Saturday, March 17, 2012

Yeah, about that blogging resolution....

It's pretty obvious by now that one of my resolutions isn't going to happen this year.  I've been extremely bad about posting on my blog and I'm willing to admit that resolution has been a big FAIL.  I am happy to note that all of my other resolutions are intact and on schedule.   We'll see if I can get back on track with the blogging, but it seems to be the hardest to do.  Sitting on the couch or at my desk at home hasn't been high on the list of things to do lately.  I've downloaded the Blogger app for my iPhone, but I always forget it's on my phone.  I promise I'll try harder.  

As far as running goes, everything is on track for OKC Memorial.  I'm now 6 weeks out from the race and feel healthier than I've ever felt at this point in my training.   Last week was a pretty light mileage week for me because I went skiing in Utah, but I've always been a big believer that a week or two "off" during a long training schedule isn't always the worst thing in the world.  It kinda gives your mind and body a chance to recharge before you hit the home stretch.   In the midst of my low mileage week, I ran a local 5K upon my return from skiing and set a new PR at the distance.   The shorter distance races definitely aren't my strength, especially during a marathon training cycle, but I was pleasantly surprised with my effort.   I also paced with two people who I thought would easily out run me that day and gained some confidence along the way.  I ended up running a 20:48 which averaged out to be about 6:41 min/miles.  Not too shabby.  It also continues to point me in the direction of a big PR at the marathon in a few weeks.

One of the unsung benefits of the Ironman last year is the change of perspective it provided.  Before the Ironman, marathon training seemed much more demanding.   Now it seems even more fun than it was previously.  I've always loved the long runs, but now it just seems so much simpler.  Not that it isn't hard, it just seems more relaxed.  I don't stress about the schedule as much.  I've learned to enjoy the ride more.  I've learned to just appreciate my body's ability to keep doing something I love.   The Ironman training was a gauntlet.  I tolerated the swimming and learned to like the bike.   Marathon training allows me to just run.   It allows me to truly focus on the sport that's changed my life.   The Ironman has allowed me to appreciate it even more.  It's amazing how the Ironman just keeps paying dividends on the time invested last year.   It's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to tackling it again in 2013.   You get out what you put in.  That statement has never been more true.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Countdown to OKC Memorial

This weekend brought me one week closer to the OKC Memorial Marathon.  After Austin, I felt pretty confident in my training and each passing week has kept adding fuel to the fire.   I'm gaining more and more confidence in my running and the training schedule I've laid out for myself.   A few months ago I made a conscious decision to attack this marathon on my own.  I wanted to save some money this year so I opted to go without a coach for the first half of the year to see how I would like it.  Now that I'm entering my 4th year in endurance sports, I felt more confident in my ability to manage my training on my own and still come up with the desired results.  The results I'm seeing in training so far are proving me right.  I know there is still a long way to go until marathon day so I'll keep assessing and adjusting my schedule as we go.  I don't want to peak too soon.   The next 5 weeks will be crucial.  I need to make sure I mix in a few recovery weeks and continue to build mileage the other weeks.   This past week marked my first 30+ mileage week of the training schedule and my legs feel great today.  I knocked out a very nice 18 mile run yesterday morning.   I started out conservatively and then opened up my legs at the end of the run.  I felt awesome at the end and knocked out some sub-8 minute miles to close out the run.   Overall my pace averaged out to be 8:30/miles which is perfect for my training runs.   The focus for the week ahead will be to recover, step back the mileage, and then get ready for the step up to 20 miles in a couple of weeks.  My schedule will be a little off due to some travel, but it won't hurt to give the legs a break at this point in the schedule.  I hope you all have a great start to March.   Run happy friends.