Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Project 4:20

I Fartlek'd today! (Ha! I just really wanted to say that!)
I can't beat you?!? Argghhhhh!!!!

So as most of you who follow me know, Oprah Winfrey is my running nemesis.  I have tried & tried, over the course of 3 marathons to beat her 4:29 marathon time to no avail.  That is not to say my running has completely sucked.  2013 saw me run my 2 fastest marathons: a PR of 4:37 on a very hilly Pocono Marathon course in the spring, & a 4:38 in crazy heat at Wineglass in the fall.  I can't be disappointed in those performances but I just know inside me there is a marathoner that is faster than Oprah! I don't know why I am so obsessed with this.  When I first tackled the marathon I used the standard Runner's World plan generator from their website.  There's nothing inherently wrong with it.  It got me to the finish the 1st time under my 5 hour goal.  It got me a 9 minute PR in my 2nd marathon.  And it helped me stay steady for marathon #3.  Then came marathon #4.  I took another approach.  I asked for help from Thing 1.  He took my RW plan and tweaked it into the Torture my Mum Plan.  Marathon #4 had me doing some speedwork and hills.  Actually trying to hit tempo paces instead of running to get the mileage in.  My fitness was increasing.  I ran my PR race at Poconos in May.  I was on pace but just couldn't put it in the bag.  Still, though, I was faster by 6 minutes.  Big PR.  Happy Days! I thought FOR SURE I'd break 4:30 at Wineglass.  Nope.  Felt the best I've ever felt during a marathon but just couldn't close the deal.

So here I stand 16 weeks out from the Goodlife Toronto Marathon.  I decided after finally hitting a sub-2 half that I really DO have what's in me to go under 4:30.  After hitting 1:56 @ the Red Baron Half a runner friend of mine jokingly said that I should consider 4:20.  It got me thinking.  Got me thinking that what I've been doing hasn't been working like I want it. Time to change things up.  I am not a coach. I don't have a background in running competitively at all.  I needed help. So here I go: I have a Coach! My runner friend just got her RRCA coaching certification and is a certified BadA$$ runner! She's run Boston & won the Vermont Shires Marathon last year! You can follow her on Twitter @fitmomstrongmom


Coach Heather asked me a TON of questions to figure out what works best for me so she could make a training plan for me! I received the first 2 weeks of it on Friday and it is amazing so far! Not only do I have a training schedule made into 2 week Sunday-Saturday blocks to accommodate my weird work schedule, but it also takes into account my desire to do considerable cross training so I have a good winter base built for triathlon season! Honestly, I am excited too that I don't have to THINK about my workouts! I just have to look at what it is and execute.  To get ready for this I have taken the last 2 months to not only take it easy...mostly very little cross training and really cutting back on mileage...but to try to make 10min miles feel 'easy'.  I am pretty much there.  I am mostly at a point where I can run by feel and lay down anywhere from a 10 flat to 10:35.  I did my last off season long run on Friday of 10 miles @ 10:07 pace.  I think I am ready to get serious.

I put a lot of thought into which race I wanted to target.  I decided on Toronto because:

  • I've run it before and liked the course
  • The course is a little downhill at the beginning but not quad busting. Mostly flat for the remainder,
  • May 4th is early enough to not conflict too badly with my other goal, which is a summer 70.3 (more on that in another post!)
  • Usually ok weather.
  • I have family in town, therefore a place to stay and people to cheer me on! 

So while I will be ecstatic with anything under 4:30, I am going all in and going to train for the 4:20. Go big or go home, right???

And yes, I DID Fartlek today & I loved every minute of it!


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Can't wait to hear all about it!

Nikki Scott said...

I guess Oprah is a bit of a running nemesis for me too then! My goal is to hit 4:30 someday, sub 4:29 would be even better! I'v switched up my training plan this year too and I'm curious if it's enough to make the difference! Good luck!

Nikki Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Great goal! You can do it.

Kate Geisen said...

So exciting!! Good luck!

TriMOEngr said...

Way to set a goal and go after it! Can't wait to read about the journey along the way! (**snicker** You said "Fartlek".)

Michael said...

Love this post! I can feel your excitement! You are so ready for this and I think you are totally, totally going to hit that 4:20 and kick Oprah's arse!!

Isn't it crazy when someone we think should clearly not be able to beat us does? Well in this case I dont think it's that crazy with Oprah, you know she probably hired an Olympic coach to train her or something.

Anonymous said...

You can totally do that!! I think you also chose the right race for this. You know the race and the logistics, so you can relax and focus on a big PR!!

Jamie said...

You can definitely do this!! I'm glad you have a coach now who you love!

Paul Rodman said...

Coach a great idea!
She'll get you there in sub 4:20.
I'll wager she'll up your quality workouts (build more leg strength)