When the number of days until your next marathon falls under 20, sh*t gets real. That means today, 19 days out, I’m facing that sh*t head on!
This marathon training cycle has felt “off”. While my mileage has been high, my training in general has not been very structured. Or at least not as structured as I think it should be. Every few weeks, for about a year now, I find myself wondering if hiring a coach could help me streamline my training and allow me to reach my highest potential. I know that I have more to give and that I can continue to become better. I just feel a little lost sometimes figuring out how to reach that next level.
The Vernonia Marathon, on April 13th, starts in Vernonia and finishes in Banks, Oregon. It is a small event put on by the Oregon Road Runner’s Club. It is almost entirely on a paved trail, the Vernonia-Banks Linear Trail, a former railroad bed that runs through picturesque forests, along side pristine creeks, and through the quaint communities of Vernonia and Banks.
I ran the half marathon there last year and the year previous, the Crossfit Kid and I volunteered. It is fairly close to home, an easy drive, and it starts a little later which is nice. The later time allows participants to be bused from the finish to the start since it a point-to-point race.
While I’m always hoping for magic on race day, I decided a few weeks ago that Vernonia is not a “target” race for attempting to BQ. More of a gauge to see where I’m at. Sure, if it happens, even by accident, I’d be absolutely thrilled!!! I do plan on really focusing my efforts on the Vancouver USA Marathon in June, just two months later. I have a good feeling about that race! ; )
Last year I ran three marathons in just under five months. The longest span between them was three months. The shortest was a two-month stretch. I felt like I was building momentum, especially between the last two, the Portland Marathon and the Seattle Marathon. Either way, I improved every time I ran and got closer to my qualifying time which was a huge confidence booster!
By the time race day arrives, it will be four and a half months since my last marathon. That break is either going to work in my favor, or not. Of course I hope for the latter.
One other thing to note, which could be a good thing, is that for Portland and Seattle I never ran more than 18 miles during training. While I intended to do at least one 20 mile run during training, I never did but still made gains! Perhaps getting 20 miles in this cycle will contribute in a welcome way.
Meanwhile, this week is my last big training week before I begin to taper. I’m so glad I already got the 20 mile run done. This weekend I’m planning 18, which is still daunting, but it’s not 20!! It seems funny to think that running “only” 18 miles is such a break! Ha!
If you have any experience working with a coach, I’d love your input! It honestly has been on my mind a ton and my biggest hold-up, besides funding, is being absolutely certain that I’m ready and able to commit 100%. I think I’m there, especially as I begin to look toward my next training cycle to prepare for Vancouver.
Okay, enough of that heavy stuff! I hope you are having a great week and for those of you on spring break, getting some needed R&R!
I leave you with a pic from the Portland Shamrock Run last weekend as I crossed the finish line! Happy Tuesday, friends!