When I set up my schedule, I had plenty of fun races, some weight loss goals, and goals to regain my running fitness, but I really didn't have a real goal race. I had thrown around a few different options and after much thought, decided upon doing the http://www.battlefieldmarathon.com/">Chickamagua Battlefield Marathon in November. I have always heard great things about this race. In the last Runners World marathon guide, it showed up twice top for "family friendly" (ok, whatever) and second for scenic. Oh, and it was third overall for best marathon. Before any of this was published, it sold out really early last year, so I knew it would sell out really quickly. I signed up last Friday when I got paid. I had already begun to work out my Marathon schedule in anticipation of signing up. I also decided that I wanted to do the Silver Comet Half Marathon in October. As it turns out, this will work perfectly because my training plan calls for a 13 mile run @ marathon pace that week. I am using the FIRST 3-day a week marathon plan. I have had to dial back some of my 5K/10K race plans to be able to meet the scheduling demands of marathon training.
After I laid that out, I figured out my training would start late July, early August. This works out perfectly for me to plan another A Race, the Peachtree Road Race 10K. In a few weeks, I start 10K training to peak for peachtree with a few more 10Ks before then. I then get a few weeks in July to recover before my marathon training begins.
Last week I finally began to add back speed work. Right now, I am doing one night of short sprint intervals and one night of hill repeats with a long run on the weekend and an option to add one or two short recovery runs if I feel up to it.
Today was only the second day of the year I got on my bike. I used my copy of the http://www.thesufferfest.com/">Sufferfest Downward Spiral I won from http://quadrathon.blogspot.com/">Stuart's Blog. Sufferfest is right. I plan on cycling a couple times a week initially. This will mainly consist of spinervals/sufferfest on the trainer and spin classes at the gym. Sooner or later I will add a day or two of swimming back in. I am only planning on one tri and it is a B race for me, though I will be seeking to PR. For me and swimming, the biggest thing I can do for myself is to lose weight. Once I get down some, I only need two or three months to rebuild for an early October Sprint.
This weekend I ran another 5K. It was the hardest hilliest race I ever "ran". The first mile or so was down hill. I actually ran an 8:24 for my first mile which was really fast for where I am at now. There was a small hill right after a mile and then it was downhill some more. The first 1.5 miles, I maintained a steady pace, but when it started climbing back at about 1.75 miles I fell apart. My calves were on fire. Just before 3 miles it flattened out and I sprinted into the finish for a 35:19 5K which is almost exactly what I ran my last one at.
Slowly I continue to make progress and as the training volume/intensity increase and my weight decreases, I see nothing but good results ahead