Last night I sketched out a draft of my Boston training plan, based on Hal Higdon's advanced plans and my Newport training plan (which I discovered to my surprise was 18 weeks long!). I probably still have some tweaking to do, but I have the bones of a plan.
Despite my intent not to "start" until next week, I ended up starting the schedule with Christmas week (last week), since my "long" runs from last week (eight miles on Christmas Eve) and planned for this week (Half Marathon on New Year's Day) fit right into the beginning weeks of the schedule. So that actually gives me a 17-week plan to work with.
I think the most important reason to have a written plan is to schedule the long runs. That way I can make sure I get enough of them in, and space them adequately so I am not doing a bunch of 20-milers on consecutive weekends. I can also fit in the races I want to do (and make sure I'm not doing a 20-miler the day before a 15K). In addition to the long runs and races, I (generally) have easy runs on Mondays, speedwork (or hills or tempo runs) on Wednesdays, and a medium-long run (generally with some marathon-pace miles) on Fridays (sometimes Thursdays, if Saturday is a race day).
My speedwork will consist of 800s every other week (starting on January 12), beginning with four and increasing to ten by the end of the cycle (about ten days prior to the race). On the alternate weeks I will do primarily tempo type runs, although I do have one hill repeat run scheduled in early March. I am going to be pushing additional hills in my medium and long runs, as well as one or two hilly races (the Portland Shamrock Run 15K, if I do it, and the Whidbey Half Marathon, if I do that).
My non-running days will be cross-training (probably the elliptical, mostly), and I am going to continue with two yoga classes a week. I do want to start lifting weights, but I'm not putting it on the schedule since I haven't committed to a plan yet.
So this morning (Wednesday of Week 2), I wrote in 6-8 miles with hills. This was a bit of a gimme because it basically meant doing my typical weekday run, which has hills in it, but trying to enhance the hills. An ideal hill workout would involve sprinting up a hill several times in a row, but I took a compromise route. There is a quarter-mile hill near the beginning of my usual route...I ran up it, then back down and up again (hill x 2). Then I proceeded as usual (some ups and downs, which I'm not counting specifically) for a few miles. In the last couple of miles I turned off route to add a few more one-block hills, to wit... down, up, down, up; then down, up a quite steep hill; then down, up the first hill again. (That's four blocks of downhill plus four blocks uphill.) I think these hilly side streets off Colby might be a gold mine for squeezing in extra hills on a random basis!
Total distance 6.75 miles. Don't even ask the pace. But I felt good about the accomplishment! I need to get my plan in printed format (as oppose to my current penciled-in version) so I can cross out days as I accomplish them!