The Plan for Marathon #4…and #5 (?!)

Finally – the post you’ve been waiting for πŸ˜‰

Super Happy Fun Times!

Let’s go!

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.

And finally…

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 FallΒ  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:

This is the course. Seriously.


  • 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?


  1. I love loal races! I ran my first (and only) marathon in my hometown in NH ad it was so great to run thought the whole area I grew up in. It was a tiny race comparatively and some parts were quiet with no crowd support, but I absolutely loved it! It sure is going to be quite different at NY this year! πŸ™‚

    This sounds like a great race and it’s awesome that you don’t have to pay much for it.

  2. I haven’t done races before. I just love to run on my own! I’m honestly alittle scared of doing them. I reallly applaud you so much! Keep up the awesome work!!!!

    • Jenna, thanks for your comment! I am totally in awe of people like you that just run – seriously. For me, I need something motivating (like a race) to keep me on top of my game – you must be super self-motivated – teach me!! πŸ˜€

  3. $42 and no travel? Dang, that’s pretty awesome. Is that four loops? I’ve done a few races like that. They get monotonous, but at the same time, you’re thinking “4” instead of “26” so in that regard they can be easier. Do a loop, do another loop and you’re not really beat down yet. The third loop can be a chore, but once you’re on that last one, you mentally feel like you’re on the last mile.

    At this point, I only run races if I have a reason to run them and I pick and choose based on cost, location and course, or if there’s a reason to run something for charity, I make sure it makes sense. Right now, I’m training for Pocatello, ID on Sept. 1. I chose it because it’s cheap and I can drive there and I need to run a BQ before Boston registration opens.

    • Hey Sam, thanks for the comment….and yes, super loops….whoooooo….!!!

      You are gonna dominate Pocatello. That one was on my list when I was considering September races (I love Idaho) but alas, travel….and you know, this darn recovery thing – I hope I will thank myself later πŸ˜‰

  4. That’s definitely worth the $$ and convenience… though I would probably go insane with that kind of course! I’m kind of impressed that it’s comprised in basically a 6 mile loop… at least spectators will get to see you more often, which could be good!

  5. That course looks crazy! I had every intention of running Boston in 2013, but with my recent injury I am thinking it is wise to not run and run a marathon in Spokane in May. I don’t want to sign up for Boston and then spend tons of $$$$ getting there and run a mediocre race. I have already been to Boston once where I experienced the worst race of my life. Now I want to go back and run the BEST race. With that, there is a marathon the middle of May that I am going to register for. I know the course very well because I do 90% of my long runs on it and I ran the 1/2 marathon last year. The start is 15 minutes from my home, the race is fairly cheap, and I can stay in my own bed the night before. Win & win!

  6. I love it! Off the beaten path marathons are kind of my favorite (although I am doing CIM this year). My number one consideration in a marathon is probably temperature. I just don’t race marathons well in heat, so I always look for late fall ones in locales that aren’t going to get steamy. Not much else matters after that!

  7. I love the small local marathons. You may have read my post comparing marathon’s to men. Everyone loves those popular ones and you just end up getting lost in the crowd. The small ones are intimate and always the best in my opinion. Love that your doing this race.

  8. I forgot to tell you how much I admire the look of your updated site. I am LOVING it. You need to give me some tips on decorating my crib..xoxo

  9. Local races are definitely the way to go if you can find them. It definitely helps to cut down on fatigue and stress prior to race day. It sounds like you have a great group to train with! This should definitely help you to stay motivated and on track! Good luck Krissy!

  10. Yay for finding a race! I recently went through something similar (trying to find a race and going with a local one). It ended up being a good experience.

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