Running Goals

I do my best, most consistent training when I have concrete goal races and times, so I put my credit card down and registered for my next big race. Putting it in writing makes it more real for me and keeps me accountable, so here goes…

I’m giving a BQ attempt another go this spring. I signed up for the B&A Trail Marathon on March 29 in Annapolis, Maryland. My goal is sub 3:32. I want to give myself a good cushion so that I don’t just qualify, but can actually register to run Boston in 2016 as well. My current PR is 3:37.

Putting a goal like that out there is a bit scary since I’ve failed before, but I am more determined that ever to make it happen. I came just more than two minutes shy at the Niagara Marathon before a humbling race at the Marine Corps Marathon after an injury-riddled training season.

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That was a hard blow to take and I took a long marathon break after that race, which involved a lot of sporadic training. Now it’s time to get over and get after it.

I’m going to follow the Hanson’s Plan for the first time. I’ve long been intrigued by this plan and am excited to see how it works out for me. It involves a lot of running on tired legs with six days a week of running. Long runs top out around 16 miles, but the plan is designed to make those 16 milers feel more like the last 16 of a marathon than the first. Most days will be at an easy, conversational pace with weekly track and tempo workouts as well.

The plan is 18 weeks with week one starting on a Thursday, so my training will officially kick off on Thanksgiving! Who couldn’t be thankful for that?! More turkey for me!

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Resolution Check-In

And just like that…it’s October. I can’t even believe my marathon month is here. Commence freaking out now!

I’ve made it a point this year to look back on my New Year’s Resolutions each month so that I don’t let myself forget about them. I also pick one thing each month that I’m going to focus on to help me reach those resolutions/goals. Last month I turned my focus back to core workouts after letting them slip a bit. I did a great job getting back on track with these and will continue to do so throughout the next month as I get ready for Marine Corps Marathon.

This month my big focus will be back on drinking less soda. The fridge full of free soda just steps from my desk is killing me! I only have one can a day, but still, I don’t need to be drinking soda every day! Most times I just drink it out of habit, so I’m going to try make myself do something else whenever I hit that point in the afternoon that I start craving caffeine. I drink a ton of water so sometimes I get bored and just want some taste, so I’m also keeping my desk stocked with Nuun and Crystal Light type drinks.

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Staying healthy this year was another important goal. I’ve been doing a great job maintaining my stretching, rolling and icing routine, but have had some aches and pains creep in especially with my calf muscles. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but I’m going to be proactive and get things checked out early this time instead of waiting for it to become something serious that puts me on the sidelines. Learning. 🙂

Butterfly Stretch

Butterfly Stretch

My biggest resolution/goal for this year is a Boston Qualifying time. I’m admittedly not as confident about this as I was during the first half of the year, which I hate. Initially I thought I could crush the BQ time I needed and shoot for a time in the 3:20s, but I’ve had a tougher than expected training cycle and that doesn’t seem possible to go for. Still, I’m shooting for that sub-3:35 time I need to BQ, and will run my heart out at MCM at the end of the month trying to get it.

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How are your resolutions going this year?

Marine Corps Marathon Course Change Announcement

On August 20, the Marine Corps Marathon announced a flatter course with the return of Rock Creek Parkway. I for one am thrilled about the change. It makes the course flatter and hopefully faster, while taking out a tough early hill that was way too easy to go too hard on and pay for later.

The removal of the Canal Road/Georgetown Reservoir section of the course makes it similar to the first time I ran the race in 2006 when I first fell in love with this marathon, and at the same time takes away my least favorite part of my 2011 run there. That’s what I call a win-win!

Check out the interactive course map here!

Run Washington did a story on their website covering the announcement and were nice enough to include me in it:

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Check out the full article on their site.

Fall Races!

While I hate that summer is almost over meaning less daylight hours and winter just around the corner, fall is my hands-down favorite weather season of the year. It also means it’s fall racing season! I haven’t raced throughout the entire month of August and am getting a little stir-crazy, so I’m excited that my fall line-up of races is almost here.

This is where I’ll be racing this fall…

September 14 – Navy-Air Force Half Marathon
I’m a little terrified that I have a half marathon so soon, but then when I think about it I’ve been running further than that during my long runs for a month and a half now including a couple 17 milers. I’m a little concerned about keeping the pace I want so this will be a great test of my fitness. Most of the course is along the Marine Corps Marathon route as well, so it’ll be great practice!

September 28 – Pacers Clarendon Day Double
I’ll be running both the 5k and the 10k put on by Pacers as part of the Clarendon Day Festival. I’m so excited for this race. I’ve never done two races in one day before and I’m really looking forward to the speedy, mostly downhill courses. The 5k is up first so I’m going to shoot for a PR in that and then just see how the 10k goes after I’ve gotten myself back up the hill for the start of that one!

October 13 – Undecided
Acumen Solutions Race for  A Cause 8k … OR … Boo! Run for Life 10k
My coach suggested I look for an 8k or 10k this week and I’ve found one of each – both pretty close to home and roughly the same price. The 8k is closer but the 10k is flatter and a familiar course for me. Advice is appreciated! If you’ve done either of these races in the past, let me know what you think about them.

October 27 – Marine Corps Marathon
This is the big one – the race I’ve been waiting all year for since I had to defer my entry last year while stuck in physical therapy. It’s my chance to finally get my Boston Qualifier in my 10th marathon. I simultaneously can’t wait for it to get here and am terrified of it getting here too soon. I love this race though. It’ll be my third MCM and I LOVE the course change announcements recently unveiled that make it more similar to my first go at MCM in 2006. They’ve done away with  the Canal Road portion of the race, which I was never a big fan of, and added in Rock Creek Parkway. Let the countdown commence!

Here I was near the finish two year’s ago after Marine Corps…

After - wrapped in my space blanket, happy to be done!

After – wrapped in my space blanket, happy to be done!

Let me know where you’ll be racing this fall!! Any big PR goals?