"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Friday, November 26, 2010

2011 is here (even if it's not even December yet)

2011 came more quickly than I anticipated last night when my sister-in-law announced a  March 12th wedding date in Las Vegas (where my in-laws live). Travel time and expenses accounted for, I had to drop plans for one marathon (Salt Lake City on April 16th) but was able to add another (Red Rock Canyon). Fortunately or unfortunately, Red Rock is only 14 weeks away...so much for taking a few weeks off. So here how 2011 shapes up:

March 5th, 2011:     Red Rock Canyon Marathon (Las Vegas, NV)
June 4th, 2011:        Newport Marathon (Newport, OR)
June 25th, 2011:      Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (Seattle, WA)
July 4th, 2011:         Foot Traffic Flat Marathon (Portland, OR)

I missed on becoming a Marathon Maniac this year by two days. The bronze level criteria is three marathons in 90 days...the Pocatello Marathon (my third) came on day 92. Not in 2011. It's an ambitious schedule but one I don't feel any hesitation about. I know how my body recovers and feel confident in my abilities to run all four of these events. I'm hoping to add a fifth marathon in the fall, but I haven't found one that is economically feasible right now.

As an added bonus, I'd really like to run the local "mini-marathon" in my hometown on July 4th. This is the race that got it all started for me in 2008 and my goal is to run the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon and the Monmouth-Independence Mini-Marathon. Logistically is just might work. The marathon begins at 6:45am and it's about an 80 mile drive down I-5 back to Monmouth, where the 2.6mile race begins at 11:45ish. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but if I can finish the marathon in the 3:45 range (my goal for next year and the Foot Traffic Flat is just that) and all goes well, I just might be able to pull it off. And if not, I'll settle in and watch the parade with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends and then go enjoy the rest of the day (my 29th birthday also) at my grandparents' house in their pool.

I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how I need to change my training for the coming year. Coming into 2010, I had very little, if any, running base to speak of. Now I've got a year of consistent running under my belt and could go run 15 miles on any given day and not sweat it. Mileage isn't a problem. Cross-training, however, is a problem. I don't do any. And if there's one thing I think would make a difference between mile 20 and the finish line, it's adding a consistent core strengthening program.

I'm also realistic about my time, or lack of it. I'm not any less busy than I was at this time last year and a four running days per week schedule bordered on too much. For the next 14 weeks I'll be using Hal Higdon's 3-day per week program. I like the principles behind it and feel good about Mr. Higdon's purpose for each run. I'll spend two days a week doing the RevAbs program as my core strengthening component and then I take two days a week, Sunday and Friday, to completely rest. I'll have a few months between Red Rock and Newport so I can adjust things if necessary, but for now this is what I'm going with.

While cleaning some things in my garage this morning, I glanced up at the wall where I put all of my race bibs, finishing medals, pictures, etc and thought about the last 14 months: three marathons, five half marathons, two 15ks, a 10k and a 5k. Who'd have thought? 2011 is here, even if it's only December. It's cold outside. It's wet. It's dark. It's miserable. I dislike all of these things, but for marathon training it's perfect. It separates those who will put in the work regardless of the conditions and those who will make excuses why they can't. For those who endure it, the reward will be there on race days next spring.

No comments: