I know I've made no mention of my marathon training yet but I'm heading into week 4 of my 18 week training plan so I thought I'd catch you up.
First things first, remember one of my 30 while 30 was to run a qualifying time for Boston? Well, it's there on the list. For me this means (under the new qualifying rules) running a 3:35. And, since that's not enough of a stretch I somehow got it in my head that I actually want to shoot for a 3:30. I'm partial to even numbers.
To get me there I've enlisted the help of excellent friends. One in particular - I conned Gina into training for a 3:30 and then promptly bailed on her 12 week goal race because I thought that was too soon for me to ramp up to the speed I needed (Sorry Gina!). I also picked the Pfitzinger 18 week (55 mile peak) training plan to get me there. I know folks that have had excellent results using this - or more importantly the key workouts within this plan - so there we have it.
So back to week 4 of 18. I'm feeling great! Technically I'm onto week 6 of my training but the first 2 weeks were more 'ramp up to REAL training' weeks. My pacing is improving - when I first started the training I couldn't hold a pace (any pace) even if my life depended on it. I was all over the map. I was used to Ironman training which consisted of run 9 minutes/walk a minute, all at a fairly easy pace. Now I had it in my head that I had to go fast, all the time! My long runs started out with everything from an 8 minute pace to a 9:30. Luckily, I'm dialing it in and I'm back to running mostly by feel and nailing it.
Last week I had my first serious tempo run (I've been doing interval work but tempo runs are a different beast) and it was HARD! I think I might have made it harder by 1) running on trail and 2) picking an out-and-back with a slow steady incline. But the things that are hard make us stronger and faster so I guess it was a good choice. One thing I will have to change in the future, however, is either bring a headlamp and a buddy or hit the streets because it got super dark back there in the woods - oops. Good thing I didn't roll an ankle or get abducted as I was redlining it back to the car.
I have to say, I've had a pretty good stretch of solid runs these last 3 weeks. Hopefully the remaining 15 (man that sounds far away) continue that way. I'm sure there will be those 'off' days but I'll try not to mention them as no one wants to read a Debbie Downer story.
On the docket for this week:
Monday - 8 miles with 10x100m strides
Tuesday - 5 mile recovery; yoga
Wednesday - 10 miles easy
Thursday - Rest and yoga
Friday - 4 mile recovery
Saturday - 15 mile long run; 5k walk to support a friend (read more here).
Oh yeah - and the potential (I say 'potential' because I haven't actually registered yet) goal race is the Desert Classic Marathon in Surprise, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix).
Random pre training-run picture. Charlie has been a great running companion.