m not counting calories at all, just logging what I eat. Although it was really hard at first – I hated to admit to the massive amount of chocolate and wine – it’s definitely helped me make better choices. So far, I haven’t felt any pressure or obsessive thoughts coming up about my food, but if I do, the logging will definitely go. Recovery comes first!
Gear: In preparation for the start of training, I decided to finally bite the bullet and get a new Garmin. It’s my first one in 6 (!!) years! I ended up going with the Garmin Vivoactive HR at the recommendation of a reader (thanks Mike!) and my coach, and I have to say, I love it. Although I haven’t run with a GPS in probably 2 years, I could feel myself improving over the past month of increased workouts, and I really wanted a way to quantify that. I won’t be focusing on pace AT ALL for this training cycle, but I do want to be able to track my mileage and heart rate and see how I’m doing.
- Monday, 1/09/17, 4 miles extra easy: The official start of training! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Clearly, I have forgotten the pain that awaits me. I made a mad dash outside to run my 4 easy miles once the temperature broke 32 degrees (hoping the ice would be slightly less…icy by then). After taking a rest day on Sunday, my legs must have been a little rusty because that 4 miles didn’t feel as easy as maybe it should have, but I ended up at a perfectly even 10:21 pace for every single mile and a total of 4.5 miles. How’s that for consistency?
- Tuesday, 1/10/17, Cross-training: I’m subbing a bit at the barre studio while things are (briefly) lighter at work, so I taught the 6 am class this morning. While teaching is still a great workout, it’s not quite as intense as taking a class, so I hopped on my bike trainer for a half hour progression ride when I got home. For these workouts, I just find something about the length I want to do on Aaptiv, hit play, and go!
- Wednesday, 1/11/17, 6 miles in one hour: The goal of Wednesday’s workout was to run 6 miles in one hour, and despite the fact that that’s a totally reasonable pace for me, I felt a weird amount of pressure for some reason. I went out too fast and was pretty inconsistent throughout the run, but I ended up with 6 miles at 9:30 pace. It is what it is!
- Thursday, 1/12/17, Cross-training: Despite waking up with 5 inches of snow still in my backyard on Tuesday, by Thursday, it was 70 degrees! So I got my bike off the trainer and rode for 55 minutes through the hills around my neighborhood on my lunch break. I also taught the 5:30 pm barre class – good core work!
Friday, 1/13/17 – DAY OFF: While I probably shouldn’t have anything to say about taking a day off, this one was tough because I am so excited about training. I know it’s the best thing for my body, especially with a busy weekend coming up, but man. I really wanted to be out there! Remind me of this in about 6 weeks.
- Saturday, 1/14/17 – Cross Training: I taught the early morning barre class and then headed out to hike Table Rock with AJ! It’s a pretty grueling hike of about 7 miles round trip with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain on the way up over 3.6 miles – aka an awesome workout. Buns of steel are on the way!
- Sunday, 1/15/17 – Long Run (10 miles): So all weekend I was feeling really excited about my long run. I felt really confident I could do it and was looking forward to really kicking off training. Well, when I woke up Sunday morning, all that confidence was gone. I was sore from hiking and tired! But I got up anyway and did it, and you know what? It went a thousand times better than I could have hoped. I ended up with a 10:04 overall pace and my last three miles were my fastest. I even managed an 8:38 last mile, just for fun. I’m thrilled with how it went and it was a great confidence booster for the weeks to come!
Danielle @thetrexrunner is training for the #PragueMarathon! Find out how Week 1 went #ontheblog today.
Thoughts/Feelings: I’m excited and optimistic about the literal and figurative road ahead! I do find myself getting nervous before every single run, though. It’s strange – I really want this to work for me and my body and I’m scared it won’t! Only time will tell. I’m feeling completely dedicated and have a borderline creepy devotion to everything my coach is saying. I’m even taking supplements now (tart cherry extract, turmeric, glucosamine, and vitamin c with rose hips), for goodness sake. I’m watching inspirational running videos. I’m foam rolling on purpose. I’m channeling the spine of 2012-2013 Danielle and pretending like the spine of 2014-2016 Danielle was just a bad misunderstanding between me and my anatomy. Stay tuned!
PS – I apologize for writing the longest training recap in the history of the world. I had a lot to say.
PPS – I’m doing lots over on Instagram these days, including updating my “stories” with all my workouts, so check it out!
LEAVE A COMMENT: What are you training for? Are you excited about running these days, or struggling with motivation?