Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Month

Am I ready? No, not quite yet. I still have one, maybe two 20-mile long runs to go.

Here is my dilemma -- to which I would welcome advice:

Two weeks ago I ran 19 miles. Last week, I ran 13. Technically, this Saturday is 12, followed by 20.

I'd switched the 19 and 13 for scheduling purposes, but all along had been thinking that this Saturday was 20.

Instead of having two pretty big step-back weeks in a row, my inclination is to try to run 20 on Saturday (It's not a sure thing -- this has been a weird week for a lot of reasons), and thus have another chance the following week in case I don't make it this week. If I do make it on Saturday, then I would probably try another 20-miler, or a shorter but still long run of 17-19 miles before beginning my taper.

So that leaves me with this modified long run schedule loosely based on Hal Higdon's Novice 2 (of which I've followed the long-run schedule really closely until the past two weeks):

Date/Distance Comment
10/8: 19 (Felt good. Started tiring at 15. Primarily blaming poor pacing and not eating)
10/15: 13 (felt really bad for most of this)
10/22: 20 (Bad week, but I feel better than earlier in the week and the weather looks great)
10/29: 17-20 (This is where the 20-miler is actually scheduled.)
11/5: 12 (Taper)
11/12: 8 (Taper)
11/20: 26.2 (Race)

I think I'm closer to being physically ready for this marathon than I was for Shamrock, but mentally this is tough. I'm healthier, but also a little less driven than I was then. I was insanely busy at work leading up to both of them, but I think I have a more complicated maze of deadlines to navigate this time, meaning it's harder to get miles in at lunch, which was a great option for me in the spring.

I know I can finish this race. It won't be pretty, it won't be fast, and I have to re-evaluate my goals a bit, but I'll finish. I'd hoped to drop down to 4:30-4:45 from my current 4:58ish PR. (Don't judge me!). I think even that modest improvement is probably better held for Shamrock, where I'll have the benefit of training in all cold weather, and will know the whole course.

During this last month, I want to keep hitting my long run distances, but get back into the habit of shorter, consecutive-day runs during the week. That seemed to help me with endurance in the Spring, it's just not something I've done as good a job with this time around. No excuses.

My time is growing short, but there's still things that I can do to help myself.


  1. When you have felt the pain of 26.2 before the long run is less important than the total mileage ran. At this point (if you are pressed for time) 15 runs of four miles each per week would be really good for your chances of a 4:38/4:20

  2. two 20 mile runs this close to the marathon seems kinda crazy to me. but i'm no expert.