My running group fires up this week with our first "getting to know you" run on Tuesday, July 1st. That means it's time to get serious about marathon training which involves a whole series of "goals and resolutions" that musn't, under any circumstances, be broken, the exception being if I am really, really, craving chocolate. =)
I'm running the Richmond, VA marathon in November. My goal is to run under a 4-hour marathon. I don't care if my time is 3:59:59, I just want a "3" to kick off the number. To obtain that goal, I've rejoined my running group which means group runs on Tues/Thurs/Sundays. I'll also throw in a trail run with friends on Wednesdays and--if I have the stamina for it--another run on Saturday.
I'm determined to follow Hal Higdon's Intermediate II Marathon Training Program (http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/inter2.html) which requires a Saturday Tempo run that's half the distance of my Sunday long run. The Tempo run is to help me increase my speed, which is sadly lacking. I'm a little concerned about the time commitment involved here. Running aside, that's a lot of drive time and I'm pretty much spent after most Sunday long runs. But I'm going to hold that "3" in my mind...
Another resolution is to eat healthier. I don't do a bad job now but I'm going to work on my snacking. Right now I'm prone to pick up some form of bread, cracker, cereal for a snack, and I want to replace that with reaching for fruits and vegetables instead.
I also want to lose 10-15 lbs. Five pounds is a no-brainer, 10 lbs is do-able, and 15 is a bit of a fantasy but it's early enough in the process that I dare to dream. Make no mistake--I don't think I can lose 15 lbs and keep it off. But I think the rule is you run 1 minute faster per marathon for every pound shed. Losing that excess weight is a huge help for a race.
I've also started ab work. Bleah!!! I'd rather run a mile than do a sit-up. But my lower back aches every step after 15 miles and that's due to lack of core strength.
And then of course, I want to keep up with my yoga for flexibility. Realistically, I'll only be able to go 2x/week. But that and stretching ought to keep me limber enough.
Whew! It sounds like a lot and it is, but I'm excited. I so want to nail that marathon time this year. And that will require training at a faster pace than I did last year, with more discipline on diet and core training.
But this weekend I'm doing what every dieter shouldn't. I'm throwing myself a "To hell with it, I'm eating whatever I want" weekend. And I have a package of chocolate-chip cookie dough in my cupboard to prove it.