One of my big goals is a sub-3:10 marathon. Well, I’ve spent the past 14 weeks training hard. With a coach. Tomorrow is the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. A flat, fast course by all accounts. The weather is forecast to be in the low 40s, sunny, with only a slight wind. You don’t get much better than that to go for a big goal. And their social media hashtag is "bemonumental". C'mon. That begs for a shot at a big PR. So, tomorrow is go time.
My current PR is 3:14:49. Looking for a nearly 5 min faster time is a big ask. But, I really feel like I’m ready. I feel that this will be an honest shot at 3:09:something. Not that I don’t have some self-doubt about this. I’ve done the shortest “taper” I’ve ever done. I’d been averaging 65-ish miles for the past 8-10 weeks of training with three days of some sort of speed (marathon pace, MP, or faster), typically. The week before last that dropped to 59 miles with two days of some MP. So far this week, I’ve only run ~16 miles, with two at MP and the rest easy. But, maybe because of the fewer weekly miles (on average) than previous marathon build-ups, my legs feel fresh. But, are they fresh enough?
Thanks to my coach, I am training more consistently and at faster paces than ever. I’m hopeful that will translate into faster racing! I haven’t been putting in as many long run miles. I’d always felt that a few 22+ milers in race build-up helped me mentally. Made the distance less daunting. Less unfamiliar. The furthest I’ve run in the past 14 weeks is 20.2 miles. But, nearly every one of my long runs had some speed (MP or faster) included. Do I have the endurance base to carry that speed the full distance?
Tomorrow we will see. The race has a 3:10 pace group. I plan on using them. I’ve had success with pace groups before. My two fastest marathons to-date I ran with pace groups. I’m going for it. And, If I can’t hang on, I should still be able to capture a nice PR. But, I’m not focused on that right now. Now, the focus is the A goal. Three-oh-something.
My first race with my coach. With a new training approach. And, my first race in about a year that I’m really going for a time. Really ready to race. It’s nerve-wracking. And exciting. And fun. And scary. All the things racing and running can be!
Training Log October 22-28, 2018: 58.6 mi.
Monday – 6.2mi @ 9:07. A little stiffness to start, but a comfortable run.
Tuesday – 10.1mi @ 8:04. Warm up, 6 miles at GMP (7:17 avg.), then cooled down. Not easy to get to and hold MP, but came close. Legs were feeling the effort.
Wednesday – 8.1mi @ 8:51. Nice and easy. Legs felt good.
Thursday – 9.1mi @ 8:00. Steady effort. Felt strong.
Friday – 7.0mi @ 9:03. Another easy peasy run.
Saturday – 13.1mi @ 8:07. 5 easy miles, then 4 at GMP (7:10 avg.), easy to finish. Easier than earlier in the week to get to MP. Could feel the effort in my legs, but they felt good.
Sunday – 5.0mi @ 9:04. A little tight to start, but loosened up well. Nice and easy.
It’s go time, y’all. And I'm ready!