Sub 4:00 – Maybe?

The feel of winter is slowly moving in.  It was a cool 34 degrees when I woke up this morning.  I love winter.  All the leaves are starting to change and have made for some really amazing trail runs which I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy.  On last Saturday’s 26-mile training run, the trails were absolutely breathtaking.  The trail was completely blanketed with leaves that were almost ankle-deep in areas.

It’s 3 months post surgery.  It almost feels like a whole lifetime ago.  While my legs still lack some of their previous speed, there’s noticeable improvement with every run.  I’m running an average of 55-60 miles per week and plan to max out around 65-75 before the marathon.  This is so fantastic!  Whenever I have previously tried to cross the 55-60 mpw threshold, I always had to back off due to minor injuries.  I never have been able to sustain a weekly mileage over 50 for very long.

I’ve been doing extensive hillwork and lactate runs.  I think these workouts have made a considerable difference and quickly pushed me back towards my previous strength.  I have mixed in some speedwork here and there, but with my core still feeling somewhat weak, I haven’t tried to push myself too hard yet.  I know I’ll be able to speed things up again when the time is right.IMG_1301

The marathon is a little over a month away now, and I’m feeling really good about it.  I think I’m probably looking at a 4-hour finish.  If I’m really lucky, maybe a sub 4:00.  I think a lot of it is going to have to do with how well I handle the humidity in the South.  I think I do pretty well in hot and humid conditions, but the weather has been anything but hot and humid since I came off my 5-week running break.  All my recent runs in the last 2 months have been in extremely pleasant weather.

Saturday’s 26 miler felt so good.  Everything went incredibly perfect.  I took it nice and easy.  The only mistake I made was a logistical one.  I planned out and backs on 3 different trails, and it just so happens that I apparently wasn’t sane when I arranged the most difficult trail for the last 8.3 miles.  I ended up climbing and descending for the final 8 miles.  It definitely slowed down my finish time and made for very sore quads the next day.  Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with my finish time of 4:02 especially considering the terrain at the end.  I think running a sub-4:00 in Pensacola is definitely not out of reach.

This week I’m not doing any long runs over 15 miles and will do a 23-mile run next week followed by a final long run of 24 miles before tapering off for the marathon.
I’m so ready!

3 thoughts on “Sub 4:00 – Maybe?

  1. Acelga says:

    Nice to see you are back agin. Enjoy your runs, you sure missed them!

  2. Roe says:

    Hey Tara, I wanted a little advice on running. (You know, you seem like the expert!) I’m able to do a steady 6 miles without stopping now, but for the past few months I haven’t been able to get in any more than that. I’ve been eating good, and I drink plenty of water, but I think I’ve pushed myself too hard trying to get over 6m. Any ideas? Thanks! P.S. I can’t believe how fit you are! It’s awesome!

    • Tara says:

      Thanks for your comments! I’m definitely no expert in running or anything for that matter, but I’ve done a lot of ERROR and trial just because I always have to “find out for myself,” LOL! I appreciate the flattery, however 😉

      My advice to you, or let’s say, what I’d do, is evaluate your weekly mileage and the miles you’re doing daily first. Are you doing a lot of speedwork or hillwork during a week? What is stopping you from running over 6 miles? Soreness, dead legs, feeling too fatigued at 6 miles? My plan would be to try to increase my 6-mile run by .5-1 mile every 2-3 weeks. Before and after this “long run” take rest days. Make sure you are slowing down the pace to as slow as it takes to make the distance. Run the distance at the slowest pace necessary, and worry about increasing pace after you can finish that distance more than 2-3 times. Don’t even worry about how long it takes you to run 6, 7, 10 or more miles until you feel comfortable doing it at all. Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks. The point being, stay on your feet and keep moving forward. Don’t be afraid to run through discomfort and some amount of pain as you adjust. You will get there as long as you identify your weaknesses and use your strengths to push through them.

      Hope that offers some help! Good luck, you can do it, I’m sure!

Leave a Reply