I did it,I finally picked a race. I am super excited to announce that I have been given the opportunity to run with a seeded bib number at California International Marathon. As I wrote about in May (My next journey…) my big goal is to chase an Olympic trials standard, and California International Marathon will be my first big test. The seeded bib number will give me a better starting position. I have a long way to go until December. I am understanding that it will probably take multiple attempts, and multiple training cycles. Each marathon will be a great chance to test my limits, and chase a dream.
Adding to the excitement, my dad has signed up for California International! He will completing his first marathon. This is exciting, as the oldest of 4 sisters, running is kind of the one thing we share that my other sister (and mom) aren’t really into. He was there when I ran my first half marathon. He cheered me on as I raced my first marathon and both my parents traveled to Boston to support me through my second marathon.
Mixing things up, I have decided to work with Coach Dr. Marshall Reed. A knowledgeable runner himself, he also coaches his phenomenally talented wife Kimi, and Sara. I wrote about Sara, after racing Rock the Parkway in April. Sara shares similar goals and will be racing at CIM this December.
I began working with Marshall at the beginning of my summer break. As with any new coach/athlete combination there is a learning curve for both sides. The runner has to understand what the coach’s expectations are for different types of runs and their body will often take some time adjusting to new and different training styles. The coach is learning about where the athlete is and what they can handle. This takes time, but I believe things have gone really well this far. Communication has been almost daily, and I have received really helpful and positive feedback.
My biggest limitations, so far, were some stomach issues that occurred early July. I was nauseated and unable to eat hardly any food for a week. When I thought things were under control it would start all over. Once I finally overcame this issue, Marshall eased me back into training allowing me to fully recover. Unfortunately these stumbles and set backs are all a part of training, and one of the many reasons it is so nice to work with a knowledgeable coach. It’s so hard to be subjective and reasonable about your own training when you are so emotionally invested in the outcome.
Overall, I would say my mileage through June and July has been reasonably conservative, keeping steady 50-60 miles per week. This has left me feeling really strong, and my easy pace has naturally dropped quite a bit. Previously, my easy runs naturally settled into a pace of about 7:45-8:15. Right now, my pace range is about 7:15-7:30 on my daily runs. Along with my easy run, I am completing one work out a week along with a long run ranging 12-14 miles.
As with any training cycle there are moments of strength and weaknesses. This past 6 weeks have already included its fair share of ups and downs. My strongest, and most enjoyable workouts have included a fartlek workout and mile repeats. The fartlek was a new style of run for me. The work out decreased the amount of time spent pressing the pace, while increasing the amount of recovery. (6on/1 off, 5 on/2off, 4 on/3 off and so on). The middle sets really snuck up on me, but at the end I finished feeling strong. The mile repeats were completed at 10 pm in the rain. I am not sure if it was the cooler temps but I felt so good throughout this workout. This was the first workout I completed after feeling sick, so the positive workout was great for my moral. Unfortunately, I have struggled a bit more with my marathon paced workouts. I am completing them within the parameters set by my coach, but left feeling a bit underwhelmed by my ability to complete them. I am struggling at finding and holding the pace during these workouts, bouncing around between too fast and too slow. I would prefer to complete these toward the top of the range set by my coach, and I am completing them toward the middle and fading. The positive is, I have 18 week to continue to work on this!
So what’s next?
Lots more miles and lead up races! I am looking forward to building up my weekly mileage and more marathon pace workouts. I am sure I will regret these thoughts later, but I am antsy to get some longer, long runs in. Lead up races will be a great opportunity to measure progress, practice race day routine and get reacquainted with the race day grit needed to reach my goal. Here is a peak at my race day calendar
Rock the Stockyard 5k- Saturday, August 18th
Leawood Labor Day Dash- Monday, Sept 3rd
Plaza 10k- Sunday, September 9th
Goodlife Halfsy- Sunday, October 28th
California International Marathon- Sunday, December 2nd
The first couple 5ks will be a great opportunity to get some speed work under my legs. I will continue to train through these races. I am hopeful for Plaza 10K, this is one of my favorite events in Kansas City and usually brings a lot of solid females to run with. I have been given the opportunity to enter Goodlife Halfsy as an elite entry. I am excited to race this fast net-downhill point to point course. I am really hoping for some great weather. A half marathon PR leading up to my goal marathon would be a real mood booster as I start hitting peak marathon training.
Life is about to get a bit more crazy. As summer break comes to an end balancing work, family and running is always a bit of a challenge. My kiddo is starting kindergarten this year (how crap!) and I am not sure I am ready for my baby to go to school. I am super thankful my husband supports all of my crazy running and coaching schedules. He’s my rock!
Hopefully I can plaster my next post with a bunch of sweaty pictures. I broke my phone and I am doing without at the moment.
What’s up next for you? Have any tips for Cal international or Goodlife Halfsy?
18 weeks and counting down!