It’s hard to believe, but I’m already 13 weeks into training for Marathon #8, The Space Coast Marathon! Four months ago, I picked up the book that would forever change the way I looked at training, and at the end of July, I drafted out and posted my training plan that looked so incredibly daunting to me, but felt “right” for my goals and the level of commitment I was assigning to the endeavor.
So, how’s it going? Well, I suppose I should break it down in an organized manner here…
Mileage – last year, my top mileage week was 46 miles (the same week I ran the Baltimore Marathon), which also pushed my monthly Personal Distance Record to 163 miles run. This year?
Consistently “higher” mileage (keep in mind that this week is “40” – with two runs left to go: a Long Run of 16 and an Easy 5, which will push this week to another PDR of 61).
…and well on track to hitting 200 miles (!!) in October! I cannot believe it – in the past, I’d hover around 20-30 miles on the average, and LRs would wipe me out (I’d often take the day before and after a LR off because they took so much out of me).
Pace – just as I anticipated, this has been the most challenging aspect – in a few ways. Although I was fully aware that would have to run a variety of paces, and that many targeted runs would be guided by my goal marathon pace, it made me nervous…and all those extra miles executed at slower, recovery paces? This is something I still work on, everyday, but I’m getting better at it, especially since I got the new Garmin (a post on that coming soon) but in general, I am feeling confident and strong – I hit 9 tempo miles (“tempo” holds many definitions, but in Hansons Marathon Method is codespeak for MGP) under prescribed pace and felt on top of the world! Those harder runs are making me appreciate the easy mileage – from warm ups and cool downs, to recovery runs – a lot more!
Overall Thoughts – to put it quite simply, I am hitting mileage and speed that I never would have imagined I could do so consistently. I often think back to previous training cycles that I had aches, pains and soreness that I chalked up to as “normal” – but in reality, my legs hurt so much that it was challenging to find a comfortable sitting position to go to the movie theater, let alone sit through an entire show. This cycle? I feel tired, yes, but am a true believer in this concept of cumulative fatigue and I bounce back from runs a lot quicker.
I have a few more weeks to go, and the idea of race day still gives me jitters, but I think that’s pretty healthy at this stage. As I connect my physical training with the (often more difficult) mental side of things, I’m feeling confident and excited – and with a 5 mile local race coming up this weekend where I’ll be debuting my Oiselle singlet for the first time, I’ll be sure to get fully into fall racing mode (hello gorgeous weather, BTW) for sure.
Are you training for a fall race? How’s training going for you?