Saturday, December 6, 2014
Mama on the Run: Training for Marathon #4 is Here!
If you would have asked me in October if I would even contemplate running Marathon #4 in the near future, I would have laughed.
2015 was going to be the year of improving my half-marathon and 10K times. 2016 - maybe - was going to be the year of Marathon #4, to follow the trend of running one every three years (past ones include: Wichita - 2007; Chicago - 2010; Cleveland - 2013).
Welp, so much for the "going to be" plans.
Shortly after crossing the finish line of the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in October, I felt the urge to go the distance. The full 26.2 distance. Again.
I've been there, done that. I've done two full marathons in the fall, meaning: long runs in the super hot temps and mugginess that only summers in Kansas can bring. My last marathon in Cleveland was a spring-time full, meaning: long runs in the middle of winter, muddling through miles upon miles in the sleet, snow, and bitter cold temps.
I've opted for another spring-time marathon in 2015 - Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, which means it'll be another winter filled with dark, cold, snowy, and I'm sure icy runs.
OKC has been on my must-run list (honestly, just the half-marathon race!), as I've heard it's an emotional one with incredible crowd support. But I've also held off on registering for it in the past because of the difficult weather elements the late April race usually faces: tornado warnings, lightning, rain, colder temps, delays, the list goes on.
You're probably thinking WHY would you put yourself through this again, especially when you know that it could very well be a difficult race weather-wise?
That's (somewhat) simple to explain: I'm too darn competitive with myself. Due to one reason or another, I haven't been able to break my 4:30 time goal these last three marathons. In 2007, when I ran Wichita in 4:41, I was ecstatic to simply cross the finish line. In 2010, in Chicago, my 4:30 goal time slowed before I even hit the start line due to upper 80 degree temps for a majority of the race and I finished in 4:37. In 2013, when I had a great winter of training and was on target for half of the race to do 4:20 or faster, I slowed down due to unseasonably warm temps and not training in anything above 50 degrees all winter, finishing in a disappointing 4:34. (I'm seeing a heat trend here!)
I want this year to be the year I finally hit that 4:30 mark. I know I can do it. I just hope my body and mind can do it. My fellow running mama, Jess, is also doing OKC, so it'll be fun to do some long runs together over the next few months. This will also be my last full for a while, if ever (again, never say never!), as my kids are getting more and more involved in activities with Mackie starting kindergarten in the coming months and Brax moving on up to preschool. The lazy Saturdays that were perfect for longer distances are quickly becoming a thing of the past - and that's okay! I'm going to be okay adjusting my running distances at this point in my life so I can be the soccer/basketball/volleyball/whatever mama my kids need me to be.
So there you have it. Marathon #4 training starts Monday - about 20 weeks of a structured plan (this type-A girl really enjoys it!). I'm going off of my favorite running coach, Jenny Hadfield's intermediate marathon training plan. I followed this plan for Cleveland and have done several of her half-marathon plans with flying colors. I love the intermediate marathon plan because it has four days of running, two days of cross training, two days of strength training, and a rest day each week. Plus, it starts long runs at 7 miles and works up to 16, 18, and 20-milers (I don't want to think about those quite yet!).
Bring it on, OKC.....making it to that starting line excited, healthy, and ready to rock begins now!