Hi friends! Thanks for all the sweet comments on my last post! You guys are the best. Seriously.
Now that my goal 10k is over and spring has officially arrived, it’s time to think about what comes next. Actually, I’ve been thinking about what comes next for a while, so it’s time to start what comes next. And I’m excited for it!
My next race is the Run to the Shrine 10k in Colorado Springs in May. I wrote about this race in my favorite Colorado races post, and of course I’m excited to do it again! It’s incredibly challenging and incredibly fun, and the top three finishers get the most unique medal I’ve ever seen: It’s made of poop (freeze-dried and sealed in plastic). The first year I ran, it was elephant. The next year, it was rhino.
(image from the race website linked above)
I’m not sure what it is this year, but I WANT ONE. That’s weird, I know. But I don’t care. I was fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2013; I want to be third or better in 2014 and get that medal.
Anyway, now I’m on a poo-medal ramble when I meant to be telling you about my training plans for the next several weeks. Back on track now. I have a few main goals:
- Build mileage. Marathon training will start the week after Run to the Shrine. I want to have completed several weeks in the 50+ mile range before starting training, so it’s time to build back up!
- Run hills. So many hills. The first four miles of Run to the Shrine are on an average 8.5% grade. Hill training needs to happen. I’ve been doing some hill work, but now it needs to be my focus instead of a supplement.
- Build strength, especially core. Past years at Run to the Shrine have shown me that a strong core is really beneficial for pulling the ol’ body up the massive hill. You should’ve seen the abs on last year’s women’s winner. Whoa.
- Shed a little body fat. I almost didn’t share this goal, because I feel like goals like this are touchy in the healthy-living blog world, especially if the blogger is already at a healthy weight (I know I am. Don’t yell at me). But remember when I wrote about trying the Paleo diet, and I mentioned that I’d gained a few pounds on it? Well, those pounds are still hanging around, and I’d like them to go away. To clarify, I don’t think a few extra pounds are big deal, but if I gain a few pounds every year, suddenly it’s not a few anymore, and then it’s a problem. And also to clarify, I’m not doing anything drastic — just keeping a closer eye on my intake and gradually upping mileage.
(I don’t really know the relevance of that image, but I like it.)
Last weekend, I wrote up a training plan for the eight weeks between now and Run to the Shrine. It’s nothing fancy and is flexible, but it should get me better prepared for the climb and get my mileage back up safely. I won’t bore you with the week-by-week details, but here’s an overview:
Monday: Easy + core
Tuesday: Short hills + strength
Wednesday: Easy + core
Thursday: Long hill climb + strength
Friday: Easy + core
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Rest and maybe light yoga (because that’s the only kind I do.)
So that’s two hill days a week to start. In a few weeks, I’ll also start taking my long runs out to the only decent hills near me, but I’ll give my legs some time to get used to hills before I do that.
Since the aforementioned hills are neither all that long nor all that convenient, my mid-week hill runs will have to be treadmillers. I made those double days (run a.m., strength p.m.) because it’s a lot easier to commit to the treadmill when it’s early and dark than when it’s after work and sunny. Then, if it’s nice out in the evening, I can either walk or easy jog to the gym to lift and still get in some of my beloved Vitamin D.
So that’s the plan, Stan. (If I have a reader named Stan, you now get bonus points).
What do you think of my plan? Any pointers?
What unique race medals have you seen/ do you own?