The Road to Vancouver – part 5

The 18th mile

That’s what this part of the training plan feels like. I’ve come a long way, still got a ways to go.

I’ve got one more 20+ mile long run to get in (won’t be sorry to see the back of those for a while), and then a three week trip to Taper City before the main event on May 1st.

Actually, I can’t wait for the race. I’m just getting those pangs of excitement starting to kick in, beginning to think about the course, how I’m going to handle the pace, when I’m going to go for it, and when i’m going to have to just grit my teeth and hang on in there.

One thing is for sure, this has been a funny old training cycle. I know I’ve said this before (but as this is my blog, I’ll say it again) doing the training while starting a new job, travelling about 27,000 miles on business (to date), and putting in the hours as well, has been tough. I’ve had a pretty interrupted schedule. Lots of runs on hotel treadmills (boring, but a necessary evil that saved my bacon this time), and honestly, challenges with just time and energy levels as well.

I was looking at the total mileage that I’ve put in for this race, and it looks like I’ve done way more than what I did for Vancouver last year, but less than I trained for Victoria last fall. What this will mean come race day is anybody’s guess – hopefully I’ll be fresher, but we’ll see. The road does not lie.

Probably the biggest hurdle I’ve had to deal with so far has been losing the company of my fabulous training partner Yoko, who had to succumb to the pressures of real life this time. Hitting the 20 and 21 mile long runs solo in the rain and wind this past couple of weeks has been a real challenge, but I’m proud of myself for hanging in there and getting it done.

I know Yoko is as gutted as I am that she can’t run this time, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say I can’t do it. Marathon running, like so many things in life, is hard to do if you can’t go “all-in”. I hope she’ll be back for the next one, and hoping she can make it up with her family to maybe run a few miles and cajole me back over Burrard Bridge at about mile 24.

I’m far enough in to my training now to set out what my realistic expectations are for the race. So here they are in their unadulterated and absolutely not sandbagged (seriously) glory:

1. Just finish the damn thing. This will always be my main objective.

2. Run it faster than last year. Vancouver 2010 was my first marathon. I ran it in 4:18. I’ll take 4:17.

3. Break 4 hours again. The PR stands at 3:57. Be an achievement to break it. Lets see what happens shall we?

OK – Highlights for the week:

1. Last Sunday’s 21 miler. It was a slog to be honest, but I. DID. IT.

2. New running shoes. I love my adistar ride 3’s. They’ve put a new spring in my step for sure.

Lowlights?

You know – I don’t really have any. I’m feeling as beat up as anyone would having run as many miles as I have recently, but what can I tell you? I have a smile on my face. All is well. Be happy people.

Playlist song of the week:

You know, Motown is just great music to run to. Have at it fellas…

 

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