Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will take place about two weeks shy of my 30th birthday. It's also my first one post-Brax and with two kids in tow (plus Jack's basketball season), it could get interesting this go-around with training.
I officially kick off my 20-week training plan (thank you, Coach Jenny Hadfield - a gem when it comes to real-world training and running for mortals!) the week of New Year. Nothing like starting 2013 with a bang, right?!
I can't help but think back of my two previous marathons and the training that took place for each one. My first marathon - 2007 Wichita Marathon - was done with hubs by my side (most of the way...don't ask if you don't know the story!). We did all of our long runs together and I fondly remember running literally at all hours of the night to fight the heat, humidity, summer storms, etc. I remember running from our house in Hutchinson to his parents' house in Partridge for a 16-miler. They drove us home and I don't think I was going to be able to get out of the car, let alone get in the shower. We also ran to Buhler and then some for our 22-miler. I finished the marathon in 4:41 and some change.
In 2010, I decided to do a marathon post-Mackie. She was 13 months old when I ran the Chicago Marathon (on 10.10.10 nonetheless!) and it was a BLAST! We love Chicago and it was a great way to tour the city. Not so hot (or really hot!) was the temps. We started our 26.2-mile trek in the upper 70's and ended in the low 90's with the humidity. Let's just say any attempts of a PR was thrown out the window when you're stopping at every water station between miles 13-25. But I did manage to finish in 4:39.
This go-round I don't have the time - or energy, really - to dedicate to all-out running and doing a million miles a week. I'm excited to follow a plan that gradually increases my long runs on Saturdays and only has me running 2, 18-milers and 2, 20-milers as opposed to more of each and even longer. It also gives my body one complete rest day and two cross-training days with a long run on Saturday and three runs through the week that vary in speed, energy, and distance. It's going to be fun to be back on a training schedule again!
Right now I don't necessarily have an exact goal time, except that I do know I'd love to finish in 4:30 or less. My goal for Chicago was between 4:15-4:30 and it didn't happen. This time I'd be thrilled to finish strong (we all are, right?!) but the competitor in me will definitely be shooting for a 4:30 or better.
So here's to two more weeks of easy running and cross-training before Project: Cleveland training starts!
Happy running, everyone. Have a blessed week as you prepare your hearts for the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus - we're a week away from celebrating His glorious birthday!