The Journey Begins

Today marks the official start of my 18 week training program for the Walt Disney World marathon. My training up to this point has basically been preparation for a simulated 10K run that I should have run on Saturday to give me target paces for my marathon training. Instead, I took last week off from pretty much all exercise.

Despite some positive signs from my last few runs, I decided to further rest my foot. I also decided to not to use the Furman Institute marathon training program. In my browsing of running forums on the internet, I’ve found a lot of people saying that it’s produced a lot of great finishes, but it’s also produced a lot of runners who were unable to start their race due to injury. Given my own experience with the Furman Institute 10K program, I thought it wise to seek out a different plan.

Focused primarily on starting and finishing the race, I’ve decided to go with Hal Higdon’s novice I plan. There’s no speedwork, and no tempo runs. It’s pretty much short to moderate distance runs during the week and a long run on the weekend. The only thing that I don’t really like about it is that the runs are on consecutive days (except the long run). I’ve never really run on consecutive days, but I can’t say that taking a day off in between runs really helped with injury prevention, so I’m willing to give this a try. The fact the a whole lot of other people have used this plan successfully in the past gives me some confidence.

The plan generally calls for Mondays to be an off day, so I’ve adjusted everything roughly backwards by one day. I like to have Sundays off since I usually stay up too late on Saturday nights. I’ll still run the long run on Saturday, but I’ll do the cross training on Thursday or Friday instead of Sunday. That will make Thursday or Friday an off day, depending on which one I use for the cross training.

So, today’s run was a 3 miler:

Planned workout

.5 mile warmup

3 miles at 9:15 pace

5 minute cool down

Actual workout

.48 mile warmup

3 miles at 9:35 pace

5 minute cool down

Things went pretty well during the run. I felt great for the most part, but I did develop a stitch. I wasn’t too surprised because that’s pretty common for me when I’ve taken some time away from running. I tried some deep breathing to work through it, but it was still around by the one mile mark. So, I slowed down to a walk and over the course of a minute workout it out.

I continued running at 9:15 pace to the 2 mile mark, and then upped the pace to 8:35. This went well, but the stitch came back in earnest, so I had to walk again at the 2.5 mile mark. This time, I was having trouble taking deep breaths, so it took me a quarter mile to work it out. I ran the last quarter at 9:15 and finished in about 29 minutes.

At about 2.5 miles, I felt a little inflammation on the top of my foot. It hasn’t really been an issue the rest of the day. It’s something to keep an eye on for tomorrow’s 3 miler, though.

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