Thursday, June 2, 2011

Training & Eating News, Boulder Classic Run #3 and May Recap

So I'm (finally) marathon training!

The Top of Utah Marathon is 16 short weeks away. This will be my first test at 26.2 since I committed to my Boston goal. The three-part goal for this race is as follows: Bad-Day Goal: beat my marathon PR of 4:14 set in NYC six years ago; Reasonable Goal: beat 4 hours; and Moonshot Goal (this one's always the same!): beat 3:45 and qualify for Boston.

Because I'd love to hit that Moonshot Goal (realistic though it may not be for my first marathon in six years), I've decided to shake up my training plan. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE the FIRST program. It's gotten me solid improvement in the 5K, the 10K and the half-marathon. The cross-training has been fun and good for my body. My times in these races have all been post-pregnancy PRs.

But my gut has been telling me that I need more mileage--more running mileage--to get done in the marathon what I want to get done. So last week I got out the old credit card and paid for a 16-week plan from McMillan Running.

A lot of you have heard of this Flagstaff, AZ coaching service, which is headed up by Greg McMillan. Some of you have even used it. McMillan writes each customer a custom training plan based on a detailed questionnaire outlining his/her running history and other factors in life that affect running. I filled this out and sent it in yesterday, noting things like the fact that I have little kids and a job, and in the past have gotten overtrained from high-mileage weeks. He emailed back and said he'd have my plan to me in a week or so. I'm excited about McMillan and eager to hear what he has to say about whether and when I can qualify for Boston. In the meanwhile, while I wait to hear from him, I'm starting my training by sticking with FIRST.

In other marathon news, yesterday I entered the lottery for the Houston Marathon. This was my first marathon all those years ago, and I figure a nice flat familiar sea-level course would be a good choice for what might be my first real attempt to BQ. I should know by June 27 if I got in. Anyone else gunning for this one?

Sugar-Free! I'm two days into Amanda's Sugar Free Challenge. So far so good! Maybe it's because of my unintentional detox the other week, but I have had zero sugar cravings so far. That said, finding stuff to eat that doesn't have sugar hidden in it is really hard. I tried to get a can of soup yesterday and was amazed at how much of it contains sugar in some form. I ended up having plain Greek yogurt mixed with Ezekiel cereal and raspberries for lunch.

Hunting for good options will be worth it, though. I'm happy to say that for the first time since I became a mom the evil scale at the North Boulder Recreation Center gave me a weight in the 120s: 129.6, it said this morning. Who needs sugar when I'm nine pounds off of racing weight?

Boulder Classic Run #3: Yesterday I ran Mt. Sanitas, the third of four Boulder Classic Runs I had planned for the spring. Or maybe I should say I "speed-hiked" Sanitas. The first uphill mile took me (drumroll) 25 minutes. Yes, you read that right. Almost a half hour. And if you think the downhill was any easier, you're mistaken. It was more like a rock scramble. Only when I got into the valley between Sanitas and Dakota Ridge could I actually run. The total distance was three miles. It took me 56 minutes, longer than it took me to run Monday's Bolder Boulder 10K.

It was a very Boulder-y way to celebrate National Running Day. But because of the steepness and slowness of this route, it's not one I'll be doing regularly for training. It's a great workout (as the delayed onset muscle soreness in my quads right now can attest!), but I just want a better feel for pacing than this trail offers. Now, when I someday train for the Pikes Peak Ascent, it'll be a different story.....

Before I ran this trail, I hiked part of it with my friend Christine. She took some pics that you can see in this post.

May Recap: May continued my trend of treading water but in a good way. Here are the highlights:
  • Post pregnancy 10K PR of 52:24 at the Bolder Boulder
  • Ran 81 miles
  • Ran Boulder Classic Run #2: Magnolia Road (great place to run; I will return)
  • Attended bootcamp four times and spin class only once (not offered at the rec center during the summer; sniff)
  • Lost five pounds (at last breaking through my plateau)
I think I'm ready to train for the marathon.


  1. I ran this last year and it was my first BQ. If you wanna email when it gets closer on course details or anything else, feel free! This is the one ... you got this!

  2. Congrats on cracking the 120s!!! You can do it!

  3. Hi, I just found your blog and am now following! My little sister used to live in Boulder. I didn't run as much then, and am bummed about it now it sure seems like they have a lot of cool runs down there I could have taken advantage of when visiting her! I am doing the sugar free challenge too, but man o man is it killing me.

  4. Lost 5 lbs is great. Keep doing Amanda's challenge, increase you training, and the pounds will melt off.

    Can I humbly suggest just one goal. Choose into 3:45 with your heart of hearts. Believe it at a gut level. Okay, you may have some doubts, but truly make it THE goal and train like it is. Remember my old Blog title, BQ or Die.