Gonna Fly Now

Cue the Rocky Theme – I’m officially registered for Philly!

I have been saying that I’m running it for around month now, so figured I might as well register.

And so it begins.

Not so much the running. I do that anyway. Now begins the mental torture.

How am I supposed to be training? What am I doing wrong? What am I doing that I shouldn’t be doing? What should I be doing that I’m not doing? Am I getting worse instead of better? What’s my plan?

For Marathon #1, it was simple. I downloaded a “First Marathon Training Guide” and followed it. And just as people say, if you follow the plan, you’ll do fine. I followed the plan and did fine. I really, really like it when the world works that way.

But what do I do now? I haven’t found a “Second Marathon Training Guide,” and I’m afraid that if I do find one now, I’ll learn that I’m way behind and will have a panic attack. I don’t think I’m ready for the “Intermediate Marathoner’s Training Guide.” I won’t even glance at “Marathon Training for a PR!” since I am doing a Spartan the week before and a PR goal seems kind of completely delusional.

For the past few weeks, I’ve just been doing my regular thing and increasing my long run by a mile each week, keeping the rest of my runs the same. Yesterday’s long run was 15, and I’ll probably clock around 35 total miles for this week. I’m running slower than last year on slow run and recovery days, now that I have my handy-dandy heartrate monitor. I’m running fine (although very slo-o-o-wly, so my heartrate monitor doesn’t yell at me), especially given the ridiculous heat and humidity we have had lately. But still – who the heck am I to be running without a proper plan??? Number One on my to-do list this week is to check out training plans and choose one.

The running of course, is never the hardest part of training for a marathon. It’s the mental gymnastics.

The teeny tiny Sane part of my brain says I’ll be fine. I will not win and I will not die during the Philly marathon whether I follow the perfect plan or not, so there is really nothing extreme to be stressed about. It is pretty unlikely that I won’t finish, and if I don’t, it will probably be for a very good reason beyond my control. Sane Brain asks what I am worried about. That I’ll slip on a philly cheesesteak and hurt myself? (unlikely). Tire out and have to walk? (So what?) Run slower than I’d like? (So what?) Stop to take a picture with a man in a gorilla suit, have my calf seize and have to limp the last few miles? (already happened to Diva Cindi when we ran the Heartbreak Half. Not gonna happen again so soon). Sane Brain is telling me to chill out. But Sane Brain is small and quiet.

Lisa keeps telling me I'll do fine. But she's practically whispering.

Lisa keeps telling me I’ll do fine. But she’s practically whispering.

The major part of my brain – Insane Brain – is killing me. Insane Brain is not impressed and not optimistic. Unfortunately, insane Brain is bigger and louder than Sane Brain. And every distance runner out there knows what Insane Brain keeps telling me.

Bart keeps saying "Dude, you're screwed!" And he's really, really loud. And drunk. AND HE WON'T SHUT UP!!

Bart keeps saying “Dude, you’re screwed!” And he’s really, really loud. And drunk. AND HE WON’T SHUT UP!!

And so it begins.

What Marathon Training Plans do you recommend? Any good ones for crazy people? Maybe combo Marathon Training/ Intensive Therapy Plans???



44 thoughts on “Gonna Fly Now

  1. You’ll be great!! :). I have read up on and am planning to use Daniel’s Running Formula… Plans for pretty much any distance and different marathon plans based on goals, etc. It was recommended to me by a phenomenal runner, so obviously it will make us awesome :-). Just saw there is an updated 3rd edition so I will have to order that! Good luck!!! 🙂 🙂 :). (Therapy not included. There’s really no hope for us). http://www.amazon.com/Daniels-Running-Formula-3rd-Edition-Jack/dp/1450431836/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

  2. I am no expert but I’ve run quite a few marathons now and I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really ascribe to a particular training plan because I’ve become one of those “less is more” runners. I used to use a lazy version of Hal Higdons marathon training plan for beginners. After that, I started scaling it back in an attempt to preserve what integrity was left of my IT bands. My last marathon training plan consisted of training for and running 2 half marathons, a 25k, and then I threw in a really slow 17 miler before it was time for the taper. That was this past spring. This time, for my fall marathons (I have 2 fulls one month apart with 3 halfs scattered amongst them) my longest training run was 14.7 miles. I have no doubt that I will finish these next two marathons. I have no delusions about PR-ing this season but I will definitely finish with a relatively respectable time but, most importantly, without injuries. Someday I would like to set a new marathon PR but probably not this year. I’m not sure if any if this info will be useful to you but it’s a different perspective than most. It’s based on the premise that most marathon training plans are outdated and geared towards much faster runners. And also, that any long run lasting longer than 2-3 hrs can potentially do more harm than good. Best of luck runner! Keep us posted 🙂

    • This info is INCREDIBLY useful to me! Colby just reminded me yesterday that I have been running less this year but running stronger. I, too, am probably a less is more runner. I don’t have trouble with injuries, thankfully, and I almost always run a 13 miler each week even when I’m not training, so I have a decent base. Long runs don’t decimate me or injure me. I’m wondering whether, since I tolerate the distance runs well, I’d be better off still running long but fewer days per week so I get more rest days in. I ran fewer times per week in the spring (not by choice) and ran some strong races. Food for thought. Your reply was very helpful – thank you!!

