It’s on! The Runner’s World Challenge has started! That means no more recreational running. Each run now has a proper place in a proper schedule and it’s a schedule not crafted by me on some random planning but one made by the ol’ pros at Runner’s World!
This past week and weekend has been a blur. All of a sudden it’s Wednesday! I guess that’s why the first email from the RWChallenge started off by saying “PROTECT your runs!” That’s a super polite way to say “Don’t frickin skip your scheduled runs you slackers!” I just read their first email/newsletter today and it was inspiring. I wasn’t sure it would be.
They filled the first letter with links on stuff like shoes, nutrition, but also some non-basic stuff like blood clots and compression gear, which I have been wanting to research more. But the craziest part is that they give a RWChallenge hotline number! As in a phone number you can call with questions! Whaaaat?? That’s amazing!!! I promise not to abuse this phone privilege and pester Runner’s World about giving me a job (I can be your Florida representative! I will dress up as the state of Pennsylvania and recruit people to run the Runner’s World Half Festival! I can move to PA and fetch you all coffee! Call meeeeee!!). But this “emergency number” (that’s what I’m telling myself it is) will be really helpful if something happens in my training or if I have specific questions, hopefully not concerning my inability to keep pacing requirements and what my Plan B should be. They also give an email for questions as well. This feels worth the money already!
(UPDATE: I did end up calling the hotline with a question when my training hit a snag and they got back to me in a day or two and were extremely helpful and generous with their time. It was like calling your buddy who happens to be a professional runner. I was very pleasantly surprised!)
I sort of had forgotten that I was starting their schedule this week. I was going to arbitrarily run a 5 miler last night. Then I realized at the last minute, oh wait, I think I’m supposed to be on plan today! It was an easy 3 miles, which is always a pleasant surprise when you check out your schedule. Not as pleasant was seeing the “7 miles intervals” scheduled for today. But, cup-half-full person that I am, I’m choosing to focus on the 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cool down part of the plan. 🙂 I’m pretty excited to now be committed to serious weekly mileage though. When left to my own devices, I will hover around 20 miles per week, give or take. The plan I chose has me pretty much starting in the 30 mile range and topping off around 50 miles per week. I will celebrate that week with a serious party (ok, probably something lame like drinking a Coke) when I get to that point because the last time I ran that sort of mileage was in high school cross country.
The more I look at this RWChallenge schedule today, the more dread and excitement I feel. I’m scared that I won’t be strong enough to do the mileage, even though the individual distances seem manageable. It’s just the increase in total mileage that scares me. Ok, and the pace requirements. They tell you the expected pace for every run and I just hope I can keep up. It’s so important to follow those pacing requirements in order to hit my race day goal. Easy for me to muse about this now, when I’m not up to my eyeballs in interval training. Nahhh, it’ll be fine!
Guess I should get on the RWChallenge forums and meet all the other people doing the 40th Marine Corps Marathon with Runner’s World. I love reading about other people’s training! I feel like last year everyone was blogging about doing MCM but this year I don’t see it as much. Maybe it’s early yet. Less people can’t be running Marine Corps on the 40th anniversary!?
Who else is running Marine Corps? Let me know and I’ll follow your blog! Or let me know if you’ve ever run a Runner’s World Challenge race and what you thought of their support throughout the process and on race day!
Check out how my race day & race weekend went here!