Thursday, November 10, 2016

Race Week is Here- A Summary of this training cycle, and racing goals

When I first signed up for this marathon, I never imagined that I would have to worry about the heat... I thought I would be worried about the wind, and not being used to the cold.  However, this is going to be the daytime high on Sunday.

The sun goes down at 4:30pm, so the temperatures will drop some.  But, for the most part
it will still be nice and warm, during the evening. but, at least the sun won't be beating down upon us, and it won't be windy. 

I'm trying not to spaz too much about the heat... I've trained in much hotter weather over the summer. I plan on drinking  a crap ton of water all week long, and I'm also going to bring salt capsules with me in addition to my energy gels and chews.

 Summary of this training cycle
This year I hired a local coach to help me train smartly.  Last year, I fell just shy of going under 3:40.  And I felt a little beat up toward the end of that training cycle... My dream of running dreams is to run a sub 3:30 marathon, but I have been running marathons for a long time, and I'm getting older... I may have to let this dream go... I have to realize that I need to run smart.   This 14 week training cycle went by so fast.  Going back to school has made me worry less about blogging, and running in general.   I looked forward to my workouts as a form of stress relief.   I will say that I ran most of mileage at recovery or easy pace.  I'm worried that I'm not as fast as I used to be. But, I'm going into this race pretty healthy.  I do have a minor Plantar Facitis issue in my right foot, but I don't feel it when I run. (weird, I know).  

I also stopped doing my two a day runs in the Summer.  This was hard for me to let go. Last year, I would split my mileage up on some days, by running a few miles in the morning and then running a few more miles at lunchtime. I did my best to follow my training program to a tee.   It was great to have a coach just tell me how far, how fast, and when to run.

My highest mileage weeks topped out at 45.2 Miles, however, I did have one 7 day stretch (the weeks overlapped) where I ran 57 miles.  There were no 20 milers, this cycle.  My longest run topped out at 19 miles.  My coach was very specific about paces and quality running over quantity running.  There were strides, strides, and then  more strides.  At least once or twice a week I did strides.  That was foreign to me. I used to only do strides before races, and before intense speedwork.  Now I look forward to them.  I belive they have kept my creaky right hip from acting up this season.

Milage by the numbers.
I wanted to compare my milage from last year's training cycle.

In 2015- I followed Hal Higdon's Intermediate II plan and I created my own speed workouts

July- 124 -Approx 31.5 miles per week
August 137 -Approx 32 miles per week
September- 190- Approx 44 miles per week
October- 179. Approx 40 miles per week.
November 111- Approx 37 miles per week (these miles were prior to the marathon)

July- 121 -Approx 29 miles per week
August 159 -Approx 36 miles per week
September- 162- Approx 38 miles per week
October- 170. Approx 39 miles per week.
November 35- About 25 miles per week (I'm tapering now)

I didn't run as much in September & October compared to 2015, but I started doing my long runs in August, and each week had a long run of at least 14 miles.   Last year I had three 20 mile runs, but I would alternate between high mileage 45-50 mile weeks, followed by a lower mileage 30-35 mile week.  So while I didn't do a 20 miler, I still had to run long at least once a week.  My speedwork focused on goal paced running, and some workouts were faster than goal pace.  My favorite workouts were 10-mile runs with 2 x 3 miles at goal pace.

Race Goals
 During my initial time trial, my coach estimated that I would be able to possibly to run 3:38 marathon.    That will be my A goal.  My other goal is also run a negative split marathon. Strava (my favorite running app is offering a back half challenge for its premium subscribers.  If you negative split a fall marathon and post it on Strava, you will win a free pair of New Balance Shoes!  Talk about incentive.

I did mention earlier that I'm getting old,  Next year's Boston Marathon has already been filled, so my time for this race (if I qualify) will earn an entry to the 2018 race.  I turn 40 years old in April of 2018.  So, by timing and or luck, I move up into a different age qualifying standard.  Instead of having to run a 3:40 I will need to run sub 3:45 with a few minutes of cushion. I just realized this earlier today, and I feel somewhat relieved that I have five additional minutes to qualify....   So here's my goals

A-Goal 3:38
B- Goal  3:39:59
C-Goal sub 3:45- I ran the RNRLV marathon in 2014, and I had a shitty race.  I overdressed and I ended up crashing and burning during the second half. I finished in 3:49:xx... I think I have a much better endurance base than I did back then.I really want to run a solid race, and avenge that course.

I plan on hitting 8:45 for the first mile because the start is nuts!  Then for miles 2-15 I will try to hit 8:20-8:25 pace, for miles 16-26.2 I plan to run 8:15-8:20 pace.  If I feel really good I'm going to try to hit 8:00 for the last mile or two.... 

I can't wait to race.

Thank you for reading.

See you on the other side.


  1. Your training has looked awesome also season. It's a bummer your weather is unfavorable, but I think you still will have a solid race. And as a 46 year old, don't say you can't keep getting faster! Lol. I know one lady my age who has been running over 15 years who improved her marathon time from over four hours to 3:29 in just 3 years. I'm not sure 3:30 will ever be my goal, but I'd love a sub 3:45 in the next two years. You're a far better runner than I, so I believe in you!

  2. Good luck Dolly! I really hope you have a fantastic race - you've worked hard, especially being so busy with other commitments. I bet you can get that negative split, too! I totally thought about doing a really slow fall race just for the shoes - do something like purposeful 10 minute miles for the first half, then faster for the second. But that's kind of cheating I suppose. You can win your pair of shoes fair and square!