My 17th marathon is about 6 weeks away, and I'm finishing up my third week of training so I thought I'd write a blog about it all. I really want a 3:25 and PR; this is my third time trying for this time at CIM. In 2014 I pulled my hamstring during a training run and had to take almost a month off of running, so I was happy just to finish it. Last year I was on pace and with the 3:25 group until around mile 21, and I finished with a 3:34. I remember trying not to be disappointed (because it was a BQ and a pretty good time), but I knew what had happened the last few miles. My legs wouldn't go so my mind gave up. I recovered and went for it again about 5 weeks later in January at Arizona Rock 'n' Roll, I felt great and finished with a 3:28:08 (would have been 3:27 if it wasn't for that darn pee break at mile 10). Again, it was the last few miles that got me, but I was able to hold onto a pretty decent pace still. So I still have my goal of a 3:25.
My biggest challenge has been coming off of ultra training this summer with the mindset that I can stop and walk when I'm tired. When you run for 62 miles and 16 hours you're allowed to do that. After several bad runs and just pushing through the summer months after my 100k, I'm finally past that and back to logging my marathon pace runs without stopping (except for an occasional potty break or to get water quickly). I'm glad to have done an ultra, but I think road racing is more for me (check out my past blog posts on that if you're interested).
My biggest goal right now is getting my 3:25 marathon time, so practicing marathon pace (7:45-7:50) is at the top of the list right now. I've been logging around 70-75 miles a week. So, I'll just continue my training for CIM, and then it's Arizona Rock 'n' Roll marathon again in January, and then the Boston Marathon in April, and then the Big Sur International Marathon 13 days later! This will complete my goal I set of running an ultra and then completing my 20th marathon for my 40th birthday year! Whatever goal it is that you set for yourself, just keep working towards it, even when it gets hard! Logging all these miles certainly isn't easy, and some days I don't feel like running in the dark, early mornings by myself. Reaching that goal is always worth it though!