Location: Finish/packet pickup was in Ashton, Idaho, in eastern Idaho about 2 -2.5 hrs from the Jackson Hole, WY airport. Note for sea-levelers: Ashton is 5,259 feet above sea level (and note, a week of easy running at a similar altitude is not sufficient acclimation).
Time of Year: End of August, on a Saturday.
Weather: Can vary, but for me it was wonderful — started in the high 40s at 6:30 am and ended in the low 70s, I think. Temperature felt good the whole time running but a little cold standing at the start.
Given a crazy summer schedule, I am not planning on doing weekly training recaps for my Mesa Falls Marathon training. HOWEVER, I had a shockingly spectacular — dare I say, breakthrough — training week last week, and so I wanted to share some of the changes I made to my training that worked for me.
I wrapped up another week of training for the Vermont City Marathon. This was week seven with just three more weeks until the race — aka one more week of training before the taper! I’m feeling really ready, maybe because this will be by third marathon this year, maybe because I’m actually sticking to my “training plan” pretty well. This week, things were still busy but slightly more calm at work so I was able to get in a couple good workouts although maybe not as many as would be idea…
At the beginning of each training cycle, I set out my plan for the workouts I hope to do each week. But I’ve never looked back after the fact to see what workouts I actually completed. Until now! (Since I’m in taper mode for the Asheville Marathon, I had a little time on my hands.)
I’ve been listening to a ton of podcasts lately, and one running-related podcast I’ve enjoyed is the Run to the Top podcast from Runners Connect. In a recent episode, host Tina Muir documented her second trip to the University of Virginia SPEED Clinic in Charlottesville, VA (wahoowa!). This, of course, played right into (1) my recent speed-related goals and (2) my newfound interest in body mechanics. About three-quarters through the episode, I Googled the SPEED Clinic and emailed its director, Max, to set up an appointment. Here’s a little background and what I learned from my visit…
Yikes… How did that happen?… Now only three weeks until the Asheville Marathon??? Maybe that honeymoon break was a bad idea, especially given my goals for this race? Well I had my wakeup this week and jumped back into it with both feet…
I’ve previously documented my struggle (mental and physical) to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The closest I got was 3:45:47, about 10 minutes slower than the Boston application cutoff (but more like 15 minutes from what I’d actually need to get in). I’m several years older and wiser… although unfortunately still in the same age bracket for BQ qualifying times. And in the intervening years, I backed off the pressure, refocused my goals (hello, 50 states!), gained some weight, lost some weight, explored new workouts,changed jobs, gotten married, bought a home, and ultimately ended up with my marathon times back in the same range as they were in 2011.
So naturally, my mind wanders back to the BQ. Am I finally ready to tackle this challenge? At 30 years old, healthy, and childless, is this potentially my last, best chance? Or would I just be setting myself up for frustration and disappointment, and worst of all, would I be taking the joy out of running? So I have a plan.