Although maybe my main goals in life should include staying upright on my bike, I have a new goal:
Steamtown Marathon. October 13, 2013.
To anyone out there considering a fall marathon, here's my advice- CONSIDER FASTER. Not only was I super surprised to find out that it's only 18 weeks until October, I started looking at hotels in the area and a bunch of them are already sold out! Already!?! How do people even plan their lives this early.
I made a Runner's World SmartCoach schedule, which has me running 4 days a week, peaking around 40 miles for the marathon. And it has me starting Monday, June 3. That's... now. Luckily, the first day was Rest/XT so I was able to elliptical and avoid stressing my quad that I hurt when I WON THAT 5K THIS WEEKEND. Because I'm still bragging about that like a jackass.
I had a goal for 2013 to run a sub-4 hour marathon, and that most definitely still is there. But a new, tantalizing goal has popped up. Since I've spent the last year being treated for my anemia well, I've been experiencing some pretty ridiculous gains in speed. I shaved 5 minutes off my 5K time in a year. I cut off exactly 9 minutes from my half marathon. My pre-anemia marathon was 4:50 while post-treatment was 4:04.
This got me thinking... is qualifying for Boston in the cards for me? The qualifying time for women my age is 3:35:00. That's a 30 minute speed increase for me. That is ridiculous, I know. I know a much more reasonable goal is to get sub-4, then maybe 3:50, then 3:45 then...but I can't help dreaming big. So I chose a fall race with a net downhill and a reputation for a high % of people getting into Boston. Side note: I have read half a dozen race reviews and I know that Steamtown is notorious for surprising runners with uphill sections. Got it. I also know that downhill running will trash your quads and just because it feels easy does not mean it actually is easy. Again, got it. I'm a dumb 27 year old with dreams of greatness.
I also know I'm going to need to leave a lot of this up to the running gods. Forces greater than myself such as: weather, my gastrointestinal track, the yumminess of buttercream frosting, my wine habit, my coconut milk ice cream habit, my french fry dipped in mayo habit, sleep, injuries. And we can't forget my buttered banana bread muffin habit, my love of hard cider, my inability to resist the combination of booze and video games, how delicious cake is.... So basically, I'm going to need to have a little bit of self-control for the next 18 weeks in order to optimize the chance that I can get a BQ.
Other things I need to do:
- Relax. It's 18 weeks away so fretting about it already is silly.
- Stick to the plan. Although I did almost all the long runs last training cycle (I think I skipped one?), I wasn't consistent or serious with my other runs. I ran by how I felt. I created the SmartCoach plan but I'm also going to check out the Daniels Running Formula because I have read good things.
- Don't resist speedwork. To race faster, you have to run faster. Too bad speedwork blows.
Soo... that's out there now. I just need to execute a training plan, cross my fingers for nice weather, and not hurt myself. Here we go!