I apologize for not getting a post in last week, Spring Break had me out and about catching up on some running and golfing. I am very excited and sore today as I write this post though. Last week’s training was very minimal and was part of my taper plan as I prepared for Sunday’s Georgia Marathon. Monday was a rest day, as usual. However, I did manage to find some time for 18 holes of golf on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Tuesday I ran with the Fleet Feet Pace Group. We had a scheduled 60 minute run. As the pacer for the 11:30/mile group I was able to squeeze in just over 5 and a quarter miles. Wednesday was a nice fun running atmosphere at Fleet Feet as they held their first Poker Run of the spring. This is a free 3 mile out and back run where there is no prize for the fastest runner and creates a no pressure even playing field for all participants. Along the pathway runners pass dealers and collect five cards, as you return to the store your hand is matched against the winning requirements and the best hand wins a prize. This week the winner was the best hand that had 9s or 10s. The advantage of running a little faster though is that for a very brief moment of time you can have the winning hand, regardless of how bad of a poker player you really are. I finished up these 3 miles in 22 minutes.
Thursday was a golf day, Friday was rest, and Saturday was travel to Atlanta. I had in my mind to use the Georgia Marathon as a checkpoint race. With 2 months to go before the Cleveland Marathon I wanted to see where in my training I was at as I push for a 3:30:00 finish in May. Atlanta is full of hills, I knew this in the summer when I ran the Hands Around the Hill 5k, but I am never one to pass up the opportunity to scratch off another state from my list and take on a nice challenge. I dressed accordingly for the St. Patrick’s Day race, this is only worth mentioning because of the numerous comments I was given during the race by runners and spectators, and towed the starting line in downtown Atlanta.
I pushed through the bulk of the race and was on a great finishing pace. Unfortunately, I felt myself butting up against the wall in the final 2.5 miles and fell off pace. All of that being said I am happy to report that my official finish time was 3:56:41! Not only is this a new PR by minutes it is also my first sub-4 hour marathon! (and a nice looking medal to make it even better). Average pace of 9:02/mile.
Now I look ahead to Cleveland in May. I am very pleased with my effort yesterday in Atlanta and think that on a course that is not so overly crowded with steep spiking hills that I can shave 10-12 minutes off of that finish time with the same level of work. So I still need to step up training and push through until May 19. This week is a lot of recovery time and slow paced runs to help with muscle soreness and tightness from the marathon. Here’s the plan:
Monday – Rest, Rest, Rest
Tuesday – 30 minute Recovery Jog (9:24-10:06/mi pace)
Wednesday – 40 minute Easy Run (8:15-9:18/mi pace)
Thursday – 30 minute Recovery Jog (9:24-10:06/mi pace)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 60 minute Long Run (8:21-9:38/mi pace)
Sunday – 30 minute Recovery Jog (9:24-10:06/mi pace)
Look for a full recap of the Georgia Marathon weekend later this week on my blog. Speed work and interval training resumes next week! Ready for the final push over the next 2 months!
QOTW: How do you celebrate a PR?