I want that jacket!

Twenty one weeks later after starting my training program, I still have “visions of sugar plums” in my head. Early in my training I spotted a fellow runner at the Starbucks after our run in the Highlands neighborhood in the Highlands. I had just completed my first real test of the stress fracture in my lower leg and “pushed it” on the last four miles running at goal pace. Feeling pretty good while mingling with the runners who had just completed the late summer morning run, I noticed a female runner with her Boston Marathon jacket. It was the blue and yellow 2009 Boston Athletic Club Boston Marathon jacket—all I could think was, “I really want that jacket!”

I’ve covered in this blog how competitive I am, so that certainly has a lot to do with it. Throughout the weeks of training, I have been focused on improving on my previous PR of 3:32 in the 2008 Chicago Marathon—only two minutes away!

I am now in the taper phase having run a total of 620 training miles (four conditioning weeks and a total of 18 weeks of training runs.) Training for the California International Marathon (CIM,) I “stepped up” to more intense training than my previous programs. I started out with Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II training program and switched early on to coach Dave’s Level 4 program which included four training runs over 20 miles. I incorporated hills, tempo runs, track work, and even have gone so far as to cut alcohol out (not all of it) of my diet over the last six weeks—now that’s dedication! Likely due to the lack of beer in my diet, I am lighter than I’ve been prior to my previous three marathons tipping the scales at 168 pounds. Somewhere along the way, I read that 5 pounds equals 5 minutes…hmmm….Chicago was 3:32…five pounds lighter and I’m there, right?

I remind people that the people crossing the finish line at a marathon aren’t typically “beefy” people. Having said that, I feel that I am in the best conditioning shape I’ve ever been in and my legs are “ripped” to wheel off a marathon distance.

As I’ve discussed here, I have an extended team that’s helped get me through training starting with my wife and family who has to endure the hours and interruptions that training presents mainly on Saturday mornings. The rest of the team included my chiropractor (Dr. Swarka,) running coach Dave (Runner’s Edge,) running coach Maureen Roben, running physical therapist, Mark Plaatjes (and Heather,) and the occasional sports massage. I’m not 22 years old, and I need all the above to keep the body in balance.

A week and a half to go and I’ll be in Sacramento gunning for that PR. I am feeling confident (not over confident) that I've done everything I can to put me in a place to get my goal and feeling pretty good albeit a bit tired after the strenuous training program.

Twenty one weeks later and I can still visualize my goal...I WANT THAT JACKET!


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