Down to the Wire

The votes are all in, but the jury is still out.  All but three miles have been logged in my 16 week training plan and I'm rapidly approaching the Colorado Marathon on Sunday.  So how will I do?  I have an idea yet I have no idea.

Here's what I do know.  As I've talked about frequently here, I've used the Furman University based FIRST training plan which was the basis of the book from Runner's World, "Run Less, Run Faster."  With a book title like that, how can you go wrong?  I'm still waiting for the sequel, "Work Less, Have More Sex."  People keep asking me what I think of the plan.  Those that have used it, swear by it and many PR stories emerge.  Those unfamiliar look at me like I have a third eye, "what do you mean, you only run three days a week?!?"  Complete opposite approach of the Pfitzinger plans which boast up to 70 running miles in a week.  Radical.  Hard for me to say for sure, but my most common answer to what do I think about the plan is "ask me after the race."

Being on the north side of 40 years old vs. the south side, the idea of fewer "pounding" miles was quite appealing. The other 2-3 days of cross-training was also attractive as it; helped the body recover, built core strength, and put me in the pool frequently which is preparing me for triathlon season.  Don't get the impression that the FIRST plan is easy.  The three runs are all quite aggressive and the long runs get progressively faster.  Five 20 mile training runs is also on the "high end" for number of 20+ runs I've done over a given plan.

Even though I'm in "taper" mode, last Saturday was ten miles at marathon pace.  While skeptical running that fast a week away from the race, I stuck to the plan and felt great.  Monday or Tuesday is normally my speed work day and this week had (6) x 400 intervals at a sub six minute pace.  Not exactly my normal "take it easy" taper week.

Over 531.5 training miles have been logged from Colorado, Texas, North Carolina and all the way to Barcelona over sixteen weeks.  It's now up to fate and a few other things.  Rest.  While I could have taken another business trip this week, I did everything in my power to avoid it.  My goal was to get good sleep all week in my own bed.  Sorry Dallas, I'll visit you another week.

Diet?  While I've read Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight book, diet has always been the weakest part of my training.  This week, we've laid out a meal plan and will eat right to fuel for this weekend.  From Matt's book, I should weigh around 165 on race day.  I'll be within five pounds of that, but arguably have picked up some muscle mass from all the swimming.  I had no idea what swimming could do for core strength, but imagine being on a weight machine at the gym that works arms and legs for 30-40 minutes straight.  I'm confident the core strength will help me on Sunday as I navigate the downhill course. 

Tuning the temple.  Appointments have been made over the next three days with my chiropractor, massage therapist, and nutritionist.  You might say I've "pist" a lot of money on this.  It's tough to keep an old car in shape, but this will smooth out the remaining tightness and hopefully have me ready for race day.

I have checked and double-checked my registration for the hotel and the race itself.  Even though Ft. Collins is "just up the road" from Denver, it's long enough away to get up there the night before.  We are staying downtown in my College Alma mater's town at a great little boutique hotel, the Armstrong Hotel.  Pasta reservations have been made.

The only items remaining on my list are the items above, figuring out race day gear, and hopefully hooking up with some DailyMile peeps on Saturday.  This isn't Boston, so there's no race day tracking, but I'll do my best to update activities on Twitter and Facebook up to and on race day.  How will I do?  I can tell you one thing, I will be Seeking Boston Marathon.


  1. Spike swears by the FIRST program, it's brought him many a PR (well as long as it wasn't hot out.) Good luck buddy, you've got this!

  2. I'm curious about this plan, sounds interesting. I find less run days, more cross training days to really work for me. Good luck on Sunday!

  3. Just watched Ty at the 17 mile mark, looking strong. Great job so far!

  4. When is your new blog coming up? I am super anxious! I love your blogs, they are quite entertaining, informative, and FUNNY!!!

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