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Marathon Training: 6th Edition

I received an email from WordPress in December asking me if I’d like to renew my domain, and it seemed like it was worth the $19 not to let it go…so maybe this year I’ll actually use it?

First up: Despite nearly being done serving our (original) 24-month sentence here in the jungle, we’re not headed back to Texas in March. Repatriation date is still up in the air, but we’re hopeful it’s in 2013.
Secondly: I’m marathon training again. In April I’ll head to California for a week to adjust to Pacific time/spend some time with my college roommate. From there, it’s on to Eugene to chase a marathon PR I’ve been after for years.
The plan is to finally break that 4-hour barrier that I just can’t seem to get my legs to. (For reference, my half PR is 1:48:xx and my 10k is 48:xx. Marathon is 4:08:12. One of these is not like the other…)
I ran that 4:08 last spring in Australia off a very hot/cold training cycle. On the one hand, I ran my first ever 60 mile week. On the other, I spent what should have been peak week on vacation in Hong Kong and only ran 15 miles. I’m pretty sure a little more dedication could lead to something good.
The plan I settled on is the Pfitz 70. I started it at 16 weeks out (instead of 18 where it actually starts) because I knew better than to bank on solid training while we were on vacation over the holidays. While we were in New Zealand I ran whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like it. Going into this my long run was at 13 (for 2 consecutive weeks) and I felt my mileage was in a place where I could make a slightly gutsy jump. (I’ve always thought the 10% rule was garbage…I guess if I end up injured the joke’s on me.) In all seriousness though, I found last spring when I was actually being a dedicated runner that I could hold up to higher-ish (for me) mileage pretty well, and that minimal speed work with lots of miles still led me to a PR (even if I did slack pretty hard.)
As I said, the goal is to break 4. Here’s how week 1 went down: (I’ve moved everything up a day so I can do long runs on Saturday.)
Monday: 11 at 9:40 pace
Tuesday: 13 at 9:40 pace
Wednesday: 5 recovery
Thursday: 9 with 4 @ tempo (33:14)
Friday: 5 recovery
Saturday: 15 at 9:28 pace
Total: 58 miles
I’m a little unsure if I’m doing those midweek medium long runs at the right pace. Pfitz says the long run should be 10-20% slower than goal pace, and 10% slower is 9:54, which doesn’t even get my heart rate to 150, so that can’t be quite right, can it? 9:30 seems too close to my goal pace, but my heart rate stayed at 155 and I didn’t struggle at all. Where’s the balance between taking it too easy and being one of those idiots who does long runs too fast?

Overall, this week felt good. Monday-Tuesday runs were boring as hell (did I mention I do all my miles on a treadmill?), I felt strong on the tempo, and I could have kept running after yesterday’s 15. Only issues of note are minor tightness in right hip (which I’ve been stretching diligently) and needing noticeably more sleep.

Anyone else going to be in Eugene?

Happy running.

purpleshoe (still!) runs

Since you heard from me last, I’ve PR’d in the marathon, flown 38,658 miles (thanks delta for keeping track!), been to the highlands of Papua New Guinea (the middle of actual nowhere), and snagged a little promotion. Life has been really unbelievably good.

After our Hong Kong travels, my next escape was to Canberra, Australia, to run in the Australian Running Festival Marathon there in April. I went solo (Mr. Engineer can’t always snag the days off that I can…his job is more demanding) and I only told Jeri and Megan what I was up to. I figured keeping my beak shut would keep the nerves at bay – and it did! I ran my little heart out (a little too hard on those hills in the first 19!) and just didn’t quite have what I hoped I would in the last 5-6 miles. I finished in 4:08:12 tired, happy, and ready to do it again. I’ll get sub-4 one of these days.


a little hand-scribbled mantra courtesy of Jeri.


post-race hair beaver.

In May I was lucky enough to head back to the US to meet Mr. Engineer in Houston (he was there for business…my boss was kind enough to let me work from there to get a little face time with my favorite country) and run a couple (half) marathons. I’d intended to run two full marathons while I was back (Brookings and Green Bay) but ended up not sleeping for the four days prior to Brookings (jet lag+sick=suck) and Green Bay was unseasonably warm and ended up being called off. I ran two PW half marathons at 2:08 and 2:10, respectively. But I ran outside! With friends! Funny how race times don’t matter so much these days.


damn I love these two.

after surviving the blast furnace that was Green Bay with Jeri and Ms. Angryrunner

I peaked at 64ish mpw training for this eventual train wreck, and after it happened I was so very OVER running. I took nearly two months off, which coincided perfectly with a surprise move to a new (so much nicer!) apartment here in PNG, a long-anticipated 4th of July trip back to the US, and a brush with Insanity, which is SO much harder than running a marathon. Holy crap.

did I mention I ran off to Vegas to celebrate Janelle’s (college roomie!) bachelorette party while I was back? amazing weekend.

more shenanigans.

More 4th of July trip goodness:




Also of note: surpassing the one-year mark here with far fewer tears than I’d have guessed would be necessary, looking excitedly towards the future, and making some things a little more official.

No date, no plans. Just happy : )

I just ran my first double-digit week in months and I’m sore and humbled – but I found myself back on the treadmill because I just love it. I love the feeling of putting one foot in front of the other. I have no race plans and no idea what’s next, but it’s nice to know that underneath all the posturing and goals, I really do just love to run. That’s enough for now.

Happy running.

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