Wednesday, September 22, 2010

25 Days

That is how long before the Long Beach Marathon.  I feel good.  I have the endurance.  I could run a marathon tomorrow.  The question is: can I run a marathon in 3:49 or less?

I began training in April with the St. George Marathon  as my goal.  After a slow start and a failed St. George lottery attempt, I ramped up my mileage.  I had plans to run a 50K in August, but that didn’t work out, so I put my focus on a marathon and a BQ attempt.  I decided to run Long Beach when I met a friend who had a similar pace and goal and was running it.  I had heard good things about the race from other runners I have met, as well as other bloggers like Danica

I have already run two twenty-milers and a couple eighteens*.  I ran four half marathons (well, three half marathons and a 22K).  During this training cycle, I set PRs in the half, 10K and 5K distances.  I have run over 800 miles, gone through several pairs of shoes and had two sports massages.  But as I sit here reflecting on it all, I can’t help wondering:  is it enough?
I have one more long run before I start to taper.  I am planning on running twenty-two miles this weekend.  I have never run that distance in training.  I wonder if having such a long training plan (26 weeks) had me peaking too early.  There is something to be said for the Higdon program I did for my first marathon where I built mileage each week, culminating in one twenty mile run right before the taper.  However, I really wanted to get in three or four twenty+ mile runs this time.

This morning I went to the track to do some 800m repeats.  My friend couldn’t make it, so I was on my own.  It is harder to motivate yourself to go that fast by yourself, especially when your running partner is just a little bit faster. Our plan is to use Yasso as our guide.  The goal pace is 3:45 and we are building up to ten repeats.  Two weeks ago we did four.  This morning, I only had time for six.  While my times were slower this time than my previous track workout,** all six repeats were at or below my goal pace and my recovery time was shorter.***  I’m not going to lie; they weren’t easy.  I am pretty sure that I could have pushed out a few more given the time, but who knows.  As it was, I kept fighting with myself to keep going.  First, I told myself that four repeats would be plenty.  But I kept going. Then I justified that five would be one more than last time.  I still kept going.  On the last repeat, I told myself that a 400 for the last interval would be fine.  Then I heard my thoughts wonder if 600m would give the same benefit as 800.  I finished all six repeats, feeling pretty spent at the end of each of them.  My 800m times were: 3:45, 3:41, 3:42, 3:35, 3:38 and 3:43.  I walked 200m between each interval.

So I am basically at a point where I have to trust in my training.  Did I stick to my plan completely?  No.  But I did come pretty close.  I kept the mileage higher than any of my previous marathons.  I had hoped to do a bit more tempo runs and speedwork, but as you can see above, when I have done them, I have been able to hit my marks.  If I am obsessing about all this now, what kind of a mess am I going to be during my taper?

25 days.  Bring it on.

Happy Running…

*We averaged 9:00 minutes on my eighteen miler last weekend!
**Two weeks ago we did four 800m repeats with 400m recovery with times of: 3:24, 3:28, 3:38 and 3:30.
***This morning I recovered for 200m instead of 400m.


aron said...

you are going to do GREAT!!! i hope we get to meet!

Teamarcia said...

Don't ask yourself 'is it enough?', tell yourself 'it IS enough'. Because it is. You've trained well. Give it your best shot and be proud!

Aka Alice said...

You are sooooo going to do it and then you'll be the first blogger-friend that I've actually known and talked to and had a "beverage" with to BQ and then, of course, I'll have to get your autograph.

Will you still talk to us back -of-the-packers when you're all goin' to Boston and all?

All that aside. I have every confidence that you'll rock it at LB!

L.B. said...

Exciting!! I'm looking forward to the race as well but I'm only doing the half.

I have faith in you!

Glenn Jones said...

Be careful Lisa. I hear a lo of coaches say it's better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained. Trust your training. You'll do great!

Glenn Jones said...

Be careful Lisa. I hear a lo of coaches say it's better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained. Trust your training. You'll do great!

The Alien said...

I think you've trained enough, you're hitting your marks and followed your plan. It's a very big goal, but I think you will be able to reach it, so best of luck.

Try to stay busy when you start your taper so you don't drive yourself crazy!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Good luck in Long Beach! I'm running the Denver marathon on the same day. I hope you get that 3:49! If Yasso's are any indication of finish times, looks like you're set!

Alissa said...

I need to look into those Yasso 800's and start doing them! You are going to do great this weekend! Can't wait to cyber stalk you (hope the website allows!)


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