Monday, February 17, 2014

10 weeks out

I was reminded today that there 10 weeks of training left for marathons on the first weekend of May. Yikes.  I have to admit, I felt mixed emotions when I saw the number.  (I really hadn’t been counting, or looked at a calendar lately, so it caught me completely off guard.)  One emotion was YAY! Let’s get this race going and get it over with… the other emotion was holy crap!  (PG version…)
10 weeks of training means 10 more long runs.  This week I’m actually planning a cut back, my long run will be 8-10 miles depending on what time I can get myself out of bed since I have to work at 9AM.  To someone who hasn’t trained for a race before, 10 might sound like a lot, and plenty of time.  The reality is, it goes fast, and each run is precious.  It’s like rehearsing for a play or a concert, the more times you do it, the better it goes.  Long runs are so important not only for the obvious part about running for a long time, but for the rehearsal aspect.  Figuring out your fuel, your outfit, making sure your shoes are working for you, determining blisters or hot spots, areas that chafe…

The shorter runs are important too.  I love throwing in speed work and tempo runs, along with lots of just steady paced, or easy effort runs.  I’ve been keeping my mileage in the 35-39 a week range, and so far so good.  I do plan to hit 40 here pretty shortly once my long runs are longer.  But I am not going above that.  I am just not a high mileage runner.  I hope to be able to get strong enough to continue to build on that base, but I also enjoy doing cross training and other workouts besides always running.

I’m still toying with going public with my pace goal for the marathon.  I remember before my first half marathon I told everyone I just want to finish.  As the race got closer, I did set a time goal, and ultimately lined up with a pacer.  I finished my first half in 2:08, and my current PR is 1:44.  Did I set my bar too low in that first race?  Maybe.  But my goal was finish, and be below a 2:10.  So I think with my first marathon, it’s important for me to stay realistic with my goals, but also not sell myself short either. 

I started the week off with a 7 mile treadmill run.  My shins are telling me to cool the jets a little.  Good thing tomorrow is EASY cross training day!