Pre-Planning Planning

I’m not always Type A, but when I decide to commit to something, I go all in.


Maybe “all in” isn’t the term I’m looking for… more like obsessed? It’s like I can’t stop my brain from trying to plan for the future. What’s funny is that I’m really not all that obsessive about small details. So I don’t stress about things like what day an event is, how I’m going to there, or what time I need to be there (this drives my husband insane), but I do like to have a general perspective on what’s going on during the week, month, year, etc. I’m a big picture person and I like to set goals and accomplish them. Sometimes.

And by perspective I mean – spend hours and hours doing research. Obsessive, research. And I love every minute of it.


Truthfully, I love doing research, especially comparative research. It’s partially why I love my career – and also why I love Google so much. I will Google the crap out of anything. Sidenote: Need something Googled? Let me know.

The best part? My love for research carries over into running.


In fact, even though training for Chicago doesn’t start until June/July  – I am totally geeking out over here researching training plans.


Kinda like Jimmy Fallon and this lamb goat. Well, not really — I just really wanted to share this gif. Edited: Kara informed that it’s actually a GOAT. Derp.

I don’t know what my time goal is going to be (OK, I’m lying – my goal is sub 4:15 – but I would be happy with a sub-4:30 because… PR), and I don’t know what kind of speed work I want to incorporate. I SO know that I want to try a 4-day running schedule (like time I did 3 days) – with at least one day of cross training, if not two.

So these are some of the training schedule I’m currently looking into:

I’m actually NOT opposed to hiring a coach – because isn’t it GREAT to have someone hold you accountable???

I am also mentally trying to easy my way into “training season.” I think my biggest challenge is going to be waking up EARLY on a Sunday without a running group. I also want to do at least one longer run during the week (7-9 miles), so I’m going to try to figure out which morning works best.

So, as you can see, I am pre-planning planning.

What makes you nerd out??? Any marathon plans or maybe a coach you can recommend??


  1. Melissa says

    Oh I am all about the planning and obsessiveness! My friend, Sara, is a running coach and she does online coaching! You should get in touch with her–she’s great!

  2. says

    How exciting!! I’m so happy that you’re doing the Chicago Marathon and we’ll be able to meet in person (and Patsy can meet Evan!)

    I hired a coach when I was training for a half marathon and it was AMAZING to have the flexibility of workouts structured to my schedule (aka easier workouts planned during a vacation weekend, harder workouts planned when I had the time to do them right) and to have someone work with me specifically. I worked with Britt (aka Chicago Runner Girl and I cannot say enough positive things about her. We worked a lot of things out electronically and via phone conversation so it was perfect because we lived in different towns and didn’t often meet face to face. If and when I decide to run another marathon, I know I will be hiring her again! I definitely think that working with a coach is worth the price for the customization to go with an irregular schedule.

    It really is nice that there are so many options out there. I’m excited to see the route you chose! :)
    Kelly @ Running Kellometers recently posted..Baby Patsy Wilson: 5 Months

    • says

      Oh – I know Britt (well, I read her blog). I’ll have to contact her. I know she knows the Chicago Marathon!

      I am so excited about meeting you and Patsy too!!

  3. says

    Omg, you are just like my husband!! He is a googling/research machine! Seriously – I’ll ask a random question that I really have no interest in obtaining the answer to & 20 minutes later he’s telling me everything I ever wanted to know about the random question! Hilarious!!

    And I actually just hired a running coach to work with. She’s training for the 2016 Olympic marathon right now (so yeah, she’s stupid fast) & she’s taking on new clients if you’re interested. She’s normally $100 a month, but she’s willing to be flexible on price depending on what you need! :) let me know if you want her contact!
    Ashley@CupcakesnCrunches recently posted..A Day in the Life…

  4. Laura WL says

    I did a similar plan for my last marathon. I did one day of speedwork, one day of a medium run and one day of a long run and then incorporated bootcamp workouts as my crosstraining 2 days a week. I HIGHLY recommend this method. It kept me from getting burnt out on running and it was fun to see how things like my strength and core improved over time. Also, the track workouts were a great way to really push myself and see what my best mile and half mile could be. I am totally a googler and solo trainer though and found like 10 bootcamp workouts I would just shuffle through, nothing with weights and all stuff using your own body as a weight/resistance. However, the big caveat is that I don’t really try to PR anymore. (Although I’ve heard trying for post-baby PRs is a thing, so maybe I will do that?! I am 9 mos preggo right now). Anyway, I run for fun and my last marathon goal was to finish with gas in the tank, which (derp) is the opposite of what some people want to do. I accomplished my goal though and totally sprinted the finish and felt good enough to walk to dinner in heels that night (so much delicious Osso Bocco and wine was consumed). So I totally met my goal with only being 10 minutes off my PR. So I am not 100% sure that method will give you a speedier finish. However, it will make your training and mental commitment so much easier, at least it did for me. (A half hour workout I can do to Beyonce in my spare room 2x a week. I can do that.) Anyway, the plan was basically a riff on Hal Higdon (I think?) and some other stuff I cobbled together. I am happy to share if you are interested, feel free to email me. Also, just read through your baby archives as I get ready for the little one and it is SO nice to read a blogger that is a working mom. Your pumping post was SUPER helpful. :-)

  5. says

    Good luck with all your training. I’ve never done a full marathon, but would love to! A good friend of mine hired a coach to help her qualify for Boston (she’d tried 3 other times on her own to no avail.) Well, after hiring a coach, she qualified for Boston easily and ran it for the first time last year.

  6. says

    One of these days I plan to tackle the big daddy – the FULL! I am excited to see how all your pre planning planning pans out and to follow along as you train! :)


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