Week 17 Training Recap and Cherry Blossoms

My marathon is officially less than a week away!  I am a little nervous, but less so than I have been in the past.  I’ve been training consistently for over 2 years, and my last marathon was less than 6 months ago.  I feel like I have finally developed a strong base and that 26.2 miles does not seem as daunting/intimidating as it did in the past.  However, I know anything can happen during a marathon, so I am not allowing myself to fall into the trap of feeling over confident either.  I will spend the next few days reflecting and visualizing my race.  This was a good week of training, I’m feeling lighter on my feet and quicker, as my body recovers from several months of hard training.

The weekend was the perfect end to this training week.  I ended up picking up a bib from someone who decided not to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in D.C.  (I was 25 year old Kelly today! Oh to be that young again for real! Haha) Since I had to meet Kelly in D.C. yesterday to pick up her bib, I took advantage of the trip into D.C. and took Ilana along with me.  There were a few cherry blossom trees in bloom behind the Freer Gallery of Art.  We enjoyed the nice weather, and wandered through the cherry blossom accented sculpture garden, checked out a couple of exhibits inside the Gallery, then enjoyed a picnic on the National Mall while listening to Cherry Blossom Festival performers and watching families fly their kites.  I rarely go into D.C., I’m really not a big city kind of gal, so it was a nice little adventure and bonding experience for the two of us.  🙂

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This morning I decided to spare Ilana and Danny a 4 am wake-up call, so I went to this race solo.  I’m so glad I did, because it took over 2 hours between the drive from Frederick and the metro ride from Shady Grove station to the Smithsonian station near the start! Ah, yes…this is why I usually forgo D.C. races!  There were over  17000 runners, with a rather chaotic bag check and wave start.  The volunteers did a great job, considering the number of runners.  I just wish there were more “above people’s head” level signs to help find things.  The course was nice, flat and scenic, and I could NOT have asked for better weather! The last minute bib I purchased put me in the “green wave”, with a pace 3 minutes slower than my normal pace, so I spent the entire race weaving in and out of people.  The finish line seemed just as chaotic as the start, I somehow got out of the “coral” early then wandered around aimlessly looking for water and snacks for a while.  I finally found a volunteer who pointed me in the right direction.  Snacks weren’t bad; standard bananas, chips, and Lara bars.  I noticed some people had medals, others did not, there was an extra charge to get a medal (Or an upgraded, super special medal)? On one hand I can see that being a positive, because it gives you the option to make the race more affordable (Rational side of my brain). On the other hand, I REALLY didn’t like that…it kind of cheapened the whole idea of the medal to me (Less rational side of my brain, because I can’t even explain why it irked me).  Then I asked where the beer was…someone told me there was none, it was against regulation or law to serve beer on the Mall….Huh?!  That made it official, I will most likely NEVER run this race again!  (Of course, D.C. races just aren’t my thing to begin with…I am totally biased towards Baltimore races).  It was a great final tune-up race for Garden Spot Village Marathon on Saturday.

Now for the run down:

  • Thursday-6.25 miles (Outside)
  • Friday-4 Miles (Treadmill)
  • Saturday-3 miles (Treadmill)
  • Sunday-10.25 miles (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, 8:30 pace)

Total Weekly Miles: 23.5 miles (1/2 peak Miles)

Total 2014 Miles: 430.7 miles

So with my big race being right around the corner….

I have 3 goals for myself in Lancaster (Aside from the obvious ones; enjoying myself, not dying, not pooping my pants, etc, etc….);

A) Goal Time of under 3:38. My BQ time is under 3:35 which makes it so tempting to go for it, but based on recent training run and race times, I’m not quite there yet.  Trying to maintain a pace that is 15-20 seconds too fast per mile could cause me to hit a wall.  I’d rather finish strong and consider this a good base run for a potential fall BQ race.

B) Back-up Goal (If things get rough and I need to play it smart by backing off a little) is under 3:45.

C) The rare perfect race day, all the stars are in line, a BQ time of 3:35 or faster.  No matter what; I will maintain pace for A goal until last 10K.

*Pep-Talk to Myself*: No matter what happens, I will maintain focus, have fun, and keep things in persepective.  This is just ONE race out of many, and my performance in one race does not define who I am as a runner or as a person.  I will absolutely meet every one of my goals (A, B, and C), if not in this race, in a future race.  This race is still important for building my foundation as a runner and will contribute to the success of races in the future.

 

One of my favorite quotes!

One of my favorite quotes!

It’s time for Spring marathons!  What is your motivation?

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