I am, according to my training plan, starting Week 7 of marathon training. Six down, 12 to go!
I never intended to do weekly training recaps just listing my mileage and workouts because borrrrringgg, but I was thinking monthly check-ins would be alright. Then week 4 came and went and I’m still really bad at keeping a training journal or log BUT I’ve been hitting almost all of my workouts AND they’ve mostly felt pretty good.
So good, in fact, that my goals for the race have changed a bit.
Originally, I just wanted to go sub-4:00. That’s now my “B” goal. (This is seriously the first time I’ve ever had multiple goals for a race and labeled them like this.)
My “C” or safety goal, the one I’m 100% confident I’ll get unless something goes horribly, awfully wrong, is to PR. I ran my first marathon in 4:21, so anything faster than that would be awesome.
My “B” goal, like I just said, is finish under four hours (roughly 9:00/mile pace).
And my “A” goal is to run under three hours and 45 minutes (roughly 8:30/mile pace).
I verrrrrry briefly, sometime in Week 2 or 3, thought about just going all out for a BQ (Boston qualifying time, or under 3:35), but a couple workouts where holding an 8:00/mile pace felt like death changed my mind. But running 8:30/miles during my “pace” workouts (medium-distance runs at my goal pace) feel good. During my first pace workout, where I was supposed to run five miles at 9:00/mile pace, the hardest part was not going to fast. I definitely think running a full marathon at 8:30/miles will hurt — a lot — but it’s a doable challenge.
And, in the Temecula Half Marathon on Sunday, I ran a brutal, hilly course in 1:52 — right on pace for a 3:45 full. And I ran that with no watch whatsoever — my Garmin randomly stopped working in the first mile, even though it was almost fully charged (I was estimating very rough splits just using the regular watch function). I guess it lost the satellite signal…in the open fields with nothing whatsoever to obstruct it. At any rate, I’m confident that I can stick with that pace — especially as I get stronger over the next 12 weeks.
Speaking of which, the next five weeks are steadily building in mileage, with my first 20-mile run happening at the end of Week 11. The biggest difference, I think, between this training cycle and my last marathon, is I’m not stressing about getting every run and workout in exactly as prescribed. 8 miles on Wednesday? I’ll do 3 in the morning with Onyx and another 5 or so later in the afternoon. Since most of the training plain is just about getting miles in with very few specific “workouts,” it’s been easy to be flexible. Also, I didn’t start by getting “custom fit orthotics” and going from motion-control shoes (Brooks Addiction, which I’d been running in for at least 10 years) to neutral shoes (Brooks Glycerin), which was a baaaaaad idea. I’ve been running in the Brooks Adrenaline (stability) ASRs, which is a road/trail hybrid, and I love them. I’m ordering new ones this week though, because (as you can see above) I’ve put my current pair through the ringer.
My biggest concern right now? This plan has me peaking from December 22 – 28. When I’ll most likely be in Lake Tahoe. I think I’m supposed to run 8-10 miles on Christmas Day and 20 miles the following Sunday. I have literally no idea how to do that because A) I’m a wuss about running when it’s that cold and B) I’m not about to run on snowy/icy roads and risk spraining an ankle or something and C) I could find a local gym and get a couple day passes but I think I would literally go insane if I ran on a treadmill for four hours. Not to mention, interfering with family (and eating and drinking and snowboarding) time. So…wish me luck with that.