I’m training for my 8th marathon on Memorial Weekend. My first marathon was the inaugural Zappos marathon in Las Vegas in 2007. It has since changed courses and has become a “Rock n Roll” sponsored marathon. My goal was just to finish, which I did. I thought that would be the end of it and life would go back to normal. It’s a funny thing about marathons, you kinda get hooked on them; which is not necessarily a bad thing if you are going to get hooked on something! Once that one was finished, it took a couple of months to even think about running again, but then a friend talked me into doing our local half marathon in April of that year. It all started over then! I’ve since done 6 other marathons, two in Phoenix, the PF Chang Rock n Roll, two in Utah, the Utah Valley marathon, one in San Diego and although it’s not a marathon I ran a 25 mile trail/endurance run in Prescott Valley with horses and runners called Man Against Horse. This year I am traveling with a friend who is also running and we are doing the Mountain to Ocean marathon from Ojai, CA to Ventura, CA.
Training is different for everyone. I’ve done different schedules, most often a Hal Higdon training plan that involves increasing mileage over a period of 16-18 weeks leading up to the race. The plan I used did not have speed work or tempo runs, just steady weekly runs with a longer run on weekends. The plan worked well for me, but I always wanted to be faster. Last year before the Utah Valley race I trained with some speed work at the local track. I really don’t like speed work but thought if it would make me faster then I would give it a try. It didn’t make me faster, but in theory it should have. This year I tried speed work again at the beginning of my training schedule but pulled a hamstring from the start which is still bothering me. I have given up on the speed work and will stick to the tried and true slower steady runs. The training plan this year did call for speed work, but I am modifying it as I go. I am doing stair climbing instead and a cross training day of bike riding. I also strength train at the local gym and do a program called TRX. This schedule only calls for 3 days of running and 2 of cross training. The goal for this year is to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon next year. I’ve qualified 5 times in the past and expect to do so again. I hope this years training is going to work. I would love to run in Boston and have friends to go with to run too! Getting in to the Boston Marathon is not going to be easy. Not only do you have to run in a race that is a qualifier (only some of them are) but then you have to get through the registration process. Not everyone that qualifies gets in. This weekend is the first 20 mile training run, of which there are two. Wish me luck!
On a separate note, this is Monday and I did the 20 mile run on Friday and finished in a respectable time. Today was the Boston Marathon, the one year anniversary of the bombings at the marathon last year. What a glorious day, the weather was perfect and the participation by athletes and spectators alike was outstanding! Congrats to all who finished! And we will always keep in our hearts those who were killed and hurt in the 2013 Boston Marathon.