We're looking at the Shamrock Marathon in Virgina Beach on March 16, 2008. Its a Boston Qualifier -- for 2009 -- with an average high of 58 degrees F. and an average low of 40 degrees F. -- similar to the Niagara race last October.
Brian is considering it as well -- as our pace bunny, I believe -- and Jed is training hard although he hasn't committed to it yet.
So, this past week I got into training mode again. While I'd continued to run on the weekends and occasional weekday since Niagara, the runs were typically short - around 8 to 10 K. I did one 16k run with Tori and then another when she ran her 20k in preparation for the Disney Half Marathon coming up in January -- but other than that, they've been short and easy.
Last weekend I was alone running on the Saturday so I did an 8.4k loop and pushed reasonably hard, finishing in 42:29:50 -- a half second under my goal time. That put my pace at 8:05 which is a bit slower than marathon pace, but not bad considering I wasn't in marathon shape yet.
This weekend, I again found myself alone on the Saturday run, so I stepped it up again. This time I had my GPS with me so I was able to track my progress. While the wind seemed to be in my face for 3 of the 4 legs of my run (don't know how that's possible), I finished the run in 40:14 -- for an average pace of 7:40/mile. We'll call that my tempo run for the week!
Today, the weather was, well, crappy. The wind was brutal again, but this time there was snow to contend with. Jenny and Tori joined me as Tori was scheduled for a 16k run. We made the decision, though, to just do the 8.4k loop again as the weather really was crappy. Not so much for me, but Tori was definitely not having fun, and I don't think Jenny was either. In addition to the snow and wind in the face, one had to contend with the snow drifts on the road -- sort of like little hurdles throughout the run -- plus the joy of running through snow that felt like one was running through sand. Certainly a much more significant workout than running on dry roads.
So instead of a 40 minute run as it was yesterday, today it was a 61:38 run with an average pace of 7:16 per k. To put that into perspective, the last time Tori and I ran (her 16k run), we did it in an average pace of 6:20 per k. including walk breaks. So this was simply a tougher run.
The posts will now come more regularly again. Between the Disney Half -- where I'm going to try to set a personal best --, the Shamrock Marathon and the Shore to Shore Relay Race in late May, I have my races for the first half of 2008 already mapped out!