Slow Start to 2016

It's only two weeks into 2016 and I'm not doing well with one of my most important running goals: training. I wrote and published my goals less than a week after unexpectedly losing my beloved 6 year old cat Grayson. I underestimated the power of grief to keep me from taking care of myself, and that included training. I miss my little guy. Grayson and I had a very strong bond, he was taken from us way too soon, and the veterinarians don't know exactly what happened. It's hard to get over that quickly.

Before tonight's run in my cold-but-not-too-cold winter night gear

I was ready to get back out there and run with my running club two nights ago, but a friend came by unexpectedly, so I prioritized spending time with her. It was the right decision, but skipping that run meant not doing any form of exercise in more than a week. The other workouts I skipped due to grief. I've skipped more workouts than I've done so far this year. The good news is that the year is still very young, and I can turn that around.

I redid my training plan today. I adjusted the amount of mileage I'll be running on some of my weekend long runs from now through May. I also modified my Thursdays, which had previously been labeled simply as "Speedwork" or "Hill Repeats" on alternating weeks. Now, I have a more specific approach. This Thursday (today), I did a simple run without speed or hill work to get back into the groove. But next Thursday, and every Thursday until the Tokyo Marathon (28 Feb), I have a documented plan for my speedwork. I am borrowing from fast marathoner Chuck Engle's plan, and will be doing very short and fast repeats, adding reps or distance each week. None of the reps is longer than 100 meters. Tokyo won't be a fast marathon for me, and that's OK. Given my current fitness level, I'll be happy simply finishing under the time limit and feeling strong doing so.

After Tokyo, I will begin alternating the speedwork Thursdays with hill Thursdays. This plan will get me to the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. I have two half marathons and a full marathon in between Tokyo and Ottawa, but I'm not setting any time goals for those. I hope to feel strong going into Ottawa so I can set a realistic but solid time goal. Ottawa will not be my PR race, but it's far enough out that I think I can make some significant improvements in my time.

My training plan also has me adding strength training in a couple weeks. I also should have been doing yoga the last two Mondays, but I have not gone to class. I am still grieving and I definitely miss Grayson, but the feelings are not as raw as they were a couple weeks ago. I want to believe that I'll be disciplined to complete all my planned workouts next week and beyond, no matter what else is going on. Somewhere along the way I will select a PR goal marathon for this fall. I really haven't thought much about what race that will be. First, I need to work on consistency and make it through my first marathon of the year, which is Tokyo.

Missing my sweet, handsome Grayson


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