This post is meant to light a fire under my running ass. That is, I've gone through the summer merrily hitting (and occasionally skipping) my runs without a real target at the end of this training cycle. I wanted this fall to be about a celebration of running and I know once the races are upon me, I'll have an absolutely amazing time.
But I'm in total uncharted territory this fall. This is my racing season and for once I don't have a lofty time goal. The goal is a lot different, but no less daunting.
Part of me wanted to complete my fall with an insane-ish (I know, others have done more) four marathons in four weeks. I even thought I'd put a four marathons in four weeks all under four hours. It would start with the Toronto Marathon, followed by two others before I toed the line at the start of the New York City Marathon. That would have been epic and so much fun.
But then I thought maybe it was a little too much. And then an opportunity presented itself.
Running buddy Fran, who has now been a pace bunny for quite a few raaces, passed my name on to the Running Room and a month later, I just sent in my form to be the 1:45 pacer for the Niagara Falls International Marathon half. That's 5 minute kilometres and I'm raring to start getting that pace down in muscle memory.
So with that in mind, I still have an insane four races in four weeks. Since I respect distance running, I've adjusted my goals.
Week 1: Toronto Marathon, Oct. 17: Run a 3:30 or slower. I call this a relatively conservative marathon but right for the training I've put in. If I have an amazing next 5 weeks, I will adjust faster like a 3:20 but no 3:15 or faster for me this fall.
Week 2: Niagara Falls half, Oct 24: Pace the 1:45s and do my best to run consistent 5 minutes. I can't screw this one up with a blow-up on the course the week before that. If there is an A goal race, this is it.
Week 3: Marine Corps Marathon, Oct 31: Like last year, start off at a 3:45 to 3:50 pace and see how things go. In other words, start it off like a LSD run. Have an absolute blast for a course I've already done three times. (And it's Halloween!)
Week 4: New York City Marathon, Nov. 7: Do it in under four. If slower, who the hell cares, I'll stay on the course for as long as I can. Soak it up. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can not wait for this.
Nov 8. take a break from running for a few days, then plan for a real training winter cause I think I'm signing up for a big race in April.