There is so much going on in this picture! James looks so intense, but his shirt is pretty awesome. And the guy behind me, well he just looks like he's out for a Sunday stroll around the block. Sir, we just crossed the 13.1 mile marker. Why do you look so fresh? Oh, you negative split your race? Oops. My bad.
Though I swore off running forever at mile 19, I decided about thirty minutes after I crossed the finish line that I needed a redemption marathon. I was thrilled to be a marathoner, but I was still a little sad that I had been 6 minutes off the C goal that I admitted I shouldn't have created. So I came home, and I started plotting my path to the National Marathon to end Breast Cancer, also known as 26.2 with Donna. I knew I had a better race in me, and I was sort of mad that all the hard work had been 'celebrated' on a hot, humid day that hit a record high for the Disney Marathon.
But then I talked to Mary about it. She's a local Tampa speedster/blogger who does e-coaching and consulting, and I had started freaking out before the race and payed her for a month of consulting. I had already been thinking about hiring Mary as a coach at some point, but that seemed like the ideal time. So when I came back, I emailed her a few times with ideas and thoughts, and though she was supportive and even offered to run the last few miles with me so I didn't mentally go down like I had before (she didn't use those words), she also said she really didn't recommend it as being the best idea.
And as time passed and I began to swallow that I could potentially go slower and get frustrated and disheartened, Mary helped me devise a new strategy: a shiny, new PR for a spring half marathon! I liked it! I've never really done any planned or coached speed work, and I still love the half marathon and would love to get a big PR in a race I've come to feel a bit more comfortable with. So that became the goal in my mind. And Mary is working on a training plan (I went ahead and decided to continue coaching, because she knows what she's talking about).
She also helped me think through some other races for the spring as well as how to recover from a marathon, because apparently running 26.2 (or 26.61) miles isn't something our bodies can get over in a day or two.
And this is the schedule I have in mind now for spring:
February 2nd: Best Damn Race 10k
No goal for this one. Just running to get in a 10k. If I PR, great! If I run it as an easy 6.2 miler, just as great.
February 10th: Rock N Roll St. Pete Half Marathon
The race from last year still stands as my current half PR at 1:57:44. I know I've got faster in me, but I'm going to hold back for a little bit and try for a big one later on. I'm running this one with the goal of 1:59:59 or better to cross the finish line with Tori at her first sub 2 half marathon (and possibly Beka if she doesn't run that the week before at Best Damn Race).
February 17th: No Race, especially not 26.2 with Donna
February 24th: Disney Princess Half Marathon
This race I'm looking so forward to! I'm running with a group of girls completely for fun! We're going to take character pictures at every stop and dress up like all kinds of characters: princesses, mice, villains. You name it! I can't wait for this one to come!
March 17th: Florida Beaches Half Marathon
I'm excited to run another in this series. This one is the same course as the Halloween Halfathon in Ft. DeSoto, so if I don't race this one I know the wind will provide some outstanding resistance training.
April 14th: Athleta IronGirl Half Marathon
This will be my goal race for the spring. This is the one where I'll be shooting for a big PR. It makes me a little nervous for it to be so late in the spring, but I'm going to impose my "run no matter the weather" mentality to get some warmer training runs in preparation for this event.
Plus, the warmer race will prepare me for what will happen this summer. Marathon training! I'm already looking ahead to the fall for a fall marathon. If I do Chicago, which is one I'd really like to do, I'll have to train through the entire Florida summer. Yikes! That'll prepare me for whatever the weather. There are other options at this point, as Chicago registration doesn't open until February.
I'll probably fill in this schedule with a few shorter races, but through April, this is where I stand! I'm excited to have a coach for the first time, and I'm looking forward to training and starting speed work for a half marathon! This should do me a lot of good.
What's your main goal for spring?
What race on your schedule are you most looking forward to for the year?