As of tomorrow, I will be 8 weeks away from my next marathon, the Carmel Marathon (hard to believe that I have been training for 10 weeks). Carmel is a little special for me, it is where I scored my first BQ.
Would I rather be running in Boston two days later? You better believe it. But the bank account tells me that is not going to happen. So Carmel is a great second choice. The race starts and finishes in downtown Carmel (an upscale suburb of Indianapolis) and runs through beautiful neighborhoods and uses some of the great bike paths the town has to offer. While running the full, my wife, Tina, will be running her second half marathon. We have looked over the course maps and have figured out that at some point in the race, I should pass her. That will probably come closer to the end of her race.
I did something at the beginning of this training cycle that I have never done before, I hired a coach. I enlisted the help of a friend of mine, JakeGillette (you can follow him on Twitter @mach3jake) after a somewhat disappointing 2014. Training started off a little shaky but has really gotten a lot better. The problems really on we’re actually a result of a huge cramp I received following the Monumental Marathon in my right calf. Tina says it looked really bad. I didn’t actually see it as I just fell to the floor in the hotel room in pain.
The soreness from that cramp took a long time to go away and it really affected my stride while running. At that point, I probably should have taken some time off but instead, I kept pushing through the soreness. After training picked back up again, my Achilles started to hurt. Once again, should have taken time off, but pushed through it. Then finally, I tried something new. Along with icing, I started using KTtape. I noticed a huge difference in how my Achilles felt and after about two weeks, the pain was gone. It’s been a few weeks and I have not felt any pain since.
Besides the nagging pain, I have really been noticing improvements in my speed work. Due to having a coach and respecting him and the workouts he is providing me, I can’t share exactly what the workouts are. Besides, they are based on my individual abilities, strength, and goals. That’s the advantage of having a coach, especially one that you already know and have raced against (well, at least ran in the same races. I would never say that I have actually challenged Jake in any way).
An example of how speedwork outs have been improving. Yesterday I did the same workout that I did back in mid December. It consisted of running 5 intervals, each being a different time length. All 5 intervals were completed with a greater amount of distance than back in December. In my oppionion, it wasn’t really close. It felt awesome!
The long runs are feeling great. When the goal is to run at marathon goal pace, I have been able to do it (except for the exception of last weekend when I ran through a winter storm). Next Sunday I should have a lot better idea of where I am at after running in the Portage, Michigan Winter Blast Half Marathon. It’s been a few weeks since I have raced so I am really looking forward to it.
The goals for Carmel:
- Run under a 2:53. My workouts have been geared towards 2:53 but I will be happy with 2:55 or faster as well.
- Top 3 in age division. Even with the awful weather we received at the Boston MarThon last year and the awful way I ran that day, my time was good enough for a top 3 placing in Carmel.
- Run under 3:00. I was unable to get under the 3 hour mark in 2014 and it’s time I get back there again
- Run a BQ. If this is all I get, I will actually be disappointed. I don’t look for this to happen though. But you never know with the marathon. When you are on, great things can happen. When you are not on, it could be a very long day.
As we get closer to April 16, Jake and I will come up with the plan of attack on how to race the Carmel Marathon. Until then, 8 more weeks of training.