I start training for the Boston Marathon on Monday. To say my road to get here was easy would be a lie. My first attempt at qualifying for Boston was in October of 2009. I had only been running for two years and at the time, I thought I was in perfect shape to qualify. Looking back and reading the race report, I know I wasn't ready. I crashed pretty hard and it was a death march to the finish line.
Now two years later, and I am a totally different runner. I am confident, I am strong, and I am ready to tackle the race that I have been planning to run for five years. Toeing the starting line is no longer a fear to me. I have been to the starting line of 16 marathons. I love the atmosphere and I know at that moment there is nothing more that I can do to change the outcome of my race but run.
Training for said marathon is a whole different story. Choosing a training plan and executing that training plan can determine the outcome of my race. A decision I make today will effect how I run in 12 weeks. I have made bad training plan decisions in the past and have gotten to the starting line not as prepared as I had hoped. I am hoping to avoid this mistake so I have been staring at training programs for the past week.
For Disney, I went with an Advanced Marathoning program and my plan all along has been to repeat my same training for Boston. It took me three days of reading and studying plans to come right back to where i started. The Pfitzinger book has produced the best results for me and I am not willing to try something new with only 12 weeks to go. I plugged my workouts into my calendar and then started reading to make sure they fit with my weekend scheduling.
Through February, I am completely satisfied with the schedule. I have a few marathon pace long runs and not too hard long runs during the week. This doesn't stress me out.
March on the other hand, stresses me out. First Boston, is on a Monday and not a Sunday. Based on my current plan, my last 20 mile run will be greater than 21 days from the marathon. I am considering adding in another 20 mile run for the Saturday of March 31st, but then my whole schedule just blows up. Also, I am considering running my long runs with a running group on Saturdays. They go to the Boston course and this seems like a good idea. In terms of my training plan, this doesn't work at all and would cause me to rework everything. The annoying thing to me is, I know whatever I plan on doing won't make any difference physically. I have done this training program before and it is tough. I know that sticking to exactly what it says and changing nothing will produce the results that I am looking for. So why am I stressing over adding 3 miles or moving a day here and there?
I can tell you why I am stressing.....I was one of the unlucky persons with a Boston qualifying time that barely got me into the race. They took everyone that was faster than BQ-1:07, and I was BQ-2:07. I sat for a week staring at my computer waiting to get this...
I want to show up for the Boston Marathon in the best position that I can put myself. And just like on the day of the marathon, I have to trust that I can get myself to where I need to be.
Do you tend to over-think things or do you just trust your instincts? OR do you have a coach that you can trust to get you to that starting line and if so, how did you find your coach?