Thursday, December 09, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Okay, okay - I need very little - NO - excuse to post this video. Man, I love it! We European Gleeks have been deprived of Glee Season 2 until January which means that we will be watching the Christmas episode around Easter. Baaaaaaad timing! But something tells me I will still enjoy this delectable number JUST as much then. Anyway. Let's move on.

So! I was going to tell you all about training for Boston with my coach. But things got derailed there for a little while. Because, Baby, it HAS been cold outside. It's still cold outside. Last week, after I put up my post of a snowy run, the weather went totally crazy. We rarely get much snow here in England, and then, overnight, we got a foot of the stuff. The country - at least our side of it, and those who live north of us, shut down. Schools closed, roads closed. It was unbelievable. My husband has a 4X4 and spent some very stressful days making sure that the milk from our cows - vast quantities of the stuff - could be collected every day and that his various other businesses could stay operational. In the meantime, my son and I were stuck at home. I ran - a bit - but the snow was so deep that even my yaktrax were useless - snowshoes would have been the only option. I managed a 6 miler on our compacted drive by Thursday.

yes he really was over his knees in snow!
me out on my snowy 6 miler

Friday we finally got off the farm again - to the supermarket (where the shelves had been swept clean of tinned foods and milk) and Sunday I finally dug out my car and gingerly drove to the gym. I had cabin fever, I was fed up and I had my first assignment from my coach - to run a 2M time trial. I don't think running on the treadmill was ideal for this but given the circumstances it was the best I could do. And I impressed myself - on a less than stellar night's sleep, and a bit too much champagne the night before, I managed 2 consecutive miles at 7 minute miles. Yes!

And that was enough for my coach to send me, almost by return, my first week's running schedule. I don't normally detail each workout, but as this something so new I'm trying out here, bear with me while I recall my runs:
  • w-up easily 2M, then 2x1600 @ 7:33, 3min RI, then 2x400 @6:58, 1.30 min RI, then 2M cooldown. Nailed it. I was delighted when the intervals were done with - they were certainly hard enough - but I got them in.
  • 5M easy @ 9:30 min/mile. Unsurprisingly, I could nail this one too, along with my high(er) rep weight workouts after 1M.
  • w-up easy for 2M then run steady for 4M at 7:57 pace, cooldown easy with 2M. Again - got it, but it was work and I was pleased to get the tempo done with.
  • cross-train - 1 hour's swimming lesson
  • 6M easy @ 9:30 min/mile. Got this in, along with my high(er) rep weight workouts after 1M.
  • 12M long run easy - 9:45 min/mile pace. This proved the trickiest workout of them all because I wanted to do it outside and the first road I went to proved too icy to run on so I had to drive around until I could find some gritted roads which weren't too busy. And even so it was a slippery, slidey mess. And I averaged a 9:23 min/mile not the 9:45 coach asked for. I will work harder at slowing down coach!
So what are my thoughts, 1 week into running with a coach?
  • I can't believe what a relief I am finding it to hand over some control to someone else. I realise I spend SO much time thinking about training plans and paces, second-guessing myself when my runs are too hard or too easy, googling solutions to various problems and getting hopelessly sidetracked (ya think I should LeechBlock most of the internet? Probably). Now I'm only getting a weekly schedule (can't lie in bed worrying about 2o milers with 10M RP sections weeks in advance, just have to man up and do it when it arrives) and my paces are defined. And she thinks I can do them. And she knows much more than I do. So I can do them. And, for one week at least, I have done them.
  • Questions. She's there for questions on all the topics I need answering. This week I have emailed her about switching runs around (yes I can but I can't follow hard workouts with another hard workout. Bad girl - I have definitely done that in the past so her advice was needed) and going on a diet while training (not hugely advised, eating healthily was her wholly sensible advice. But I'm feeling a post coming up on running and weight so I will deal with all that in the future).
  • Goal setting. I am scared of setting myself goals, running-wise. Goal-setting is for fasties, I feel. I'm afraid of setting goals, because what if I don't meet them? But my coach has set me a goal, and while I'm not brave enough to put it out there yet, I am working on getting my head round to believing I can do it.
But it's that overall feeling of having someone "in charge of me" that I am enjoying. I have never really had a coach who had any interest in me (I was just so cr*p at sports as a kid that any sports coach who did have to have me on a team would sigh when they saw me bounding onto a pitch or a court or a playing field..). And now I have someone who is going to help me - yes me! - train. I don't have to weigh Higdon against Pfitzinger against Runnersworld and so on when I'm debating high mileage vs quality, whether to race or not - I ask her. And while I'm sure she would not want me to think she has all the answers, she has more than I have and I am just enormously relieved to be handing all that over to her.

