On June 12th I will be running my 2nd HFM Maritime Marathon, and my 24th marathon overall. Last year while training for the 2015 Fox Cities Marathon, I decided to run the Maritime Marathon as a training run. I wanted to give it a moderate effort and not push myself so hard that I would need a few weeks to recover. When the races started, I ended up being in the lead for the first 3 miles and reminded myself this is a training run and fell to 2nd place. I could see the pacer in front of me and it was hard to let it go. At the half way point where we turned around, I decided to go for it. My pace started increasing. I moved from about a 6:30 pace to a 6:10 pace. By mile 23 I took the lead back and crossed the finish line for my first marathon win ever. I ran the second half over 3 minutes faster finishing in 2:47:32. Being 4 weeks into my marathon training I didn’t know if I’d be ready for a time like that. While my personal best was a 2:41:16 at the time, I was happy with how I did. I loved the race course. It’s a nice scenic paved trail that is mostly straight ahead so you can get in the zone and really focus on your pace. I would suggest it to anyone who wants a good course for a PR or first time marathon.
By the time Fox Cities Marathon came around, training had gone really well. I did a full 18 weeks of training after ensuring I had a good running base. It was a very emotional time as my Father-in-law’s health wasn’t the best and I was very afraid to wake up marathon morning hearing that he passed away. In the end though, I knew he would have wanted me to run no matter what so I dedicated the race to him. Anytime I felt weak I thought of what he was going through and how hard he was fighting and pushed on. There were a lot of hills with the new route in the Fox Cities Marathon, but I trained on them and was ready. I crossed the finish line in 2nd pace with a new PR of 2:38:24 on the hilliest marathon I’ve ever raced. It left me wondering, if I trained the same way for the HFM Maritime Marathon, how fast could I finish? I decided to make it my goal for 2016.
I realize that I am shooting for a personal record that is faster than the course record, but I am planning to give it 100% this year. I do have two daughters who are 4 and 8 and working around schedules can be a challenge. I get it done by running on my lunch hour at Miron Construction and I am occasionally picking up a few more miles after I get home (sometimes after they go to bed.) I have 2 key workouts every week that really work on boosting my fitness level. I also do running drills as well as kettlebell workouts and my TRX Suspension trainer for strength training weekly. In addition, I do 20% of my weekly mileage on a machine called a Zero Runner made by Octane Fitness that allows me to run at Zero Impact with a high resistance. I’ve noticed it gives me a lot of power in the quads and hamstrings. My recovery weeks are about 49 miles, while my harder weeks get as high as 70 miles. I am also throwing in occasional races as training runs to get used to running harder during competition. This past weekend on March 12th , I placed 2nd place in the 10 mile FNB Fox Valley St. Patrick’s Benefit run in Kimberly. I used it as a work out by warming up 2 miles before the race, I used the 10 mi race as a tempo run finishing in 57:57, and I did another 5 miles after to complete the 17 mile run I had planned. It did help build up my confidence knowing I was capable of a 5:48 pace and still being able to do more.