Although not my first Boston Marathon (I ran 2013 and 2014), I am experiencing a number of firsts as I prepare for this year’s race. Last summer my family and I relocated from the beaches of Southern California to Ohio. My entire marathon training career up to this point had been in either desert or beach heat so training in the Midwest winter is going to be a dramatic first for me! Recognizing the extra challenge in motivating myself to get out of the door in freezing temperatures, another first was joining an organized running group. Boston365 which is a joint Fleet Feet Sports/Adidas program designed specifically for Boston Qualifiers. My final ‘first’ is related to this group; all the training is heart rate based rather than time/pace.
Tomorrow’s long run of 13 miles will complete week 4 (of 19) and I am yet to miss a run. Up until this week I had managed to do the majority of runs outside however the frigid temperatures this week forced me inside onto the treadmill. That said, I did an easy 3 mile run today in the snow with my Yaktrax and loved it, despite the -6f wind chill! So far the training has gone very well and I am enjoying the camaraderie of the training group. I am feeling strong and ready for the high mileage in the weeks ahead. I missed my goals in the past 2 Boston Marathons and I hope that joining the Boston365 group will help get me over that and then on to greater goals in the fall!
The heart rate training is a huge change for me. I’ve always followed plans when training; I started with Hal Higdon, then switched to The Hansons Method (to which I achieved great results, but hit a plateau) but am ready for change. I had my first ever Vo2 max test on January 5th and have had 3 runs since solely following my heart rate and zones prescribed by my coaches. It’s a very different concept, I am so used to running at a speed but, I am training smarter, not faster this time!
Early days for all of these firsts but I am enjoying the initial results and cannot wait for April 20th!