339. Marathon Monday: Week 1

Welcome to Marathon Monday!  Monday is the beginning of my week for training so it’s the perfect day to reflect on previous week’s training and prep myself for the coming week.  Plus when it comes to alliteration, you all know I.just.can’t.help.myself. 

At this point, my training plan is basically complete.  I have my mileage and long runs planned out for the next 18 weeks.  I intend to schedule my cross training and strength training month to month or even week to week, and I’m sure even the days I’m running will change from time to time.  I set up my 26.2 training page which has my marathon Google calendar embedded in it.  The calendar on this page should, in theory, update every time I update my Google calendar to schedule my workouts.  I will also be archiving my Marathon Monday posts on this page.

Moving right along… Since I’m not really into marathon training yet – technically it has started, but I’m actually still in half marathon training for the F^3 Half on January 28th – I thought this would be a good time to put some of my thoughts, goals, and expectations down on paper…or the internet.

I’m happy to report that for the most part my “oh my god, what have I done” anxiety has settled.  I’m sure it’ll be back in a month or two when I’m facing new personal distance record runs, but for now I’m feeling good.  I’ve received tremendous amounts of support from everyone which has really helped bolster my confidence.  I was super nervous to tell Laura I had signed up because, in my mind, telling Laura made it really real.  However, she was so supportive and excited for me that I actually felt less anxious over all.  My training and racing buddy and I have been emailing back and forth.  We’ve found a good location for us to meet up for long runs.  I feel like there is plan for success in place, and now all I need to do is stick to the plan.

I don’t have a lot of expectations for myself in this race which is kind of nice.  I’m sure it will also be a great source of anxiety at some point.  I know training will be a challenge.  I know it will require a level of self-discipline that I know is there but doesn’t always show itself.  I know sticking out this training and finishing the race will be something I’ll never forget and be proud of forever.  I know training and the race itself will have its share of twists and turns and emotional ups and downs.  I’m sure there will be Friday night’s that I am terrified of the next day’s long run.  I’m sure there will be long runs where I feel great and long runs where I just want to give up and die.  I’m sure of a lot of things, but I’m also sure that I’m not really sure of anything at all.

As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, my only real goal for this race is to finish all 26.2 miles without dying or seriously injuring myself along the way.  There are definitely two major sub-goals that go along with just getting my ass across that finish line.  The biggest of these sub-goals is consistent training.  During my Dallas 13.1 training I definitively learned that consistency is key with training.  I’ve never seen such improvements in my running as I did during that training.  I’ve been running long enough to know that good, consistent training is enough to get you across the finish line of any race.  The other big sub-goal is incorporating cross training and strength training.  Consistent training will get my across the finish line, but cross training and strength training should help me get there injury free.  My goal is, time permitting, 2 – 3 days of cross training/ strength training.  I can already tell it’s going to be a bit of a challenge learning to balance this with my running so I’m not making myself too tired or sore to tackle my running.

One challenge I do expect to face, at least initially, is slowing down.  I’m by no means a Kenyan and I won’t be winning awards anytime soon, but I definitely picked up my pace in the last half of 2011.  I can pretty easily maintain a 10:00 minute/mile pace for 5 – 6 miles.  It takes effort, but I can do it with confidence.  I finished Dallas at just under a 10:30 minute/ mile pace.  However, I have absolutely no intention or desire to run this marathon that quickly.  I believe the goal pace is somewhere around 12:30 minute/ mile.  Again, my goal is to finish, and I feel like in order for that to be realistic, I need to slow it down.  I can worry about speed and PRs and time should I decide to do a second marathon.  However, sometimes slowing it down can be just as hard as trying to speed it up.  I’m definitely going to need to pay attention to my pacing.

Those are just some of my initial thoughts: things that have been floating around in my mind for the last week and a half.  I’m sure there will be much more marathon related word vomit to come.  I don’t know much about being a marathon runner, but one thing I know for sure is it’s going to be one hell of a ride to 26.2.


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