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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a little background. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Oct and did very well but missed a BQ. So, I decided to piggy back off that training and push onward with a goal of Five Points of Life Marathon on Feb 23. The SNAFU is that we have been planning a wedding and renovating my back yard for it. So, since Marine Corps I have missed or reduced three of my long runs. I have gotten in an 18 miler, a 21 miler (last weekend) and I was going to do a 22 miler the day before my wedding (Fri 1-25-I would run that). I lost my training partner for the last two weeks and though I have gotten mileage a few of my speedworks have been run "diffferently" than scheduled. This wedding has really made things tough...<br><br>
Soooo, should I push my marathon to March 30th and do ING Atlanta instead as my BQ qualifier goal race? Should I just take a deep breath and stick to my goal race in Feb? and if I do push the date, how do I modify my training schedule to put on 1 more month (specifically the long runs)---we usually do a 2 week taper only. Help, please.
 

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TJ, kudos for you for juggling hard training and wedding planning. You are officially Superwoman!<br><br>
Sounds like your first question is "What should I do?" No one but you can make that choice about what to do with your training and races, because goal races can be so near and dear to the heart. I think I can imagine how I would feel about planning for a wedding and where racing might factor in to my life at that point, but everyone is different!<br><br>
Your post brought some questions to my mind that might help you figure it out.<br><br>
What do you mean by "differently" for your speed workouts?<br>
Are you still planning the 22 for Friday?<br>
How does your body feel -- any hurty spots, and are you energized?<br>
How is your motivation feeling in regard to the Feb. race? How about focus/mindset?<br>
How do the two courses compare? Any advantages with one or the other?<br><br>
With decisions sometimes I like to list the pro's and con's out. But sometimes you just have to listen to your gut, too.<br><br>
If you did decide the later race, I'm sure your training could be modified accordingly.<br><br>
Good luck figuring this out. I know you will find a smart solution for you. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> When you do we will be here to help you prepare for your best race that day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In response to SGH:<br><br>
My big hang-up is that I really want to BQ. My fear is that my training hasn't been "good enough" although I never feel it has been. If I miss it here, it will be next nov/dec before I can even try again.<br><br>
I feel motivated most days but I am struggling without my running partner to get it done in the morning and so I am squeezing it in elsewhere in the day. I get it in, though. This juggling is something I am not used to and is one reason I feel insufficient. If I push it out, he will be able to run the race with me, which is a HUGE mental barrier.<br><br>
I *knock on wood* never have aches and pains really, I am proud that I am very effective is preventing this and kicking it in the butt when it does arise.<br><br>
I really think my fatigue is mostly to do with wedding stuff. I am still going to do the 22 on Fri. Everyone kows it and they have been told that there is nothing more important for me to do that day, than to get my run in. My mom will protect my run from intrusion because she does not want to have to deal with a daughter who is stressed, afraid she looks fat, running in 17 direction AND missed her run <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> no way, no how.<br><br>
I guess it will come down to my gut. I don't know if I can run a marathon without Snooze, though. I am scared. I have never run without him. Thanks fror replying.
 

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Again no two people or their experiences are the same, but FWIW:<br><br>
I went into my BQ marathon with some doubts. I had done all my scheduled runs mileage-wise, but my tune-up race times weren't what I wanted. I hadn't done enough tempo work and the tempo runs I had done had ALL sucked. It was a little too warm for me on race day. But stronger than those things was the calm feeling like I knew I could do it so I just gave those doubts up and decided not to worry over them and give it everything I had despite not "perfect" training -- is there such a thing anyway?<br><br>
I don't have a race partner the same way you do with Snooze, but I have experienced being able to bring someone into a race with me with my mind & heart and it was very helpful in my BQ race. I know you did that at MCM when you & Snooze were separated and that it pushed you a lot. If you run Five Points, wouldn't you & Snooze be able to figure out some kind of plan for him to spectate you at several points and even pace you in at the end if he's feeling good enough? Then you'd have that to look forward to in the race as a motivator.<br><br>
That's great you will have everything set up for Friday's run. Keep putting it out there that you will have a very successful 22 -- maybe see how you feel after that one?<br><br>
Also whatever you did at Five Points would be marathon experience and learning ... yes? So in that way, no matter what, it would lead to your BQ.
 

