Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for the ‘Pfitzinger 18/55’

Published February 3rd, 2008

And so it begins

Okay Pfitz, it’s show time.  You come highly recommended — many have said they’ve qualified for Boston with you — so for the next 18 weeks I’m all yours.  I know it won’t be easy, but I’m ready for the rigors ahead.  I’ve been working on strengthening my core and increasing my flexibility, plus I’ve increased my mileage considerably.

Because I ran my first two marathons for fun, my baseline marathon time is hypothetical (based on some recent runs, I’m guessing it’s in the 4:10:00-4:15:00 range).  To qualify for Boston, I need to get that time down to 4:00:59.  I know the mileage you recommend will certainly help (I’ll be following your “up to 55 miles/week” schedule), as well as the speed work.  But to be safe, I’ll also be adding some hills — repeats, as well as incorporating hilly courses into my regular runs.

As for cross training, I’ve finally found a yoga class I enjoy, so I’ll be taking that every Tuesday and will hit the pool or do some biking on Sundays (I’ve tweaked the schedule to begin on Sunday so that my long runs fall on Saturday).  I also have an elliptical available at my gym, and will be doing an arm/shoulder weight routine three days/week.  (And no, I won’t forget my core work — I’ll be doing that at least five times/week.  I hope to be able to hold a plank for two minutes by the end of the year!)

Ironically, I think my major challenge will be to keep my pace SLOW enough during my general aerobic, recovery and medium/long runs.  In fact, I may actually incorporate walk breaks during the long runs to ensure I stay within my projected pace (I’ll also have my heart rate monitor guide me).

Oh wait — there is one more challenge: my weight.  Mind you, I’m happy where I am, but I know my running would benefit if I were to lose 10 more pounds.  I love my wine (and salt), so my weight has stubbornly stayed in the 162-167 range.  I’m hoping to get down to 150 by my goal race (the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 8), but I’d be happy with 155.

Anyhoo, check back weekly for a progress report.  And please, don’t be offended if I use your name in vain.

Published February 1st, 2008

Faster than a speeding…

I’ve been playing a numbers game. I’m about to embark on some hard-core training in my quest to qualify for Boston (goal time of 4 hours, 59 seconds), but I have not established a good baseline. Although I have two marathons under my, er, feet, neither demonstrated what I’m truly capable of (after all, I don’t intend to drink wine or take pictures with Disney characters at North Olympic). Therefore, I have to use my best guesstimate. But what do I base it on? My best 5K time? 10K? Half marathon? Best 15K-30K training run? They all predict different outcomes when plugging in the numbers on the MacMillan Running Calculator.

I originally estimated my time at 4:30-4:40, but recent runs have had me question this. So I plugged in my best times for seven different distances, coming up with projected marathon times ranging from 4:20-4:40. Just when I settled on a middle-of-the-pack time (4:32), I decided I should run a 15K “race” to see if I could improve on that time. (In other words, I chose to run around Greenlake for 9.3 miles as fast as I could. Not the same as true race conditions, but it was close and the price was right!). My goal was to average 9-9 1/4 minute miles.

I’ve managed to convince my darling to join me on my BQ quest (he too will attempt a BQ), so rather than run together we ran in opposite directions, high fiving each other as we crossed paths. Although I wore my Garmin, I was determined not to look at it. Rather, I wanted my body to indicate when I should speed up and slow down.