I have been trying to catch up on writing blog posts for the last couple of weeks and I can’t believe I haven’t written about my newest challenge! I already wrote about how I signed up for the HAT 50K trail race that is on March 24th, and I actually began training for it 6 weeks ago. Training is going extremely well so far. Better than any training plan I’ve ever done, which is surprising because it’s higher mileage than I’m used to and includes 2 long runs each weekend. You can see the last 6 weeks of training on my Daily Mile page.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is that I signed up for two MORE marathons in addition to the ultra. I know, I’m crazy. I decided I wanted to use my ultra training to run more than one race. This is a big deal for me because usually I run only two marathons a year, and they are at least 5 months apart. I want to do a road marathon in addition to the 50K because I’ve been running faster than ever in the last few months without really trying. Like yesterday when I ran 18 miles at a 9:09 pace, including 5 miles on trails. Didn’t that used to be my goal marathon pace??? I don’t know why this is happening, especially after I declared that I am not worried about my speed anymore, but now I am really interested to see how much time I can take off my PR (4:00:04). The 50K trail race will be about conquering the distance, and then the road races will be about speed. I knew I’d get sucked back into caring about how fast I can run!
So all of this led me to sign up for two more marathons. One in May and one in June. Why two instead of just one? Why not? 🙂 Since marathons and traveling for them are expensive, we decided to do one local and one that required a good amount of travel. The first one up after the HAT 50K is the Delaware Marathon on May 13th. It takes place in Wilmington, Delaware, which is not far from my home of Philadelphia. It’s a small race, inexpensive, and mostly flat, so I think I can get a serious PR here. We also can stay at my dad’s house for the weekend which is only a 30 minute drive from Wilmington.
The next one will be the Rock & Roll Seattle Marathon on June 23rd. We chose this one to travel to because of the timing (summer break for me) and because I have family out on the west coast. My aunt and uncle live in Oregon and have a boat that they keep in Seattle, so they will be there during the race which is very exciting for me! We are turning this race into a 10 day trip (from June 21 – July 1) so that we can run the race, spend time in Seattle, then go down to Oregon to see all of my family members that live there. It will be Kevin’s first time on the west coast and I’m excited for him to see how amazing it is 🙂 I’m not sure how well we will run since we may be jet lagged and tired from traveling, but the goal is to have fun.
It was a little bit of a challenge to come up with a training plan for these races. I started with an ultra-training plan that is based off of Santa Clarita’s Ultra-Marathon Training Plan. I knew I needed to do two long runs each weekend (one between 8-10 and one between 16-26) and I liked how this plan incorporated that. I prefer to do the longer run on Saturday and the shorter run on Sunday. I also am doing one of my long runs each week (or part of one) on trails to get experience on different terrain and start feeling more comfortable. Then I used Hal Higdon’s multiple marathons training plan to come up with my plan for running in between marathons. I have 7 weeks between Marathon #1 and #2, and 6 weeks between #2 and #3, so I followed his recommendations for how to train in that amount of time. I also have two half-marathons in the mix: DC Rock & Roll Half on March 17th and the VA Wine Country Half on June 2nd. WHEW! That’s a lot of running.
Of course, this plan is just a ‘plan’ and I know I may need to modify it depending on how I feel, especially in between marathons while I’m recovering. So far I have followed it to a T and it’s been awesome. I’ve felt great and strong, even during my double long run weekends.
Here’s the plan! [click to enlarge]
In addition to running I’m strength-training two/three times a week (Body Pump at the gym & Kettlebell at home) and trying to stretch and foam roll more frequently. This NEEDS to become a habit! Starting this week, I’m also attempting to do yoga once a week. The classes at the gym aren’t the best with my schedule but I know I can do it at home with DVDs, the internet, and On Demand. Yoga makes me feel so good, I know I need to do it!
Kevin’s plan is a little bit crazier than mine. He will also be doing the Delaware Marathon and Seattle Marathon, but he’s going to run the Pittsburgh Marathon a week before Delaware!
He’s a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and he loves the city, so this is his dream marathon. I’m not running this one because I’ve already done one in Pennsylvania, and I don’t want to spend the energy/time/money repeating a state. He will be following the FIRST training plan until this race, then in between the other races he will also follow Hal Higdon’s multiple marathons training plan along with me. This is the first time we’ve trained for different races and his plan is very different than mine (running 3x a week, cross-training 2x), so it’s going to be interesting training separately some of the time. I think it will be good for Kevin, because he’s so much faster than me and I hate slowing him down. However, it’s going to take a lot of self-motivation because he’s so used to running with a buddy (me). He said he’s ready for the challenge though. He has a time goal in mind (3:45) so his paces for each of the three key runs are very specific. His weekly mileage is lower than mine because each run is very intense. We are hoping that this is good plan for him because he tends to get injured (especially his knees) when running high mileage.
He starts his plan next week but has been building up to it for a few weeks now. Here it is [click to enlarge]:
I will be the first to admit that I am definitely not an expert on how to train for 3 marathons in 3 months. But I do have a lot of knowledge about running and training from my experience and research. I hope that our plans don’t turn into a huge fail, but I guess only time will tell. Until then I am EXCITED for this new challenge! Marathons #8, #9, and #10 … here I come!