I have fully committed to the National Marathon in Washington, D.C. on March 24. Well, “fully committed” is a relative term. I haven’t actually signed up for the race yet, not have I booked a room at a hotel or hooked up with one of my friends in the D.C. area for a place to stay before the race… or even told anyone other than my wife at this point.
When I presented my schedule for 2007 and my desire to run the National Marathon, as well as the Steamtown Marathon on Oct. 7, my wife just kind of shrugged and said, “OK… ”
That’s the way it is around here sometimes.
Regardless, in my head, I’m in. That’s half the battle right there – thinking about it. Committing my mind and energy is enough to actually shelling out the dough and everything else.
Nonetheless, I have started my buildup for the race, which, believe it or not, is quickly approaching. March 24 leaves 11 weeks of training starting on Jan. 1. That means in order to be at 100-mile weeks by the New Year, training has to start now. I want to be able to put in at least 10 straight weeks of 100-plus miles in order to be able to run between 2:32 and 2:37 on March 24. If I can do that, I should be in good shape to take a run at 2:30 with an outside shot at 2:25 by October.
Yeah, let’s push the envelope a bit.
Anyway, originally the plan was to run between 70 and 75 miles this week, which seems more than doable after the first three days. On Monday and Tuesday I did a pair of 14-milers, including a 3x 1,000 meters at 5k pace on Tuesday. Monday’s run was a solid, unwavering 6:35 to 6:40-pace run, while Tuesday’s started slower but resulted in a 6:30ish total pace thanks to the three intervals.
Today I ran a hilly 16-miler at an easy and strong 6:45 pace on the flat sections, but ended up at 7:02 pace because of the hills. I didn’t plan on going so long, but I figured I was out there moving around… what the heck?
The fear, of course, is too much too soon. The Harrisburg Marathon was just a few weeks ago and though the windy day held me up and the slow time didn’t really beat me up, the long training period left me a little fatigued. My hamstrings and glutes are still tight and sore, though they don’t affect my running, and my mental game was (is?) ready for a nap.
With that in mind, the plan is to push up the mileage through the December without doing any 21-to-24 milers until Jan. 1.
Then we’ll get after it.
In a story by Mike Sandrock in the Boulder Daily Camera, coaching sage Mark Wetmore offers a few helpful guidelines for runners preparing for the U.S. cross-country championships in Boulder on Feb. 10.
Holding the cross-country championships in Boulder is kind of like having the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.