If there’s one thing I’ve learned about planning your racing calendar out, it’s that it’s not set in stone…not even your goal race.
Last fall, I had my eyes on the Wineglass Marathon in October, but after a few weeks during the late summer where I wasn’t feeling great and wasn’t up to long runs, I decided to forego Wineglass and chose the Potomac River Run Marathon in November – which gave me an extra 5-6 weeks of training.
Earlier this year, I signed up for Wineglass again. I wanted that to be my goal race this fall, but after Saucony reached out to me to be part of the 26 Strong program again, I decided, once again, to forego Wineglass and choose a later marathon. I had entry to NYC Marathon, so decided that would be my goal race with the Chicago Marathon with Ruth (as part of 26 strong) as a long training run.
But there’s been this nagging feeling in my stomach about the fall that I couldn’t shake. My worry is that running 26.2 miles in Chicago with Ruth could jeopardize NYC three weeks later. I’m not the type of runner who can run 26.2 miles and recover and then RACE 26.2 miles soon after. I’m concerned that there will be some fatigue from Chicago that is lingering by the time NYC rolls around.
Last fall, I ran NYC with my good friend, John and then raced Potomac two weeks later. Looking back and comparing how I felt running Potomac to how I felt running Boston in the spring and I feel in my heart that I wasn’t 100% recovered from NYC. It can take weeks to fully recover from a marathon and my body needs those weeks. I want to run Chicago with Ruth and enjoy every moment – without worrying about how it will affect me and my racing plans.
So I’ve decided to go back to Wineglass as my goal race. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about the course, scenery and race organization.
The only real downside to this is that Chicago is eight days after Wineglass – not a lot of time. But I spoke with my coach and we have a plan in place to recover hard that week and be ready to run with Ruth the following weekend. (I should add that this is possible because Chicago will not be race effort or pace for me, so some fatigue or soreness won’t (shouldn’t) affect my ability to run with Ruth.)
The NYC Marathon is still up in the air. Part of me would love to run it for fun (since I’m already registered and it would kill me to lose the $250+ registration fee). But I also don’t want to do too much in a short period of time and risk injury or burnout. I ran three marathons in six weeks last fall and felt like that was a lot – not sure how I would do with the same amount but in a shorter period of time.
My last week of running in Alaska was great. I skipped my long run last Saturday (July 4) – woke up with a nasty head cold and the idea of running even 2 miles, let alone 15-16, seemed too much for me. I ended up taking two hour+ long naps and slept 11 hours that night and woke up feeling a hundred times better. After a test run of 7.5 miles on Sunday, my coach and I switched the long run to Monday.
The previous weekend’s 14 miler felt effortless and enjoyable. The 15.5 miler on Monday was the complete opposite. It was warm (75), sunny and hilly and I just never found a rhythm. It was one of those runs where every step is a struggle and you just want to stop.
All of my runs while we were at Nancy Lake (where my in-laws live) were on the bike path along the Parks Highway. It’s the safest, albeit hilliest, place for me to run. It runs north to south from Fairbanks to Anchorage. Last Saturday, I ran south 11.5 miles, then turned around and ran north to Miller’s – a rest stop along the highway that has delicious homemade ice cream – to meet up with my husband, sons and mother-in-law.
15.5: 17:28 (last .5)
15.5 total miles: 2:01:13
7:50 average pace
It was a picture perfect Alaskan summer day – so we beelined back to their home so we could spend the rest of the day swimming in the lake!
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