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Less than 4 weeks until.... MARATHON!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

This is my last real training week until the taper!!

Last week's workouts looked like this (what I actually did):
Sunday: Rested
Monday: Ran 10.3 mi steady, BodyPump and Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics (P90X)
Wednesday: Ran 7 mi, BodyPump, JM Ab DVD
Thursday: Yoga X
Friday: 16 mi, a bit faster and with walking intervals - UNDER 2:30 WOOHOOO!, also Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Rested
Sunday: Ran 6.2 mi with Fartleks, but EZ paced mostly

I changed things around last week due to having to be at school almost all day on Saturday. I will also have to do my long run on a different day this week as well. But here is my plan:

Monday (today): run 6 miles steady tempo (already did that), Ab Ripper X, P90X Legs & Back
Tuesday: run 5 mi EZ with Strides
Wednesday: P90X Workouts (Ab Ripper, Shoulders, Chest & Back or something)
Thursday: run 6 miles with Fartleks
Friday: Run 5 mi with Strides (or not, whatever), Ab Ripper X, Legs & Back
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: run 20 miles

Last week, as I posted in my other blogs, I had several really pumped up runs!! They were awesome! I even took my long run faster, which may not have been the best idea training-wise, but I wanted to sort of "test the waters." So, this week, my runs are a little bit lighter with less emphasis on speed - more relaxed paces, and most of them are lower mileage for me, except for the long run, of course! This is my LAST 20-MILER!!

I have be doing TONS of reading about running in the past week or 2!! I got 2 different books: Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running, and The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik. If there is one way I have *grown* through taking on the marathon challenge, it has been to more widely educate myself about running!!

So, I have been drawing a TON of wisdom from all over, these books and on the internet. And while I took last week's long run faster, I was reminded of the importance to slow those long runs down!! Over and over, I found it stressed to make sure those long runs are slower, and according to Hal Higdon (also read a lot of stuff off his website), there is a training effect that takes place after 90-120, and running the long runs fast defeats the purpose of the training (teaching your body to conserve energy), and also causes unnecessary breakdown of the muscles, which can lead to less than optimal performance for later runs.....

That was just the reminder I needed. I had already had it in my training plan to take these runs lighter this week, but I am making extra sure I do just that.

So, those were just some thoughts I had about my running.

How I feel so far in my marathon training???? You might ask...

From the inside:
I feel great that I have made it this far, especially training alone, and am optimistic that I will run that marathon and do great!! Time really doesn't matter. Do I have dreams and goals, and dream time goals?? Sure, a girl CAN dream, can't she??? But I will not beat myself up to reach for something unless I am feeling really good. Finishing strong and finishing safely are my first priorities.

I am so amazed that I have not faced ANY pressing aches or pains!! I am feeling far better than when I was training for HMs! My former issues have been:

IT Band:
I never had IT band issues before I started training for this marathon. I started having some knee pain in the first couple of weeks of training. Since I was just starting out my training, and I hadn't been having serious problems with this before, I didn't really want to step back from my training, so I decided to address it as quickly as I could through other means - got a foam roller, looked up prevention ideas and tips, started doing hip abductor exercises, and started stretching more. What I found is that my IT band issues seemed to stem from tightness in my hip, so I addressed that with the foam roller. I have been absolutely PAIN-FREE for many weeks now due to the things I mentioned! AWESOME!!

My piriformis pain started in 2009 when I was training for HM. I had tightness and pain in my butt cheek and down the back of my leg. At one point it was painful, but then through stretching it got better, though stretching never got rid of the tightness.... Enter foam roller! Once I got the foam roller, I started rolling all over on my hip, into my butt cheek, down the back of my hamstring, and so on. I was finding all sorts of "trigger points" and it felt AWESOME to actually get all of that loosened up!! I couldn't believe how good it felt! I am now feeling better than ever in that area, and have very little discomfort or anything in that area!

So, that about sums up the problems I have faced related to running. I now use my foam roller only here and there, when I feel I really need it. I have put more emphasis on stretching, and am doing a little Yoga too. I am just so thrilled that this far in my training, I am not dealing with any pains, injuries, or problems like that. For that I am very thankful. I know that no matter how careful we are sometimes, sometimes our bodies just give! I do not take this for granted!!

