Winter is coming to Minnesota, and that typically puts me straight into base-training mode. It is also planning season, and Coach MK Fleming and I took a little time recently to chat about my 2017 race plans. My big goal race for 2017 is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, so everything has to lead up to that point. I'd like to do a spring half marathon (maybe two) and some shorter races to sharpen up. However, the my biggest priority continues to be putting my body back together now that Baby #3 has moved on to the busy toddler stage.You might think that since it takes only 9 months of pregnancy to build a baby, a mom's body could be back to 'normal' 9-12 months postpartum. I've learned that it is not quite that simple, as it takes longer for ligaments to regain their previous tension, and for strength to be rebuilt. This is particularly true for nursing moms, as the hormone relaxin continues to promote joint laxity until after the baby is weaned. I can see that my aerobic system is in relatively good shape, but my strength, speed and power are still lacking.
My winter training got thrown a bit of a fun curve-ball when MK and I discussed the Miami Half Marathon. I'm leading a Life Time Run 'Racecation' trip to Miami in January, and will be hosting runners from around the country as we enjoy a fun winter get-away and a world-class event. I've never run Miami, so even if I wasn't 'racing' it, I wanted to run the half marathon to see the course and experience the event. My initial plan was just to use it as a long run, thinking that MK wouldn't let me race so early in base training. I told myself that at least it would be a 13.1 mile long run where I didn't have to layer up and deal with sub-zero Minnesota temps in January!
I had (secretly) been considering the idea of actually racing the Miami Half Marathon for a few weeks. With three little kids at home, I want to take opportunities to run great races when they appear, and it wouldn't require another weekend away. I'm not interested in racing for time with snow & ice on the ground, and half marathons in May seem so far away. It is also motivating to have an earlier event on the calendar to lend some urgency to training, especially during the busy holiday season!
I've been pretty healthy this fall since the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, and my long run pace has improved dramatically. I'm getting comfortable with running just under 8:00 mile pace on some of my long runs, with the feeling of rhythm starting to return in many of my runs. I'll admit I was a bit nervous to bring up the idea to MK, since she frowns on running #alltheraces when focused training is what I really need. We talked through some of the challenges of racing this time of year, like the fact that I'd have to train through the holidays, and deal with speed workouts that would likely be on a treadmill when winter roars into the midwest. I didn't balk at that, as my best marathons have been at Boston coming off hard winter training, and we don't have much travel planned over the holidays. MK considered my build-up since the TC 10 Mile, the 9 weeks we had (at the time) to prepare for Miami, and approved! She's happy with where my aerobic system is at, so we'll continue to work at strength-building but will also add some speed to my workouts so I can sharpen up in time for Miami.
I'm thankful we haven't had too much snow or ice to deal with (yet!)
We had that discussion about two weeks ago, but I've been digging deep into some new program creation for 2017 at Life Time Run, and have been studying for my USATF Coaching recertification in any 'spare time' at home. I am getting most of my workouts in despite having a mild cold, but haven't had much time for blogging! I'm keeping this one short for today so I can get back to working on our new Speed Training program, but will share my workouts in my next post.
If you're interesting in joining Life Time Run in Miami, check out our race and hotel discounts & travel program at lifetimerun.com/miami. We have a beautiful host hotel lined up, and will be scheduling social outings and meals for the group. I'm also sharing training and logistics tips in our private Miami travel Facebook group. Until then, it's back to dealing with sub-freezing temps or the treadmill for my training!
Sometimes it is hard to see the path ahead, but a coach can help to guide you through it!
I hope your base training is going well! Thanks for following along on my Chasing Potential journey. Feel free to leave a question or comment on our Life Time Run Facebook page!
Last blog post: "Off-Season Training Begins"