Saturday, January 17, 2015

thinking about marathons

I'm sitting here with my sore ankle, thinking about running.

I was really excited for my runs this weekend.   But I am not upset that I cannot run them, instead I am looking forward to when I can run again.  And in all honesty, it will probably be early next week - my ankle is feeling better, just swollen.  I will be careful though!

So, thinking.  Thinking about marathons.  Thinking about how scary they really are.  Especially if you want to go faster.

My first marathon I had the goal just to finish.  I thought it was way out of my league.  I only stopped at water breaks, and finished.  My second marathon was part of the Dopey Challenge - for those that don't know, that is 4 days of running: 5k, 10k, a Half and a Full.  I just wanted to finish.  I wanted to run the whole thing, but just finish.  I found the 4:45 pacer, and stuck with her most of the way.  I was amazed that I beat my time from the previous year.

However, I know I am capable of going faster - much faster.  I am wanting to complete a marathon this year in under four hours.  I know, it's a lot.  Dropping over 43 minutes from my previous marathon would be a huge undertaking.  I do think I have some things going for me:  I have run fairly consistently since that last marathon, especially the last half of 2014.  I have run more half marathons, including a sub 2 hour marathon.  Now this sub 2 half marathon was a big deal for me.  I didn't think I was going to be able to compete in it, as I had moved to Hawaii and the race was in Florida.  I only got the flight booked about 2 weeks before the race, so I didn't really train as much as what I should have, or would have liked to.

Now, this year I think I can do the sub 4 hour marathon.  I have two half marathons ready to go.  I want to enter the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon in DC (October), and I am entered into the Honolulu Marathon (December).  The MCM may be my best shot, as the weather will be cooler, but I am hoping to use it as a guide, see how I do, if and when I hit the wall, work on my fueling strategy. Though, I may not even get in.  If this is this case, perhaps I try for another marathon elsewhere, or go on my own at home.  (Though no race bling!)

What I want to look at, to help with my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon:

  • Nutrition - what to eat before and after my runs
  • Fueling - hydration before and after my runs, as well as focusing on my long runs
  • Salt tablets/electrolytes - I will be running in Hawaii, during the summer, the mornings will be humid and warm!
  • Hills - finding some good places to run with rolling hills, this may make me go for a drive for my runs!
  • A good training plan, I want to run at least three 20 mile runs before hand.  Hal Higdon has given me good training plans so far, so I may use his again.  In saying this, I want to bump up my mileage, which I need to do slowly so I don't injure myself.

This is it for now.  I am excited.  I know this is possible.

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