I was thrilled to learn that I was recently accepted into the Pacers Ambsasador program. Pacers is a local running store here in Northern Va. with retail shops in Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria. They also host quite a few local races, including the 4-miler that I recently ran on New Years Eve.
I was excited to learn about the Pacers Ambassador program on their web site and I eagerly applied. It seemed like they were looking for runners who were active in the running community-- both locally and online through social networking. One of the criteria is that you run a minimum of eight races per year. I think I average about 12 races per year, so that one is easy for me.
I'm not sure how many people were selected (I guess I will find out at the kickoff party in a few weeks) but I feel very honored to be representing Pacers because I really like their stores and their races.
I've committed to wear their racing uniform in at least eight races in 2010 and also to volunteering at some of their events. This is a great way for me to become more involved in the community, while also enjoying some nice perks from Pacers. Meanwhile, I have decided to not participate in the Brooks ID program that I blogged about a few months ago for the 2010 year.
The marathon is in exactly seven weeks. My biggest goal between now and then is to not get injured. Even if I only ran 40 miles a week each week until the race, I am confident that I would still BQ. My motto is going to be to always listen to my body and not push it now that I have done so much hard work.
Based on my heart rate and how my runs feel, I think that I can definitely run a BQ time, and perhaps even something like a 3:37. My "recovery" pace has sped up to 9:30 and my "easy" pace is about 9:00. This is all based on the heart rate zones that I was tested for during my VO2 test last summer.
A huge confidence booster was an 18-mile run last weekend including 6 at marathon pace. I ran 11 miles, 6 at goal pace, and then 1 cooldown. The marathon pace miles averaged 8:18 and they felt great! My heart rate stayed in zone 3, which means I wasn't working too hard for that pace. I'll probably need a Garmin pace of 8:18 or faster to yield a race pace of 8:24 due to all the weaving that goes on in a marathon. I will probably run 26.4 miles based on my Garmin. Anyway, the average pace for the full 18 miles was 8:48 and the run felt wonderful with no lingering soreness the next day. Of course I had perfect running weather, so I just pray that the weather is decent on March 21.
Weekly mileage totals are as follows:
Week of Dec. 28: 47 miles
Week of Jan. 4: 36 miles (recovery week)
Week of Jan. 11: 51 miles
Week of Jan. 18: 54 miles
Week of Jan. 25: 56 miles
Next week I will target 55-56 miles and then I get another recovery week. They are predicting snow and freezing rain for next Saturday, which puts my 20+ miler in jeopardy. I've found that my treadmill maximum is about 16 before my legs just feel to tired from the repetition.
I'm running the "Love the Run You're With" 5K on Sunday, February 14 with my fiance. A few weeks later, I have a 5-mile tune up race. And then the marathon!