In the past, when we (D and I) did not get into the NYC Marathon, we ran the Marine Corps Marathon. The MCM is a great race - great fans, great course, great location. However, we needed/wanted to mix it up this year. Philadelphia is close enough to home that travel isn't too complicated. And, in terms of scheduling care for K, my parents are available that weekend. Childcare: check.
So Philadelphia it is. And this year I am running with D. It will be our third marathon together.
For one glorious weekend, D and I will be together sans baby with three simple goals to achieve:
1. enjoy traveling to and staying in Philadelphia - have a couple of great meals while there, tour some historical sites, and run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art just like Rocky;
2. finish the race injury-free and with smiles on our faces;
3. finish a marathon in less than 4 hours.
This is my fourth marathon (I've done MCM twice and NYC last year). Never before have I trained with a goal time in mind. I've always trained to finish the race and remain injury free. Before NYC last year, my dad asked what would my perfect race look like in terms of time. Without much hesitation, I replied, "Finishing under 4:30." I thought I had trained to maintain a 10 minute per mile pace. And I had. I was crazy consistent in NYC last year. Aside from my last mile, each mile of my marathon was within 10 seconds of each other. My pace ranged from 9:55 to 10:05 for 25 miles. I finished my last mile in 9 minutes. I felt SO good at the end of the race.
With all of this in mind, I decided to set a reach goal for my 2010 marathon.
Why not go out there and try to achieve something that
seemed impossible to me just a couple of years ago?
So... my goals are simple: enjoy Philly, finish with a smile on my face, remain injury free, and run a sub-4 hour marathon.
Monday, July 19th is the first day of my 18 week marathon training program.
This training program is intense.
On Mondays I'll do short runs on HILLS (yes, the 13th Street Hill and I will be getting extremely close this summer/fall). I'm also going to work in some running steps workouts.
Tuesdays will be my medium long run (MLR) days. Mileage will build up to 10 per day (I may have to break these up into two x 5 mile runs b/c I am home with K on Tuesdays and cannot imagine her sitting in the stroller for 10 consecutive miles.)
Wednesdays are cross training days. Here's hoping there's a spinning class at the gym this fall on Wednesdays.
Thursdays will be pace days.
Fridays will be rest days. I'll spend my time going for walks with K and walking to/from local stores and parks.
Saturdays will be the day for L-O-N-G runs. The schedule includes 3 x 20 mile runs. I'll probably do 2 at 22 miles. I have a great 22 mile loop and the extra mileage is a real boost to my confidence come race day (this is what I did last year while preparing for NYC).
Sunday will be short recovery run days.
Modifications to the schedule will be made while we are traveling abroad this summer (visiting family). I need to think through some realistic training goals for the 10+ days we are in SE Asia.
I'm most looking forward to long runs with D. We have secured childcare to do at least one long run per month together. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to putting together a new running mix, getting some new running gear and a cute outfit for race day, and, most of all, challenging myself to do something that most people would think to be impossible.
It is official: marathon training 2010 is about to begin.