Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marathon Training in a Series of Snowstorms

Monday marked 2-months-till-Boston (and also, coincidentally, my 28th birthday!), which means that this marathon is no longer a concept of the distant future but a very real and very imminent issue that must be addressed now now. But addressing it means training, and training in Boston this February is at best not easy, and at worst not possible.

Let me set the stage for this tragic comedy of meteorological error. You may have heard a little bit about Boston's multi-record-breaking winter this year? (Ok good. Documenting the atrocity is part of the healing process.) Right now, as we speak, there are 4-6 feet of snow lining every sidewalk. But "sidewalk" may be too generous of a term -- narrow ice rink? Crunchy packed snow and ice that may at one point have been a sidewalk? Snow bank that has not been cleared once this year? -- thus running, if pursued as an outside activity (which it should be!), must be done almost exclusively on the roads.

The problem isn't so much that it has snowed a lot. It's that it has snowed a TON, in rapid succession, and been so Arctic-ly cold that not one single flake has melted.  

So what's a marathon-hopeful to do? IMPROVISE!

First off, I am taking a very flexible approach to days off and scheduling. For example, if it snows a ton and everything is shut down (including the gym), then looks like I'm doing abs in my living room! If it's relatively warm on a Wednesday -- get in a long run!

The next part is that I am getting very friendly with the treadmill. Now, just between us, I do not like the treadmill. One might even say I hate it. But I am fostering a temporary truce with this torturous contraption for the time being. I'm not quite up to doing a truly long run on the 'mill, but I do have some long run-ish workouts that keep me mildly entertained. This gem for example that adds up to 13 miles in total: warm up 3 miles, 4x1 mile with 1 mile recovery, cool down 3 miles.

Third is that when I do run outside, I remember that it's cold and that therefore I will not be running as fast (because science). Knowing this keeps me from getting upset or frustrated or unrealistically feeling out of shape.

Finally, I am SO looking forward to spring! Which at this point I would define as above-freezing temperatures. You guys, it's going to be amazing!

If you're interested in more details on my workouts, you can check my workout log page. Also, if you would like to support me in my marathon endeavor please donate here. Meanwhile I'll be on the treadmill...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm running the Boston Marathon!

Oh that's right. You may have thought that I completely fell off of the running bandwagon due to the complete lack of running blog posts recently, but it's not true! I've been running a lot! And not just running, marathon training!

Alright let's back up a bit. Last year I'd qualified for Boston, registered, and was training, well on my way to what I hoped would be a PR. But then disaster struck (of course). I got injured about a month out and was unable to race. Instead I spent my Marathon Monday on the sideline.

So this year, my last year living in Boston, I was determined to do it again and this time make it to the start (and finish!) line. The glitch, however, is that my BQ (Boston Qualifier) time I'd run in DC in March 2013 expired. If enthusiasm and willpower were the entry criteria I'd be in, but sadly such is not the case. So I looked to alternative options and found the perfect solution...

Tufts University (where I am in grad school) has an organized Marathon Team that runs for a different Tufts-related cause every year. This year all the money raised is going to the Friedman School of Nutrition to fund health research on childhood obesity. I can support that! And I can also support training for the marathon with a great group of friends. And, of course, I can fully completely 100% entirely support running the Boston Marathon! (And if you would like to support me, I would very very greatly and forever appreciate any donation. Thank you I love you!)

So where are we today? Well, like I said, I've been running. Running in the cold. Running in the snow. Running (or slip-sliding) on the goshdarn-awful slush and ice. And when I just can't (69 inches in the last 30 days), running on an indoor track or treadmill.

My longest run so far is 14 miles (I blame the weather!), and my workouts have been a bit intermittent. But THE MARATHON is looming -- in 68 days as my page dutifully reminds me -- so it's time to get motivated!

I will be blogging regularly throughout this training experience about workouts, marathoning, staying motivated, injury prevention (rule #1: make it to the start line), and very likely some epic post-long run brunches if I'm lucky.

Thank you, as always, for following, reading, and supporting me in my slightly insane sporting endeavors!