On with the last stretch of marathon training!! I am so excited to see what the month of February holds for me!!

Have a FABULOUS week, Sparkers!! Keep working toward those goals and dreams!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISAMLW 2/2/2011 3:08PM

    You've been so consistent in your training.. I'm so impressed! I'm sure you will do awesome and I can't wait to hear about it. I have that Runner's World Complete Guide book and read it in a couple of days. LOADS of good info.

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RUNNINGITOFF 2/2/2011 2:44PM

  I'm excited for you! Awesome!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/31/2011 11:37PM

    good luck and thanx for posting your p90x! I just got it in the mail. my 1st HM is in march, didn't know how to work p90x in ;p

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KILTGUY 1/31/2011 5:27PM

    You're gonna do great! I'm 3 weeks from first HM and trying to learn that slow long run message too!

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AMOHAME2 1/31/2011 1:50PM

    You're so close!! Reading about your training is keeping me so excited about my own, I CANNOT WAIT to hear about the next 4 weeks and the race itself!!
It's awesome that you haven't had any really nagging aches and pains through your training. My only issue is my right IT band, and that's more of a bother than a concern.
I've started reading a lot of books on running too, and love being educated about why training plans are the way they are. I don't do well with following things blindly so I read up as much as I can! I loved Hal Higdon's book "Marathon", but I want to get a book specifically for women's running.

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MOMONTHERUN1 1/31/2011 1:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You're going to rock it!

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REMEMBER2BME 1/31/2011 1:03PM

    emoticon emoticon
How exciting your journey has been and also how smart. You will have to let us know what book you like best... is most worth the investment. I am so impressed that you are thinking through and researching everything. I am sure it will be challenging to slow the pace the next few weeks but it will be well worth it.

Keep up the great work... and busy schedule :)

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SEEHOLZ 1/31/2011 1:01PM

    You are so on fire girl! I love the enthusiams and joy flowing from this blog!!!

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CASILAYNE 1/31/2011 10:12AM

    You are so inspiring! I am so proud of you!! I am just a baby runner. In fact, I'm still working up to running a mile straight at this point. Reading your blog gives me an extra boost of energy and lets me know that I will be able to do this. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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Another AWESOME, AWESOME run!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

As I stated in other blogs this past week, I am putting a little more focus on pace in these last couple of training weeks, and working toward possibly pulling off a sub-4 marathon. This time seems to be a stretch to me, but at the same time, I would certainly like to try. My practical goal is under 4:30, which I think is very doable based on my abilities, even if I ran it really slow for me, so I will be happy either way. But my *dream* is under 4 hrs.

So, after doing a lot of reading online from different sources, I decided to test the waters a bit further with my long run today. I wanted to do my long run with regular walking intervals, shooting for my *dream* race pace throughout the running segments, and walking 100m for every 1500 m of running (distance of about a mile total). With the walking in between, it allows me to run at a faster tempo without fatiguing as much, so that my body gets used to running at this tempo, and conditions intself for that. I run at a WIDE variety of paces during the week, but I hadn't attempted a long run at this pace before.

Could I pull it off? Could I do that? I didn't know, but I wanted to at least try for my 16-miler today, since I am not new to the 16-mile distance, and next week is a 20-miler, which I plan to take a bit more relaxed.

But I TOTALLY did it!!

Here are my 1600 m splits:
10:20 (warm-up mile), 9:28, 9:25, 9:15, 9:27, 9:20, 9:24, 9:15, 8:51, 9:35, 9:07, 8:51, 9:22, 8:57, 9:03, 8:48, with 150 m at the end in 49 seconds.

Total distance:
16 mi (25.75 km)
Total time (including all walking):
2 hr 29 min 26 sec
Pace (not including warm-up mile, but including walking):

Oh, and the last 3 miles were without walking. I did a fast-finish type thing. The other 2 miles that were under 9 were also without walking, because I forgot to walk, and over-ran it!! LOL

NOT BAD for eating not too many carbs yesterday, too!! Unintentionally, that is. I usually eat a little bit under what is conventionally recommended, but I think I ate just under 130 g of carbs yesterday. I did eat a small pre-run snack this morning, consisting of pure organic peanut butter (nothing added to it) mixed with protein powder and a tad of organic Nutella for flavor, and a half of a banana. I took an energy bar with me, but did NOT eat it!! I just didn't need it, and why eat it if you don't need it?

