Sunday marked the start of a fairly intense three weeks of training for me. I ran my scheduled 14 miles which went off very well. I took it easy on the pace and finished with about an 8:45 average pace which is not bad but I am a little concerned about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. As I had stated earlier, I need to finish my very first marathon, The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, in 3 hours and 20 minutes, which is a 7:38 pace in order to qualify. This will be no easy task to run 26.2 miles at this pace, I may very well have bitten off more than I can chew. BUT, I have by no means thrown in the towel. There are 14 weeks of training remaining with a weekly mileage ranging from 20-46 miles.
It is going to take a multi-faceted approach to reach my goal. I have started to go back to the gym and do core workouts at least twice a week. This should help me with my form and endurance on the long runs. My next step will be to incorporate some speed workouts into my training miles. This will come in the form of either intervals on or off the track, fartlek runs, and possibly even a 5K or 10K in there somewhere. Finally, on my next long run, I will set my "virtual partner" up on my watch to pace me at 8:30 / mile. This may not seem like much, but 15 seconds per mile over the course of 14 - 16 miles is fairly significant but I believe it is also obtainable.
I have also been doing a better job of watching what I eat. I've been working on eating more protein and cutting back the carbs a bit. I believe that this has helped with my strength, I noticed towards the end of yesterdays run that I was not nearly as tired or worn down as I had been on my 12 mile run a couple of weeks ago.
Finally, I will need to really listen to my body. A good friend pointed out on his blog the dangers of over-training. (http://lifeisntover.wordpress.com/) This can be a problem, therefore I will need to make sure that I get plenty of rest and take my time stretching, especially after my runs.
Tuesday is the last day of the month, and it looks like I will end up with about 127 miles for the month of June. That's not bad, but look out July, some quick math tells me that I am headed for about 160 miles for the month!