Base Building is Everything

Making a decision to step away from a marathon that you signed up for is never easy. As the beginning of October neared and my google sheets training plan had “HOUSTON 2019” labeled as my next tab, I looked over my previous weeks of running and saw averages below 10 miles per week.  Hmm. Decision time.

I could start building and push the hard training stuff back. The race is January 20th. For a 16 week build-up I’d have to start October 1st. Could I build enough base in three weeks and then go for a 13 week build up? Could I do enough work in 13 weeks to get my 3:15? Is three weeks enough time to go from 8 miles a week to 30?

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The answers were, no, definitely not. So then do I step away from the race? I couldn’t see myself spending the money to travel to this flat course, run a marathon with an unknown plan under shady amounts of miles just to walk away with the experience of running Houston. I’m sure it’s a fantastic marathon, but in my opinion there are certain courses out there that are “give your all” courses, Houston is one of them. I won’t be ready to run Houston until I am 100% healthy.  And I know from many years of training that real racing shouldn’t happen unless you’re 100%.

At this point I’m monitoring my volume and building slowly. I’m not allowed to run back to back days yet and I still see my PT once a week.  Building base is everything because it tells you where you are in your recovery after injury.

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Yeah. I see that I doubled my mileage in a week. Not the smartest, but I also know my body well enough and the effort in the 10 mile week was harder.

If done properly and slowly it will make you stronger in the long run. If it’s ignored and you jump into big mileage telling yourself that you’re relying on previous marathon cycles to carry you into the new cycle, you are likely going to get injured or stay injured. Consistency and patience is what I need right now, so I’m giving myself that by dropping out of Houston.

I’ve got a fire building, but for what, I’m not quite sure. I’m planning on running The Avenue of the Giants marathon in May, to get to proper mileage by the second week of January doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as big of a stretch. When I’m not running, I’m either in the weight room or spin class. (I’ll write about my tour of spin studios in my next post!)

My glutes and hammies are firing and while my breathing and heart rate is still taking time to come back, that’s to be expected. I am going to suffer so hard in the first tempos I take on. I look forward to it. Until then, I’ll be adding miles every other day until I can be back to the 35 miles per week average that I thrive from so that I can up it to 40-45 for the next training cycle.

My mileage base as well as my strength training will help me build, build, build, and we’ll see how tough I can get before training can start for Ave of the Giants. Here’s hoping for consistent gains and no set-backs.

That injury disappearing act

Oh hey summer plans and summer days? Where did you go? I was all about those lofty goals last time I checked in on this blog. Sub 40 for a 10k and planning on getting in the mid 5s for the mile, but then INJURY.

My ankle had started to feel weird in May, by July it was painful to have a blanket over my foot at night. I knew something was up and that running would not be possible for a while. 8 weeks later, I’m back! What did I do with all my time off? Was I as motivated as part-time mermaid Colleen Quigly who is bouncing back from her injury and won a steeplechase race in Berlin in 9:10 this weekend? or maybe as on top of the bike as much as  Jordan Hasay who will be defending her Chicago title in October? NOPE! While I am so inspired by the pros, I did nothing but PT three times a week. Oh, and I tried out spin class and have 3 classes left to do before October. The motivation to move beyond going through PT just was not there.

When it comes to injuries, I’ve realized I’m lazy AF. Part of me just likes to tell myself that I’m resting off the injury and making it better by staying off of it. But if I’m being honest with myself, if I’m not running, I’m not good at making myself work. I get the sads and would prefer to stay up late and sleep in. It’s a real bummer that this happened over the summer after a dark winter of training, but injuries happen.

The positive side of things is that I’m working towards getting stronger. My hamstrings and glutes have been fired up and I look forward to marathon training to reach a new PR in Houston. I’ll be plugging in the Hanson’s plan and moving forward in a couple of weeks and I’m pretty excited about that.