I am very encouraged by this long run. I actually much prefer to run at these tempos vs. 10:15-10:30 miles. I just feel sluggish, like I am heavy and dragging, but I usually do it to be on the safe side. It was great to test things out a little and see how I did.


Have a great day, Sparkers!! Happy and safe running to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUMMAMICHELLE 1/30/2011 4:09PM

    That sounds like an amazing run Darcy! Perfect time to push your speed in your training and test the waters, it sounds like you are up for a sub-4 marathon to me. I can't wait to hear all about your event.

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CHUBBYSISTER1 1/30/2011 9:15AM

    Super Awesome!!!! I have no doubt you can break 4:00! You have the ability, you have the drive and you are a smart runner. You are a total inspiration to me as I get back into running and am contemplating a full. I'm so excited for you and your marathon. I know you will rock it!!!

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ELISAMLW 1/29/2011 10:37AM

    Sounds like you have it down to a science!

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ROOT4HOME 1/28/2011 10:02PM

    Super AMAZING run and pace!!! emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 1/28/2011 3:25PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 1/28/2011 1:45PM

    Loved the info on the 5:1 ratio! Thanks for sharing! Way to go - so impressive!

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ELISA322 1/28/2011 1:28PM

    Nice splits!! You're totally going to great on your marathon.

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HALEY_DAWN 1/28/2011 1:25PM

    I can't wait till I can run 1 mile let alone 16. YOU GO GIRL!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/28/2011 12:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REFOCUS92711 1/28/2011 10:00AM

    That's amazing.. way to go!

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IMSMILEY88 1/28/2011 8:37AM

    Congrats! That is a wonderful run.. and a wonderful test of your abilities! I've been playing with speed some now that my first HM is over & I'm training for #2. My speed is a lot slower than yours, but I still have the same type of dream! I even have a 'dream' goal for this upcoming HM. I actually have a plan A (about same as last time), plan B (what I could probably do now), and plan C (oh... could I???).

Anyway, I wish you the best as you continue to train! It sounds like you are going to do terrific!!!

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REMEMBER2BME 1/28/2011 7:28AM

    What a fantastic run. I appreciate you sharing. Now that I have finished my marathon I really am interested in playing with paces. I am comfortable with being slow but am curious.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are on FIRE!!!

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FIREFLYBRIDE 1/28/2011 7:11AM


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AMOHAME2 1/28/2011 7:04AM

    What an awesome run!!! And one more long run to go before the taper! You must be so excited!!!!

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MARATHON_MOM 1/28/2011 6:08AM

    WOW... incredible run! I absolutely can't WAIT to hear how you do in your marathon! I would kill to be able to do a long run at a 9:16 pace! LOL!! I have done them at just under 10, but never that much under. Way to go!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thought I would throw in a quick update about my Vibram FiveFingers! My Bikilas are working out well, but I am still not serious about transitioning to them quite yet.

Here is what I have done so far with them:
Total miles: 14
Total miles last week: 7.5
Longest run: 2.5 mi

How I run in them:
First, I do it at the end of my normal run, so my muscles are warmed. Plus my feet are warm so they don't get cold while I run in these. VFFs do not have insulation from the cold, so below-freezing temps WILL make your toes feel like they are gonna fall off.

Secondly, I try to relax and keep my form as natural as possible. I do pay attention that my heel is not striking the ground hard, but I have noticed that it naturally does not most of the time. I have more of a mid-foot land, and my heel usually hits the ground a split second later, but not hard. I have not experienced any heel pain while running.

Thirdly, I have been running at different paces. I think this is important too. I have read that you should keep your running slow at first, but I don't necessarily agree with that. Short distances, yes, but not necessarily slower than you usually run. I think it is important to try these shoes out at your normal tempos, little bits at a time at first, and test the waters. So, that is what I aim to do.

