And now it is just under two weeks to the Twin Cities Marathon (on October 7). This will truly be an experiment in running marathon-plus distances in short time periods. Last year I had eight weeks between Portland and Tucson, and there will be eight weeks between Twin Cities and Honolulu in December, but this is just a four week interval between the McKenzie River 50K and the Twin Cities Marathon. It truly remains to be seen what my legs will do about this.
The meaning of my title regarding hope springing eternally is that I still have hope for a decent performance in TCM despite all indications that I will be slow, slow, slow. My definition of a decent performance has flip-flopped many times and it certainly doesn't include anything close to a PR or sub-4. I vary between what should be a reasonable goal of 4:15 and hoping to at least be under 4:30. However, I am aware that I had that same type of goal for the Seattle Marathon a couple of years ago and Boston in 2011 and I finished those in 4:37 and 4:34, respectively. So...we shall see.
My post-MRTR pre-Twin Cities training looked like this.
Week 1 -
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - Rest and elliptical
Thursday - 5.5 mile easy run.
Friday - elliptical
Saturday - 7.5 miles
Sunday - 10 miles
Week 2 -
Monday - 7 miles
Tuesday - elliptical
Wednesday - 7-ish miles
Thursday - supposed to run but switched to elliptical
Friday - 5.75 miles (run shortened due to GI problems)
Saturday - 18 miles
Sunday - bike ride 18 miles
Week 3 - this week
Monday - 7 miles with leaden legs
Tuesday - elliptical
Wednesday - I am thinking some marathon pace miles
Thursday or Friday - MP miles on one day, elliptical on the other
Saturday - rest and/or bike ride
Sunday - Bellingham Bay Half Marathon
Week 4 - next week
TBD. We are flying out on Wednesday so maybe short runs on Monday and Tuesday, travel on Wednesday, short run on Thursday, rest on Friday and Saturday. Or if I feel trashed after Bellingham Bay maybe I will just cross-train on Monday. We'll see.
In my head I have created two tests which will help indicate how TCM might go. One of them was my 18-miler on Saturday. It actually went pretty well (except for feeling nauseous in the last two miles). I did a variation on a training run I read about on Active.com (here is the article). In my version I did six miles slow (11-minute average pace, but that included a one-mile hill), then five miles at alternate marathon pace/half marathon pace per half mile. I think my marathon pace segments varied from 9:45-10:15. The half marathon parts were probably 9:15-9:45. I don't know exactly because I didn't hit the lap button when I switched from MP to HMP. After that I ran the remaining miles around 10:15 pace. I had switched from a paved trail to a busy road with bad shoulders so I couldn't do anything fancy.
The conclusion from that run? Well, 10:15 seems to be about the pace I am running with moderate effort on a pretty good day on a long run. Not sure how that will translate to the marathon though. (I know, it would literally translate to just under 4:30, if I ran the exact same pace.)
My other test will be the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon on Sunday. My history with Bellingham Bay and subsequent marathons is...2009 BB in 1:53, CIM in 3:59 (although CIM was two months later). 2011 BB in 1:58, Portland Marathon one week later in 4:15. Both times I was running the half marathon at best effort pace, not marathon effort pace. This time I am planning on some sort of hybrid best effort/marathon effort pace. Meaning I'll just do it however I feel on the day.
Unfortunately my efforts to lose a few pounds before TCM have been pretty unsuccessful. I feel like I may have even gained a couple since MRTR. This topic is a frustration that could make a whole other post. Bottom line is, I can't really do anything too drastic at this point. So I will save my