Thursday, November 14, 2013

Marathon Training

My last and only marathon to date was the 2012 Marine Corps marathon. I trained hard, prepped well, and according to everything I read, should have been capable of running a Boston qualifying 3:05. I was right on pace until about mile 17, when the DC pavement finally got to the soles of my Road Glove clad feet. My legs felt fine. I was running again a few days after the marathon, but my feet were absolutely killing me. It felt like I was running barefoot on gravel. I did a run/walk combo from about mile 18 on, and finished in 3:26:13. I don't feel like this was a bad time, but I also think I could have run much faster.

Two lessons I learned that day: 1, go ahead and replace those shoes before the big race because it's not like you won't have to replace them eventually anyway, and 2, maybe wear something with a little more material between your foot and the road if you are going to be running that far. I love running in a little shoe as possible. I still run in Road Gloves frequently, but I get that shoes are tools, and just like there are different types of hammers for roofing, hanging pictures, and driving railroad spikes, there are different shoes for different types of runs.

Since that day, I've wanted to give the marathon another shot. I chronicled it a bit already, but life has changed a bit since that race, and it just hasn't really worked out. A few weeks ago, I got a text from my running buddy Tim back in PA who was looking for a Spring race down South. Long story short, we're signed up for the Albany Marathon in March 2014, and training is already under weigh.

I'm finding it harder to be consistent this time around. There's the obvious terrain challenge where I live now (sure do miss that PA levee). Every road around here is either going up or going down. I've also got a second kid this time around who isn't sleeping as well as her older sister did. 3:05 and a Boston qualifier is probably out of reach again, but I think I can cobble together enough of a training regimen to at least improve on my time. The fastest pace group runs a 3:15, so I think that could be a good goal.

As hard as it is to get out of bed at dark thirty again when I used to be able to just run when I felt like it, it is good to have something on my calendar. Some weeks I get five runs in. Some weeks, I only get two, but come March, I'll feel the pre-race jitters again, and spend 3+ hours putting one foot in front of the other wearing shorts that are too short while checking my watch too often.

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