So far, absolutely no problems, no pain, not even calf soreness anymore. I only was sore after the first mile I did, but I think that was because I was trying to do forefoot striking, and I have since decided I am not going to *try* to strike any certain way, unless I sense my heel is hitting too hard. I also read that your body will naturally adjust its form when running with these shoes, so keeping it relaxed and natural and listening to my body I think is the best way..... emoticon

After my marathon on February 26th, I will try to train a lot more in these shoes. I am hoping maybe to run the 30K in June with these, but we will see. Training safely is my #1 priority. I will keep you all informed if I do manage that!

Have a wonderful day, and Happy Sparking, all!!

**Oh, one more thing - whatever you have heard about these shoes "being super comfortable," it is SOOOOOOOOOO true!! At first when I got them, they felt a little weird, a little snug (plus I had the socks on at first), and I wasn't sure. It was just a whole new feeling.... But then I ran in them. After I ran in them, I was trying to think about how they felt on my feet, were there any weird sensations, was there pain, were my toes comfortable - and I could NOT remember anything about how the shoes actually felt!! (I think that is a VERY good sign!)

Plus, I have gone to leave my house to run in them, and stepped outside on more than one occasion, and, for a split second thought, "Darnit, I forgot to put my shoes on!!" Duh, I am wearing my *barefoot* running shoes. Seriously, absolutely no joke there. They are THAT comfy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDGEOFSANITY 1/31/2011 8:26AM

    I transitioned into VFF's a little over a year ago, and cannot run in anything else now. "regular" shoes feel like lead weights on my feet lol!

I noticed the same thing about my foot strike- more midfoot rather than forefoot. The heal coming down is natural, as it helps "reload" your tendors to push off again. The point is you're not striking heal first anymore.

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APIRLRAIN888 1/27/2011 8:57PM

    lol great review!

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MENT2BE 1/27/2011 6:51PM

    You are breaking them in the 'smart' way!!! Congrats!!!! You are going to be ready to FLY in them come June.

emoticon emoticon

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MOMONTHERUN1 1/27/2011 12:23PM

    You don't wear socks with them? Don't you get blisters? I just cannot seem to get sold on these things... emoticon

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AMOHAME2 1/27/2011 12:18PM

    Thanks for the update, I've been wondering! I'm just now trying to work on running without my orthotics, so it'll be a while before I even attempt anything as minimalist as VFF!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 1/27/2011 11:53AM

    I keep thinking I want some. I have a gift card that I could use to pay for them. We will see. Love the PINK!!!!

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AOGOAE 1/27/2011 11:50AM

    haha, where are my SHOES!? Love it, definitely something on my training agenda for the years to come.

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JUNEBUGABEE 1/27/2011 10:06AM

    Thanks for the review of the Vibrams! I keep on toying with the idea of getting some in my head, but I can't commit to it. I really like when people give their straight feedback about personal experiences with them, the good or the bad. Eventually, I'll probably break down and buy a pair...

Helpful feedback about how to transition safely, too.

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HALEY_DAWN 1/27/2011 9:14AM

    I worked with a physical therapist that wore them EVERY day to the facility we worked at. he LOVED them. I am glad you are loving them too :)

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TRIATHLONBABE 1/27/2011 9:07AM

    I've heard a lot about these and several of my Galloway running cronies swear by them. Good job and great report!

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KIMPOSSIBLE82 1/27/2011 7:35AM

    So interesting! Nice work!

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EMILYSEGAL 1/27/2011 7:13AM

    Very cool. Keep updating how running in them goes.

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REMEMBER2BME 1/27/2011 6:17AM

    Great review. I appreciate it. I don't know a whole lot about them.

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SEEHOLZ 1/27/2011 5:37AM

    Awesome review! I might a pair myself not to really run in, but to work on foot/lower leg muscles. I figure doing strides or quarter/half mile runs would be a great way-- maybe even just on a track. I think I'll wait till the weather is better, but thanks so much for encouraging them!

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In the Face of Opposition

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I am just one of those people that needs sleep! I am in bed by 10 pm every night, almost, and I get up very early - ranging from 4:45 to 5:30 on most days, depending on how long my run is.

Yesterday, I was running around all afternoon, getting my health department certificate so I can start working at that cafe, and then I had to head straight to my evening class. On my way home, I hit a HUGE traffic jam (for those of you who saw my status last night) on the Autobahn.... UUUUGGGHHH!! NOT COOL! We are talking total stand still here, not moving at all. After sitting there for 15 minutes, watching the clock turn over to 10 pm, I was wondering if I would EVER make it home, and if I would be able to drag myself out of bed the next morning for my run.

