Finally – the post you’ve been waiting for
I joined the Charlottesville Track Club‘s Marathon Training Group in late June. The program is designed for individuals training for fall marathons (and half marathons) and is comprised of several elements – a personalized training plan, structured track workouts and organized group long runs. As a participant, you must commit to at least one weekend of long run coordination (setting up water stops, explaining the course, general coordination) as well as run a 2-mile time trial for customized recommendations from the coach.
So here’s what went on since I registered…
Time Trial Day was, in a word: brutal. It was held at 6 AM on June 20 (yes, the day before I left for Hawaii) and was typical Central Virginia swampy humid. Still, I was aiming for a 14-minute trial (see this chart for pace comparisons) – I even practiced a few days before and was on tap for it – but alas – the wet air pushed me back to an even 15. Not the worst performance, but still kinda blah. I wasn’t terribly disheartened though, after checking the comparison paces, since my half marathon PR is currently 1:47.
Base Building has been okay – I was trying to balance appropriate recovery from Utah Valley and keeping mileage decently up. Each week, it’s been a back and forth – thanks to weather, attempting to be a better advocate of listening to my body and balancing that with smart running to prepare for my impending training schedule.
Long Runs are back – I did 10 miles this past Saturday at Riverview Park and was glad to run with a pace group that was appropriate for my current ability and the energy to finish out that run strong.
Remember this post? (Thanks to everyone that chimed in, BTW!) Well, I have kinda sorta revealed my feelings over the past few weeks, but it came down to this: I needed more time – physically, mentally and psychologically – and so I ruled out the September option. After that, I reassessed…studied race calendars…cursed the heat more…and determined that I realistically wasn’t going to get the quality runs that I want (and need) in the ever-shrinking Fall 2012 calendar.
With Disney still at the top of my mind, I set out to find a December marathon that I could fit in. There were Blue Sky options for sure: Rehoboth (Katherine’s magical race) the ever-tempting California International Marathon…but with my new race addition in January, the travel docket was getting a little full.
So I searched a little closer to home…and found Three Bridges Marathon – a very unusual (but local) race that features out and back, and out and back…and out and back…no really, read this and this – it’s kinda cuckoo – but presented me with some key game changers, explained to me with utmost detail by Leah (1/2 of the dynamic duo of Twins Run in our Family) including:
- Locality – I won’t have to travel – can get ready at home, run in the area prior to Race Day
- Flexibility – Staying healthy and injury free is the goal, as always, but with my Disney races in January, I have the option of dropping to the half distance in this race if necessary.
- Affordability – in 2011, this race cost $42. I ain’t breaking the bank with this one in the least.
There are definite challenges in this race of course (definitely very mental) but I do like the fact that lots of pressure is off my shoulders in other ways – especially with the locality aspect. No fanfare, just running. I will miss spectator support, but I’ll get tons of that in January. And if nothing else, I’ll be proud to have run a full – or half – marathon in the community that I trained in.
I haven’t received my official training plan yet, but I am preparing – and planning – all the “moving parts” to get myself in marathon-kicking-butt mode! I’ve considered purchasing a used treadmill since our gym’s is on the fritz and my Fall semester looks like it might be a little more labor intensive…but other than that, I am just getting excited!
What are you training for? How do you choose your race events?