“Only” 10 Miles + My Philadelphia Marathon Goals

Today I did “only” 10 miles. My last long run before the marathon.

Whoa. I remember the first day I ever got up to 10 miles, about 3 1/2 years ago. My whole body was burning and I was questioning my sanity.

Now 10 miles is my “easy” run? PERSPECTIVE SHAKEN.

I haven’t written much about this training cycle, other than about my Ragnar experience, and a couple of other things. (And can I just stop for a moment and say how crazy is it that I’ve been running long enough to actually have training CYCLES?) Truth is, there hasn’t been a lot of drama, and I haven’t had a lot of time. This year, Coach Erin laid out a plan for me to run 5x per week, and that combined with me being a good girl and going to bed earlier means less writing time. But now I’m in the taper, oh glorious taper, and all of those posts that have been burning a hole in my brain are coming out now, when I actually get hours of my life back!

For the first time in my life, I worked out SIX DAYS PER WEEK, sometimes even SEVEN! (5x running and 1x spin or swim) and my body adapted well. My feet hung in there – barely. (The foot drama needs its own post, TBD). Erin gave me some challenging workouts…

marathon training track repeats speedwork

That workout was so hard, my head FELL OFF.

…I had a couple of horrible long runs…

bad runs, marathon training, long runs

Even beautiful scenery sometimes cannot make a bad 17-miler disappear.

But more often than not, I had some really, really good long runs.

marahton training long runs

That 20-miler was SO GOOD, Lori and I were emanating rainbows.

In early October, I had a moderate setback with my foot and with Ragnar taking more out of me that I’d planned, but despite those things, I’m pleased with the way my body has handled the training. BUT, will these 16 weeks of mostly good training translate on race day? YIKES. Ooof. I don’t know, but I’ll go ask my little friend Ambien.

Speaking of, here are my goals. For races, I often have an A, B, and C goal, because I’m a teacher and I like neat and orderly thoughts. But for this race, I have one and ONE ONLY:

MY GOAL: To not let the race break me.

I know I will probably hit The Wall somewhere after mile 20, and I know my foot might rebel at some point, but I hope that I can handle it better, push through it, and not want to cry or quit, like last year, when I felt like the distance broke me. If I can accomplish that, then I’m figuring a faster time will naturally follow.

Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t have a specific number in my head, but I’m going to keep it between me, Lori, and Coach Erin for now. Oooooh, secrets!

Enjoy the taper, friends!

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14 thoughts on ““Only” 10 Miles + My Philadelphia Marathon Goals

    • I don’t want to think about it, but THAT will be the moment I think about to get me through The Wall. With warm up and cool down laps, it ended up being 26 laps. New mantra: If I can get through 26 laps, I can do 26 miles.

  1. Totally agree with the change in perspective marathon training provides! I “just” did 8 miles and kept thinking about how the first time I ever ran 8 miles, it was along a canal path and I kept fantasizing about jumping into the water (knowing if surely drown since no way to get out). Today most of my run was in wind and light drizzle and I didn’t mind any of it. (Although I’m crossing fingers and toes for no rain next Sunday!) I understand keeping your time goals private, but if any chance you end up with the 4:30 pace group, maybe we will meet. If not, have an awesome run and I’ll be following your blog for a race report!

    Lindsey in NY

  2. I love your goal! I keep doing marathons, just because I believe someday I will feel good in the last 3-4 miles, and I won’t have to walk. I will keep dreaming….. and training. Keep a positive attitude, you’ve done the work. Enjoy your taper!

    • Thanks! I’m actually ok with having to walk a little in the end. It’s the walking + crying + defeated feeling that I want to avoid. I suspect my foot will make me want to walk at the end, but I’ll just have to worry about that when/if it comes.

  3. I’ve been running long enough to actually have training CYCLES? – Love this line! I said the same thing this year. I always kept quite and not said to much about training around my friends as….I don’t have a running friends here. Bummer. I did catch myself saying it out loud for the 1st time this year. I was like ” YEAH” I can say that! I’ve worked my you know what off for 18 weeks. Love your post. Wishing you an awesome, awesome race. I will be thinking of you on that day and sending a cheer your way from Maryland. Can’t wait to hear how the big day went.

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