|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
I am SO EXCITED!!!!
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!