Fortunately, I was able to weave my way through the millions of trucks sitting on the Autobahn, to get to the next exit, and get home. I didn't know where I was coming off the Autobahn, and my battery in my iPhone was almost dead, but thankfully, it lasted until I arrived home, and I was able to navigate myself with Google maps on my iPhone, and get home safe and sound. Late, but safe and sound.

I got into bed shortly after 11pm (very late for me), and set my alarm for 5:30. I even changed into my running clothes, so that I would have less to do when I got up. My runs are simply not optional. It doesn't matter if I am up late, or tired, or "don't feel like it." It simply isn't optional, unless I have some physical problem preventing me, like sickness or injury....

This morning's plan:
1 mile EZ, 10 x 0.25 mile @ level 10 (so PUMPING it) with 0.25 mile recovery in between, 1 mile EZ

So that adds up to 6.75 miles. I decided to modify it slightly - 1 mile EZ, intervals for 5 miles, come home and change into my VFFs, and do 1 mile with those as my last EZ mile.

I was ON FIRE this morning, and didn't even know where it came from. I just relaxed, and poured myself into those faster intervals. It felt great, and it didn't even feel super hard!

6 miles (including the EZ one): 51:49 (8:38/mile)
1 mile with VFFs: 9:13

I love getting out there, in spite of "not feeling like it," and then pumping out some amazing run!! WOOHOO! I am really feeling like I am back to my old self conditioning-wise. I haven't been working on really fast paces lately, but I am pumping it up a little in these last few weeks, testing the waters. It felt really great to manage that run this morning.... AWESOME!

Have a great day, Sparkers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISAMLW 1/29/2011 10:39AM

    I love those times when at first it's hard to get up and get out and then you do it.. you feel like you've conquered the world!

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SEEHOLZ 1/26/2011 4:56PM

    You are definitely on fire- looove when that happens!

Btw, I have not forgot about your question and sorry for the delay, but I've been busy and I wanted to take a moment to think about it.

Just know that I'm still here to support you!

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FRANCLYN 1/26/2011 1:08PM

    WooHoo! Great job making sure nothing stopped you from your run and it sounds like it was SOOO WORTH the EFFORT!

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ROOT4HOME 1/26/2011 11:36AM

    WTG on your run!! I'm going to think of you next time I'm tired but need to get my run in!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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    It is great that you have such a push for yourself, it is inspirational. When I was taking German class, I remember our teacher talking about traffic jams on the Autobahn and how long they can last. At least you got home before your phone died!

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JUNEBUGABEE 1/26/2011 11:26AM

    Way to go with your run this a.m.! Meeting that wall and pushing through it is the best feeling ever!

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AMOHAME2 1/26/2011 11:17AM

    Those runs where you really have to push yourself to get out the door - those are often the best ones! The sense of accomplishment you get just from being out there is awesome!

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REBECCA1354 1/26/2011 10:35AM

    Good for you!!! That's awesome.

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AOGOAE 1/26/2011 10:35AM

    someday I hope I have that attitude- runs aren't optional! for now I still miss one about every other week :)

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REMEMBER2BME 1/26/2011 10:01AM

    Yes indeed, you are ON FIRE!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I have not responded to the last few blogs because it looks like you are getting answers from many knowledgeable folks. I know VERY LITTLE about speed. I am slow. I am curious however and plan to push myself a bit more as well.

You are going just an outstanding job in all area (running and working to get your certificate.

Keep up the great work! We know you will!

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MESEATURTLE 1/26/2011 9:34AM


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ASIAMORA 1/26/2011 9:17AM

    Great job getting up to get your run in and sounds like a great run to boot! I failed at getting my run in this morning. I don't normally run in the morning, but last night I thought I would try today.... I stayed in bed. But, the run is not optional, I'll be running this afternoon at my normal time.

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MARATHON_MOM 1/26/2011 9:12AM

    WOW.... What a great run! I love love love runs like that, especially when everything else seems to be crazy or not going right, the runs just make it all "click" back to where it's supposed to be!

