Friday, April 5, 2013

Marine Corps Marathon here I come!

      My life took a dramatic turn over Spring Break for me this year. I made some pretty big decisions and tried out some new things and am now on a whole new and exciting course!

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh

     I signed up for AND actually got in to the Marine Corps Marathon! It was a two plus hour struggle using my laptop and my phone and neither one would work! The Active site kept crashing! I am only in because of my fabulous friend, Katie, who continued to work and work to sign me up! Without her, I never would have gotten in!

I'm In!!! (and so is my friend Christine! Thank you, Katie!!)
Buzz was building a little less than a week before registration opened and I got sucked in! This has always been on my bucket list of races as a "one day" race, I just never expected one day to happen this year! I decided why not try. I thought registration would be smooth and easy! Ha! But I'm in and could not be more excited! Or scared!
     I live in Florida - the land of NO HILLS. I will be running MCM "up North" where there are plenty of HILLS! I ran the Runner's World Half last year in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and thought I might die - but also loved it! But that was just a half. This is a FULL! One of my best running friends, Erin, from For the Love of Disney Running, said of her race at MCM last year "I was done at 13.1, finished at 20, dead at 25 and thrilled at 26.1 in need of medical I was so drained." And I consider her to be a very strong, tough and fast runner. Oh my Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!?
     So I knew I needed a plan. Honestly, I like saying "I'm in training" anyway. I say it a lot because I usually am! But now I can really say it because things are about to get REAL. Actually, they already have! My training plan and diet started this week. I have been working with a nutritionist, Marni Sumbal of TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition LLC, to fine tune my diet for the past few months. Now all of the work she has done with me in helping me to plan my meals to be the most efficient athlete I can be is about to really pay off! So I set out my meal plans and made a promise to myself to really prepare and eat as I should over the next few months (lifetime). I use an Excel spreadsheet (I'm geeky like that! I LOVE Excel!) and plan out my week of exercises and meals as much as possible. There are always changes or glitches in the plan but I know that for the most part I am eating healthy and getting the nutrients my body needs to perform! Link to a copy of a blank plan for you to tweak: Weekly Food Plan

An example of a typical week for ME!

     Now this is MY plan for me and what I like to eat, have time for, etc. I take my lunches to work. I like simplicity and ease of preparation. I try to cook one & eat twice. Tuesdays and Thursdays can be late nights for me so being able to just warm up the meal from the night before makes it much easier on me! I prefer and try to eat as much fresh, real food as possible. I try to have protein at every meal and I really do try to avoid added sugar. I'm sure I don't eat perfectly and Marni might not approve of all my choices, but I know I am a more mindful eater now than I was before! I always thought writing down what you eat in a food diary or meal planning was really hard. But now I know it is really easy and super important if you are serious about eating RIGHT! I recommend finding a nutritionist if you are concerned or want to change how you eat. Marni is great because we did everything over the phone and online, so feel free to use her even if you don't live locally!
     Next up: Training! I made another decision over Spring Break. I needed to take some time off from running. WHAT?!? Yep, I said it. I know, I just got back at the end of January. But I feel it in my shin still. There is still something wrong. I know my body is not at 100% and I need it to be to train the way I want. So after having some beautiful, fantastic runs along my favorite route, Bayshore in Tampa, I decided to call it quits April 1st. No foolin'! I'm taking the month of April off - with the exception of a little 5k race April 6th - and resting and strengthening my shins, hips, body! It actually feels kind of nice to decide this for myself and not because an injury is making me do it!
     So it's back to the pool! My dad and I signed up as members at the University of North Florida Aquatic Center, my alma mater. I went for my first swim on Tuesday of this week and it felt great. My second swim on Thursday I actually shaved 5 minutes off my 600 meter time. Not bad! My dad says I'm always the competitor. Who me?? I'm starting slowly, for me, with 600 meters during the week and 1200 meter long swims on the weekend and building from there. I am good at two strokes - freestyle and back stroke - so that is what I do with a kickboard routine thrown in between. 100 meters of each stroke, twice during the week and then I will double that for the weekend.

My Swimming Pool

My Swimming Plan
     For the rest of my training plan, I am hoping to come back stronger as a runner. I combined Jeff Galloway's plan from his website for time goal marathons and his plan from the runDisney site for marathon training. I had to do some tweaking with my swimming lasting a month but I think I've got it pretty well mapped out!
Mapping out my plan of action!
     Cross training, as I always preach, will continue to be key as I get stronger and fitter. I have a list of new exercises to incorporate into my training that will help me continue to strengthen my shins and ankles. I need to get faster so I WILL do speed work! It's on my schedule, I can't avoid it! I will also do the Florida version of hills - we call them bridges here! I have bridges downtown and I have bridges at the beach. I will do both to change it up and keep me from getting bored! When Galloway training season starts, I will hopefully again be a group leader and continue my MCM training on those Saturdays, even if it means I have to go out for an extra 14! My co-leader, Mercedes, did it last year as she prepped for Marine Corps and this year, it will be both of us! At least we'll have a pal to commiserate with, right?!?

My Training Plan

     On my plan, I have only added the run times on Tuesday and Thursday, but I will also be doing yoga in the mornings so that I keep myself well stretched! SW on the plan stands for "Speed Work." On weekends where I have speed drills (the 8x1, 12x1, etc. See Galloway) or race weekends, I decided to drop the next weeks speed work to "rest" my legs. Pilates and weight training are key players in my cross training because of the core work involved. My weight training is mostly upper body work with a few shin/ankle exercises thrown in. With the running I do and the bridge work, I really don't feel I need weight training as well. Pilates work has a lot of leg work in it so adding weights seems too much! I don't want to overdo it!! Link to a copy of my spreadsheet: My Plan

     Well, that's my plan to get me to the Marine Corps Marathon! I still can't believe I'm running it! I'm very excited! I really want to do well and feel good on this, my third marathon. I know I'll be taking pictures along the way to preserve the memories (and share them!) because that's who I am, but I also want to run strong and finish strong! Look out D.C.! Marine Corps Marathon, here I come!


  1. So exciting!! I can't wait to hear how it goes, I'll be starting marathon training shortly after you!

    1. We'll have to trade war stories sometime! Still need to hit those bridges together one day! Let me know!

  2. oh wow@ I am so excited for you!! I cannot believe you already have a plan! I can't even see to next week! I am really impressed!! I can't wait to follow along

    1. Genna I have got to make a plan! I am so scared! This won't be a flat, play-every-5-feet Disney run! I have got to be in tip top shape! I want to be able to run this and feel GOOD! :-)

  3. YAY!!! I am going to MCM too so I will see you there! I'm a bit behind on blogs so I'm just catching up to read this :) I'm terrified of the hills and plan to make a few trips up to San Antonio to get some hill training in.

    1. Yay! But I thought you were in Tampa?? Did you move?? I'll be running bridge repeats here like a crazy person! Ha!