Prior to Columbus Marathon I put it out there that I had BIG DREAMS of one day running a 3:10 marathon. When I decided on that DREAM I didn’t think I could or would even come close to it for a VERY LONG time – it seemed like a BIG DREAM [and a huge goal].
Then decided to go after my dream. Why settle for a PR when I could try to reach for the stars and achieve a dream?
So I trained for a 3:10 marathon.
I put down in my notebook three goals:
Marathon Goal: Sub 3:20
Realistic Goal: 3:13
Dream Big Goal: 3:10
I ran 3:13 at Columbus.
When I looked back and saw my notes it literally freaked me out. This is how well I know my body – I knew what a realistic goal was and I knew that if everything was perfect I could get close to my big dream.
Marathons are imperfectly perfect. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.
You never know what will happen – it’s the beauty and the heartbreak of them. It is what makes the distance so alluring. You train for months, sometimes years for one race and in the end you do not know what the day will give you. You could be in shape to run a 3:10 and end up with a 4:10. You must plan, train and take all the steps to make the race perfect, but then you must surrender yourself to the idea that NOTHING may go as planned.
For this reason it’s VERY hard for me to say if I am ready for marathon #19.
Can I complete the distance? Yes. I have been training for and running marathons since 2003. The only time I took breaks was when I was pregnant. I believe that on any given day of my life I can complete 26.2 miles.
Am I in shape? Yes. I am in the best shape of my life other than the fact that I have gained weight – which to some means I do not appear as *fit* as I used to. My weight is 10lbs higher than it was last time I ran B & A Marathon. This is not 10 lbs of fat. I have gained a ton of muscle and it’s making me stronger. I realized that even though I was eating 2,000+ calories a day it wasn’t enough to support the mileage I was running. I needed to eat more whole foods in order to not burn muscle. So I’m bigger – but bigger doesn’t always mean fatter or slower – in my case it means fitter, faster and stronger. I will be watching what I eat carefully this week. This is not the week for desserts, or for foods that don’t give back to me. I am eating whole foods, healthy foods, and making sure that my portions are under control.
Do I believe in myself? Yes. The doubt demons are in FULL effect. On a daily basis I question how I will be able to run 26.2 miles as fast as I want to run them. I know these demons come right before every single marathon and while I may believe them for a moment, deep down inside I know I am capable of big things [big things are unique to each individual - something big to me may be small to you and visa versa]. I also know that I have strength that comes from a well that NEVER runs dry. When I am feeling weak I will turn to God to calm me and help me through those last painful miles.
What do the numbers say?
I trained for a 3:05 marathon – according to my trusty McMillan Calculator that means these paces:
Long Run: 7:34 – 8:34
Easy Run: 7:34 – 8:04
Recovery Run: 8:34 – 9:04
Tempo Run: 6:25 – 6:42
I hit these on almost every run, typically hitting the lower end.
So here are my goals [it's scary to me to put this out there but I'm all about confronting my fears lately]
Marathon Goal: sub 3:13 with a PR
Realistic Goal: 3:07
DREAM BIG GOAL: sub 3:05
So am I ready? Yes. I’m as ready as I will ever be.
Could I have trained harder? Yes. You can always do more.
Am I pleased with my training and the effort I was able to put in while training mostly on a treadmill during the winter while raising three kids? H*LL YES.
In 7 days I will be a marathoner x19.
DREAM BIG my friends. DREAM BIG.
Will you be running B & A Marathon or Half Marathon too? How do you know if you are ready for a marathon?