Monday, June 25, 2012

Setting My Own Schedule

So out air conditioner decided to quit on us this week. I came home from work and walked into a 91 degree house.

Mr. Blondie had given up on tinkering with it and was already on the phone with the air conditioning guy. (Our AC guy’s wife runs too. Our husband’s got to chatting on the sidelines of this race last year, and Mr. B got his business card. Running brings people together, ha).

Within ten minutes he was in our driveway. Twenty minutes and $100 later a new capacitor was installed, and all was right in our climate-controlled world again.

I mention this because it totally flies in the face of Murphy’s Law. Mr. Blondie was home for once when shit happened.

I’ve been left stranded more than a handful of times dealing with emergencies or home disasters when Mr. Blondie was completely unreachable. It sucks. Those are the times I wish he was home, or at least close to home, every night.

There was that time the house almost went up in flames, but that's another story for another day.

Being on my own a few days a week does come with its own perks though. Sometimes it’s nice being able to throw some pre-made veggies burgers on the table and call it dinner, and watch DVR’d episodes of The Bachelorette without getting the side eye.

I’ve really been enjoying the Saturday morning routine I’ve gotten into with Em this month. There’s a two hour time limit on gym’s childcare, so I’ve had to get creative in order to finish my workout. We get to the gym early and I run through the nearby neighborhoods for an hour pushing her in the stroller. Then we go inside and I take a spin class, do some weights, stretch, shower, and pick her up just in time to avoid being paged over the PA system.

By that time we’re both starving, so we stop for lunch. Then we make a brief stop at a playground we pass on our way home. It's early afternoon by the time we get home, and we’re both ready to fall into bed for a nap.

This is the method I’ll use as get into my longer marathon training runs. Run the first 10 miles or so outside (the breaking point for both my back pushing the stroller and Em’s tolerance for sitting in it), then run the remainder indoors on the treadmill.

Here’s what my first month of marathon training looks like. You know I’m all high-tech about this stuff.

click image to enlarge
It’s the Pete Pfitzinger 18-week plan that tops out at 55 miles per week. I bumped everything back a day so the long run is on Saturday. I’ll reassess after first month goes and make changes as necessary.

I looked out the most popular plans out there and decided this would be the best fit. These are the main points that stuck out when I was comparing plans. Again, this my highly generalized, very UNscientific take on each plan based on my half-assed internet research.

FIRST and HANSON plans look more convenient on paper with only 3 days of running per week. However, even with the emphasis placed on the quality of those runs, I felt like I should be at least 4 days a week. You know, specificity of training and all that jazz.

Jeff Galloway has produced thousands of satisfied marathon runners, but this will be my 7th marathon and my stubborn pride will not allow walking. Runner’s World Smart Coach spits out something generic that doesn't explain the reasoning and purpose behind each workout.

I’ve heard good things about McMillan’s plans but I didn’t want to open up my wallet and pay for one. Ha. Jack Daniels was a mentor to Pete Pfitzinger and the plans don’t seem all that different from what I’ve gathered.

I narrowed it down to Hal’s Advanced Plans and Pete Pfitzinger. Hal's plan keeps the workouts relatively the same throughout the plan with incremental increases in mileage, while Pfitzinger follows a periodization principle with different mesocycles. It's a matter of perception, but seems more manageable to me when it's broken into chunks like that. Each mesocycle has a specified purpose and set of mini-goals to accomplish.

My biggest beef with Hal's advanced plans is they don't include any cross-training. Although I believe the emphasis should be on running, I don't agree in eliminating everything else. Cross-training enhances strength and endurance, and allows you to increase your training volume without the added breakdown from additional mileage.

So that’s what on tap for the upcoming month.


  1. Glad the A/C was a cheap fix! That can get pricey really quick.

    I totally agree with you about the cross training. Maybe you could just modify Hal's plan to include a few days of weights?

  2. I'm definitely glad that David created my training plan; sounds like a lot of work to create a plan.

    Thankfully no major catastrophes' have happened while Chris has been gone.. Wyatt always gets a case of exploding butt when Chris is gone, but that is manageable.

  3. Suzanne WestenhoferJune 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Glad the A/C is back up and running!

  4. Yeay for pilot husband being home to deal with the AC....that never happens! hehe BTW, I absolutely encourage cross training for the people I coach (of all abilities and paces). :)

  5. I don't like that Hal's plans completely ignore cross training either! Glad you were able to get the AC fixed easily!

  6. Glad your pilot was home for that. I am always so relived when DH is home during this situations. I am training with TNT using their plan. In week six and so far so good. There plan is sticky running so I am adding in my own cross training. I agree with you that it is important to maintain.

  7. My AC went out this weekend too. Sucks! Fortunately, it just needed more freon and not to be replaced. What a weekend for no AC though. So hot.

  8. Same here:/
    heck of hotness and no a.c for cold stuff:(
    thanks to bergen refrigeration for quality service

  9. I got such a know in my stomach when he told me there was something wrong and he couldn't fix it himself. We totally lucked out it was repaired to quickly and cheaply. Knock on wood it keeps behaving!

  10. Ugh, I wouldn't even know where to start if I had to handle it myself. Luckily it ended up being no big deal.

  11. You move so seamlessly between the marathon training ans triathlons. Proof it works!

  12. Yay, for inexpensive repairs! It's one of those times you wish you could just call the landlord.

  13. i'm jealous of your sat am. good thinking. not sure how you do the single mom thing alot. I'd freak out. you are doing a great job. what marathon?