Training Time

It’s that time again. In four months I should be lining up to run my seventh marathon. Rather than go over the basics of my plans, let’s do a high level overview of the race itself and my goals, etc.

The Race {What, When, Where, and Why}

I choose a marathon that is the opposite of Chicago. The Lake Wobegon Marathon is on May 14th on a trail near St. Cloud, MN. The race is limited to 450 runners which is a bit of a change from the 45,000 runners I ran with in Chicago. I’ve never done a marathon this small. I think Fargo was probably the smallest field I’ve run in. It’s actually one of the aspects I’m looking forward to.

Although small, it has some great things to offer including pacers for just about every goal. With no huge crowd to contend with, it will be nice to actually have the opportunity to run WITH a pacer. Another huge plus, the course is flat. Like pancake flat with one turn. ONE. TURN. No need to worry about working tangents. Registration was a steal at only $55. The fee includes a tech shirt, finishers medal, post race pizza and treats, massage and the option to stop at a nearby health club for some time in a sauna or hot tub.


Once again I’m using the Less is More Plan. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The only thing I’m adding is Orangetheory. Now this does add an addition day of running. The longest I’ve run in one session is a little more than three miles. It will be more wear on my legs and shoes, but not a significant mileage increase. I just need to figure out the best way to really work it in. My session yesterday was rough after doing my long run, so it will take a bit of trial and error. I hope to be able to swim on Sundays after doing a long run. So far this hasn’t worked out for me as the pool is impossible to get a lane in during the weekend. Hopefully schedules will shift soon.


Wheat, red wine and wheat beers are all on my break-up list. I love them all but they do nothing for my stomach. Since I stop eating wheat bread, my stomach has not acted up during a run. Finally, what seems to be a solution. I’ve been choking down Udi’s Gluten Free bread with almond butter and jam before runs. It’s not awful but not nearly as tasty as my homemade wheat bread. It does provide me with the fuel I need to get through up to 14 miles without any other fuel. I’m also trying to be more conscientious of my sweets intake. Lucky for me, Lent, the only time I can hold myself to actually give up sweets, is just around the corner.

As far as fuel while running, I haven’t been using any since Chicago. Honey Stinger gels worked well for me. No stomach issues and a nice texture. I’m going to stick with those unless I start to feel a drag.


Do I need to state the obvious? Boston. I want to qualify. At this point I would be aiming to run faster than my qualifying time (3:35:00) by a wide enough margin to actually make it into the 2017 race. If it’s as tough as this year, I’ll need to run at 3:32:30 or better. Eek. That’s 10 minutes faster than I ran in Chicago. Is it feasible? I think so. If I look at my recent 10k times, it says I can run 3:35 or faster. But a 10k and a marathon are very different animals. Hopefully I’ve stayed in good enough shape that when I start hitting the intervals hard, I will nail them.

Let training commence!


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