The Houston Marathon is one week away. Yikes, how did we get here so quickly?
I didn't even have time to do a 2022 recap on the blog. I'll do it quickly right now and then we can move on to Houston.
2022 was a pretty good year for running. Not my best in terms of yearly mileage or a PR-setting, but after dealing with Covid and an SI Joint issue in the first half of the year, I gained major momentum starting in June. Working with Greg McMillan has introduced a new training approach and by the end of the year I was feeling WAY stronger and fitter than at the beginning. My biggest highlights were:
- Running the Boston Marathon in a respectable 3:33 after dealing with an SI Joint issue that sidelined me for 10 days prior to the race.
- Setting a 5K PR in 19:41 in November.
- Setting a 5K course PR at my summertime 5K which is a big deal because I run that same race every summer. My time was 20:57.
- Winning Run The Greenway 5K (the largest race I've ever won), and then getting hypothermia.
- Placing 5th at a competitive 15K race in DC.
Now, onto Houston. Looking at my training log, my mileage for this cycle was on the lower side for me. But, given that I have been marathon training since late August, it was definitely a long cycle. Not running Indianapolis meant no extended break in November, although I did take a few down weeks around that time.
When I was training for Indianapolis in September and October, I was discouraged because I didn't have any workouts that made a PR (sub-3:15) seem realistic. I was putting in the work but my paces were slower than I would have liked. And then there was the Hartford Half marathon, which was anything but confidence building! But once the weather was cooler on a more consistent basis, starting in mid-November, things started to change.
This run was 5 miles easy, 10 miles at marathon pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles hard. The 10 marathon-pace miles averaged 7:12. WOW. But even more of a surprise were those final two miles which were 6:58, 6:48. Running a 6:48 mile at the end of 19 was huge for me! If only the marathon had been on December 2nd, with that perfect weather in the high 20s. I definitely think I could have run a PR marathon that day, even un-tapered.
For whatever reason, I was more intimidated by this workout than any other workout of the entire cycle. Two-mile repeats just sounded hard, and there were a lot of them. Plus, I did this workout on a Wednesday which was before a work day. Splits were 7:30 | 7:26, 7:18 | 7:12, 7:22 | 7:11, 7:13 | 7:10, 7:10 | 7:06, 7:10 | 7:06. Yes- the last two sets were the exact same! Once again, if the marathon had been on December 22 with temps in the 20s, I am pretty confident I would have PR'ed!
This was another intimidating workout, so I told myself not to focus on pace - just effort. I ended up running the 5Ks in 22:11 (7:07), 21:32 (6:56), 21:34 (6:56). With this workout I was most proud of my ability to stay strong during that final mile when I was sooooo ready to stop! This was a killer workout and I handled it well, both mentally and physically.
If my workouts are any indication of goal race pace, I'd be targeting 7:12. But adding a bit of realism onto that, I'd bump it to around 7:18. The marathon is always harder than training. Adding even more realism, we have the weather forecast, which is problematic as of right now. If this forecast holds, it will be 55 degrees at the start and 65 at the finish. With a good amount of humidity to boot.