training with the lab.

In two weeks I’ll be on a flight home from Chicago. I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve never trained like a marathon the way I trained this time around. The Run with the Lab plan is absolute craziness. Blue warns us that many of the workouts are not designed to be completed. The purpose is to push you past what you “think” you should be able to run, and to shift you away from sticking to specific paces. Too often we’re limited by our expectations of what we believe we can do. When I wanted to break 1:40 in the half, I ran a 1:39. When I wanted to qualify for Boston for the first time, I needed a 3:35 and ran a 3:33. The first time I attempted sub-3 hours in the marathon, I ran 2:58. Blue’s philosophy is that we might be limiting ourselves when we set these goals, and he pushes us to train as hard as we can using % effort to gage the workout, rather than a pace.

Sidenote: this picture gives me chills…

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A few of our workouts…

Here’s a 90 minute progression starting at 80% effort, moving up to 90% to 95%. I ran this at a 7:15 pace at the end of August, and 6:56 pace in early September (oddly a higher milage week with more work stress). I’ve found with this plan some days go beautifully, and on other days I fail miserably. I had several progression runs that regressed rather than progressed. 6:50s that turned to 7s and down to 7:30s.

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I’ve also never had a training plan that incorporates speed for every long run. Here we are doing 1K repeats after a long run.

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And no Yasso 800s this time around. I did a lot of sprints. Different for an endurance junkie. Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 5.32.27 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-23 at 5.32.02 PM

In the past, my confidence came from nailing race pace tempo runs. This time I’m drawing my confidence from the fact I know I have never had such specific workouts and worked this hard. I’m especially happy considering I did this training when there was  whole lot happening at school… IMG_0129.jpegIMG_0140.jpegIMG_0127.jpeg

What will this translate to on race day? I don’t know but I trust the lab and their plan, and I really hope the work translates to a marathon PR. It’s been 2 years. I can’t wait to see!

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The Windy City

In three weeks I’m running the Chicago Marathon. I had the amazing opportunity to run as part of the American Development Program, starting up at the front with some of my favorites, like Amy, Gwen, Jordan, and Alexi! I’m a midwest girl. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity. I’ve done my homework. I’ve put in the work. Now it’s time to nail a few last pace workouts, rest my legs, and train my mind. Am I the only runner out there who talking themselves out of an “A” goal? I dwell on the workouts I wasn’t able to hit. I think about all the reasons my goals are impossible. I think about all those miles I wasn’t able to hit the prescribed pace. For these next few weeks I’m taking Deena Kastor’s advice, and reminding myself of why I’m deserving of a stellar performance. I’m thinking about all those times I nailed my workouts. I’m thinking about the fact that I put in the work while building a school. Success in the marathon is about consistency, enduring hard work, and raw grit. I can’t wait to take another stab at it. Full update this weekend with my key workouts, but I’ll leave you with a few photos from my favorite runs this cycle and from EQ3’s new building.IMG_0030.JPG

Sunday recovery runs with the Lady Pack!

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First cross country race since high school at the UC Riverside Invitational with the Janes!

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On a dirt road in NamibiaIMG_0161.JPG

And EQ3’s brand new home!