I started to get the itch to do marathon #2 last month and began searching around for viable options. I ran my first, the Pensacola Marathon, in November and knew I'd be running it again this year but I didn't want to wait that long to get back into training mode! I did some digging around and found the 'perfect' race: the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan in Nashville, TN!
It's about 2 months away and I've been training for 2 weeks so that gives me a 10 week training cycle. A bit shorter than the 16 weeks I devoted to Marathon #1 but I've been doing 8-12 mile LR's on the weekends since December and did a 'test run' of 15 miles 2 weeks ago before I registered to see how conditioned I was. Thankfully, that 15 mile run felt MUCH less painful than the first time I tried while training for #1.
I'm approaching training a bit differently this time. For #1 I followed the training plan set up by Running Wild (local running store that is amazing and trains runners for everything from 5ks to marathons.) I was running 5x a week about 40-50 miles a week. I kind of wanted to die. I also really, really missed cross-training/strength training. This time I'm focused on 3 'critical runs' each week:
Tuesday: Speed work/tempo run
Thursday: medium long run
Saturday: long run
I'll be doing shorter 'every day pace' runs on Mondays and Fridays if I feel up to it. So far I have and I've been doing about 3-4 miles on those days. I do 30 minutes of core work on Monday and Friday, 1 hour of strength training on Wednesdays and I've even done a few two-a-days with bike/elliptical work on MW afternoons.
To say I'm excited is an absolute understatement. I've been warned about the hills on the course so even though I'd love to get a better time than #1 (4:44) I'm going in to this with the goal to train injury free and have fun. Nashville is about 6.5 hours from Pensacola so I'm turning it into a mini vacation (any locals wanna road trip it with me?)
When I fell in love with the race I contacted the race organizers about working with them. They provided me with a free entry and a discount code to pass along to you all! So, if you'd like to run the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan with me then use the code: ERICARUNS at checkout for $10 the half or full marathon price. I really hope to see some of you out there! I ran my first marathon with the group I trained with and I know I will miss that social support if I have to do 26.2 all on my own.
The starting line is downtown this year and I can't imagine how amazing it's going to be to see so much of Nashville by foot!