This post is brought to you by the number 4. (Sesame Street, anyone??) :)
We are still having crazy wind here, which is really strange because we almost never have wind. Today was better than yesterday during my run, but still windier than usual. On yesterday's run I kept thinking, "Auntie Em! Auntie Em! It's a twister!" Seriously, it was so windy the wind almost knocked me over once and at other times I felt like I was running in place. It was supposed to be a pace run and those first two miles were up hill and into the wind, and honestly, they were the hardest miles I have ever run! I didn't hit the pace I wanted (7:30) but was just over 8:00 which I was ok with considering I was running into a hurricane. :) Once I turned around though I ran a 7:14 mile and then a 7:20 mile and it didn't even feel too tough.
Today's run was six miles at an 8:55 pace and it was a nice run. The weather is supposed to take another turn for the worse though and it's supposed to be cold and snowy again for a couple of days (!!!!).
Anyway... on to the number 4.
I really, really want to run this marathon in under four hours. I want to be "sub-four". I want it bad.
When I first started training for the Salt Lake City Marathon at the beginning of this year, my goal was just to beat my current PR of 4:15 (set in December in Vegas). I have known I wanted to shoot for a marathon time under four hours, but was kind of thinking that would be my goal for the Top of Utah Marathon in September. I figured I had more time to train for TOU, plus that course is almost entirely downhill and is known to be fast.The Salt Lake City course has a decent amount of downhill but some uphills as well. I think it will be a good course, but definitely not as fast as TOU. (You can see the SLC course here if you are interested).
But as I have trained for the SLC marathon, I have been running my long runs and shorter runs at much faster paces. I have been free from injuries and any aches or pains at all, and I really feel strong and fast(er). I am feeling pretty confident that I can run SLC in under four hours.
With my first two marathons I was afraid to say what my goals were out loud (or on my blog!), or the times I was really hoping for. I was afraid I would jinx myself, or to be too ambitious and then to fail miserably and look stupid. I took what I was hoping for and padded it a little, just to give myself some cushion. This time I am throwing it out there. I want to finish in under four hours. If I don't make it, I won't feel stupid because I will know I set a goal and went out and tried my best to achieve it. If I fail, I will get it next time.
To run a marathon in 3:59 you need to maintain a pace of 9:07 for 26.2 miles. In Vegas I lost three minutes to the porta-potties and in Disney I lost 10 minutes. My stomach has been doing a lot better lately (knock on wood) but I know I will have to stop at least once. If I figure I will lose 4-6 minutes at porta-potties in SLC, I will need to run at a pace of 8:55-9:00 to finish in under four hours.
I am believing that I can do it.
I have really, really put the work in. I have not skipped a single run. I have done tons of speedwork and all my long runs. I am going to trust in my training. I am going to get out on the course in Salt Lake and smile and BELIEVE and enjoy my 26.2 victory lap.
I know there are no guarantees when it comes to running marathons and I know anything can happen. I know to run a sub-four marathon it will have to be a great day and everything will have to come together just right for me. But I am going to believe and run my heart out and hopefully there will be a time of 3:anything when I am done.
My mantra when I run is, "Courage, Faith, Strength". (And sometimes, thanks to EMZ, I throw in a little, "I've Freaking Got This".) :)
Watch out number four... I am coming for you.