Last weekend I did a long run of 17 miles to prepare for the Providence Marathon on May 4th. This was a big day for me. I had been struggling mentally with running since I returned home from the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge weekend. I had the BEST time running that weekend, but my legs weren’t good. I had been having issues with my hip flexors. I am also sooo slow!
I typically train by myself and do all of my long runs alone because I remain committed to my plan and am self-motivated. But because of my apprehension about doing another marathon shortly after doing the Disney full marathon in January I decided to hire a training coach. Not only did I hire a coach, I hired the best! I am doing e-coaching with Jeff Galloway. That was a VERY smart decision for me. His instructions for my 17 mile run made a huge difference for me. I just received my autographed book from him in the mail and was excited!
I was just reading the latest Runners World magazine and there was an article from Dimity McDowell about her Iron Man endeavor. You can also read about her Iron Man race on the anothermotherrunner.com site. First of all, I am in awe by any mother who does the Iron Man. That’s just awesome. I met Dimity in February at the Princess Half Marathon weekend and she is so humble and friendly and awesome. But her article hit home to me. She wrote about controlling as many variables as possible. Having a coach to keep you on track is key. I feel that having Jeff to help me achieve another marathon within a few short months of my last one will help me to avoid injury and still achieve my goal.
Proof of this success came when I did my 17 mile run last weekend. All week prior I was having issues with a muscle spasm in my back. I saw my incredible chiropractor three times and it quieted down the issue. He also reassured me that I would still be able to do my run. Mentally I was struggling. I was having doubts about my ability. Even though I did a half marathon just 2 weeks prior I didn’t feel like I had the base of mileage behind me.
When I set out on my run I did as Jeff recommended and changed my interval time to 30 seconds run, 1 minute walk. At first that was nice, but it felt like I was going a lot slower. I kept this interval up for the first 4 miles. Then I changed it to my usual 30/30. I did that for miles 5 – 10 then stepped back down to 30/1:00 for the rest of the run. My average pace was about 13:30 per mile which again, is much slower than I am used to doing. However, I had a lot less pain during and after my run and I recovered much faster during the days after. I know Jeff is my coach and he’s been doing this for MANY years so he knows what will work for me. I have to trust that. Even though it means I will be out on my training runs for 4-6 hours, these runs will help me for my race day so I don’t get hurt.
During the week I do my cadence drills to pick up speed and turnover, and hill repeats to build up the other muscles that get ignored by doing flat runs. Even though I read magazines and books about running it really sunk in for me that each type of training run has a purpose and when you do them all as part of a plan it will make you a more efficient runner. I am maturing in my knowledge about running and hopefully that will help me to achieve my goals and one day achieve a goal of qualifying for Boston. That is a VERY hefty goal for slow little ole me, but it’s out there and hopefully one day it will happen.