***This post is part of the Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday.
When 2008 kicked off, it had only been a few weeks since I completed my second marathon of 2007 with a PR that shaved 26 minutes off my previous best time. I spent most of 2007 training for a full since I ran one in April and one in December, so I had no intention of running another one right away. After a few weeks of taking it easy, I got into half-marathon training mode for the Tom King Half in March and the Country Music Half in April. I had a lot of fun cutting back on the mileage and adding things like cardio classes and yoga to my fitness routine that I hadn't had time for before.
I wanted to break my half PR when I ran the first half in March. I had trained a little harder in the weeks proceeding it, and I was actually pleased that it was raining that morning. I did indeed kill my half PR by a few minutes. After doing that, I decided to take it easy for the next half and just run it to raise money for a local non-profit and have fun with some friends who were coming to town for the race. I did exactly that, and it was a blast.
I did spend some time after that race accessing how the year was going so far. I'd had some great races and some great fun. I didn't have huge goals for the first part of the year, but I met the ones I did have and felt ready to start really thinking about the rest of the year to come.
I made plans for a few short races here and there, but I picked the Memphis Marathon in December to be my next. I have been spending time cultivating a training program... I find that I learn something new every time I train for a race, so I plan to use the plan I used for the last marathon and tweak it a bit in hopes to continue to improve my time. Realistically I want to shave off 11 minutes and run a 4:20. My dream goal would be to land closer to the 4 hour mark. (I'm open for tips and suggestions.)
In order to prepare for Memphis, I also have plans to run the Battlefield Marathon and use it as a training run (though if I happen to rock out and get a new PR there I certainly won't complain).
I've taken a little more time off this summer than I would have liked... part of it is because of my crazy schedule of traveling and doing fun summer things, and the other part is because I spent 6 weeks struggling with allergies and couldn't breathe. I'm getting myself back to it and will begin my all out training in the next couple of weeks.
I'm looking forward to it. I love running in the cooler weather, so I'm looking forward to fall and not having to get up at 5:30am to get in a Saturday long run before the heat sets in. I know that I have what it takes to complete a marathon... now I want to find out if I have what it takes to continue to get faster.
Goals for training? Continue to run 3 days a week and use a variety of speedwork, tempo runs, and long runs. Work in a spin class and yoga class about once a week for cross training. Continue to do some strength training twice a week. Smile a lot. Have fun. Tell people I'm a marathon runner. Start getting excited about Memphis. Run 26 miles twice before race day in order to get the body used to being on my feet for that long. And no matter what, continue to be positive.
If I can do that, I know I'll get to that start line in good shape. I'll run a good race, chasing after that new PR. But no matter what happens, I'm running my 4th and 5th marathons before the end of 2008... and that will be a great accomplishment.