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It’s (Marathon Training) Go Time for SBS

Sweaty selfie with Molly at the end of Sunday's run. My last unstructured, uncoached run until after October 12.
Sweaty selfie with Molly at the end of Sunday's run. My last unstructured, uncoached run until after October 12.

As I sit here at my keyboard, I keep having to stop typing because my left hand impulsively returns to my mouth so I can bite on my left pointer-finger nail. Type-type, bite-bite, type-bite-type. Then my right middle finger nail finds itself between my teeth. Tap-tap, bite, tap-tap-bite-bite-bite. I know myself well enough that I only chew on my nails when I'm nervous.

So I'm trying to pinpoint the source of my anxiety. It's not writing a blog post--I "pen" about three of these badboys a week. No, it's the topic that's tying my stomach in knots: the start of more than four months of intense marathon training. With a coach. In the hopes of re-qualifying for the, gulp, Boston Marathon.

Tap-tap, bite-bite, tap, bite-bite-bite.

And now that I've merely typed those sentences, I've adding in picking my cuticles. Now my pattern is more like type-bite-pick-bite-type-type-pick-pick-bite-type. Oh, good gracious, this is going to be slow going!

New Saucony sneaks (Cortana 3) to kick off new marathon training cycle.
New Saucony sneaks (Cortana 3) to kick off new marathon training cycle.

In an attempt to finish up in time for this post to go live in the six hours, I'm going to be as succinct as possible as I lay out my running-future between now and mid-October.

  • I'm signed up to run the Victoria Marathon in British Columbia. Once again, I'll be venturing north of the border with my running partner, Molly, to run a marathon.
  • I want to run fast enough to re-qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon, which means I'll have to cover the 26.2-mile distance in less than four hours.
  • I've run 2 of my 10 marathons in sub-4:00, the last time being in October 2010. (Here, let me do the math with you: when I was four years younger than I will be on race day of Victoria Marathon.)
  • I've hired Briana, the same talented, savvy, big-hearted coach that Dimity used for her Ironman and a few other races.
  • I haven't done any speedwork--other than a handful of hill repeat workouts--since early January. Bite-pick-pick-bite-bite-type-type-pick-bite-pick. Yet there on Training Peaks, the online training tool Coach Briana uses for communication with her athletes, is my week-at-a-glance workouts today through Sunday. Wednesday's workout goes like this: "2 miles gradual warm up to 8:30ish pace/2 miles build to 8:00 pace in the first 1/2 mile and hold/1 mile ease off by feel/1 mile build your effort each 1/4 mile BY FEEL...don't look at pace and go by effort shifts (slight) every 1/4 mile/2 miles steady aiming for around 8:30 pace."ย type-bite-pick-bite-type-type-pick-pick-bite-type.
  • I clued Briana in to the fact I'll be delighted if I can nail those kinds of numbers in a few months, but ain't no way I can jam like that in a few days. Bite-bite-pick-type-pick-type. Thankfully, Bri replied, "ย This is why the first few weeks are learning...Don't worry...won't take long to learn where you are at."

And, with that reassuring email, my hand can move away from my mouth; the clench in my stomach is starting to ease. Time to stop typing, stop biting, stop picking...and start training.

Flexibility drills are part of the upcoming training plan. I'm in desperate need as Molly (pictured) is a human pretzel compared to rigid-me.
Flexibility drills are part of the upcoming training plan. I'm in desperate need as Molly (pictured) is a human pretzel compared to rigid-me.


23 responses to “It’s (Marathon Training) Go Time for SBS

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  3. You know you can do it! I can’t wait to hear all about it and hopefully I will be joining you in Boston. I am still aiming for that BQ! I got hurt right before Yakima in April, so now I am deciding whether or not to train again. It is so daunting at the beginning! But so worth it! (Even without a BQ- I love the journey!!)

  4. Best of luck! You will love the journey, you are tough and you can do it. Just channel the nerves into the training.

  5. Oh gosh, how I needed to read this right now! I’ve spent the last two weeks as one big ball of nerves since deciding to try and BQ this fall. Having never really followed a training plan, the speed work, tempo runs, and hill repeats my coach has prescribed is more than a little bit intimidating! There is something oddly comforting in knowing that even more experienced runners get nervous when training time rolls around. Good luck, I know you’ll rock this journey, and here’s to hoping for a BAMR picture on Boylston St!

  6. I might throw up if I made that same announcement. Just remember, YOU have DONE this before. Age is a mindset. I just PRed a marathon a week ago with a 4:08 (16 minutes PR) at age 41. You can bet I am pushing it again in the fall to break 4 hours. Go get SBS!

  7. You can do it! I’m currently training for my first marathon and aiming for 4 hours. I think I calculated that a BQ for my age group would require keeping up a pace faster than my half marathon PR, so that’s just a pipe dream for me right now. Good luck, looking forward to following your progress!

  8. Go SBS! I’m in a similar situation so I will be so thrilled to read about your journey.
    Training to BQ (for the first time) with a coach (also first time) and training for the Toronto marathon Oct 19.

  9. Go SBS! I, too, am beginning a marathon training cycle this week (16 weeks) to run the Air Force Marathon. I, too, would love to requalify for Boston. I also qualified in the fall of 2010 (4 years younger!!) and I would love a redemption of the super hot year of Boston 2012. You will do great!! I look forward to hearing about your progress.

  10. Using the wise words scrawled on the back of an envelope containing my Boston strong sweaty band as inspiration, I will tell you the exact same thing you told me: “that BQ is yours, my friend.” XO, Kristen

  11. Go SBS!!! After reading and following Dimity’s way to Ironmother, I was so inspired that signed up to domy first half Ironman next September, and as I said so inspired that also hired Briana to coach me ๐Ÿ™‚ after three months wit here I can only say nice things about her, she is absolutely great! No doubts she’ll get you to Boston! Not only because she is great but also because you rock SBS!

  12. So excited for you! After watching my husband run Boston last year, the jealousy about killed me..I don’t know if anyone else felt that way. I’m trying to break 4 as well at Disney this year to qualify for 2016. Happy miles ahead!

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