I’ve just started reading Hal Higdon’s book “Marathon: The Ulimate Training Guide”. Practically every page makes some kind of profoundly inspiring statement about running a marathon that just tugs at my heartstrings and makes me bawl up in tears!
He says the training should begin around 16-18 weeks from the marathon date so for me that will mean in June. But that doesn’t mean I’m not already focusing on keeping a steady and consistent running schedule to keep my legs strong and endurance at its strongest level. He suggests keeping a diary or a blog throughout your training. Check! Already on it.
This Saturday I’m running a lovely 10k NYRR race in Central Park. My strategy is to run it for speedwork. I’ve been trying to improve my pace this past year into the 9:30 – 10:00min pace range for runs over 5 miles.
On Jan 21 I’m looking forward to running the Manhattan Half Marathon in Central Park. For that one I just want to have a steady 10:30 pace which will be the same pace I had for the Staten Island Half, Grete’s Gallop and Queens Halfs in 2011. Grete’s Gallop was also a half marathon in Central Park and it was, by far, the hardest course I have ever run. The rolling hills were just that, rolling… and endless. Even the last 5 miles, up and down, up and down. So my attitude is to just take it easy and focus on having fun and finishing.
Funny how I mentally go into races generally thinking I’ll take it easy and just push when I can, and cruise when I want, don’t overdo anything, just focus on finishing and having fun. But then once I cross the Start Line the ‘Take It Easy’ strategy flies off with the breeze of a pack of runners and I’m suddenly pushing myself to pass one more ass. The ‘Pass One More Ass’ strategy has really helped me go faster.
My sister (also a runner on a similar journey as myself in planning to run her first marathon at the ING NYC Marathon) made the suggestion to me once when she joined me halfway into Grete’s Gallop to help push me along. She said, ‘Find an ass and pass it!’. It works. There’s always some ass in front of me that if I zone in on it and take a deep breath I’ll gradually manage to squeeze past. Now whenever I run a race, I inevitably take the Pass One More Ass strategy.