Well, here we are. Just a little less than 18 weeks until I cross the finish line at my first 26.2!
Today is the symbolic start and the first day of training (3 mile run…groundbreaking stuff). Yesterday, our official kick-off was an 8 mile climb up a mountain (more on that tomorrow).
I’ve been nursing my knee like crazy, and while it isn’t at 100%, I’m ready to jump in today.
I feel like I haven’t really trained since January (and really….not since October) and I am so excited to get going, improve my speed, and get back to being proud of what I’m doing.
I also have a really ambitious and slightly ridiculous goal for this first go-around.
I want to qualify for Boston.
I know that your primary goal for your first marathon is supposed to be just to finish. My longest pre-race run will be 20 miles, so I will have no clue how the last 6 will feel until race day. And well, qualifying for Boston is hard.
But people qualify on their first try all the time.
I got the idea in my head after Rock n Roll Arizona, and I have been obsessed ever since (Maybe Leo planted it in my brain?).
Unfortunately, my marathon falls 2 weeks after the 2013 qualifying cut-off. The best I can hope for is running the 2014 race. So, I suppose even if I don’t qualify, I at least have a full year to make up for it.
As of this morning, the B.A.A. hasn’t released the qualifying times for 2014. For my age group, 2013 hopefuls have to have a time under 3 hours and 35 minutes (5 minutes less than the 2012 time), so my goal is to run my first marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes. That means I will have to train up to running my fastest half marathon pace for twice the distance.
Insane and probably pretty painful? Yes. Impossible? No.
So, how am I going to get there? I obviously have no experience, and the only marathons Aaron has done came after 120 miles of biking/swimming (and at that point, it is less about running and more about just not dying). Thank goodness for the running blogger community! I’ve had the privilege of seeing so many wonderful and inspiring journeys to marathon-hood, and I’ve picked up a few things along the way.
1) Keeping to the training plan and putting 100% into every workout
2) Rolling, icing, massaging, and actively recovering
3) Lots of cross training: spinning, swimming, yoga, weight training, core work
4) Cutting out red meat and fried food as much as possible (NOT fun)
5) Reducing booze intake. I know I talk about drinking a lot, but I promise I’m not an alcoholic! I do however have 1-3 glasses of beer/wine/margarita every day. I am going to try to limit this to weekends only. I make no guarantees whatsoever.
My Biggest fears going in:
1) Not reaching my goals. I really want this. Not reaching my goal time, or worse, missing it by 1 minute, would be devastating.
2) Injuries. They suck. I want nothing to do with them.
3) Plantar Fasciitis: I know this is an “injury” but I consider this the holy grail of all things suckage. Up to a year out of commission. No thank you.
4) Burn out. I don’t want to reach week 16 of 18 and decide that I hate running. I think 26.2 miles would be pretty miserable to run if I hated running.
5) HEAT. The race getting cancelled, or having to try to run a marathon in 90 degree temperatures and getting heat stroke, or passing out at mile 20 (I am not above crawling to the finish line!). This seems to be the year of uncomfortably hot races.
So, we’ll see where the next 18 weeks takes me. THANK YOU for all of your support thus far. Sometimes I don’t think I would have the same self-confidence or the same excitement for running if I wasn’t part of this running social media community! I hope to have great things to report in October. Until then, I will be working my butt off to get there!