So here it is, the last week before The Calgary Marathon!! It’s a little surreal that it’s suddenly upon us, but it also feels like we’ve put a lot of work into this training cycle and are ready to see the fruit that it will bear. If you wonder why I am talking as “we” and “us”, that’s because my training partner Lori and I have been training for this one together, with an identical schedule, running together twice a week most weeks. I feel like this has been a team effort in many ways.
We’ve been following a schedule that we made based on the new Greg McMillan book “You, Only Faster”. It has hands down been the most challenging training schedule that I’ve ever followed. It is also the first time that I’ve felt physically ready to tackle such a difficult marathon plan. I’ve been injury prone in the past, and am as a result, super conservative when it comes to building up. After successfully completing a basic, mileage only (ie. No extra speedwork, etc) marathon schedule for Seattle last fall, I felt like I could handle more. And we did indeed handle it, really I think we kicked ass through this schedule. We completed every single workout, and hit our goal paces in every one as well.
We tacked on extra mileage, running 6 days a week most weeks. Best of all, it was fun, I felt like I was really into running through the whole training cycle. I’m declaring this cycle a complete success, regardless of the results on Sunday. I’ve averaged 66 km’s per week over the last 11 weeks, and peaked at 86 km’s, with 3 weeks at 83 or more km’s. We’ve done all the tough workouts, including tempo runs, intervals, 10 Yassos, a race pace long run and many more.
I really feel at this point there isn’t anything we could have done to be better prepared for this race. Now comes the time to talk about goals I guess. Lori and I talked a bit about this last night (over beers of course!). We’ve always said that our goal for this race is a sub 4:00 hr marathon. We both think this is a fairly conservative goal. Our 1:47 half from last August would predict a 3:46 ish marathon, and we both feel like we are in way better shape than we were back then. Of course that would have predicted a much better result than my 4:04 in Seattle also, which is one of the reasons that I always take race predictors with a grain of salt, and especially in a full marathon, err on the conservative side.
I also always like to have a goal that is non-time based. I feel like it’s important to have something that you can take out of every race as a positive, or a success. I’ve really been working at having gratitude during my running this year. It really helps both my physical success and my emotional or mental well-being during a race to keep a positive outlook, and for me, a very effective way of doing this is to focus on gratitude. There are so many people who cannot run for whatever reason, and I’m lucky to have the chance to finish these races that I participate in.
Alright if you’ve hung in this long and have gotten through my babbling, here goes, the official race goals!
1. Non-time based goal: To enjoy the day, and be grateful that we’re out there running the race. To be grateful for a great training cycle and for a great friend to share it with.
2. Base goal: to PR, or get a sub 4:04 time.
3. Reach goal: sub 4:00 hr
Really I only have one time based goal, sub 4:00 hrs, but because I know that a marathon can be a fickle beast, I want to have a slightly slower goal where I’ll still feel like I’ve met a goal… thus the 4:04 goal.
Alright, we’ll catch you on the flipside… Good luck to all my fellow #SCMForerunners, and other friends and followers running one of the Calgary races this weekend!! I’m super excited to be running in this the 50th Anniversary, and will be watching for lots of familiar faces out there!