Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mindset for the St. George Marathon

A spring season of trail racing (7k, 12k, 18miler) left me burnt out on racing.  I haven't raced since the 18er on May 18th.  It's 3.5 months.  I used to get antsy after 1 month without racing.  I think I'm over the burnout now, and I wouldn't be opposed to jumping into a 5K, but I'm untrained, speed-wise, and the money is probably better spent elsewhere.  I haven't purchased running-related gear in a long time, either!  That's all been going to beer-related gear instead... tap handles, bottle openers, signs, and beer.  I had a vision of turning my apartment into my personal pub.  Why not decorate your apartment with things you really enjoy?  Now, it's an interesting explosion of beer and running stuff.

The 18 mile race, with its elevation gain and loss, was probably not too far removed from a marathon effort and time (3:35ish for the marathon vs. 2:55ish for the 30K).  I only had a few weeks to recuperate before the St. George training cycle began. 

I decided to shake things up this time around, because my past plans of hitting RW Smartcoach mileages while going at self-determined paces, and doing a slightly higher mileage version of that, kept falling just a bit short, after 3 attempts (3:40:41, 3:37:49, 3:39:23) at hitting a BQ (now 3:35).  The Hansons book was recently published, so I decided to try that, knowing that its mileages were way higher than anything I had done before.  Max 16 mile runs?  Interesting concept.  Total violations of the 10% rule?  Not so sure about that.

After base building and just getting started with some of the workouts, even with more rest days than requested, I got injured and did little training for about 10 days.  After that, things started getting better, although since then, my legs have only wanted to run in heavily cushioned shoes, and they haven't felt good running up hills.  The SGM is downhill, but there is a mean uphill portion in the middle, plus a few more moderate uphills later.

In a way, having the 10-day layoff eased pressure.  Maybe it's just not my training cycle, and that's ok.  It may still work out, though.  Maybe in the past, I would peak too early (I'd usually have fantastic HMs in the middle).  Maybe I was too fatigued by the time race day came around.  Maybe that setback and my lack of racing actually set me up for a better marathon.  We'll see.  A few weeks ago, while I was still on the mend, even as I cut the plan down to a bare minimum that focused just on key workouts, the workouts were hard to accomplish.  I've done much better this week, though, so maybe that's coming along, too.

There are only 5 weeks left until race day!!!  3 weeks are reserved for the taper, leaving me 2 weeks to do real training.  Yikes!  It should be ok, though.  I'm hoping for a 18 miler this week, a cut-back week, then a 20 miler.  I used to do 3 20 milers during a training cycle, plus other 18 and 16 milers.  We'll just have to see how this shakes out.

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