Sunday, April 12, 2009

Are Margaritas Running Fuel?

Yesterday's Run: 13.26 miles/2:02/9.1 pace

I needed to get in 13 miles yesterday in prep for my intense half marathon next weekend. My running partner, Erin, couldn't go, so I put it on there on the almighty Facebook that I wanted someone to run the Boulder Backroads 1/2 Marathon course with me early Saturday a.m. My son's third grade teacher, Liz, who also happens to be a two-time ironman (woman), wanted to come along. SCORE!

Saturday a.m. came to early. Being Emma's birthday the night before I had one of Ken's strong margaritas, some wine and too much crap to eat. It was 30 degrees and cloudy. Plus, I was kind of intimidated to run with Liz. She is twenty years younger than me. She has completed two ironmans and countless other races. Ken said she'd "kick my ass." Not that this is a competition or anything.

Surprisingly, the miles flew by as we talked and talked. I found out that Liz is not interested in going super fast, but more interested in endurance and being able to go long distances and feeling good. I think that girl could go forever. I stopped at the halfway mark to stretch and have a gel. Liz had nothing and was ready to keep going, keep up the momentum.

Thinking about it, my approach to running is kind of similar. I'd like to become faster, but I also want to be able to go long, for hours at a time and not break down. I remember in my marathon that so many people started out really fast, and petered around mile 18 or 20. I started out pretty slow, and gained momentum as I went. I ended up with a negative split. The people who passed me at mile 2, were being passed by me at mile 21. I'm not that fast, but I think I can endure the distance pretty well.

Did you read Runner's World this month about the "magic mile" and finding your perfect pace? As I'm hoping to qualify for Boston this year, I loved this. Here it is:

  • Run one mile hard with an easy couple laps for warm up.
  • Don't run all out; just push a little faster than you normally do.
  • Record your time.
  • Use your time as a benchmark to determine what pace is appropriate for your current fitness level on your daily runs.
  • Use your "magic mile" time to set realist goals for different distances.
  • Add 33 seconds to your mile time to determine a pace for a 5K
  • Multiply your mile time by 1.15 for a 10K
  • Multiply your mile time by 1.2 for a half-marathon
  • Multiply your mile time by 1.3 to predict your marathon potential

I need to run a 3:50 marathon to BQ. That means cutting 13 minutes off of my time. I am going to start my training soon. Any recommendations on a plan to use? I have found some intermediate training plans on line:

  • Runners World
  • Hal Higdon
  • Sports Fitness Advisor
  • Cool Running

Hal's is an 18 week training plan with you doing one 18 miler and two 20 milers. Cross training is thrown in one day per week along with one rest day. Runner's World is a 16 week plan with two rest days, goal pace intervals, one 18 miler, one 19 miler and one 20 milers. Sports Fitness has you training for 18 weeks with two rest days per week, two 20 milers and one 18 miler; Lastly, Cool Running is a 20 week program with one rest day per week, speed days, 3-10K races, one 20 miler, one 22 miler and one 26 miler! This last one seems like the toughest. Has anyone tried this?


  1. Good for you getting out there with all those obstacles like weather, margaritas and running companion issues. I also like the clever way you found someone to run with.

  2. Congrats on getting out there for the run! I'm always looking for someone to run with but not many of my friends are fans of running. What marathon are you thinking of running? I want to run my first marathon this fall and I'm not sure which one to train for!

    And I love greek yogurt! So delicious mixed with anything!!

  3. Great 13-miler! And I think a margarita is the perfect pre-run fuel (and even better post-run treat, of course, then you need 3 or 4). I haven't used any of those training plans. I'm doing a FIRST plan for my May marathon and really like it.

  4. I'm a big fan of high mileage base, something that is beyond what you think is currently possible, then adding quality. I personally think that a lot of the programs you listed put too much emphasis on the long run. I think I've sent this to you before, but the Hanson's program is linked here. I'm a bigger fan of this than I am Higdon or those other programs. Full disclosure- I don't follow this one. Mine is a modified Daniel's program.

  5. I just took a close look at the above training schedule (Hansons). I am thinking I will give it a try. Looks like at most you are running 50 mpw with the longest run being 16 miles (you do three of these). It is a 20 week program. The idea is heavier, more regular mileage without so much emphasis on the long run each week.

  6. Good luck on your half. I give you credit for running in the cold. Cold is my downfall. I have tried both types of training programs over the years I personally like running the long runs (gives me more confidence), but my best times have come when I did not run a training run over 15 miles. I always do a 20 week program (I feel like it is more realistic if I get sick or have a weekend that I am not able to run, easier to catch up).

    Good luck!! I plan on seeing you at Boston!

  7. I'm turning down any plan that makes me run 26 miles BEFORE the marathon. No thanks. :o)

  8. great job on the 13!!!

    yikes 26 miles before marathon, no thanks!