Enough with the ‘TBD’ in the list of upcoming races. Time to get serious about running again.
As of 12:03 Eastern today I am officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30th. Oo-rah! Game face on? You bet:
This one has been on my to-do list long before I ever got serious about the possibility of running a marathon. I grew up in a military family (Navy), spent the bulk of my youth living in the suburbs of DC, and have always felt the pull of this race. The two marathons I’ve run have both been smaller affairs (less than 3,000 runners), and I want the experience of a big ‘event’ race. I’m only planning to do one marathon this year, and this is the one.
Last marathon I kept my goals to myself until the last minute, but not this time. I’m putting them out there for the blogging world to see, and counting on my blog friends for virtual accountability and kicks in the ass as I move through my training:
Marathon 1 (3/21/10): 4:14:07
Marathon 2 (11/14/10): 3:54:22
Marathon 3 Goal (10/30/11): 3:34:00
Yep – I want to cut another 20 minutes off my PR. By my calculation that’s an 8:09 pace (yikes), so I’ve got a lot of work to do. Gotta stay healthy ….. gotta stay healthy …. gotta stay healthy.
As of this past Sunday I’ve already started ‘training’. For my last race I used the training plan from marathontraining.com, and I was generally happy with the results. I did get injured in the last 2 weeks of training, but I think I know what lead to that injury. This time around I’m going back to marathontraining.com, but in addition to the 17 week training plan, I’m also doing the 19-week ‘mileage buildup schedule’, for a total of 36 weeks of training, which started 4 days ago. Here’s the buildup schedule:
|Click to Enlarge|
I’m planning to follow this pretty much as-is. I’d like to add a half-marathon around the time this 19-week plan finishes, but that’s July in the South, so the options are VERY limited. If anyone has any suggestions for a June/July/early August half-marathon reasonably close to Raleigh North Carolina please let me know.
The marathon training schedule looks like this:
|Again ... Click to Enlarge (that's what she said)|
Last time I followed this exactly as written, including a longest long-run of 23 miles. I think this was a major contributor to my injury. I didn’t get hurt on that run, but I think it pushed me to the point where I was primed for an injury, and wasn’t able to effectively recover from that run while still following the training plan. This time around none of my long runs will exceed 20 miles. I’ll also be focusing on slowing down during these long runs. I worked on revising my stride to be more mid-foot during my last training, but I’ve found that I have a hard time slowing down while maintaining this new form. When I try to slow down, I revert to a heel strike. I’m trying to solve this riddle during the buildup plan so I can do a better job with this during the race training. I run my long runs too close to my marathon pace, and it stresses my sadly fragile body too much.
The other thing that contributed to my injury was not sticking with lower-body weight training during race training. For whatever reason, my right leg get out-of-balance strength-wise when I run regularly. I knew this from M1, knew I should be lifting legs during M2 training, but I didn’t stick with it, and I paid the price. This time, in addition to periodic lunges and hip PT exercises, I WILL lift legs at least once a week for the full 36 weeks. No excuse for not doing it. I’ll be tracking that on the blog as well, and encourage abundant virtual abuse if I start slacking.
I need to drop some weight that I accumulated while broken-down after the last race, and I’ve started working on that as well. Carrying even a little extra weight makes my knees and feet unhappy while training.
Feels good to be back on a plan, and running with a purpose, even if the race is a long way in the distance. This should be fun.