Sunday, December 1, 2013

Marathon No. 5: Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

One, two, three, four, five - everybody get your shoes
So come on
Let's run on the trails and in the neighborhood...

See what I did there? Har, har har...

I registered for the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon a few months ago, which will be my fifth marathon.  I figured that since I've run the half three times now, it's time to switch things up and go the full distance. I'm still feeling really good about my performance at the Richmond Half so I actually want to train for this one - hard - to see what I can do.

Stef and I often review our respective performances at the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon. I ran a PR race -- 54 minutes faster than my performance at the 2010 Baltimore Marathon.  (Baltimore was my first race so I expected some improvement in the next marathon but no where near that much.)  We've concluded that part of the reason we both did so well is that we actually trained.  We skipped one long run and only because I spent the first two miles hacking up my lungs. (I had a chest cold).  We raced often.  (We both PR'ed after running to the start -- and we ran more after the race.)  I half-assed my training for Providence and the Marine Corps Marathon, both in 2012, and didn't come close to a PR.

Moral of the story: I should train for this race.

My goal for my next marathon is to PR.  At minimum, I'd like to run faster than Oprah (a 4:29 marathoner), but my goal is to run a 4:00 race.  Both of my training plans estimate that I should be able to finish the race in 3:52 but I would be very happy with a four hour race. I can do it if I put in the work.

So far, I'm off to a good start.

Week 1 of marathon training happened to coincide with my trip home to New Haven (for Yale-Harvard and Thanksgiving).  I don't know what I was thinking when I packed but I could have used more warm running clothes.  Still, I managed to get in a few runs and cross-trained when I decided not to run outside.

For Week 2, I'm going to attempt to follow the "harder" of my two training plans.  This plan has me running just three days each week (one easy run, one speed workout, and one long run).  I'll also spend three days doing some combination of strength training, stretching and foam rolling, or low-impact cardio.

Here's what I have planned for running:

Total mileage: 23 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles (easy)
Thursday: 6 miles (tempo)
Saturday: 12 miles

I'm also going to try to write more this time around.  Publicly declaring my training plan works really well as an accountability tool.

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