This is truly a "take two" as I had just about completely written this entire post and it disappeared. I can not believe that I have to retype this. Thanks Blogger for completely wasting an hour of my day...anyway...
Thirteen weeks or eighty-eight days, are all that remain between now and the Sugarloaf Marathon in May. The lack of motivation I had been experiencing is gone, I think...I hope.
I wrote up a new training plan yesterday that is roughly the same mileage as the Run Less, Run Faster program I had been using. I've removed the track workouts on Tuesday and will be adding in timed fartleks and hill training on those days to mix it up. For the long runs, I worked backwards from race day, through the taper and filled in from there gradually increasing the mileage with a few mini-tapers in between. I'm still able to get in a 20- and 22-miler and three 18-milers, though one of them comes on the weekend of the Race the Runways Half Marathon. If my legs allow, I'll just add on five miles that day.
I am by no means an expert on marathon training, but I do know what my body can comfortably handle. I'm hoping that this will help me have a successful marathon and get through training and the race injury free. I'm hoping this plan will alleviate some of the stress I was feeling with the specific paces and distances of my previous plan.
I do know that I was not 100% committed to this marathon before yesterday and I think that was adding to my lack of motivation. Although I had planned on running Sugarloaf immediately after finishing the Maine Marathon in September, one of the recent reasons I was doing it was because my friends are. The choice to run a marathon should be a personal one. You want to challenge your body and mind. You want to cross it off your bucket list. You want to run Boston someday. If you want to run a marathon, then do it. But it's not going to be fully enjoyable if the reason you are going through all the training is because others are doing it. I am now committed to running Sugarloaf for me. The fact that my friends are training for the same race just makes it that much more awesome and fun!
So today was day one of my "personalized" training plan and it went great! This was the first time I had run since the Mid-Winter Classic over two weeks ago, so I didn't know quite what to expect. Ian is able to go to work a little later on Tuesday and Thursday, so I can run at 6:30 instead of 5:30, when it is light out and I can get an extra hour of sleep, seeing that I can't get to bed any earlier.
I had planned on a 5-mile out-and-back, but once I got to mile two I wasn't sure I would have enough time to get back and turned around to make it four miles. It turned out that I would have had time, but I'm not sweating that missing mile. The only problem with this route and time of day is the droves of Bath Iron Works employees walking to work and the smoke from their cigarettes that I have to run through. It wasn't all that bad and is only for less than half a mile at the beginning. The rest of the run I was surging up the hills, relaxing on the declines, enjoying the scenery, and appreciating the fact that I get to run. I finished in 34:22 with an average pace of 8:33. I was running comfortably hard, but not straining at all. I am very happy with it. Now if only the next 38 runs go as well...