Within twenty-four hours of completing the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, my wife and I were discussing the next races we’d be doing.  Ceridwen, who had sworn off half marathons following the Derby Mini, has decided that maybe – just maybe – she’ll consider another one, but in the meantime she wants to focus on shorter distances and see what sort of time she can hit if she actually trains for a 5k instead of doing them on a whim or because I’m doing one (or a longer race that has a 5k attached).  I, on the other hand, am stubbornly sticking to my ridiculous goal of qualifying for Boston in the open division.

Realistically, I’ve got until the end of the summer to run a 3:10 marathon.  Registration for Boston 20111 is this fall, and, if recent history is any indication, it will fill up fairly quickly.  Granted, I’m not really all that gung-ho about running Boston, but I figured qualifying in time to have a choice in the matter is a reasonable time limit on the goal.

So, next attempt is in just over five weeks: the Sunburst Races Marathon; from the Hall of Fame to Notre Dame as they say.  Ceridwen will run the 5k and I’ll hit the marathon.  South Bend, Indiana is fairly close to Elkhart, Indiana, the RV Capital of the US, which we’ve been meaning to visit to take RV geek factory tours, so that will be our first post-Louisville stop on our meandering route to Denver2.

What this all comes down to is this: I’ve been contemplating over the last couple of days3 what was so different between my preparation for the Museum of Aviation Marathon in January, where I PRed by over 10 minutes and finally broke 3:30, and this past weekend, where I regressed from that point by over 15 minutes?

Yes, Louisville is far hillier than the Robbins Air Force Base.  Yes, I consciously pushed harder at the start of Louisville than I did in Warner-Robins, but I’ll be doing that again in five weeks, so I need to focus on the prep work that I did differently.  Right?

What’s Missing

  1. Cross Training – We didn’t get out a lot, but I did ride my bike far more often leading up to January than I did in April.  Also, after January, I completely dropped core workouts – which is really inexcusable given the fact that I’m married to a personal trainer.  So, step 1, some freakin’ sit ups and upper leg workouts.
  2. Hills – I don’t know how I missed them.  In Brunswick, GA, where I was living leading up to MoA, sports the lovely Sidney Lanier Bridge, with it’s sexy 480 foot rise in just over 8/10th of a mile.  I hit that at least a half dozen times in the weeks leading up to the marathon, but didn’t find (or, frankly, seek out) anything comparable in the intervening months.  Florida was (and presumably still is) wicked flat, especially the routes I had available on Route 1, and while there are some hills in Shepherdsville, I haven’t done any specific hillwork.  Easy to remedy.  Damn it.
  3. Easy Run Pace – In leading up to January, I didn’t really have a target pace for my easy runs and they ended up being about a 7:30-7:45 pace most days.  Post-January, I tried to follow my training plan more accurately and stick to 8:35ish paces.  As a result, I had several long runs that I wasn’t able to maintain for the full distance.  Time to move my target paces from computer generated numbers to heartrate and PRE based targets!
  4. Beer – My wife claims I was drinking more beer during my training for January.  Mostly due to hitting pub trivia more often.  But, overall, I’m pretty sure it’s not that big a discrepancy.  What I do know is that I’ve definitely put on a few pounds.  So, perhaps we’ll try the less beer approach (and maybe a few less Indian buffets) and focus on not having to haul quite as much me around South Bend.

Let’s see how this goes.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Which will be on my father’s birthday; wouldn’t that be a hoot?
  2. Where we’ve registered for the Warrior Dash, bought Megadeth and Social Distortion tickets, and hope to finally take part in a SkirtSports SkirtChaser 5k.
  3. Days of “recovery” taken to a new level of lazing about due to gross, wet weather.