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/26/2011 9:04AM

    I am right there with you re sleep!

So glad you got a great run in! Hope today is an amazing day!

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FIREFLYBRIDE 1/26/2011 8:06AM

    emoticon I don't function without my sleep either. Good for you! Awesome job!!

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Am I selling myself short?

Monday, January 24, 2011

What kind of a time goal would be reasonable for me to have? How should I pace myself for this marathon? Is my original time-goal of 4:30 a bit too generous? Am I selling myself short?

These questions have been whirling around in my head all weekend. I based my original goal of 4:30 on my previous running, and what I thought my potential was. But even at the time, I thought that would be, with good training, quite reachable. Now, I am thinking I should raise the bar. It's not like I want to put a lot of pressure on myself, and be unreasonable, but I do want to do my best. That is what I LOVE about racing - It is not so much the competition with others, but it's the competition with myself, striving to put out the best I can, the excitement of getting up to that start line, and the anticipation, and the extra pressure to perform that brings out strength in me that I never knew I had. I love it.

Sure, I know that every first marathon will be a PR, no matter how slow. But I am also the type of person who always aims to do my very best. But I also know that, when it comes to race day, I will have a tendancy to run a bit faster. A marathon just seems like such a huge distance, and I don't wanna be dying at the end.... How can I be cautious, yet still shoot for my best?

So what is reasonable? I just got a book about running for women, and I checked in there to see if it had any tips. According to a chart in there, if I have run a 25-min 5K, and a 1:55 HM, if my long run pace is 10:13, and tempo runs are about 8:08, then I should be able to run the marathon in just under 4 hours!! That would be just FREAKIN' AWESOME!!

Here are a few of my stats:
5K PR (non-race, just normal training run): 23:46
10K PR: 46:16 But I am not sure I should count this, because it wasn't with my Garmin... My previous PR was in the 49-50-min range
HM PR: 1:55:06
This morning's 10.3-miler (16.6 km): 1:33 even
23-miler (longest training run 2 weeks ago): 4:06:40 (10:45 min/ mile, but I was totally not focused on pace, and ran most of it with in 9-1, run-walk)

Before I had read that in the book, I decided this morning to do my 10-mile run at my *DREAM* race pace - which would be finishing under 4 hours. Since my Garmin is set to Km and not miles, I was to shoot for 5:40/ km pace. It felt kinda weird shooting for a certain pace, actually, because I normally just run however I feel like running. I try to push myself, but I don't shoot for a certain number on the Garmin. I thought doing the full 10 miles at this pace would be difficult, but I thought I would give it a try. As it turns out, it wasn't NEARLY as hard as I thought! I maintained a slightly faster pace the entire 10 miles, even to the very end. My end total pace being 5:36/km or 9-min miles. **I think it should also be noted that I was not *fully-fueled* this morning - only a half of a banana, some water, and a coffee before I ran, and I didn't take anything with. This also makes a difference.

I also got the Runner's World "Complete Book of Women's Running." In the section about pace, it suggests to use one of your 10- or 12-mile runs as a time trial, or to jump into a HM. It states: "The pace you're able to run will be a good approximation of what you'll be able to handle for the marathon 2 months farther down the road, when you're in peak shapre, fully rested, and focused on your big event."

So, I know my race is not 2 months away, and I didn't even really use this 10-miler as a "time trial" necessarily, but maybe a sub-4 marathon is not so out of reach for me????? Could it be?

Hhhmmmmm.... Guess we will have to see. Guess that is what makes the marathon such an amazing experience! You never really know what to expect!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMPOSSIBLE82 1/24/2011 7:58PM

    It's so interesting to hear how closer you're getting and how far you've come with your training. Like others said, I see no problem shortening your goal time. If you need longer on race day, so what? You'll finish and it will be an amazing accomplishment, no matter what.

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SEEHOLZ 1/24/2011 3:42PM

    I totally know you can! The question is if you really want to or should... the first marathon is all about the EXPERIENCE--- ENJOY that... you'll fall in love with that distance and train for a PR. I bet you even have way more in that tank of yours-- but plenty of time to reach those goals, right?

Do what feels right for you!

