I started running three and a half years ago. In that time I’ve run tons of races, ran longer and longer and gotten so much faster than when I started. As one of Salty Running’s resident ultrarunners, most of my 2013 goals naturally have to do with running further. But there’s one running milestone that I’ve always wanted to achieve: run a sub-4 marathon.
2013 is the year for a Coriander marathon finishing beginning with a 3! Here’s why.
2012 was a great year for my running career, but otherwise, I am glad we’re finally saying goodbye to it. It was one of the hardest years of my life as for the majority of the year, my boyfriend was stationed in South Korea for his last year as an active-duty Army officer. The more I look back on it, the more I’m starting to realize the direct effect his deployment had on my running. It seems crazy, but his absence affected everything from what races I chose to run to the time goals I set for myself. Shortly after he left, I ran my first ultra and decided I should go farther and train for 50 mile and 100K races. I threw myself into training as miles on the road and trails and time spent on my yoga mat were the only ways I knew to cope with the way I was feeling about life and him being away.
I peppered my training for my first 50 mile race with a lot of shorter tune-up races: one 50K, three marathons and one half marathon. The half was the Capital City Half in Columbus, the day before I ran the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. I ran the Cleveland Marathon a few weeks later and finally set a marathon PR: 4:30:02. A 34-second PR at one of the hottest spring marathons. These tune-up races were all within a 3 week span!
I’ll admit now that I was probably overtraining and was very burnt out after the 50 miler last June. So much so, my 100K training didn’t get off to a great start. I only ran two races while training for Oil Creek: a 50K and the Akron Marathon. I PR’ed the marathon at Akron and ran a 4:11. It felt easy and was for sure, the best marathon I’ve ran so far.
But I wasn’t working at it. I never do speed work and just kind of run however many miles I feel like or have time for that day. In 2013, I want to give training some real effort and make those miles more than just time on my feet for a 100 miler. Running a sub 4:00 has always been my marathon goal since before I ran my first half and it’s something I know I can do if I put in the work. I have a huge spring training season planned with my Grand Canyon trip and first 100 miler. I’m targeting a fall marathon to really put the work into. I want to actually do speed workouts twice a week instead of just saying I’ll do it. I want to run my longer runs at a harder pace and push myself just a little harder. I need more quality out of my running, not just quantity. As of now, I’m not sure which marathon yet, but I’m hoping for a year filled with fun and speed. I’m really looking forward to running because I love to do it, not because I’m running away from my problems.
Anyone else looking to go sub-4 this year? If you’ve already achieved the sub-4 goal, have any advice?