So here goes....
This is the second season I have trained under my coach, Joe Marks. I really like Joe because he pushes me hard, yet I also feel like he really listens to me. In the Spring, I trained for the Wisconsin Marathon and had a great race even though I missed my goal by 2 minutes. Since I thought I was on pace the entire race thanks to my Garmin, I told Joe I wanted to bump up my goal race pace this season and he was happy to oblige. In fact, he bumped up all of my quality training paces, bumped up my mileage and had me running 3 quality workouts per week. Here is a week by week recap:
- 4 hours; 35 minutes (31 miles - all easy)
- 6 hours (41.7 miles) . I also started training for the Capitol Mile this week with my Fleet Feet group. We began doing 2 high quality speed workouts per week.
- 7 hours; 37 minutes (50 miles)
- 7 hours; 29 minutes (50 miles)
- 5 hours, 8 minutes (36 miles)
- 28.6 miles with the Capitol Mile race.
- 7 hours, 49 minutes (54.1 miles) - time to start focusing on Chicago! Started running tempo intervals again. Instead of the 7:17 pace from last season, we bumped it up to 7:08.
- 6 hours, 38 minutes (45.1 miles) - this week I was on vacation in Maine and missed a couple workouts (oops).
- 8 hours; 20 minutes (57.2 miles) - coach bumped me up after slacking last week in Maine.
- 6 hours, 20 minutes (45.1 miles) - cut-back week, but kept lots of quality.
- 9 hours, 22 minutes (63.5 miles) - this week included my first 20 miler.
- 8 hours, 51 minutes (68 miles) - second 20 miler. This week I also shifted from 2 sets of tempo intervals to strength intervals (7:23 pace down from 7:35 last season) and goal marathon pace runs (7:40 down from 7:50 last season).
- 5 hours; 53 minutes (43 miles) - cut back week, but maintaining lots of quality.
- 10 hours (70.4 miles) - last big week with a 22.3 miler.
- 7 hours, 40 minutes (54.8 miles) - taper week one. This is by far the highest mileage I've had during taper (and I even cut 20 minutes).
- 6 hours (42.3 miles) - taper week one. Again, mileage and quality much higher than usual.
- RACE WEEK! I will run about 2.5 hours total this week pre-race.
I am feeling pretty good about my training. I definitely pushed it hard with the higher training, faster paces and three quality workouts per week. I am at a good racing weight and I have been focusing on catching up on my sleep (I admit I am not there yet though).
The weather forecast looks absolutely ideal with a low of 40 and high of 50. It should be a perfect day to race in Chicago on Sunday!
My mental game is a little different this season too. After several "bad" marathons in a row, last season I just wanted to have a strong race. A PR would have been great - but only icing on the cake. What I needed was a strong race. I ran conservatively and I got that.
This season I have a bit more fire in my belly and feel I have less to lose psychologically if I aim high and miss anyway. So I am going to push hard and really shoot for my goal marathon pace of 7:40/mile. Hopefully that will get me across the finish line somewhere between 3:23 and 3:25.
My mantra? UNLEASH.
There you have it. Wish me luck! My bib number is 2872 if you would like to track me.