Winter Marathon Training Blues

I am training for the March Madness Half Marathon to be held on the Ides of March in Cary, IL.  I'm using a custom training program designed with the help of Runner's World's Smart Coach app, found on their website.

I KNOW it's only a HALF marathon, which is just a baby marathon but The March Madness Half Marathon is a tough course. The last time I ran it, it kicked my ass. This was of course 2009 when I didn't know I was running with a torn meniscus in my left knee.

Looking at my Athlinks account, this is what I've done the four times I've apparently run this race:

March Madness Half Marathon Pace Finish Place Final Time
Age Gender Overall
March 15, 2009 8:46 Min/Mi 61 393 574 1:54:55
March 16, 2008 7:30 Min/Mi 46 180 202 1:38:25
March 19, 2006 7:36 Min/Mi 38 194 218 1:39:34
March 20, 2005 7:49 Min/Mi 39 237 287 1:42:35

This time my hopes are a little more humble. I want to simply run this course without stopping and finish in under two hours.  The training program the Smart coach spit out consists of three runs per week.  While it does attempt to mix in speed work and tempo runs, remember I input an easy setting so there isn't much it can do with that.  Basically all the runs are 3 to 6 mile runs spread out over 9 weeks.

Essentially it was a Tue/Thur/Sun run schedule but there is built in flexibility in that some weeks it might be more feasible to run on a different day of the week.  If I missed the Tuesday run, I'd try to make it up Wed and then do the Thurs run on Friday but beyond that, I wouldn't make up any runs from a previous week.  Also, I wanted to allow a day of rest between runs because creaky knees.

Smart Coach created a 9 week training program and I am now past the halfway point. Here's how I've done:

Because of weather and/or illness I've missed 4 out of 15 schedule runs, including two Long Runs.

The good news is that I am doing better at running without stopping. There was a time in my running life when I would go out for a 6, 7 or 8 mile run and I'd be at mile 4 or 5 before I even realized it. These days I'm lucky to get to mile 2 before I want to stop.

Previous Post: My Secret Winter Marathon Training program

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