Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OC Marathon Goals

Goals. Sometimes they're really hard to put out there. Sometimes you need to, just to hold yourself accountable.

The last time I wrote out race goals, I was feeling way under-prepared, nervous, and kind of just a wreck. That was before Phoenix, all of eight weeks ago. I ran Phoenix, attained my C goal of a strong race (pretty much my strongest race ever), and knew that if I stuck to a plan, I could totally rock at OC. Phoenix became a great mental test of where I stood, and of course physically, given that my longest run had been just 16 miles like seven weeks prior to Phoenix. All being said, Phoenix worked out okay. And then I had a full week of recovery - just walking, yoga - and by the end of the week, I was itching to get out and run. I think that's a good sign.

OC training was all of eight weeks. Eight weeks isn't a lot, but I wasn't starting at point zero either, considering I really count Phoenix as a long run to test my endurance and mental capabilities in handling another 26.2 so soon. Mind you, my first two fulls were TWO YEARS apart, and now here I am running two in eight weeks.

My major goals for training were:
- More longer distance runs (over 13)
- Strength/yoga
- Weight loss

Compared to my other two fulls, I nailed the longer distance runs perfectly. A 15-miler, 16-miler (where I could have kept going), 22 at Ragnar in 30 hours, and capped off two weekends ago with the biggest confidence-boosting 21-miler ever. I built more mileage in during the weeks, often having an 8- or 10-miler on Tuesdays, bookended by 5 each on Monday and Wednesday. Mid-week mileage certainly makes a difference.

21-miler day.
I didn't incorporate strength training (weights, really) in any form, like ever, but practiced yoga weekly at Fleet Feet and a few times, did at-home practice too. I'm proud that I've continued with it and really see what a difference it's making just in terms of my overall strength.

Weight loss was up and down. I don't keep a scale at home (mostly on purpose), but about halfway through training had dropped about 3 pounds. That was about 5 weeks ago, and I have no idea where I stand heading into race day, but I'm feeling better than I've felt in a while. We shall see what kind of difference that makes on Sunday!

With that... here we go! My goals for Sunday's race, marathon #4 lifetime and #2 of 2016.

Goal A: The Elusive Time Goal
Much like Phoenix, I'm leaving this goal to myself. It's a goal for the year, but I honestly feel like with the work I've put in the last eight weeks, it's just maybe attainable this weekend!

Goal B: A PR
That PR still stands from LA (4:52) and I know it's bound to be broken, because I am far better off than I was last year (not to mention those 100-degree heat indexes). I know a PR is in the bag, whether it's 20 minutes or 5 minutes. It's mine.

Goal C: Run a Smart Race
The highs are not super forgiving on Sunday (75 as of Wednesday night), but tolerable, especially given that we're on the coast for the race. I've definitely run in hotter weather, but am hoping I know how to take advantage and still run smart, all things considered.

There we go. Vague on purpose, but I'm hoping that I can at least come back with a pretty killer full marathon PR. Here we go, #4!

Have you run the OC full? Favorite parts? Worst parts?