Anonymous: You don't talk a lot about non-running stuff.. Are you married? What do you do for work?

Well, it is a running blog, grey face… but to answer your questions:

Married almost 3 years!  

As for work, I am in the GIS/engineering industry - so it’s all about maps and analysis and all that jazz.  I love what I do!

Hansons Marathon Method: The Week 8 Update

I’m 8 weeks deep into Hansons training plan for the Twin Cities Marathon. I have to say that I was nervous using this training plan. It is a lot of running. Especially for a two-time marathoner notorious for skipping runs. But two years of using Hal Higdon plans and two six hour marathons later, I knew I needed a change. I haven’t had too many injuries from running - just a case of nasty shin splints when I increased mileage too fast and mild sprain from a training run a couple years ago - so I wasn’t worried too much about the potential of injuries. Anyways, following Hansons has really rejuvenated my love of running. So let’s talk about the good and bad (and maybe even the ugly) of Hansons:

The Good

The plan lays it all out there. You pick your marathon goal and the book spells out exactly how to do it. All your targeted paces, mileage - it’s all there. I found with previous plans I wasn’t sure what pace I should be running, so I always just ran as fast as I could manage for the distance (I know, terrible way to train!). There’s no guesswork at all with Hansons. I love knowing that today I’m running an easy 6 with a target of 12:05-12:55 min/mile. Having targets makes me stick within that range and not run faster - of course, my beeping Garmin also helps keep a handle on that too. I like that the plan tops out at 16 miles for the long run. I used to spend all week agonizing about running 18-20 miles on the weekend. The idea of spending my Saturday running for 4-5 hours scared me. With Hansons, I’ll only be running for just over three hours max during my longest run.

The Bad

Well, running six days a week can really take over your life. I’m typically planning events around when I’m running. For the most part, I get my runs out of the way in the morning leaving me with evenings to do other activities, like tennis or hanging out with friends. But you certainly won’t catch me out late on a Friday or Saturday, since I want to be up and running around 6am. I’ve learned that procrastinating runs never works out favourably and more often than not, procrastination leads to missed runs. I do not believe in messing around with the Hansons schedule. In the first 8 weeks, I have made 2 adjustments to the plan - in lieu of a scheduled run, I have run a half marathon race (in weeks 3 & 5). There will be no other adjustments to the plan from here on out - I have no races until race weekend. I feel like the Hanson brothers are the professionals and following their schedule to a t gives me the best chance of hitting my 4:45 goal. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe it’s fine to switch long run days or tempo runs, but I’d hate to get to the finish line at 5:00+ and go, “gee, maybe if I hadn’t changed things up…” I’ve had two marathons of regret, I don’t need a third. If I get to the finish line on October 5th and don’t meet my time goal, I want to walk away knowing I did everything I could in my training. So far I’ve completed 100% of the training. No skipping. No cutting runs short.

The Ugly

Muscle soreness that never seems to fully go away, chaffing, foam rolling, constant laundry of running gear, the non stop hunger…

So basically, what I’m trying to say is that I love this plan, and I’m grateful for every single run. If you are thinking of training for a full or half, and even if you’re a back of the packer like me, don’t hesitate to give Hansons some serious thought.

TCM W8:D1

Easy 6

Target: 12:05-12:55 min/mile
Actual: 12:12 min/mile

The weatherman betrayed me. He promised no rain until 7am. One mile in (at 5:30), torrential downpour. Thanks, buddy! Two other betrayals:

1. My Fitbit bit the dust yesterday. It keeps dying without warning, refusing to charge, finally “charging” but then dying immediately this morning. I’ve emailed about it already and I hope they’ll replace it. So, if you’re looking to overtake me on steps here’s your chance!

2. My Garmin is being a baby and won’t transfer my data over to Connect. Technology is a blessing and a curse some days!

Happy Monday!

TCM W7:D7

Long 10

Target: 11:41 min/mile
Actual: 11:36 min/mile

What a fantastic, hilly run! 10 miles. No walk breaks. It still blows my mind that I can run 10 miles without walking! I couldn’t remember the exact target of my long run (my Garmin is set to beep if I’m outside 11:35-11:45 for long runs) so I was a bit fast, but my pace was steady throughout.

