Base Building for Spring Racing: To Bayshore!

I haven’t been posting weekly training updates because it seemed silly to recap a relatively boring schedule (base training isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to write or read about). But a small recap seems fitting because I just wrapped up my 8th week back to normal and consistent mileage after the craziness of Monumental and Honolulu.

This winter has been so different than the past two years – mostly because I’m not training for Boston. Props to all of you fighting through the winter to peak for a great experience – it’s no small feat! I’m personally not missing hilly 20 milers and brutal speed workouts against a Chicago headwind but I’m really excited to follow those of you running in April. [I’m sure I’ll get the itch to run Boston again at some piont but maybe after some recent memories fade away and I’m ready to fight with the weather.] I’ll stick to my 90 minute long runs and a fairly amicable relationship with the treadmill for now.

So, the past 8 weeks have been a slow build to relatively normal mileage and I’ve gradually added in speed and tempo workouts. The first week I ran 20 miles total and this past week I rounded it out with 40 miles (and one 5-day streak, which hasn’t happened since Octoberish!). The first 4 weeks or so were full of easy peasey miles and the only ‘speed’ I did included workouts like 10 x 1 min surges with 1 min recovery or 5 miles easy with 10 min up tempo to finish. Getting back into shape has been tough but every week I finish feeling more and more like myself. My first longish run was only 7.6 miles and that felt incredibly tough (granted, it was 10 degrees and Corey & I had to fight through 20-30 mph winds for over half the run). I think no matter how many marathons I run, it’s always surprising to me how difficult even 3 miles feels after a recovery period. It’s the nature of the marathon training beast, I suppose. I haven’t had any “oh my goodness life is beautiful and running is the greatest and I ran so fastttttt” kind of runs yet but I have a feeling they will come if I keep putting in the work.


I’m proud of the consistency in my running and my strength training so far this year. I haven’t skipped my hip and glute strength routine (wahoooo!) and I’ve done core workouts at least 2 times each week. (It’s always easier for me to commit to these routines in the winter, when I’m usually already at the gym.) Staying out of the “more and more mileage is better” trap isn’t easy but I know I can’t focus on shorter distances (and tough speed workouts) without cutting mileage (easier said than done especially after dedicating so much time to the marathon the past two years).

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I had one of those DERP “WHY ARE MY LEGS SO HEAVY?!” long runs last weekend. At least the sun was out!

So! This week kicks off a 12 week training cycle leading up to the Bayshore Half in May!  12 weeks seems like a long time to get fit for 13.1 (or so I keep telling myself) and I’m excited about some workouts that I’ve never done before. The Shamrock Shuffle 8k is coming up in a few short weeks (eepers!). I’m already starting to get nervous — probably because, in 2014, I only raced …..wait for it…. TWICE! [New York Half in March and Monumental in November; paced my sister at Honolulu]. I’ll be getting to more start lines in 2015 – I’d rather just get out there than be greedy about racing when I feel like it’s “worth it” (AKA when I feel like I can PR). I haven’t decided if I’ll be racing it all out or treating it as a tough tempo workout yet but either way it’s going to be a good tune-up, along with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April.

17 days til spring!

26 days to Shamrock 8k

40 days to Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

and 80 days to Bayhore.

What’s coming up on your calendar? How are you dealing with the winter weather in your area?

11 thoughts on “Base Building for Spring Racing: To Bayshore!

  1. Gracie says:

    I raced four times in 2014…and had two major surgeries! Ugh! Once I am healthy I want to race more. You have to get used to it and be ready to push a little; when I fall out of practice it gets tougher mentally.

    • Jenny says:

      It’s hard to work up the motivation to sign up for races during the winter. And then the spring and summer comes and everyone signs up for ALL THE THINGS! Training going well?

  2. susanruns says:

    I like base building – just running to run without the stress of hitting workouts! And it is always amazing how hard short runs can feel after a marathon – didn’t I just run 26.2? Shouldn’t an easy four be…easy?? Ha. Props to all the people training through this winter – I’m battling through to run Eugene this year, and I can’t wait to NOT wear three layers for every run!

  3. irishrunnerchick says:

    I’m a little late……….but I can totally relate. I’m just recovering from an injury and did my longest run in ages (a whole 7.5 miles) and it was so hard. I remember doing this runs before work and finding them so easy. Oh well. I’m interested to see your base building schedule -> I might follow it in the next couple of weeks.

    • Jenny says:

      It’s so humlbing to get back at it. How is your training going? My base building was just a slooowwww build to 40ish miles a week. I’m trying not to be a slave to total weekly miles – focusing on taking hard days hard and easy days super easy.

  4. Sarah says:

    I am having a “year of the 5K” this year & training for shorter & faster after a year of focusing on distance for marathon training. I’m throwing in a couple of halfs for fun (and one 1-mile race in July! Ah!), but my focus all year will be on the 5K-10K distance. I forgot how much fun speed training is!!! I’ve never run Bayshore, but I’m from Michigan & I’ve been up there the last 4 years timing the race w/ the company I work for, and we will be again this year! Not sure if I’ll be at the finish or at a split yet, but will try to cheer for you 🙂

    • Jenny says:

      I admittedly need to put more 5ks and 10ks on my schedule if I really want this to be the spring of speed. I feel like I’m slowly getting my turnover back after logging all those marathon miles. (Still, I have the itch to run another full in the fall.) Oh sweet! I ran the Bayshore half a few years ago and loved it. We have a big group of runners heading up there for the half and full. Should be fun!

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