Last week I was tinkering with potential marathon training schedules for Portland. I planned on a 12-week plan, which would allow me to start it in July. That seemed long enough considering that I still have a good base. My idea (which I did adopt) was to jump into an 18-week format around Week 5.
But as I plotted out the long runs from week to week it seemed apparent that Week 5/my Week 1 should be the week that ended with the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. (This week!) That would be equivalent to a 14-mile long run (with a warm-up), and subsequent weeks would fall right into line.
That leaves a couple of extra weeks to play with, which is good because I do have plans on a couple of weekends that don't fit nicely into the training plan. I figure I can just slip those weekends in and resume the "plan" the following week.
I still have some tinkering to do, as I have only actually written out the "long run" schedule and the remainder of each week still needs to be specified. I'm sure I'll work with my usual pattern of one recovery/general aerobic run, one speedwork (track or tempo), one marathon pace run, and one long run each week. I managed to narrowly avoid scheduling a 20-miler on a weekend when I am going to be out of town with Rod and his sister. Somehow I think my spending half a day running would not add a lot to our weekend plans!
I am feeling pretty good about the Rock 'n' Roll half on Saturday, as well as the weeks of training to follow. All my runs lately have been good. Last Wednesday I did eight half-mile intervals all under 8-minute pace. On Friday I did 6.36 miles GA (I had to be at work early). Then there was the 5K race on Saturday and a great long run on Sunday, 13.28 miles at sub-9:30 average pace.
Today, though the first day of the training plan, is a non-running day. I think it's always good to start marathon training with a semi-rest day, don't you?