Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baltimore Marathon 2012 Pre-race musings

The 2012 Baltimore Running Festival is this weekend and for the fourth time I will be running. This will be my seventh eighth marathon since I started endurance running in 2008.

  • 2009: Frederick Marathon 4:03:27
  • 2009: Baltimore Marathon 3:58:19
  • 2010: Marine Corps Marathon 3:54:48
  • 2011: George Washington Birthday Marathon 4:17:20 (training marathon)
  • 2011: SunTrust National Marathon 3:53:32
  • 2011: Baltimore Marathon 4:00:07
  • 2012: B&A Trail Marathon 3:56:40

My training went very well, but I've had a number of false starts that made the build up technically only 11 weeks. The truth is I've already run one marathon this year and never really stopped running completely.
This race training started officially July 31st. I decided to not do the high mileage that I started the year with because I planned on cross training quite a bit now that I have a road bike. In the beginning I rode my bike about three days a week, but as the school year started I was relegated to one day a week. I've run 43 times thus far and covered 270 miles so that is a relatively low 24 miles a week average. I was averaging in the high 30s for my Spring marathon, but with cycling I tallied far more miles as a whole.
I've had a nice long run progression with an 18 mile run (9:07/mi pace) in week 7, 20 mile run in week 8 (9:44/mi pace), and finally a 22 mile (9:13/mi) run in week 9. The 20-miler in week 8 was an organized group run on the Baltimore course and reflects a lot of chatting, orienteering, and a temperature in the low 80s at the end of the run. I also hit most of my tempo and interval run targets.
The odds are that I will beat last year’s disappointing 4:00:07 finish. I am hoping for a race day miracle. I finished the B&A Trail Marathon with a much more grueling training plan in 3:56:40. And, that was run on a much easier course than Baltimore. However, this training build-up feels like I did it smart and had the right high notes. I am hoping to push myself to a time in the 3:40s. The Runner’s World Smart Coach pace calculator predicted a 3:30:xx for me based on my April 5K race time (6:55/mi pace), but I did not hold their 8:55/mi 20 mile run pace. I think 3:45 would be nice, but who knows? The weather outlook is really favorable and I feel fit and more familiar with the course. I could do something special.
We’ll see…

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