How far in advance do you plan your races?
I like to “sketch” them in about a year in advance, but it never ever goes the way I plan. I usually end up adjusting things every couple of months.
So, yeah, I planned my next goal before I ran the marathon last weekend. Planning my next adventure before I’ve done my current one helps me avoid the post-race blues. Since I already had something to look forward to, I wasn’t sad when the marathon journey was over!
My next goal is not a marathon. I am signed up to do another marathon, however, but it’s not until June. I registered for the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon last month when it was like $60. I’m such a sucker for a cheap marathon!
I have not quite decided if I will run the full or downgrade to the half. Part of me wants to run 26.2 again. I want to see if I can do better. But part of my just wants to leave it alone.
It’s just that I feel the need for some marathon redemption. But not against the distance; against myself. Does that make sense?
Here are the reasons why I think I didn’t do as well as I could have at Beat the Blerch:
- My training was not consistent. Afraid of injuring myself, I cut back my weekly mileage rather drastically. The plan I was using relied on weekly mileage, which is why my long run was only 18 miles—it was supposed to be about the accumulation of miles throughout the week. Consistency in running is huge. Whatever you do, be consistent.
- My heart and mind weren’t in the race. I had sort of given up on the distance during the middle of my training, and then by the time I got back on board, it was too late to make up lost runs.
- I underestimated the gravel trail. Out of my control, but I didn’t mentally plan for it to be a factor.
- I underestimated a 9-mile long incline, even if it was only slightly inclined. Again, out of my control, but I should’ve mentally planned for it.
- I got plantar fasciitis from running in too-small shoes (I think from trying the Hokas), and was trying to rest my foot. (See first bullet point.) Rookie mistake. I should know better.
- I spoke negatively about the distance a lot. I wasn’t as positive as I should have been.
Besides inconsistency (which really is also a mental thing), the biggest factor in my race outcome was my mind. I recently heard about a book coming out called The Runner’s Brain by Dr. Jeff Brown. Listening to an interview with Dr. Brown, I realized that my brain wasn’t trained for the marathon. If I really had wanted to beat my time from my first marathon, I should’ve been more mentally prepared.
I’m not disappointed in my marathon at all. I didn’t deserve to PR. I didn’t do the work. I didn’t have the right attitude. I finished. And that’s all I was trained for. J
I do have a half marathon coming up on Oct. 11–the Snohomish River Run! But I plan to take it easy.
Now, for my next big adventure…
I sat down with my Believe Training Journal the week before the marathon and thought about what I really want.
- I want to be fit.
- I want to be fast.
- I want to have fun.
As we have seen, the marathon distance does not help me achieve any of those things. LOL
What sort of distance aligns with my wants? The 5K, of course!
- Here’s my goal: PR in the 5K. (My PR now is 23:45.)
- Here’s my “Can I?” goal: Break 21:00 in the 5K. (My PR from high school.)
- Here’s my “Scary” goal: Break 20:00 in the 5K!
The good news is that I love the 5K distance—takes me back to my cross country days, which I didn’t love at the time, but that I now look back at fondly.
5Ks are hard if you race them. And I also love that. I just went back and read my recap of the See Jane Run 5K I raced with Kim in 2014. It made me excited to race again.
These are big goals. PRing in a shorter distance takes work. But training for the distance is more manageable with work, family and other hobbies, like blogging.
I think I could reach my first goal on my own, but my other two goals are lofty and I don’t know that I could do it alone. So…
I might be in the market for a running coach. Have you ever hired a running coach? How would I go about finding one?
I’d be looking for three things in a coach:
- Someone who believes in strength training (because I love strength training and I really want to incorporate it into my running better than I’ve been able to do by myself).
- Someone who understands I can’t run more than four days a week. Because injuries.
- Someone who is affordable! (This may mean they coach virtually over the Internets.)
Do you know someone? Hook me up!