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The Pre-Plan Plan

There are a lot of exciting things coming up in my life. I’m having a baby sometime in August, I turn 40 in January, and 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of my very first marathon! I think next year is a perfect time to get that sub-3, don’t you think?

I’m going to shoot for it in Phoenix in February and if I miss the mark then I’ll bring it in for my hometown in Vancouver in May. I got on the Hanson’s bandwagon once before, but I’m going back to the Advanced Marathoning book for this one. Because I’m a geek, I’ve already written out the training plan according to the appropriate dates, and then added on the pre-plan plan to the weeks leading up to the start of the plan. Confusing, I know.

My marathon race pace for a sub-3 marathon is 6:50 minutes per mile. The first week of the plan, which lands near the end of October sometime, has me doing a 13 mile run with 8 miles of it at marathon race pace. So somehow, I need to use the post-delivery weeks to build up to 8 miles at a 6:50 pace.

I have my babies early, so by the first week of September I should be able to run 1 mile at a 6:50 pace. What I want to do now, then, is to run at least 1 mile per week while I’m pregnant at 6:50 pace! It sounds like a modest goal, but trust me, it’s tougher than it sounds. Most training plans add speed and/or mileage as the runner gets more fit, but because I’m pregnant and I am inevitably getting more unfit, holding a 6:50 pace for one mile per week would be practically the same as adding speed and/or mileage to a non-pregnant person’s training plan.


Shit. I’m totally neurotic and I lost everyone with my obsession with paces and mileage.

Summary: I want to run really fast for a really long time but right now I’m lucky if I’m able to fart without peeing my pants. So until I deliver this baby, I’m going to do my best to run my goal race pace for just one mile per week, near a bathroom, and hope that this hard work pays off after delivery.


I inserted one mile at a 6:49 min/mile today on the treadmill! It was tough, but totally doable.

I was running two and three consecutive 6:50 min/miles on the treadmill in the first trimester and then quit doing them. If I can just do one or two 6:50 min/miles (if I do two, then I will take a mile recovery between each mile) once each week, I’ll be as happy as a pig in mud.

Do you guys have any goals in mind? Any races planned?

Do you like sitting down with a notebook and a pen to plan things out? I LOVE IT.

Why does rotisserie chicken smell like farts?


{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Ange // Cowgirl Runs April 19, 2017, 3:14 pm

    I’m such a training plan nerd, I LOVE THIS!
    Also, you are so freaking amazing.
    Think you can tell that baby to hang tight past August 12 since I’ll be in Van running SeaWheeze?! And I’ll have my car, so maybe I can swing by? Orrrrrr have that baby nice and early so I can sniff his/her head. That’d be cool too.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 19, 2017, 3:59 pm

      Ooooooh you’re coming to SeaWheeze, eh? YAHOOOOO!!!! It’ll still be cooking by then, I’m sure. The head sniff is so incredible though. You’re right!

  • Jen April 19, 2017, 4:23 pm

    I had a rotisserie chicken in my trunk the other day and my whole car smelled like butt. I’m running the half at the end of May and I’m using Hansons for this. I really want to go sub-2 bc I never have yet. My training is going pretty well but I’m feeling like the goal is a bit ambitious. The last time I ran a half for time (as opposed to for fun) I ran 2:04ish and that was at least three years ago, maybe 4. Trying to get my head in the game bc my M.O. is to train awesome and then implode on race day and totally crash & burn.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 19, 2017, 5:14 pm

      Oh the rotisserie fart smell is so bad. But man, I am so excited for you for this half. I’ve noticed that your mileage has really been climbing, and your workouts have been so great! You do tend to struggle with the race day mental game, but Hanson’s is good for this because the training demands are so intense that just by nailing each workout, we’re strengthening the mental muscle needed on race day. I have no doubt you’ll feel the difference mentally when you hit mile 10 at the half.

  • Lisa @ Mile by Mile April 20, 2017, 1:48 am

    I love planning, especially for running goals! I think this sounds like a great plan.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:07 am

      Oh yeah, you’d totally be into the planning. Of course, I know that about you! I love it too. Isn’t it funny how we’re wired that way? I could nerd out for HOURS with paper, pens, books, lists, formulas, ahhhh. Bliss.

