321 days: TFAC in action

Quick recap: I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Over one month in and so far we are on track. Raised so far: $1,025!

Ragnar team members, others who have accepted a race sponsorship challenge, and those that are hosting an event, I’ve set up a page to describe how to get started. Go check it out: fundraising. I have some really cool fundraising partnerships/challenges that I’ll be announcing over the upcoming weeks/months!

Last week I threw a somewhat obscure challenge out there to you all. Essentially, it boils down to this: challenge yourself, challenge me.

I realized this was a lot to digest. So I gave you time to mull it over. Ponder the concept. Marinate on it.

Don’t worry. You still have some time to catch up on this and continue the chin scratching contemplative thought. I am doing exactly that right now.

(I would have inserted a photograph of a monkey scratching his chin, deep in thought… but I am sensitive to copyright issues and intellectual property rights. So just imagine the picture of a really wise monkey, in profile, scratching his chin is posted right here. Google “monkey deep in thought” and you’ll see the picture I would have posted here.)

A few weeks ago I shared my Tri-ing for a Challenge (TfaC) approach to setting and accomplishing goals: TFAC.

Recall…

1) Target. Set a challenging goal. Your target.
I’ve set myself up with a whole bunch this next year. The $10,000 fundraising challenge. Ironman Lake Tahoe. And I’ve added in some more… let’s focus on my intermediate challenge: 2013 Napa Valley Marathon on March 3. Challenging? Yes. But not challenging enough as I know I can finish a marathon. The target: shatter my previous marathon PR of 3:07 – I want to hit 2:50.

2) Focus. Set up a plan to reach the target. Make it challenging. And write it down. You have focus.
When I decided to race in the Napa Valley Marathon at that pace (average target pace: 6:30 minutes/mile), I reached into my handy grab bag of training programs and selected the 18-week Hal Higdon “Advanced 2” marathon training program. I wrote it down in a spreadsheet and modified some parts of it to fit my specific needs. I’ve used his “Intermediate” training plans in the past with good results. I am confident his “Advanced” program will get me there with fleet feet.

3) Attack. Stick to the plan. But be smart about attacking your plan.
One week in to this training program and I’ve gone after it. There were a couple of days that I really didn’t want to take the time to put in the contact lenses, douse myself in sunscreen, and hit the pavement. But having that training plan gave me no excuses. I went. And loved every single run.

4) Commit. Spend the $. Track progress. Make my goals known.
In order to commit to the plan, you need a daily motivation. I went ahead and registered for the race (and an intermediate half marathon, too). I now have hundreds of dollars in reasons to not back out. I track my progress every day on my spreadsheet and in my SportTracks system. And you all know about my goals and I will hold myself accountable right here every Monday to report on my progress toward those goals.

So, how did the first week back into a rigorous, regimented training program go? Not bad. Not bad at all. The Hal Higdon program I chose has days where you intentionally go slower (the long and recovery runs), days you go faster (interval training, hill sessions, and tempo runs), and days you go at planned race pace. Recall, my target race pace is 6:30/mile.

Monday: 3 mile run.
Done: 3.2 miles @ 6:22/mile

Tuesday: 1.5 miles hill intervals.
Done: 2.2 miles @ 6:44/mile

Wednesday: 3 mile recovery run.
Done: 3.8 miles @ 6:42/mile

Thursday: 30 minute tempo run (slow, build to fast, finish slow)
Done: 4.3 miles @ 6:37/mile

Friday: rest day
Done: I rested like a champ.

Saturday: 5 miles at race pace.
Done: 5 miles @ 6:23/mile

Sunday: 10 miles at slow pace.
Done: 10.5 miles @ 7:07/mile

Grand total of 29 miles out of a planned 26.5. Average pace in the neighborhood of 6:40/mile. And that was the easiest week on the program… This week: a build-up week of 29 planned miles with an 11-miler on Sunday. I’ll let you know next Monday how this week goes…

Anyway, continue marinating. I’ll see how you’re doing in that process tomorrow.

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