Two posts ago, I gave you a round up of my 2013 goals. I mentioned that one of my targets is to shave more than an hour off my marathon time. My friend and running coach Carol Frazey is convinced that I could run a 4-hour race if trained hard, and Bill agrees. I admit to being skeptical. My average pace (in the 25-ish marathons I’ve run so far in the past 8 years) has to be about 5:25 (if anyone would care to look up all of my finishing times and calculate, I’d be grateful). My fastest race was in Tateyama, Japan in January of 2009 at 4:53 (the one and only race I’ve ever completed in under 5 hours). I’m four years older and five pounds heavier now than I was in that Tateyama race. AND my last few marathons have been done at elevation, so my times have been longer than usual this last year. My confidence is low at the moment, even if my determination is high.

But I’ve committed to follow Carol’s training plan for me faithfully. It will look something like this:

Mondays: Speed work

Tuesday: 3 to 5 mile fun run (at my request–I wanted one non-training run a week)

Wednesday: Pace work

Thursday: off

Friday: 3 to 5 miles

Saturday: Long run

Sunday: off

The goal is for me to take all year to build up my running skill and shave off time. I’ll identify a few races throughout the year (5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons) to race so we can determine if the 4-hour goal appears achievable based on my progress. The ultimate plan is to run a marathon in January or February of 2014 (this is a long process because I have a long way to go). Right now we’re talking about traveling to the Austin Marathon in February. We’ll keep you posted.

I’ll be posting on Fridays with workout descriptions from the previous seven days. Follow along if you want. We’re even thinking of putting a group of women together to meet up for our target marathon, so stay tuned as we get further along in our training.

As you know if you’ve read Second Wind or followed this blog, I’ve always been committed to my spot at the back of the pack. So why am I doing this? There comes a point when you’ve completed a quest, that you need another one. Spiritual and emotional health is something you have to stay committed to–something you have to pursue. I can stay physically fit running at my usual pace, but I need to stretch myself. In the months to come I’ll be writing about what motivates me, what my roadblocks to progress are, and what works and doesn’t work.

If you’re training for a race, track with me. Or buy Carol’s ready-made 26-week training program (accompanied my my reflections on how the marathon teaches us to live life to its fullest) in our new magazine style book: 26.2 Life Lessons: Helping You Keep Pace With the Marathon of Life.


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