      • You are most welcome! You are very blessed among runners to not be injury-prone 😉
        Runners are more in tune with their bodies than any other demographic, IMO. No one can know better than you what is best for you. I am confident that you will discover the best training regimen for you in time. After all, if the one you use this time isn’t that great then there’s always next time! God knows we all have like at least 50 different marathons/endurance events on our bucket lists! Line em up, baby!!!

  3. Hahaha you nearly make me spit out my water with your posts haha now I have the “Eye of The Tiger” stuck in my head lol. And no worries about marathon #2 you’ve so got this. You might look into the Hanson’s Marathon training method for this upcoming 26.2 journey. Its definitely some next level stuff 🙂

    • Dude – if the Eye of the Tiger is blasting between your ears, you might as well lace up and head out for a run. Only way to quell the beast. Will definitely check out Hanson – loving all these rec’s!
      Thanks for the support. After the mental beating I will give myself for the next 11 weeks, I better go get ’em! 🙂

      • Oh you’ll get em’ and you’ll love the Hanson’s method. I been using it for 2 years now and haven’t looked back! 🙂

  4. Dear Crazy Pants,
    All will be good. Trust Me.

    Well now that you’ve gone and posted this on our fabulous Lil’ Blog, I’m pulling the trigger— and registering for the Half. I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to our runcation in the City of Brotherly Love. I’ll even eat a cheesesteak.


    BWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I LOVE YA T-BONE!! You are tougher, faster and far more fit at this very moment than you even freaking realize. xoxox

    • You have to register. I already booked us in at the Ritz.
      You do not have to eat a cheesesteak. I won’t eat a cheesesteak (seems silly to order one and have them hold the cheese?). Nor will we eat scrapple. We will, however, eat pretzels 24-7 and find a kick-ass brewery for after the race. Perhaps the Drunken Cyclist can help us out – isn’t he in Philly?
      Thank you for your words of support. And for calling me Crazy Pants. You wouldn’t have it any other way. xxoo

  5. I’ve run Philly 5, 6, no 7 times. I had to count the finishers’ medals hanging on the wall for an accurate count. Here’s how I see it… The weather will be cool so that’s good for a mile in your pocket. The crowds are tremendous so that’s good for another mile. Now you’re down to 24 miles to get through. The first 13 will fly by. It’s the second 13 on out to Manyunk and the turnaround that will make your insane brain explode. BUT at 25+ when you can sense the finish Ms. Insane Brain will be cheering. And so will we. And then it’s room service at the Ritz!

    • Aaah!!! Now you’re getting me stoked!!! Is it true that they play the Rocky Theme near the finish so you can hear while you are tackling the last mile or so???
      Look at you with your 7 Philly medals!! Awesome! You ARE Rocky!

      • THEY DO PLAY IT! I heard it when I ran it. I also heard some asshole blowing a vuvuzela the last 3 miles. I nearly shanked him. Let’s hope he’s not trying for medal 7. I’m excited for the half. Annnnnnd the Ritz.

      • pscapp – Talk to us. Was it you with the vuvuzela? Knock it off this time or, apparently, Colby will shank you. Since she’s running the half this time, she’ll have plenty of energy left for shanking (y’know, being an ultra-marathoner and all).

      • I have no recollection of what music was playing at the finish line as I was probably delirious. I think it gets played at the start. I started in the last wave in the last corral in 2013. I crossed the starting line a good half hour after the elites went off. My reasoning is this…everyone crowds the corrals to get off on time when ultimately it doesn’t matter – right? Your time is your time no matter when you start. Besides, the lines at all the porta johns clear out by 7:20 because everyone is standing in the street waiting for the start. You can have your pick. Good luck.

      • I love it – tips from a pro!!! I like your thinking on the start. I would rather start in a later corral than start in a crowded corral. I have a hard time when it is like swimming upstream for the first mile of a race.

  6. I’ve never done a full marathon and don’t have plans to do one any time soon. That being said, I’ve heard great things about the Hal Higdon plans and know one person who is in love with the Nike running app’s beginner plan. I’ve used the Nike app’s half plan for beginners three times now (but this third time around I’m actually following only the running bits AND actually doing the miles) and really like it. So…..hopefully Insane Brain drinks himself into a long nap soon 😉

  7. Listen to your sane brain 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who had the mental torture thing happening. I can’t comment on marathon plans because the first marathon isn’t until January. I’ve looked at Hal Higdon and that seems quite doable and also I’m a huge fan of the Lazy Runner who always has the most streamlined way of doing things. You are amazing, I’m with sane brain, you can do it! And I loved all your ‘so what’s’!

  8. Sounds like you’re not doing anything wrong!! I don’t follow a specific marathon training plan, if that makes you feel any better. I outline my long runs based on other plans, but I do whatever I want during the week. If you’re already up to 15 miles, you’ll totally be fine!! If you like having a plan to look at, you could use the plan you used for your first marathon OR the intermediate plan OR a different plan (like Hal Higdon) and just start however many weeks out you are. Good luck! 😀

    • I love advice that tells me to do what I want. hahaha! I am taking a look at everything and probably will end up doing a tweak of one or a blend of all. And will be sure to report on how it works….

  9. I’m down with Hal Higdon. He has several plans for all levels. I like his back to back weekend longish runs. They really help prepare your legs. Check him out!
    As for crazy plans, I’ll refer to Jimmy Buffett
    -“If we were not crazy, we’d all go insane.”

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