Planning… scheming… plotting…

Nothing nefarious is afoot, I promise.

This past weekend, I attended training to be a coach with Girls on the Run. I’ll be coaching the older girls, so I’m a Heart & Sole coach, but the program is essential the same. I’ll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed and questioning what I’ve gotten myself into. It doesn’t help that I’ve spent the last week putting my training schedule for the Badger Mountain Challenge 50K into my Training Peaks calendar. Ay yi yi! How is all this stuff gonna fit? My training days with the girls will be Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30 – 5 p.m. I’ll need to leave work at three on those days to ensure I’m there on time. (It’s critical for the coaches to be on time, as it’s modeling appropriate behavior for the girls.) That shouldn’t be a problem; I’m hopeful my bosses will allow me to take that time off without using my leave time, as this is an empowering activity that can decrease the likelihood the girls will end up hanging out with gang members or engaging in criminal activities. (And how much would it suck to have your coach prosecuting you?) If I have a trial on a Tuesday, I’ll let the judge know of my outside commitment and request we recess no later than three (my trials rarely run that late, though).

The intimidating part is that I have a lot of 7-10 mile runs scheduled on some of the days I’ll be coaching. It dawned on me that I can always take a Tuesday off; that’ll let me do my workout in during the day, before coaching. Given that I’ll be doing this training in the winter, I see the advantage of taking time off work so that I can train during daylight hours. (If I was training for the 50-mile or 100-mile race, I’d need to adjust to training in the dark. I’ll only be running part of BMC50K in the dark if I opt for the early start.)

I’ve already warned The Hubs that we’re likely to not see much of each other while I’m doing all this training. I’ve warned a few friends that starting in October, if I’m not at work, I’ll be eating, sleeping, or training. (And yes, that is in order of my priorities!)

The longest run on this training schedule is 20 miles. Clearly, this is going to be a very different animal than any training I’ve ever done. (Another Athena told me that if I can do a 50 km trail run, a 70.3 should be a piece of cake.) I’m glad I’ve got nearly six months to train, because I will need to get very good at nutrition while running and managing my pace – to say nothing of managing my time!

Most of those 20-mile runs are followed with a shorter run the next day. CC told me those are critical. I can’t train for a 50 km trail run by running 50 km; I need to train by doing back-to-back endurance runs to get my body accustomed to running on tired legs. It’s a deficit of the half-marathon training plan I’m using: there are no back-to-back tired runs. I have a tendency to sandbag workouts when I’m weary, so I’m glad CC schooled me. I felt great on my last long training run before the HM this past February. It was an 11-mile run, and I felt better at mile ten than I did at mile two. Come race day, I felt fine until mile twelve. The Leavenworth HM is flat, so my time should be better; to avoid a repeat of last spring’s mile twelve crash, I’ve added a few back-to-back runs to this training plan.

Saturday, I ran nine miles. I’d been feeling a strain in my right glute. I felt it while swimming last Thursday morning. I tried the pull buoy, just to avoid using that glute while kicking; it was worse. I suspect the way I clench the pull buoy was impacting the glute worse than my little fluttery kicks with the fins. I’d planned to ride home, and spent the entire day going back & forth with myself. I ventured forth, and within a few meters knew I’d made the wrong decision. I rode around the block, put the bike in the truck, and drove home. Much smarter decision, as I was able to run on Saturday with no twinges – even though I was adding in short tempo strides. (Three cheers for listening to my body! Rah! Rah! Rah!)

To give myself a test, I went for a run Sunday morning – if you can call what I did “running.” I woke up early after only 5-6 hours of sleep, pulled on the running gear, and ran around the neighborhood. No cell phone, no water bottle, just run. It was really more of shuffle as my very tired legs balked. I was a bit sore in a few places. I could feel my gait was weird. I ran for the first ten minutes or so, walked a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit. Despite the ridiculously slow pace and death-shuffle gait, I’m calling it a success.

Today’s run is four miles: one-mile warm up, two miles with 2:2 intervals, one-mile cool down. I’m kind of excited for the run. My legs feel pretty good, and we’ll see how they respond.

Tomorrow evening, I’m meeting a new acquaintance for a short swim in the river. She’s an avid swimmer, and she’d like to start open water swimming, but she’s never swum in anything like the Columbia and she’s understandably intimidated. We’re going to swim the length of Howard Amon Park – I’m thinking we’ll get out into the current so she can feel it, and then head back in – it’s easy to be swept past your intended target if you don’t get the angle right. I think it’ll be fun.


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