Today's the day. I am officially 16 weeks out from the April 19th, 2010 Boston Marathon, which means training starts TODAY. I've blown the dust off the Furman Run Less, Run Faster training book and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new treadmill.
Unlike this past July when I was pumped to begin my training, I find myself struggling mentally with the task that lies ahead. I trained really hard this summer for Chicago--mentally and physically. I was religious about sticking to the training plan and not missing a single workout. And it paid off. I shaved 31 minutes off my PR (personal record) and qualified for Boston. But I had a goal in July. I desperately wanted to run under a 4-hour marathon and--once the training took hold and I realized what I might be capable of--to qualify for Boston.
Right now... eh. I want to run Boston in under 4 hours but I don't know that I'm looking to better my time. I'm still feeling a little burnt out. Not on running, but on the idea of a constant push, push, push to get better, go further, get faster. I'm thinking I might modify the training plan. Instead of running intervals every week, I may alternate between intervals and hills. Although I lost my hill running partner, Barefoot Josh, to a nasty almost-frostbite injury. (It's all about me, Josh. Always.)
Being honest, I foresee a LOT of this training being done on a treadmill. Part of the draw this summer was that we had a Furman training group. Six of us dedicated to the plan and meeting twice a week for tempo and long runs. I'm a social runner - love the company. I'm going to have to do some fast talking or come up with bribes to get friends to go out on some 15 and 20 mile longs runs with me this winter.
However, I am curious to see what I'm capable of. This summer, the idea of running an 8:35 pace for 6 miles, let alone a marathon, was a stretch. Now, that's a comfortable pace for me, which means I'm starting off on a higher level. We'll see if the initial training feels any easier or still leaves me a sopping mess on the floor at the end of a workout. (I'd put my $$ on "sopping mess.")
"Beantown Bound" -- my new mantra.