When I first decided to run the marathon this year I just wanted to enjoy the run. Two years ago I did it very untrained and had a blast. I PR'd at 10K and at the 1/2 before spiralling slowing down to a crawl......(bad idea) despite that I had a great experience and a lot of fun. I vowed I would do that race again because it was just so fun. Sidenote ....It is very easy to have fun when you have no expectations. I got greedy after signing up this year. I started thinking well if I'm going to run that far maybe I ought to give qualifying for Boston a shot. Of course I had communicated to my coach that I wanted to run the marathon with enough training to have a good handle on the race but didn't want to sacrifice my biking or swimming to do so.
Sidenote...... Some people do great from reading a lot of books and writing there own plan. I have a coach write my plan because I seem to be lazy or crazy when I take these things on solo. For me it seems the most effective and safest way for me to reach my crazy, ever changing goals, and often my goals conflict with each other. Since using a coach/training plan I have improved and suffered fewer injuries. I have also been able to consume more cookies and have my skinny jeans continue to zip. Maybe I should lay off the cookies and focus on zipping a size smaller skinny jeans but then I would be kicked off "The Team in Eating"
About 4 weeks before the race I e-mailed my coach and snuck dropped the line "I was thinking I could shoot for 3:40:59." Do you think it would be a bad idea? (He's probably thinking when he sees my wish list if events.....I can't polish a meatball) Luckily .... he said no problem. I was really excited when he wrote that. I was a little afraid it would say....Jennifer I'm sorry but if you wanted to go sub 3:41 you would have needed to not race Oceanside, WF, Encinitas and the club races. You would have needed to run twice the volume and three times the intensity....Those were my thoughts......not his. Basically he said...sure kid you can have your cake and eat it too.
I heard a bit of flack from others (I didn't solicit) that asked specifically about my time goal, my milage, and my training paces. Regarding not running 20 plus in training and not running long training runs on goal race pace they were not impressed. Hmm, I didn't think either of these were great ideas but what do I know I had never gone under 4 hours before. I wasn't too concerned (well maybe just a little) because these comments were non solicited. Also they were from those who had only ever run one or two marathons. They were not triathletes and they trained on very flat surfaces..... I had a sneaking suspicion that I had some things working in my favor....
Running with Tim, Paul, Elizabeth, Stacy, and Julie. Hah, they are all fast and really big deals. I ran hills with them. Scratch that I was running mountains with them. Hear that mountains.....and those mountains are growing as I type. Running at races with them. Running after races with them. Running on tired legs after riding with them. They saw me run and they all said I could do it. So (hand on my hips) there!
Stacy adviced I shouldn't over think it. She's smart, fast, and even looks pretty when she runs so I believed what she said.
Elizabeth said I could do it IF I rested. She wasn't sure based on my typical behavior that I could rest. When she said that a light bulb turned on in my head I could maybe do it if I rested. I did it. I rested minus the dancing in the kitchen...I figured by not resting I was giving myself an out. I didn't need an excuse. On race day I would hit the start with my best self intact.
Julie said I could do it, no problem. Just not to go out too fast.
Tim said he'd shave his stash if I qualified for Boston. Then he repeated several times he was shaving his stash after the marathon Sunday.
I went to yoga a few times last week and felt great.
Saturday....after my 2 mile warmup run I went to the expo and hung out with Tim at the USCD Orthopedics ask the Experts booth. I'm not sure if I was aloud to hang out there since I am employed by Scripps. Also I am a Medical ICU nurse so my take on "almost" everything is you probably don't need or want surgery ICU Nurses are mean ;) By the way as an athlete if it hurts today.....after 26 miles of running they will really hurt.
We picked up Bruce my father in law at the airport. Bruce is in the final stages of IM Couer D'Alene training. He's kind of a big a big deal....but to him marathons are no big deal.In fact Ironman is not even a big deal he's done 7 of them before. He did a 100 mile bike ride Wednesday and was willing to fly down and support Tim's running. He was really worried about Tim. Tim confessed that he didn't want to run this marathon but his mean wife was making him do it. He was under trained and going to go very slow. Bruce said slow was perfect training for CDA and would be glad to pace Tim to the finish. Then Tim pulled a Jen and said "Well if I'm going to go this far I may as well try to qualify for Boston". Bruce said ....You are on your own kid.
Bruce mentioned that although he enjoys coming to see us. He associates our place with waking up very early and pain. Yeah ....pretty much, except don't leave out the Team in Eating traditions of espresso, cookies, and cream top milk in a glass bottle.
See the twinkle in Bruce's eye. He loves pain. He loves to share the pain with Tim and I. He looks really nice but Warning....Do Not Take The Bait.....I have seen him trick Tim and Seth on bike rides and make them cry. He looks nice and is nice, but is exceedingly dangerous. When he says "Sprint now Jen , Go, Go, Go. Just the next mile and there is a down hill recovery. You you might just be in for the biggest climb you ever did see..... Bruce will do it all without breaking a sweat...... and his eyes will twinkle because he got you again.