I fuelled with a Larabar 30 minutes before the run, and had honey stingers around mile 5 & 8 (1 package total). I only carried my handheld Nathan water bottle - which was the perfect amount.

Basically, this was the best run of the training cycle so far. I think I might write a post about my love affair with the Hansons plan. It’s seriously the best.

TCM W7:D6

Easy 6

Target: 12:05-12:55 min/mile
Actual: 12:05 min/mile

Another day…another run. Closing in on 100 miles for the month. That is all!

TCM W7:D5

Easy 4

Target: 12:05-12:55 min/mile
Actual: 12:05 min/mile

I honestly thought that this easy 4 might be my first missed run of this training plan. I was up at 4 am, at work by 5, with intentions of leaving at 1pm. Of course that just didn’t happen. 12.5 hours of work later, and a storm system rolling in, I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to get outside. Fortunately the storm passed and I was able to bang out four with a brilliant sunset! I’ve got six miles tomorrow morning so I’m off to bed!

TCM W7:D4

Tempo 5

Target: 10:52 min/mile
Actual: 10:52 min/mile

Warm-up: 1 mile - 13:20
Cool down: 1 mile - 12:16

There’s nothing like waking up, looking at the clock and seeing 5:00, and knowing that your Fitbit was supposed to wake you up at 4:25. I slapped my Fitbit on the charger for five minutes (thanks for dying without warning!), threw on my running gear, and ran out the door. I was mostly concerned that my Fitbit would die mid run and wouldn’t count all my steps. Yeah, I’m a little Fitbit obsessed, but I just want to be number one for once in the weekly email standings. I thought I had it last week and then joshbuildshealth goes on a crazy Vegas poker run to steal it away! :)

Anyways, tempo run was on target. And even though I started the run feeling panicky and rushed, I settled in nicely to the pace. I was ravenous by the end of the run - next time I’ll pack some honey stingers.

Tonight’s football night and a chance for my Bombers to go 4-0!

TCM W7:D2

Speed 8x600 (400 recovery)

Target: 3:30

Splits:
3:35.2
3:31.6
3:34.2
3:31.3
3:31.6
3:31.8
3:30.5
3:33.0

Plus 1 mile warmup & 1.10 mile cool down.

Pretty stoked about speed work splits this week! And I didn’t cry! There’s no crying in speed work!

I went to the track for the first time last night and I was surprised how many people were using it! There was a bootcamp of teenage girls, a dad teaching his daughter to ride her bike, and an Eritrean track team with their coach. I only wish the track was within running distance - it’s about 6 miles one way to get there. There are tracks closer to home, but they are just gravel tracks and I don’t love running on gravel.

Today is a rest day! Only 80 days until race weekend!

TCM W7:D2

Speed 8x600 (400 recovery)

Target: 3:30

Splits:
3:35.2
3:31.6
3:34.2
3:31.3
3:31.6
3:31.8
3:30.5
3:33.0

Plus 1 mile warmup & 1.10 mile cool down.

Pretty stoked about speed work splits this week! And I didn’t cry! There’s no crying in speed work!

I went to the track for the first time last night and I was surprised how many people were using it! There was a bootcamp of teenage girls, a dad teaching his daughter to ride her bike, and an Eritrean track team with their coach. I only wish the track was within running distance - it’s about 6 miles one way to get there. There are tracks closer to home, but they are just gravel tracks and I don’t love running on gravel.

Today is a rest day! Only 80 days until race weekend!

TCM W7:D1

Easy 4

Target: 12:05-12:55 min/mile
Actual: 12:06 min/mile

Ugh. Should’ve done the run in the morning but weather was definitely more favourable in the evening. Unfortunately dinner was too soon before my run (seriously - I need at least 3 hours!). I didn’t feel great for most of the run but at least I was right on target.

Also, I cut off the sleeves on my Brownville race shirt and repped America tonight! Still the best race shirt ever!

TCM W6:D7

Easy 8

Target: 12:05-12:55 min/mile
Actual: 12:05 min/mile

Rain. Wind. Bishop Grandin Greenway & Louis Riel Sr. Route. Legs felt strong. Total mileage for the week: 38.5 miles. Over 70 for the month so far. Where’s the old, lazy, run-avoiding Brooke from last year? I sure don’t miss her!

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