Hi-d-ho, there neighbor!
It’s been a little while…
I’ve been busy reverse tapering (super complicated), trying to cross everything off my “After the Chicago Marathon, but before NYC Marathon To-Do List”, hanging out with friends, eating ice cream, WORKING, living life, and all that jazz. It’s been a really good two weeks.
Now that I’m back…A NEW BLOG POST:
Last year before I ran the New Jersey Marathon, I was really embarrassed by my finish time for my first marathon in 2010 (5 hours and 4 minutes). It seems really silly to be embarrassed by a marathon time because HELLO, I RAN A MARATHON (goal accomplished, right?), but when you hang out with other fast runners, you can’t help but compare your marathon time.
Now looking back, I am actually glad I ran a 5:04 Marathon. It gave me something to work on, and it gave me a jumping off point.
However, Running a marathon is an accomplishment no matter what time you finish it in. For realz.
I definitely am not a running expert, but for those of you that think you can’t improve your marathon time by over an hour – think again. I am living proof, ya’ll! Based on my experience, here is how I think I did it:
1. Running Coach. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t the #1 reason I took an hour off of my marathon time. Before Dorothy (Runner Coach), I knew little about speed work (track, what?), tempo runs, etc. I grew up playing sports, but I never was on a track team, so I had zero knowledge on how to become faster. I recognized that not everyone can afford a running coach, however I think anyone can find a Coach in there price range. If it is really something you want. Think about it like this: If I wanted to learn how to play the piano, I would hire a piano teacher, right? Of course, you could go bang on the piano keys all day, but that probably wouldn’t be able to make anything sound like music.
2. Change in Workouts. My first marathon I did not do one tempo or speed work out. I followed Hal Higdon’s Beginner Marathon Training plan (which I highly recommend for first time Marathoners), and my goal was to finish. For NJ and Chicago, my works changed completely (Dorothy’s plan), and my pace gradually dropped over 9 months.
3. Positive Thinking. Along with changing my workouts, I really have been working on changing my thinking. I’ve read many, many, many articles about how changing your thoughts can change your actions. This was by far the hardest of all the changes I made, but probably the most important.
4. Faster Friends. I was lucky this marathon training cycle to know more runners in NYC, who pushed my pace during more than one run (Special thanks to Meggie & Laura). Both of whom are faster than I am, but dare I say by September I could keep up with them (on most runs)?
My pace was really put to the test this past weekend when on Saturday I ran the last 10 miles of the NYC Marathon course with a bunch of other NYC runners. I didn’t wear a watch, and instead just wanted to keep up with the group. Little did I know that we ended up running 10 miles at close to a 8:15 average pace. So much for tapering before the NYC Marathon? But who cares because WHAT A CONFIDENCE BOOST!!! #boomshakalaka
5. Weight-loss. Ahhhhh, the one thing I thought I would never speak about on this blog was WEIGHT. Talking about weight (gain or loss) is incredibly boring to me. But I think that it is an important factor to mention in this post. I don’t know how it happened, but between the NJ Marathon and Chicago Marathon, I definitely lost some weight. I don’t know how much (maybe 10 pounds? I haven’t weighed myself since 2005), but enough for my clothes to fit a tad differently. Do I think the weight loss helped shave off some time in my marathon? Absolutely. Do I think it was THE reason I took 22 minutes off my marathon time? No. Please see #1 – #4 above. PS: I am positive this weight will all be added back on (x2) during HIBERNATION this winter. Sigh.
7 DAYS UNTIL NYC MARATHON!