Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Racing to the marathon

In my quest for the marathon, I have signed up to run a number of races. This does two things: Helps keep me motivated to train and improve and helps just plain motivate me. If you have ever run in a race, you know how the energy gets you excited and just participating can motivate you to run faster than normal.

Last weekend I ran in the Celebration of Running 5K, the first in the Track Shack Grand Prix series. And though I don't expect to ever get points in the Grand Prix series (you get points if you come in 1st through 10th for your age group), it was a handy way to sign up for 7 races at once.

Anyway, I recorded a personal record (PR) on that race - with 33:56 or a 10:55 pace. Next time I will shoot to break 33 minutes (which I have done on a tred mill). I am pretty excited to see my times come down. Now per Tammy's comment on my last post, I need to find a way to take a break by slowing down but not stopping. Right now I run-walk my distances. I run 4 minutes, then walk a minute, run 4 then walk 1. I do this for the entire time. I found that when I run slower to save myself to run the entire distance, I actually cover the distance SLOWER than if I run a little faster and take walking breaks. On average my pace with this run-walk technique has been about 11 min/mile. What I am working toward is running more minutes before the walk break. I have started to work a 5 min run 1 min walk but found I am not quite ready for that. Eventually, I would like to run the entire 5 K race - but I am anticipating walking breaks during the marathon. The only thing I worry about is when I get further into the marathon, it may be hard to get running again once I stop to walk. I remember this feeling when I did my first half marathon. During that race, I was so sore, that at the end of my walking breaks, it would hurt to start running again. HOWEVER - I had not really trained for the half marathon distance. I intend to train for the marathon distance.

So, while I would like to think I could RUN the entire marathon, my plan is to take scheduled walking breaks along the way. Hey....why not if I can break a 5 hour marathon? In my training I am hoping that I can get to where I can run a mile then take a 1 min break - that would be about 10-11 minutes.

Speaking of about a week (Sept 2nd) is the next race - a 15K (that is 9.3 miles). That should be a nice challenging distance. I am going for a 10 mile long run this weekend - so I think I am ready for 9.3. Outside of the half marathon's I have done, this is one of the longest distances for me. Here is hoping for breaking 110 minutes. That would be just under 12 min/mile - a good long distance pace for me right now.

Going for a 5 mile run tomorrow morning so I need to get to sleep so I am ready to get up at 5:45 am (ugh) ...more later. :-)

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