When Last We Met, A Toast to Jack Daniels, And More

It's been a while, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite toasts. 

Here's to Being Single, Seeing Double, and Sleeping Triple

Today it has nothing to do with whiskey, getting drunk, or being promiscuous.  I'm talking about being a single-digit/mile pace, running double runs a day, and sleeping as much as I need.  All dreams of my "perfect week."

Not this Jack Daniels
I'm fond of my vino, don't get me wrong.  I grew up in a big European family, and it's really common for everyone to have 1-2 beers or glasses of wine with dinner several days a week.  But I'm not a whiskey gal.  And I am NOT a "stay out past midnight" or "get hammered then work out two hours the next day" person.  I'd rather have a glass or two with dinner to enjoy it and be functional than go out oontzin' all night long. (Oontz is the sound that really loud dance club music makes, if you're not familiar.)

So enough about oontzin'.

When last we met, I was 8 weeks into my training plan; now I am 8 weeks from my marathon.  Time flies when you're having fun.

Wait, was I having fun?

Actually, yes.  Some amazing things have transpired over the last few months: first, I am (95%) sure I have managed to work out my trip to NYC.  Second, I have raised all but $108 of my first goal of $1500 for the ACS.  Next, mom's on her second round of chemo and she is doing GREAT.  She is feeling better than anyone at her cancer center thought she would. 

And finally, training is going great.

I managed to resolve both my runner's knee and shin issues (mentioned the shoe laces in my last entry, but the knee was also worked out - lots of strength, stretching, and good ol' rest-when-I-need-it-kinda stuff.)

This Jack Daniels
On that note, I re-discovered Jack Daniels.  Don't laugh, but when I say this in my head it's almost equivalent to someone finding religion.

Jack Daniels is amazing.

The Jack Daniels I speak of is not the famous whiskey brand but the famous running coach.  Dr. Daniels is considered by some to be the greatest running coach in the world, and he's the reason I train like I do. 

Everyone has a plan that works for them.  My plan is the one that doesn't make me run crazy long every weekend but still trains me hard and lets me rest when I feel like I need it.  I don't follow the traditional, you-must-run-2-or-more-20+-mile-runs-before-the-race plan.  And it's totally fine if someone does.  Every now and then, I think about doing that too.   And then I start to get injured, or tired, or grumpy.

This month a huge bout of vertigo and migraines hit me.  I ran out of my migraine medicine.  I found out I had an ear infection.  And then I started to get sick, tired, or grumpy. When Last We Met, I was doing that - and getting the mid-plan jitters.

When I finally bought Dr. Daniels' book last month, my confidence in my training returned.  That helped my consistence return.  The following and previous week to my vertigo spells I had my two highest-mileage weeks of the year and felt fantastic physically.

Dr. Daniels has a couple of philosophies I follow.  They're very common-sense, but they're backed by science.  And they work great for me, both mentally and physically.

1) Don't run longer in training than 2.5 hours or 16 miles. Research shows that there's no physical benefit to running over 2.5 hours and there's increased risk of injury.  Run your 20+ miles on race day.  (He even trains world-class athletes this way.)

2) Rest when you need it.

3) He sometimes has his runners do two quality (hard) sessions on back to back days, then do a rest day, to maximize schedule and minimize delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as well as temptation to go too hard on one quality day.

4)Speaking of maximizing schedule.  Just because you're not doing 2-3 18-mile runs, 2-3 20-mile runs, and possible some 20+ mile runs, you DO get mileage on his plans, but it's easier to manage. On his plans, you set aside about an hour a day to run on most days (sometimes a bit less, usually a bit more) except one longer quality day and/or a long run of no more than 2.5 hours or 16 miles.  So your planned workout time is relatively predictable, and even if you need a lot of rest, you can get in a 20-40 mile week without having to do a 4-hour+ long run. (The "fast people" will get in 50-80 miles a week on his plans.  20-40 is plenty for me.)

5) Double down.  This is my favorite.  Some days I do my 2-2.5 hour run, then go back out 4-6 hours later and do another 2-4 miles.  Other days I do my 2-2.5-hour run, then do an easy couple of miles or more the following day.  It's made HUGE differences in my DOMS, energy levels, and confidence! It's just as challenging as running everything at one whack, but more fun.  (I think.)

Anyway, I am certainly no expert, and everyone has their own thing, but I'm really happy to have gotten into his book so I can focus myself mentally on "why" and "how" I'm training.

The next 4 weeks are the hardest, then the taper slowly begins.

That's all I got to share for now.

2 tidbits of wizdom:

Karen said...

I have heard of his plans but never really checked them out before. I like that he approves the Double Down! I have done it before when I started out with a run and just wasn't feeling it - I came back later and finished up and it felt 1000% times better. I wondered if that would be something a trainer would "approve" of :)

Meggan Johnson said...

Yep! It works great for me!

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