Finally - can I end on a little rant? For over a year I have been more or less assidious about keeping track of my activities on DailyMile. I'm sure you'll agree that it's key to be able to look back through your training to see what you've done, what worked and what didn't, etc. I kind of stopped bothering when I abandoned marathon training this summer, and only half-heartedly started up again recently. But I've decided to ditch DailyMile despite its enormously attractive interface and increasingly high-profile internet presence because it's just turning into another social networking site. I know that I sound like the Grinch but people - enough already! I just want to keep track of my runs! I don't want you all to comment on each workout cause then I feel like I have to comment on yours and man - there are NOT enough hours! I LOVE reading your blogs because you put it all out there but man oh man I can't do DailyMile socialising as well. After feeling bad that I was basically turning into a DailyMile miser, I have just decided to stop recording my workouts there and start afresh on BuckeyeOutdoors. Yes - less glamorous. But it does the job (and synchs with my Garmin) and I feel I can just logon, enter my workout, and log off again. Job done. So please don't feel personally slighted when I don't say anything on DailyMile - I will see you on your blog and will show you much more love there.


Emily said...

I am so excited for your Boston training. And more excited that I get to be there to watch! Haven't bought my ticket yet but I promise I'll be there.

I love your training plan and am living vicariously through you as I plod through low mileage miserably.

Excited to hear about the new tracking interface that connects with Garmin. Maybe I'll start using that? I have been very inconsistent w/the way I track things and having something solid in place would help. I'm gonna check it out!

Did all of your snow melt yet?

Fran said...

I've seen on the news that you've had so much snow, you have got more than we did. Like in England it hardly snows in Holland and when it does it really bothers me. I don't like it at all!

Well the Dutch gleeks were introduced to this in September this year so we are still enjoying season 1. I love, love, love it. Download almost every song on my Ipod. I'm totally hooked.

Your trainer sounds so great. I'd wish I had the money to get one myself, I think it would really help me.

Mark U. said...

Glad your new coach is working out! I similarly appreciate just following the program of my trusted coach, versus stressing out whether I'm doing too much, not enough or the wrong thing. Any chance you can buy - or access at your community health club - a treadmill to use in the winter months? I know it' not glamorous (a bit like BuckeyeOutdoors, which I also use and like, vs. DailyMile) but with good music & audio from your iPod you can crank-up the speed and keep fit in the worst weather.

misszippy said...

: )

Amanda@runninghood said...

Thanks for your comment Petra. You made me laugh with the visual of sausage and tights. :)

Love this post. Makes me want to 1. train for another marathon and 2. Budget for getting a coach. :)

I tried Daily Mile when I first started blogging about 6 weeks ago and I totally agree with you. I type them in a post that is linked to my blog but it is really only for me and those that might be curious as to what I'm doing. easy breezy. :) I also really like writing them down in a little notebook with fun pens and carrying it around with me in my to see my progress and be able to peek at it at random times.

Good luck to you!

Runner Susan said...

That is some serious snow. I ran for 2 hours and 39 minutes this morning before light and it was freezing - but no snow.

I'm in Garmin hell right now. My Garmin 310 won't upload to my computer and now it won't let me use it because all the workouts filled up its memory. I've considered throwing it on the ground and jumping up and down on it, but I haven't concluded if that will help the situation or not.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Petra. Enjoyed reading the training detail. Will be folowing this [and your prgress] with interest. Get your distance runs in before the weekend as according to the met office the snow and ice may well return next weekend.

LMC said...

Love this post (and your previous post too, just catching up!). I'm very glad to hear that things are better on the home front, that you have set priorities that you are happy about and that you have a running coach! I think a good coach can make a world of difference. I agree with your coach that you CAN definitely make those runs/paces. Hope you get some relief from all that snow! Take care!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Hey Petra, thanks for the comment! No, I have not heard of Chi Running...I need to check that out. And thanks to your comment, I immediately realized that I had written Heal and not heel...that one gets me every time and as a teacher, these mistakes are huge pet peeves. :)

Meg said...

Petra's got a coach!! Yes, how fun is that?! It really did change my running and my attitude. I loved turning over the logistics to someone else and just enjoying each and every workout(well, DOING it anyway). Sometimes the questioning and inexperience with heart rate, etc. just consumed my time and I'm too busy to deal with the second guessing. I just want to run!
You will never regret this and I'm excited to follow your progress and running, this is going to be fun!
Big hugs, warm ones, for you and keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like having a coach is an excellent decision for you. Without a doubt, if I was a runner of your caliber, training for something like Boston, I would want a trainer too. You are going to kick ass!!!

Jill said...

I gave up on DM eons ago...when you're not running much, who the hell cares if you ran 1 mile at slightly better than a snail's pace?!!? :)

I lived in Alabama for a stretch of my life...I understand the shelves out of food syndrome. Crazy ice storms there would freak people out. Hope you're thawing some now!

Sounds like your training and coaching is going great. YAY!

MarathonChris said...

Glad the coaching is starting out so well! Sometimes it is nice to have someone just tell you what to do instead of worrying about it (and cheating here and there).

Love the video and agree with your ending "rant." Too much on the social networking. You pretty much have to pick what works for you and go with that!

Anonymous said...

I love all the snow! I know it must be awful to deal with, but it's so pretty :)

Sounds like you're off to a great start with your coach! I am so excited to follow you through with your training for Boston!

I agree with DailyMile I am over it! I try and it never sticks! I'd rather write my workouts down on a piece of paper!