Setting Race Goals for 2015

Hi there! How has your week been? I figure it’s a safe bet to assume most of you are scrambling to tie up loose ends before the holiday, but I hope you have a good vacation planned just around the corner. I’m hopping on a flight to Maryland after work tomorrow night, and I’ll be spending eight days just relaxing at home with my family. I’m pumped and thankful I get to go home a few days before Christmas so I can throw myself in to the holiday spirit. Christmas completely crept up on me, as usual.

Work has slowed down a ton since the insanity of October, but the rest of my life has been nuts. All good things, but crazy between so much travel and feeling the need to pack every night since I’m in Boston so rarely. This week for example – Life Alive with my old high school/college friend Caroline on Monday, networking event on Tuesday, dinner with Chris and Celtics game last night, and cooking dinner for friends again tonight. I hate being one of those people complaining about being “so busy” when I’m choosing to do all those things, so let this be my disclaimer that I realize I say yes a little too much and I’m fully ready for some down time.

On the workout front these days, I am finally starting to feel a little more like myself this week. Meaning I don’t feel like I’m crawling on a three mile run and getting jello legs after two stadium sections. I kicked off Monday with a great NP workout of bear crawls, side shuffles and step ups that had my bum sore through Wednesday. Tuesday I told you about already, and I did a full tour of 37 sections at the stadium yesterday. My calves and legs felt a little dead this morning so I opted for biking an hour on my trainer, chased with some yoga and core work afterwards. I’m keeping a tracker so my coach knows exactly what I’ve been up to in this down time when we start training January 4th.

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So, what I am training for? A 3:25 at the Eugene Marathon on May 10th, and a 3:25 (or faster) at the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon on May 24th. Yes, I realize those races are two weeks apart. Hear me out. Marathons are a beast, a beast with many factors that are outside of your control – namely it just “not being your day” (a phrase that makes no sense to non-runners but otherwise understood) or weather conditions. I’m gunning for 3:25 so I leave nothing to chance to get my Boston 2016 bib, and Eugene (Oregon) will be my goal race. If I hit 3:25 then I can run Mountains 2 Beach two weeks later for fun, and if something doesn’t go as planned at Eugene I’ll spend the next two weeks recovering and go again at Mountains 2 Beach – a fast, downhill course in southern California.

When I sent my coach a few May options and he chose two races two weeks apart, I’ll admit I was very skeptical. Then the more we talked, the more it made sense. This won’t impact my training much at all with Eugene as the goal race, and a two week recovery with bursts of speed to freshen up the legs for M2B. This also takes a little mental pressure off at Eugene knowing I have another shot a few weeks later. I don’t want to retrain for BQ shape again all through the summer and run a September race in the heat right before registration opens again. It’s not the “normal” way of doing things, but I’m not normal either and it works for me.

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When training starts on January 4th I’m focusing on 5ks with a lot of speed work. This will be a big change as an exclusively long distance runner, but 5ks are going to help me train the mental side of things. These shorter races will allow me to reach that point when I want to quit in a race, when everything is hurting and I think I can’t go any further, and then I push through. After six or so weeks of that, I’ll pick up mileage and transition in to marathon training.

I’m setting some other non-running related goals for 2015 too, but I’ll share those in another post. I’m so excited to get started, and it makes me want to savor every moment of training-plan-free holiday relaxation the next few weeks knowing what’s coming. Boston 2016, our date’s a little too up in the air for me so I’m taking care of it. See you in Hopkinton.

What are your goals for 2015?

Have you ever run two long races back to back?

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