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe April 20, 2017, 3:43 am

    The rotisserie chicken at our restaurant actually doesn’t smell bad. Also, biggest f-ing rotisserie EVER. So freaking huge.
    I honestly don’t think I could run a single mile at my old marathon pace, much less my half marathon pace much less my old mile pace. I definitely couldn’t run a 642 mile, period.
    I blame it on the henny

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:06 am

      Something about American chicken… 😉

  • molly rose April 20, 2017, 4:04 am

    I followed!! I’m a pace obsessor and way-ahead-of-time planner too! In fact, I *might* be signing up for my FIRST marathon late January 2018!! With 5 half’s done, and needing a new challenge in my life, I think this may just be it. I haven’t completely settled on a training plan yet, but I have my eye on a Hal Higdon plan. Any thoughts/tips for a 26.2 newbie?? I’ll be starting my training about the time you are, so this’ll be fun to follow along!! But no 6:50s for me HAH…. I’m thinking low-to-mid 9’s is where I’ll be.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:06 am

      Hey Molly! My advice to first time marathoners is always just focus on ONE thing: mileage. Don’t do hill workouts or speed work or tempo runs or track stuff. No no no. Because building mileage, getting you healthy to the start and having the endurance to cross the finish line is all it’s about. A lot of people get super excited about running their first marathon (understandably) and do too much too soon. Simply increasing mileage each week is enough stress to put on a new marathoner’s body, so adding in fartleks and hill repeats is simply a recipe for injury. I promise. A few people can squeak by, but the majority of people don’t. This is what I’ve noticed over 20 years of marathoning! I’m excited for you! Running a marathon is LIFE CHANGING.

  • Gretchen April 20, 2017, 4:17 am

    I’m not sure I could run one mile at that pace right now, so the fact that you’re pregnant and can do that blows my mind. AND the fact that you want to run a marathon at that pace 6 months after giving birth is so inspiring! You rock. You want to break 3 hours, and here I am hoping to break 4 sometime this year. LOL

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:03 am

      We’ll, who knows. I might be breaking my leg before I break 3 hours. It all depends on how the rest of this pregnancy goes, how the birth goes, and recovery.

  • Ana April 20, 2017, 6:47 am

    I love that you have thought of every detail and how driven you are to meet your goal!!

    There is no real goal races in the next few months, maybe in the fall. But I do have to sit down and plan my son’s summer days off and traveling. I keep putting it off because it feels stressful.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:02 am

      I’m glad you said that because I find that stuff really stressful too.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes April 20, 2017, 7:51 am

    I love training plans and planning ahead for training plans. The writing out of a plan makes my brain feel so good. I think you should read Daniels Running Formula and Hudson’s Run Faster while you are at it! Like I said on my blog yesterday, there’s good workouts in both of those. Your plan overall sounds so awesome – you are such a strong runner!
    I am already thinking to my base period leading up to CIM. I want to break 3:25 this year which is a decent size jump…

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 8:01 am

      Yes, I’m going to get on those books, stat! I believe you have a natural running ability and with your workhorse attitude and smarts, you’ll break 3:25. Totally.

  • Allie Capo-Burdick April 20, 2017, 2:25 pm

    I totally followed that because I would be just a neurotic about my plan…if I had one as amazing as yours! Seriously you are my she-ro and, if you can goal for a goal like that while pregnant and staring down 40, it makes me feel like I can almost anything sans pregnancy and being 42! GO US!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 20, 2017, 3:29 pm

      Yeah, I had no idea that being 40 would be this good! Well, maybe I shouldn’t speak so soon. Ha ha ha!

  • Helly on the Run April 21, 2017, 10:32 am

    You are (so many expletives) amazing. How am I lucky enough to be your friend?

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 21, 2017, 9:06 pm

      Hey, I haven’t done it yet! I need to put my money where my mouth is!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets April 23, 2017, 7:09 am

    Rotisserie chicken freaks me right the fuck out. My in-laws fed it to Ave once while I watched. I practically bit through my tongue in an attempt not to reveal my horror. She seemed to like it just fine, although all I saw was some poor bird trapped in a tiny cage, stacked upon a bazillion other birds in the same scenario, all shot up with steroids and antibiotics because that’s how they roll, yo.

    Sorry. It’s me, not you.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 23, 2017, 7:59 am

      Canadian meat regulations are way different than US ones. We don’t use antibiotics or hormones in our meat. THANK GOODNESS. So we don’t need to have those labels that say, “no hormones or antibiotics” although some organic brands put it on there anyway just to make people think they’re paying extra for a reason.

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