Hi everyone! Today I’m headed all the way across the country to Vermont for the Rise.Run.Retreat with nine other awesome female runners/bloggers. September has flown by as it always does, with both Ryan’s and my birthdays and our wedding anniversary – and especially this September because of our adoption of Ollie.
September also marked my second month of training for the California International Marathon – I’m now halfway to race day! So what did I accomplish this month in working towards my 2016 running goals?
September Goals Check In
PR in the Marathon
I think many of you are familiar with the ups and downs of marathon training. Some days, you are confident in your ability to run a PR and have a great race. Other days, you question whether you are training hard enough for the demands of the race and for the goals you set for yourself.
Overall, training has gone well so far for CIM. Now that I’m nine weeks out from the race, my mileage will increase and my workouts will become more race specific. Based on how training has gone, I think 8:05-8:15 is a reasonable goal pace for the race. Yes, if I ran 8:15/mile average for the entire marathon, I would just miss qualifying for Boston, but I’m trying not to obsess over that goal as much as I did last year. If I BQ, then I will undoubtedly be incredibly excited; but if I miss a BQ but still run a smart and strong race and meet my goal of PRing, there really won’t be much of a difference to me. Boston will always be there.
Improve Fueling and Hydration
Recently, I started using these fuel pouches to hold my gels for long runs. Since I can seal the pouches right back up and stash them in my pocket with no mess, this makes slowly taking fuel easier than with the packets. On my longest run to date, a 17 miler last week, I sipped at the gel every two miles from miles 6 to 12. This provides so much more energy and keeps my stomach feeling better than consuming a larger quantity of gel at once.
Improve Running Form
Does Pilates count? I admit that I have slacked on working on my form. I have been including strides as part of my warm-up for speed work and tempo runs, but I’m neglected to do strides, hill sprints, and drills after easy runs. I need to refocus on this area next month.
I am obsessed with Pilatesology and the hundreds of workouts they offer! Longer Pilates sessions have strengthened my core so much. I feel like I am maintaining good form and pace while running up and down hills and my recovery feels quicker after speed workouts or windy runs.
Optimize Nutrition for Peak Performance
Each marathon training cycle is unique, and I’m noticing that my fueling needs feel different this time around. Maybe I’m better at listening to my body or maybe I’m not pushing so hard as I was with Hansons that my appetite is constantly suppressed.
While I’m still eating vegetarian at lunch, as training becomes more intense, my preferences shift from lentils and quinoa to eggs (yolk and all). Maybe my body needs the iron, the B vitamins, or the protein, or maybe I’m eating lots of eggs because they are easier to digest for me than legumes and quinoa are.
I’m very pleased with how my nutrition has been treating my stomach well this time around. I’m not experiencing the GI problems that I was while training for the Portland Marathon.
One thing I plan on experimenting with over the next month is drinking bone broth with lunch. Chicken bone broth contains collagen, glucosamine, calcium, and magnesium, which make it an excellent food for a healthy gut, strong immune system, and quick recovery (source: Run Fast Eat Slow). Ryan and I always purchase our chicken on the bone, so it’s easy to make a batch of fresh stock each week in the crockpot. (Also, homemade stock tastes very delicious and is economical – you’re using parts of the chicken that would otherwise be thrown away.)
Full recovery and a healthy gut are my priorities right now in nutrition, along with ensuring that I am eating enough and getting the carbs that my body needs.
Lift Heavier Weight Weekly
Perhaps not necessarily heavy weights, but I did lift weights 1-2 times per week in September (with the exception of this week, since I don’t like to strength train the week of a race). That is sort of the compromise of marathon training: I don’t want to push my strength training workouts as hard as I do when I’m not in marathon training.
That said, I’m resisting the temptation to use Pilates as my only form of strength training during marathon training. It’s time to crank up those lunges, squats, step ups, planks, and push ups before CIM!
Grow My Coaching Business
In October, I’ll be announcing a new and exciting features for my coaching services!
September is the start of fall race season, which means several of my runners raced this past month. I am so proud of all of them!
What steps are you taking to achieve your goals?
When’s your next race?