It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that I committed to running my first marathon. And, unlike my previous attempts to run 26.2 miles just to prove that I can, I actually went through with it.
I have you- my friends and lovely readers - to thank for helping me cross the finish line.
Writing about my experience and sharing this journey with you has been a motivating force that encouraged me to put on my running shoes and hit the asphalt. Thank you for taking the time to read my tl;dr posts and, for those of who talk to me regularly, listen to me blab on about my training and races. (Honestly, I still don’t know how some of you put up with me. Seriously.) Thank you for all of your page clicks and your comments. Thank you all for your words of encouragement.
Thank you for helping me to get through it all. And, for many of you, that goes beyond running.
It really does mean a lot to me to know that you're in my corner.
I think it’s appropriate that one year after starting this blog and my first journey to 26.2 miles I’m making my final preparations to start training for the four races that I’ll be running this fall. Over the weekend, I finalized my training schedule – all 21 weeks between now and the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th. Knowing that I’m capable of making it across the finish line – even if it did take me five and a half hours the first time – my goal for Philadelphia is to finish (of course) and to shave an hour off of my time. I’ve also joked that it would be amazing if I could shave two hours off my time and Boston Qualify.
(To be honest, I’ve half-joked about this. There’s a part of me that wonders if I’m capable of a BQ. I mean, what else am I going to do this summer? Have a social life?)
When I trained for Baltimore last year, I did zero speed work and focused more on putting in the miles. My goal was to finish. That was it. Strength training was also a rarity. (I some insecurities about using the free weights and strength equipment in my apartment’s fitness center around all of the large men. Happily, I’ve gotten over that and lift heavy objects with the best of them.) Omitting those things from my training last year definitely hurt me in the end, so this year, weekly tempo runs, speed workouts, and strength training sessions will be a huge part of my training.
I also made a mistake not running the second 20-miler that I scheduled. Maybe, just maybe it would have helped me get over that oh-so-special wall in Baltimore. It's completely my fault, though, between the poor planning and sheer ignorance that one should taper before a huge race. This time around – one of the perks of starting so early – I have two 20-milers planned with more than enough time to recover from my shorter races and taper before Philadelphia.
So, what does the race calendar look like?
As it stands, I'm committed to four races. I'm looking forward to all of these and the chance to run with friends and coworkers at each.
September 4 – Rock and Roll Half-Marathon, Virginia Beach
October 9 – Army 10-Miler, Washington DC
October 15 – Baltimore Half-Marathon
November 20 – Philadelphia Marathon
(Yalies, it just hit me that I probably won’t make it to The Game this year. We’ll see though, since I have a knack for making awesomely terrible decisions that backfire very quickly.)
Believe it or not, the first week of training kicks off on Monday. Once I start, I'll be posting more regularly than I have these last few weeks. And you know what that means? More inspiring people, more carb night recipes, more running misadventures, and - if all goes according to plan - more race recaps.
Ladies and gentleman, in the timeless words of Kel Kimble: "Aw, here it goes!"