Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marathon goals.

My third marathon is this Sunday. Sunday! That's right around the corner.

I've trained well for this race, which is good because I have some goals that I would really like to achieve. But I also had that hip injury flare up on me at the end of my training and, I have to admit, that is getting in my head a little bit.

I am doing my best to shake any doubts out of my head. I ran 4 miles yesterday at an easy pace and  when I looked at my watch after the run I was happy to see my pace was well under my goal pace.

And what is my marathon goal pace, anyway? Well friends, it is a pace that would give me a new PR. It is a pace that would qualify me for Boston. It is 8:55.

8:55 per mile. For 26.2 miles.

That's all.

8:55 per mile would have me crossing the finish line in 3:54. A 3:54 marathon would qualify me for Boston (my BQ time is 3:55:00). I believe I can do it.

Why? Well, to start, I put my recent (ish) half marathon time into a few race prediction calculators. Here's what they predicted for my marathon time:

Calculator #1: 3:50:33
Calculator #2: 3:54:14
Calculator #3: 3:52:04
Calculator #4: 3:54:02

My training for this marathon has been better than my training for that half marathon. So that's a factor. Another factor in my favor is that the race takes place on my home turf. I know the course. I can sleep in my own bed the night before the race.

As long as I keep myself in check over the first half of the course, I believe I can run 3:54. I know it will be hard. I know I will want to stop in those last miles. I also know my body can handle way more than my mind gives it credit for.



I'm excited for Sunday. And nervous, sure. I've gone after big times before and missed them. But I've also gone after fast times and surprised myself by running faster.

I just have to see what race day will bring.

If you have good vibes to spare, send them my way! I'll be going after that 3:54 -- running my little heart out for sure!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for stopping by :-)





Sunday, October 5, 2014

September recap.

September was quite the month with some really solid runs and then, well, then it petered out.

Overall, the month was a win. But I had to scrap a planned 14-miler at the end of the month and take three full days off of running because my wonky hip decided to flare up.

Grrrr . . . 

So, the month ended a bit down, but not completely. After the rest and loading up with my favorite Deep Blue Rub, I bounced right back. I started October with two joyful runs! Pain free!!

Phew.

The month in numbers:

Running (miles): 123.1
Races: 0
Cross-training: some rehab on the hip and a realization that I have not been doing enough pre-hab!

This week, I am NOT going to let my mind obsess about missing my last long run last week.

Instead, I will obsess about the race day weather. Seems appropriate!


Oh . . . yeah! Looking good!! Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Have a great week, everyone!



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From worst to best.

Two weeks ago I ran that horrible 20-miler. It was tough -- for many reasons. The two biggest reasons were the humidity and my stomach cramping issues. After that run, I wondered (several times) if I was meant for the marathon at all, let alone a marathon with a time goal.

I wondered and every time I did, I told myself that, yes, I'm meant for it. Now is the time to go for it. Go for that marathon PR. I mean, why not? Right? Right.

So I forged ahead and have had some rocking runs since.

Sunday's 22 mile run was the best yet.

I ran with people I've never run with before: Catherine, Rachel and Jen. Catherine was with us for about 5 miles and then looped back to finish with 14. Rachel, Jen and I continued on. We started in one county, crossed the bridge over the river, and ran on into another county. High adventure for this happy runner!

Mile 1: 10:03
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:16
Mile 5: 9:51
Mile 6: 10:20
Mile 7: 9:53
Mile 8: 9:46
Mile 9: 9:41
Mile 10: 9:38

After 10 miles, we popped into a 5K in Washington Park. It was such an odd thing to do, but it worked. It got us to pick up our pace on tiring legs. It also forced us to hold back, because we knew we'd have 9 miles left to run after the 5K.

The 5K:
Mile 11: 8:39
Mile 12: 7:52
Mile 13: 8:01

After the race: Me, Jen, Rachel. Yes, I was wearing gloves. My hands were freezing on Sunday!



We ran together for the race, finished, and ran back to where we'd started. We went a different route back to the start, which happened to be super-duper hilly. But, no matter. We conquered those hills!


Mile 14: 10:40
Mile 15: 11:25
Mile 16: 10:43
Mile 17: 10:24
Mile 18: 11:31
Mile 19: 10:16

With 3 miles to go, something happened to me. My body just needed to go. I felt myself pick up the pace a little and I went with it. I worried for about half a second that I would not be able to hold on to the pace, but deep-down I knew I could.

Mile 20: 9:48
Mile 21: 8:47
Mile 22: 9:18

And I did. I ran such a solid last few miles. It felt awesome!!!

Hooray!


Actually, the whole run felt awesome. I loved the company and our pacing and I really enjoyed the mid-run race break.

Solid Sunday 22-miler = total confidence. 

Now, my taper is right around the corner. I'm ready!

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August recap.

Training got real in August.

My long runs were longer and my overall mileage climbed higher than it has been in years. I committed to running more in the morning and that's what I did. I had an awesome race/long run in mid-August and ran some strong workouts. I also had just about the crappiest long run ever -- Sunday's 20-miler.





Sure, I got it done. But, man-oh-man if it wasn't hard.

I don't know exactly what it was that caused my problems, all I know is that the run did not work for me. I cramped after eating my energy chews and felt like I was going to throw up for most of the rest of the run. It really kinda sucked.

And it totally messed with my head. You know, in that why-on-earth-am-I-even-thinking-about-running-another-marathon kind of way.

I need a strong rebound run this week to help me get back on track!

While I work on making that happen, here's a look at my month in miles:

Running (miles): 143.1
Races: 1 -- the Clove Run
Cross training: ha!

And now it is September. The month of back to school. The month of soccer all the time. The month of peak training AND the beginning of my taper. The month before the marathon.

Exciting!!!

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!





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