Running With the Wife Again 3-4-13

TheWife Running Again 3-3-13
TheWife Running Again 3-3-13

 

I ran with the wife for the first time in around 5 years today and you know something – it was great. Over the past 5 years either I have been injured or she wasn’t running due to health concerns.

Well she started running a little while ago and today our schedules finally synced up. I was doing a cool-down lap and she was just getting going.

It felt good to run along side of her, talking about this or that and just enjoying one another’s company. I am so glad that she has started running again. This is something we did a lot of when we first got together and is a part of our relationship that I missed.

How did the less exciting part of my run go. Very well. I warmed up the first mile and tried to increase my pace a little each mile after that. It was an easy progression run and as you can see by the split chart I accomplished what I originally set out to do.

Garmin Splits 3/3/13
Garmin Splits 3/3/13

 

Going from 8:29 to 7:34 without pushing felt really good. The part that felt the best was that I had plenty left in the tank and could have maintained the 7:50 pace for a while. This is the pace that I have to get used to running, I want to give myself a little cushion for my marathon sub 3:30:00 goal time.

Here is what I have done this week.

RunLog 3-3-13
RunLog 3-3-13

 

Although I had a couple of days where I had to cut my planned mileage back a couple of days, due to my self-inflicted right quad tightness, it was still a good week. It also forced me to slow down and look at how fast I have been running and change some things up.

Next week I am going to start a modified Hanson’s Half Marathon Plan. I will have a post on what I am going to be doing sometime this week. I am excited and a little – not scared, but worried if I will be able to do the long run faster pace or if I will even be able to do the complete plan. I usually don’t do that well with the structure, but at the same time I know that I need more structure in my training. So it is a conundrum, but I am going to try to stay as close to the plan as I can.

Below are my top 10 blog posts for the week:

  1. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  2. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  3. First Impressions and Run in Altra Superior – 3/1/13
  4. Trying the Hanson Method on a Recovery Run
  5. Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR
  6. Hanson Marathon Method – Book Review
  7. Newton Gravity–After 50 Miles
  8. What I Learned In February 2013
  9. iSmoothRun Running App Review
  10. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes

I purchased the Altra Superiors to be my trail shoes this year and do know that I am very impressed with my new Altra Superiors and how they are performing for me.

Overthinking the Marathon Book Review

Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau

I just finished reading an eBook call “Overthinking the Marathon” by — Ray Charbonneau that was different from most of the “running” books that I tend to read, but in a good way.

 

Ray contacted me a while back and he asked if I wanted to review his new book “Overthinking the Marathon”. I said yes and (disclaimer) he sent me a free PDF copy of the book to review. I have never met Ray, but have read a few of his articles in other publications that I read.

Ray is an experienced marathoner and independent writer from Massachusetts, who has over 20 marathons to his credit and has been running for many years. The best part from my perspective is that he isn’t an Elite runner and his planned marathon time was fairly close to the same time that I am hoping to do.

So I was eager to read the book and get inside his head a little, to see if I could pick up any tips or tidbits from him. That I could use in my own preparations for the Marine Corps Marathon – in October.

This is not your typical “how to prepare for a Marathon book” that has chapters on diet, training plans, stretching, etc., instead Ray wrote it as a daily journal of his journey to the Cape Cod Marathon in 2012. Inside that story are a multitude of tips and strategies that runners can use to help train for our own race or marathon.

I liked the start of the book where Ray discussed how he developed his marathon training plan and the why’s behind his decisions. I thought it was important to know how an experienced marathoner, decides to train for a marathon.

It was very interesting to learn how he incorporated bicycle workouts as a planned alternative to running on recovery days, to lessen the impact on his legs and avoid injuries. Personally, I am not a big bike rider (mostly because I haven’t ever done it), but it does make me stop and think about how I could do things differently to prepare for the marathon. Especially, if I experience too many over-use injuries during my training.

Sometimes I think that runners forget how difficult it is to train and focus for a race that is months away and that it is normal to have doubts and second guess what you are doing, to prepare for that race – I know that I do. In the book Ray vividly describes the highs and lows that can occur during training for a race. Those questions that we all ask ourselves – “Am I doing this right”, “what is that pain in my …”, “why am I eating this” or better yet “why did I eat that”, “did I run too fast”, “did I run too slow”, “I wasn’t able to get all my miles in this week” and all the other endless questions we ask ourselves when we are training for a big race.

While training for the marathon, most of us add in some other races to our training schedules and Ray describes how he incorporated other races into his training. He also described how those races positively and negatively impacted his training. Which I thought was important issue to think about when adding races to schedule when you are training for a particular race – you need to think about their potential impact on your focus race and many of us don’t do that – we just race.

He briefly described some of the friendships he has made while running, the activities that he did with other runners, and how important the support of his wife and those friends were during this training. I am lucky to have the support of my wife, but I want to do more of the meeting other runners and developing friendship that extend beyond running, so this part of the book did make me feel a little jealous.

By the time I got to the end of the book, it felt like Ray was an old friend, who I had known for years and I was cheering him on, while he was running the Cape Cod Marathon on a very tough day and finished with a great time of…well you can read the book to find out how he did.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and picked a lot of marathon training gems that are embedded into the story. I didn’t feel like I was being hit over the head with information and that “this way is the only way” style of writing that can be common in many “how to” books about running or training.

I think that he chose a very appropriate title for his book – “Overthinking the Marathon” and I believe that knowing that the insecurities that I have about running my marathon are very normal, especially if someone who has finished over 20 of them still has them, reading Ray’s thoughts about this, will help me get through my own marathon training this summer.

I definitely recommend reading “Overthinking the Marathon” and I believe you will pick up many  training strategies and ideas that will help you in your own running, but you have to remember that they are part of Ray’s story and you have to look for and find them while you are reading his story, which is something that I enjoyed.

Another great thing is if you buy Overthinking the Marathon before Boston Marathon Monday (April 15) your purchase will help support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind — Click here for details.