Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fall Marathon Debate

It's that time of year again where we play "What's Jerbear's next big race?" In our last installment, we toyed around with the spring race calendar and landed on Operation: get our speedy legs back via ALL THE HALF MARATHONZ! In this blog post's discussion we will figure out my fall marathon plans.


What's behind Door #2 for the winner??

Hopefully a marathon PR.

The only thing I know for certain regarding the fall marathon, is that I won't be signing up for anything until my spring races are done and over. Training for, and running a marathon at my current speed is miserable. My enjoyment from running comes from pushing myself to become a stronger and faster runner and having my race finish times reflect that. I wish I was someone that just loved to run all day everyday just because it is the greatest thing ever, but I'm not. I do love running. But putting in a monster training cycle when every run takes a million hours longer than it "used" to is just not fun. So my plan is to get my running and racing game back to where it was in the fall of 2011. Or at least get it close. It'll take a lot of work, but I'm up for the challenge. If this doesn't happen, and it takes longer than I'm expecting, I may scrap the fall marathon idea and keep on working on half marathon speed.

The next time I register for 26.2 miles I want my sub-4 finish time to be a given, not a question mark. I want to go in to training knowing that my speed is clearly sub-4 and that after a monster mileage marathon training cycle the question will no longer be if I *can* go sub 4, it'll be how sub 4 I can go.

Breaking 2 hours in the half was such a huge deal to me. I think I tried and failed 4 times before it happened. The time I finally went sub 2 I had already run sub 2 for a half marathon training run, so I knew I had it in the bag. I ran a 1:54 that fall. I have such a mental block with 26.2 that even on the few occasions that I'm convinced I was in sub-4 shape, I never had the confidence in myself and my running ability to execute it.

On to the fall race plan:

I love running marathons late in the fall season. It almost guarantees cold conditions (thanks Madison!). I'd prefer to not race a super hilly course (sorry Madison, that counts you out). I'd be willing to travel. GIVE ME YOUR SUGGESTIONS! INVITE ME ALONG FOR YOUR RACE PLANS!

The Sioux Falls half marathon in September will be my 10th consecutive year of running it. The weather is always atrocious, so depending on which marathon I choose this will either be a longer tempo run or I'll run some miles before the race to make it a long-long run.

My two strongest contenders are currently the Philly Marathon or the Twin Cities Marathon.

TCM is normally good weather, but it has been hot, which freaks me out. I'd have to start training in June for the marathon, which blows. I wouldn't be able to race a half during the training cycle (like I usually enjoy doing) because it's too hot to race a half prior to mid-September and with an October 5th race date, that doesn't work. It's close enough to home that I could drive, and Kyle could maybe come and spectate! And a friend of mine is considering it for her first full! She's pretty close to the speed I was before grad school started, so I'd have a built in training buddy!

Philly was my favorite marathon course and conditions ever. I know it was a lot warmer this year, but it's late November which is in my favor both weather wise and when I'd need to start training mid-July. I'd like to think I could convince Megan and Jenn to join me for another bff runner weekend, but I'm not sure! Flights+hotels are always spendy so this would definitely be the more $$$ option.

The other back up idea would be CIM. It's an ideal time of year, similar to Philly, but I'm always concerned about doing the final month of my training when it's freezing here and then going somewhere with mild weather and it feeling tropical because my body is now used to the 20 degree training runs. A California trip would also be $$$. [CIM is clearly vying for my attention with the race weather this past weekend. 27 to start, 40 to finish.... where do I sign up??]

Please weigh in. What are your plans??


..:danielle:.. said...

every year i look and look and search between the lines to see where you've put "MAINE!" in this "what is my awesome fall marathon race plan gonna be", and every year i am heart broken. once again.
if you decide on philly, ill meet you there. for realz. if that helps at all...

Kier said...

Want to go to Berlin?

Otherwise, I do like the TCM, even though I have not had my best races there.

Rinnie04 said...

Did you think about Chicago?! It is as flat as a stinking pankcake plus it's the same time of year as TCM (which I was told the last 3 miles is all uphill) If you go that way you should let me know because I would be game to splitting travel costs with you!

Kathy said...

I'm trying to lotto in to St. George, UT. Downhill! Wanna join?
Our backup- Detroit. Nothing cooler than running south to Canada.

TCM- watch out for the hill between 20-24. It stinks. Course support is amazing.

If you want a PR- Des Moines. The only hills are before 9, otherwise it's a pancake. Course support is great.

Kier said...

Kathy - Des Moines is a great suggestion! I haven't run the marathon, just the half, but loved it. Plus, Des Moines is a pretty great place to visit!

Anonymous said...

My vote is for TCM. I am really considering signing up for the Ultra Loony Challenge. I have heard great things about the full marathon course! The TCM is also on my marathon bucket list :)