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AMOHAME2 1/24/2011 12:23PM

    I know the first marathon is supposed to be a "finish upright and smiling" type of experience, but I don't see any harm in shooting for a few stars in the mean time! With your previous race times, I think you could do a sub-4-hour if you pushed for it. Question is whether or not you want to push yourself or take this first marathon as an incredible unforgettable experience (which it will be no matter what!) and just enjoy the moment. I say go for that 3:59 goal, knowing that even if you don't meet it it's no biggie; you're still a marathoner baby!!!

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IPA-RAY 1/24/2011 12:07PM

    I think 4:00 is a reasonable goal. As you have seen, there are race predictor charts so if you run some shorter races you can check the charts and see if your goal needs to be adjusted. I have found those charts to be faulty for marathon prediction as most people do not do the long runs or increased mileage to make them work.

If there are pacers, you might want to start with the 4:00 pace group and then adjust your pace if necessary after about 10 miles. Some people consider a marathon a 20 mile training run followed by a 10K race. There aren't many who feel like racing after 20 miles but starting with a training run attitude helps prevent going out too fast.

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/24/2011 11:55AM

    Becki said she had no real reason for missing her estimate for her first marathon, but she did - ME!!! I slowed her up the entire first 13.1 miles, but we did have fun! I just like joke about it! I'd have done the same thing!

Seriously though, set your "goal" and then just enjoy the experience!

I know I've been out of the loop lately, and I seriously can't believe its only 5 weeks out!!! WOW


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JENN26POINT2 1/24/2011 11:10AM

    I've read you're supposed to set 3 goals when you run larger races like halfs and fulls... 1st goal is to finish without injury. 2nd goal should be a time you're pretty sure you can reach. 3rd goal is supposed to be a dream goal. Then, no matter what you have done, you will not be disappointed b/c you will have reached at least ONE goal.

Good luck with your training.

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RUCIRANANA 1/24/2011 10:59AM

    Hey Darcy! My paces are right around yours (although easy runs are never slow enough!). I went in to my first thinking the same thing. I was way off due to an injury (both times), but I still wouldn't sell myself short. I would totally go for a 4 hour, but go with the flow and accept whatever comes that day. Could be a BQ, could be GI issues that came out of nowhere and sets you back. I have learned from marathons to: (1) set goals; (2) respect the distance; (3) be willing to go with plan B, C or D if needed.

Good luck and have fun!!!

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MRS_LOOMIS 1/24/2011 10:27AM

    Hey--I say shoot for 3:59:59....what's the worst that can happen? You finish in 4:15:15? Pretty dang good, I think. I'd be ecstatic with a sub 5 hour, so no matter what, the gang here will be proud and excited for you.

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CRZYRUNRGRL 1/24/2011 10:09AM

    It really seems like you have done your homework on this one! I would look at the course too. How many hills/bridges are in it? That will take away from pace as well.
When I was going into my first marathon my friend (and running idol) Magda said to take the first half at a decent easy pace and if you feel like you can kick it up the second half then go for it!
My first marathon I went out too fast and bottomed out after mile 16. I finished but it was HARD! I also had major wind and hills to battle but still, lol!
My second marathon I followed Magda's advise, took it easy going out and picked it up on the way back.
Either way, you will do fantastic! Trust your training, let your legs run and follow your heart!

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MARATHON_MOM 1/24/2011 9:47AM

    A sub-4 hour marathon would be fantastic!!! Personally, I say aim to finish upright, and shoot for the best time for you! I went into my first one hoping for 4:30 and finished in 4:54... no real reason... just took it easier than I thought I would and enjoyed the experience. Plus it rained. LOL

Going into #2, I was shooting for 4:20, but GI problems caused me to miss it by a little and I finished in 4:34.

Your PR's are a little faster than mine, though... and I have the goal of finishing in 3:45 to BQ by March of 2012... so I know YOU CAN DO IT! Go for it!!! Rock that marathon in Boston Qualifying pace!

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AOGOAE 1/24/2011 9:46AM

    I would aim for a 415 or so (something in between 'too easy' and 'possibly attainable') during training, but during the race don't even keep time. Just have fun. I think that's what makes a first race great, whether first 5k or first half marathon- having run and enjoying the accomplishment while you're doing it.
Besides, if you push really hard on the first marathon, it's harder to PR on the second :P

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