New Jersey Marathon training update: Weeks 1 and 2

#marathon training  #training 

Two weeks down, fourteen more to go! I’m one eighth of the way through training for the New Jersey Marathon!

Weeks one and two were originally written in my training plan as the being the same, but being that I didn’t feel like my mileage was quite up to par yet going into week one, I made a few modifications. I cut the lengths of a few of the runs to drop the mileage by four for the week. Since most of the country was being slammed by a ridiculous cold snap, I was actually somewhat relieved by not having to run quite as many miles. I ran in the snow a couple times and on top of ice for most of the week. I also ran in subzero temperatures that hit -9º when the wind chill was factored it. It wasn’t pleasant at all, but, to be honest, it was tolerable. And that was before doing my long run in the freezing rain. Rough week, I tell you.

Then, a weeklong trip to Brussels threw a bit of a wrench into my schedule for the end of week one and most of week two. The trip was somewhat last minute and planned after my training plan was put into the calendar. I felt as though an eleven mile run on my second day there would have been pushing it with the time difference and not really knowing the city yet. So I moved week one’s long run up to Friday and woke up really early to knock it out before a half day working from home followed by an eight hour overnight flight. I should also mention I only had four and a half hours of sleep before this run thanks for being out late the night before seeing Against Me! in Brooklyn. While the eleven-mile long run survived the intensity of my schedule, my four miler originally scheduled for Saturday but relocated to Sunday didn’t make it. I was just too tired on Sunday to make it happen.

Week two also got jostled around on my calendar a bit so my runs would work a little better with my schedule in Belgium (I was working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). However, when reality set in, things changed even more. I ran all the distances I needed to, but not in the planned order. Monday, was planned to be six miles with 5x1’ fartleks. I took a few minutes to study a map of the city and found the nearest park of any size at all was about two-thirds of a mile away from the hotel. There was also a much bigger park, but that was three miles away and I wasn’t confident I’d find it without getting lost and having to stop to consult my phone. I figured I’d save that for another day and suck it up and do a bunch of laps, three quarters of a mile each, around the closer park. I had no problem finding the park and it was filled with other runners! It was wonderful! I did my laps and when it was time to head back to the hotel, I got a little mixed up. The park is a giant square and it mostly looks the same down each side. I ended up exiting the park on the opposite side from where I came in. By the time I sorted it all out, I ended up with a 7.2 mile run instead of six…and I had forgotten about my fartleks. No worries, I figured, Tuesday was supposed to be seven miles so I’ll just swap ‘em.

On Tuesday, I headed out for the same park. I considered running to the bigger one, but it was raining out and I again didn’t want to have to deal with taking my phone out for consultation on how to get there. This time, the park was empty. I saw maybe five runners the entire time I was doing laps there, and I did more than my fair share of laps since I ended up doing Thursday’s nine miles. This time, however, I exited the park properly.

When Wednesday came around, it was time to finally get to Monday’s run. Again, it was raining, but this time it was a little colder and much, much windier. I had brought the proper clothes to wear for the weather, but I decided to hit up the treadmill instead. The sidewalks are very narrow and cobblestoney, plus the park doesn’t have paved walkways and was a muddy, puddly mess on Tuesday (I couldn’t even avoid some of the puddles, I had to run through them). It just didn’t seem worth it. Besides, the hotel’s fitness center was literally ten feet from our room. Only thing is, I hate the treadmill and just can’t seem to find a way to make it appealing. Still, I found a way to bring myself to get on that treadmill and put in the miles. Much to my surprise, I even pulled off getting my fartleks done–5x1’ at 5k pace. Not to my surprise, I hated being on that treadmill.

So three of four of my runs schedule while on “vacation” in Brussels got done. This is waaaay better than my typical vacation where I plan four or so runs and do one of them. I got in 22.5 of my planned 26 miles. I can live with that!

After that, I took Thursday off and left Friday, my travel day, as another rest day. Finally, week two wrapped up with a four-miler and my eleven-miler.

Week three will bring my first six run week, hopefully my body is willing to cooperate!