It Is What It Is: Marathon Training Is Almost Done!

I have a marathon in three weeks!

Do I feel ready?  I'm glad you asked.  No, I do not.  But it is what it is.

Road marathons are not my cup of tea anymore, it seems.  I have felt so beaten up after my three 16.5 milers and my 18 miler.  Pavement + my body = yuck. (Spoken like a true trail runner!)

This was not always the case. Not so long ago, I was running 2 or 3 road marathons a year.  I suppose my body has gotten spoiled on trails.  Pounding pavement isn't as fun as it once was.

You know what I like?  I like a good, hard 10-miler on pavement.  Or even the occasional 13.1 mile race or training run.  But 10 miles feels like the maximum I can run comfortably on pavement these days.

The IT Band is doing great though.  Since the cortisone shot, it doesn't hurt at all.  I wish I hadn't waited a year to get it!

For the upcoming marathon, my first since October (in which I fell completely apart), I have done one 14-miler (trail), one 15-miler, three 16.5-milers, one 17-miler (trail), and one 18-miler.  I have struggled with several of the runs; however, the 17 and 18 went pretty well.  Today, my legs felt tired, and I'm sure I underfueled for the distance.  It was an ok run, but I slowed significantly in the later miles.  Two weeks ago, I held it together pretty well through the end of my 18.  FYI-- I don't believe in 20-milers anymore.  At my particular pace, an 18-miler takes around 3:20 or so, and after that, there can be diminishing returns.  Many articles support the 3-hour MAX long run.

Either way, I'm DONE.  I consider taper starting THIS MOMENT.  Next weekend, I am running the Oak Barrel Half Marathon with my husband.  I'm going to run it easy, close to goal marathon pace.  I'd love to run the marathon around a 10:45 pace, so I'll probably run the half around 10:15-10:30.  No stress.  Last year, I think we finished in 2:17.  He'll most likely PR.  I told him he could leave me behind since I want to run easy.  :-)  

The following week, I'm only running 7 or 8 miles as my long run, so that I can start the Carmel Marathon on rested legs.   Rested legs sounds nice.  I don't think I have a PR in me right now.  Maybe I'll just be content with that 4:36 marathon time from a few years ago.

Training just didn't quite come together as I'd hoped.  I'd love to have had a few long runs that I finished STRONG.  That didn't happen, but it'll be ok.  Hopefully, I can at least come in under 5:00!

A goal:  4:39  best case scenario-- unlikely (10:38 pace)  Maybe the MAGIC of race day?
B goal:  4:44   (10:49 average per mile)
C goal:  under 5 hours  (11:24 pace)   Should be managable!
D goal:  just to finish and not hate running by the end.