I am off to Eugene TODAY!!! I cannot believe it. I started training for this race 22 weeks ago. I logged 760.22 miles (as of yesterday when I wrote this) and gained 36, 821’.
When I put my training plan together, I decided that I wanted to blend this plan with Hanson’s Marathon Method. I knew it would be challenging to try to train for both a marathon PR AND my first 50-miler within 5 weeks of each other. I normally would not recommend it, but I knew that the marathon PR that I had in mind could be done through just maintenance speed rather than gaining more speed (because I’ve ran at that pace - not considered ‘pushing it’ - during the last 3 half marathons I’ve done AND trained specifically for that marathon time goal last Spring as well).
So, I combined the two programs. I hit more weekly mileage to be in-line with my 50-miler training, kept in my marathon-paced medium distance runs (Hanson’s) to maintain speed for my marathon training, kept up with 3 solid strength training sessions a week, yoga one time a week to stretch it all out, and kept my easy runs real easy (I don’t think any were faster than 10:00 pace and many were in the 11:00 pace). When I had long, long runs I left pace leave my mind and focused on nutrition and running form. When I had speed, I focused on turnover, running form, and pushing through it. I power hiked and added in a whole lotta HILLS.
I ran through so many snowstorms, I’d like to forget them all. I also ran on ice and indoors so many times. I didn’t always hit my goal speed paces, but still worked through them mentally to achieve my ‘something is better than nothing’ goal. I gave myself grace when things weren’t working out AND I didn’t get sick. ONCE.
I took a rest day early or switched around my schedule if I wasn’t feeling a workout or run that day and stretched/foam rolled A LOT. It’s also a nice thing when your garmin watch tells you that your goals aren’t really that crazy.
I read a lot of running-related and mental-toughness books and implemented those into my runs. I PR’d the half marathon by 4 minutes during a workout run (I ran 7 miles easy before the half and had the goal of just maintaining marathon effort - which turned out to be about :20 faster per mile thanks to the lower elevation & downhill nature of the course).
Overall, it was NOT a PERFECT training cycle. I took real big down weeks to help my body adjust to the higher mileage of ultra training. BUT I persevered through some really tough runs when I wasn’t in it mentally. When things get tough during the race I will remind myself of everything I’ve gone through to get to this POINT. I’ve been envisioning the race and myself conquering those tough times the last few months and I’m really excited to challenge myself. Especially mentally. I love how Meb puts it in his book, 26 marathons.
I always set a bunch of goals for races and ultimately, the biggest one that I always want to accomplish is to have FUN. I love to run, challenge myself during training, and see where my potential lies come race day. SO, here are a few of my goals for the race on Sunday:
-A. Sub 3:40 marathon
-D. Have a TON of FUN.
-Favorite mantras come race day?
-Do you have a favorite race outfit? If so, what is it?