Let me preface this post with a mini-ramble of how training for Marathon #2 (Palm Beach Marathon 2010) went. Basically, most of it sucked. I felt tired a lot, got sick around key workout times, and essentially felt stale about the whole affair. I'd get occasional flashes of potential and awesomeness on certain runs (e.g., running an 8:35 split on the last mile of a 20 mile training run - how the fuck did THAT come about?), but that was all. Not a lot of meaty substance, but plenty of malaise to go around.
So while I felt adequately prepped going into Palm Beach, I knew that it would be very unlikely I'd reach my goal time of 4:30. I just didn't have the strength and endurance to hack it. But I still set a new PR by 9 minutes. That was extremely comforting for me. However, it also confirmed that I need to rejigger the way I approach training, not to mention that busting out of my comfort zone has to happen in order for me to meet my new ambitions.
Goal #1: I want to run a half-marathon in 2-flat or under
Goal #2: I want to run a full in 4:20 or under
Goal #3: I want to lose 5 lbs. (which will help me reach the first two goals, so actually, this should be the first thing on my plate, but weight loss is never a fun thing)
How will I attain these? I'm still fishing around for a good training program to follow, but I have a few things up my sleeve that will help me on this running journey of mine. I've been reading, and re-reading, Matt Fitzgerald's Run, and will continue to pay close attention to my body's messages, a point that he hammers home in his latest offering. On a more specific level, I also need to up the amount of weekly mileage. I peaked at 40 miles/week for this recent marathon training cycle, and that wasn't sufficient enough in my opinion. So instead of running for 40-50 minutes 3 days/week like I usually do, I'll extend my runs to 1 hour or more twice a week. THAT was really the culprit that led to my OK-but-not-that-great performance on December 5th; I paid too much attention to the LSD runs, but not enough to my tempo and recovery ones.
As for losing weight, the obvious answer is to eat less and move around a lot more. But that's easier said than done. ;) However, if I buckle down and set my mind to it, I'll do it. But as I said earlier, weight loss just isn't fun thinking or discussing.