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I don't personally see a good reason to run your original race - you can very easily push your training back, get things back on track when you are feeling less stressed, and have a much better chance to hit your Boston qualifying time. I just don't see you listing any benefits for shooting for a marathon in February other than that it was your original plan. If you wait, you can relax and enjoy your wedding and a little bit of time afterwards, have someone to run the race with, and get in the training you need to achieve your goals. I might advise differently if you said that your training runs had all been going great and showed that you were ready to rock, but that is not what I'm hearing. I also think you can not overestimate the toll that stress takes on you physically. I frequently try to push through non-running stress because I convince myself that it isn't related to my running and in order to not be pathetic, and instead I have often wound up injured.<br><br>
So, if I were you, I'd relax, run a little shorter the day before your wedding, enjoy this major event in your life, and then pick things back up. Take your training back a month or so ago in your training plan and start it over. You won't lose anything. If you feel the benefits from your training that you have already put in, just allow your paces to be faster, but stick with the program more or less.<br><br>
Whatever you do, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the feedback!<br><br>
So, I went for a 5 miler today and here are some of the thoughts I had:<br><br>
First, my legs are "heavy". If I tell myself the truth, that is the facts. I have not really been doing as much as I should to keep them fresh, and therefore, they are not. I think what I am going to do is kinda do a taper this week to prepare for a really positive long run the day before the wedding. A chance to "walk through how I got to this point....a run for reflection and to remind me that I CAN do this." Then I am taking the next week off of running completely and running the Surf City Half marthon on our honeymoon, in costume, slow. I will use that as a reminder that I love running and it can fun, dammit! Then I will restart a shortened version of my original Marine Corps plan that I like so much and I will add in some SCHEDULED yoga classes and cycling for cross-training. March 30th I will run Atlanta ING marathon. By then, Snooze will be able to have two weeks full recovery and redo the mileage build with me ( he REALLY wants to break 4 hours, himself). I think taking the next two weeks off/light will be HUGE!
 

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I have heard that ING Atlanta is very hilly. Being a fellow Floridian, we don't get as much practice on the hills. Good luck on whichever you decide! I am sure you will do great! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmmmmm. well now that would make things interesting, huh? <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> Or I will just have to be extra awesome???? maybe? Oy!
 

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Toe Jam, yeah ING GA is quite hilly. I don't know if I'd be going for a BQ there (not that I could BQ anywhere at this point!) coming from a flat area. If you're good on hills or plan on finding some hilly routes to run, then I say no problem!
 

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I think that sounds like a fantastic plan, Toe Jam! It can be very easy to lose sight of why we are training so hard, and recovering the joy is essential to continued success - to succeed you have to go back to when the only thing that mattered was that you were out there at times. And I do think that the extra time to resume the things that will keep you healthy and best able to achieve your goals will more than make up for hills. Just find a way to incorporate some hill training into your running, if possible.
 

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TJ-<br><br>
I hear you on the urgency to run a good one. Summer training in Florida is a tough task to do well and I understand if you don't want to wait for the late Fall for your next try.<br><br>
That said, I see your training has been up-and-down, especially with consistency. I wonder, do you have any recent race performances that indicate an equivalent BQ marathon performance? A good guide for a budding BQ'er like you, is to have an equivalent perfomance in the 10k to HM that betters your BQ equivalent marathon time. Better yet is an equivalent performace that beats your BQ time by about 10 minutes. Note that the charts of equivalent performance (VDOT or Mcmillan) are a guide and not a predictor. It accounts for equal amount of training for the distance.<br><br>
You should have a ballpark estimate of your capability by this time. Do you know?<br><br>
I encourage you rather than to make BQ your main goal, to make "running your best marathon" your goal. In reality, you might not be there yet. But you can get there, by training to run to your current potential. You have a better chance of running to your potential than to the aribitrary goal of 3:40.<br><br>
Think of it this way: When you race in Feb or March and make an new PR, but possibly not BQ, you will not be disappointed. Yet if you set out to race at a level you are not ready for, you could have a really bad experience that leaves your really unsatisfied.<br><br>
Another point is that training for a peak marathon is a game of chance. We all know a marathoner who was in peak shape and because of external forces such as weather that they did not get to run their best race. I can speak from experience that it may take several tries before getting the ideal day to race. Do not get discourage if it does not come on your very next attempt.<br><br>
There is a way to train for your marathon in Feb or March. You can add and adjust workouts to meet your available time remaining.<br><br>
In the end, I think that no matter what happens in your next race (BQ, PR, or bomb) that you will gain more experience in marathoning for the next time.<br><br>
I think you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Using a full training cycle with a progressive and phased system is your best chance for a marathon PR.<br><br>
Keep us posted on your choices. You have a lot going on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That is fantastic advice Roots! My last 5K in October predicted me to be a 3:46, i think, marathon (6 min slow) but I have since run Marine Corps and my training runs are quite a bit faster since then. Especially my long runs which have averaged a 9:00-9:10 average with the last 2-3 miles at marathon pace.<br><br>
You are right though, that I need to change my focus. I can feel the pressure of failure taking some of the fun out of it already. Thanks again!
 

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becca, no advice but keep us posted! i think its amazing that you will be running 22 miles the day before your wedding (did i read that right?!). thats another level of dedication <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> go you!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Missy! In light of my decision to take 2 weeks off of "forced running" I am going to run until I feel satisfied tomorrow and that is all. So who knows how far I will go.. This week has been so much fun sleeping in and not worrying about what runs to do and oh my gosh I have to get to bed right now so I can wake up! I took cycling class on Tues which I never get to do and lifted some big time weights which I have been slacking on and my butt is sore but my legs are fresh and I feel almost ready to start worrying about training again <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I always suggest to people to take a week off but I never take that advice myself. I am so glad I did <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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