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What’s on Tap for Spring

January 18, 2012

Well, more like “what’s on tap for the first half of 2012.”

I pretty much have a plan for what races I want to do this fall (but am keeping that on the hush hush for now), but have been trying to figure out what I want to do before fall training starts. It seems like everyone around me is planning on doing spring marathons, and gosh darn, I want to jump on that bandwagon too! Training is fun! Racing is fun! But, I have two obstacles.

The first is grad school. I’m a full-time grad student for at least the next year and a half, and I work part-time. I’m a busy girl, to say the least. And on top of that, my funds are as low as they can go. Therefore, travelling for something like a marathon isn’t really on my priority list, like rent, or food, or Con-Ed bills or coffee. Which means, as much was I really really really want to run the Eugene or Big Sur Marathons this spring, they’re just going to have to wait until I’m out of school and have a real job again.

There is a loophole to my personal out-of-state-racing-while-in-grad-school rule, though. The Cleveland Marathon is in the end of May, in my good ‘ol hometown. I could easily plan a spring trip home that coincides with the marathon, and I’m sure my parents would love to have me home, and be able to easily use their expert cheering skills again. (By the way, I would like to call everyone’s attention to this old post, with a picture of my dad from the late 70s running the Cleveland Marathon, where he is pretty much Steve Prefontaine’s doppelganger.) But, that brings me to my second obstacle of spring marathon-ing.

Remember when I got injured this fall? Oh, right. And remember when I said I was valuing rest? Oh, right. And if I want to run (and run smart and well) a fall marathon, I want to stay healthy and uninjured this spring. I need to very slowly build my endurance back up, and I think running any spring marathon would be pushing myself just too much. Therefore, I officially decided that there will be no spring marathon for me. Maybe if I stay injury-free this year, I’ll be able to do one next year (helloooo Cleveland!), but definitely not this year.

But I want to train too! Hearing about everyone’s training plans still makes me want to have a goal race to train for. But, Betsy…there are other races besides marathons to train for. Oh, right. It’s amazing how sometimes it seems like marathons are the only races there are…

So, I’ve decided to focus this spring season more on shorter races, work on speed, and have my “A” race be the Brooklyn Half Marathon in late May. My half PR is from that race when I ran it in 2009, when I ran 1:50:35. I have not run a half competitively since 2010, and know I have more speed in me. I have PR’d since then in every other race distance, and by significant amounts. I know I can slaughter that time, and I think if I train really smart and focus on speedwork, I can run a sub-1:45:00. And…oooo…I’m so excited.
I’m going to use the next two months or so to continue to build my base, and get and stay healthy. I’m going to slowly (very very slowly) work on my speed and endurance, and get my body back into fantastic shape. And then, two months before race day, really amp up the training, and really focus on speed and endurance, making my legs ready to kill that course come race day.

I’ve never really trained seriously for a half (except for my first half), especially focusing specifically on speed, so I’m really looking forward to this training season. And until next fall, I can just want my friends do awesome on their spring marathons. Who’s going to Boston this year to watch friends run? Me! Me! Me!

I’m coming for you, Prospect Park & Ocean Parkway & Coney Island…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 4:41 pm

    I got excited when you mentioned Cleveland – marathon/hometown twins (kind of!). But I think you’re being smart this spring. I haven’t ever really trained for just a half either, and my PR definitely needs some updating – jealous of your plans! I’m so curious about your fall plans… and if they involve NYCM can we please travel to SI together again?? (why am I doing it again? Oh yeah, I have no idea…)

    • Betsy permalink*
      January 21, 2012 7:18 pm

      totally hometown twins. Well, close enough. 🙂

      Tee hee…fall plan secrets! They’re more secret, though, because I need to figure out my budget, which is so unexciting.

  2. January 19, 2012 7:13 am

    I love the Brooklyn Half! I definitely want to do it again this year. Last year I focused on halfs for the first part of the year. It was the first time I had ever really trained properly for anything. Speedwork, tempos, all that fun stuff 🙂

    • Betsy permalink*
      January 21, 2012 7:17 pm

      I’m really excited to truly train properly for a shorter distance. It’s been a while since I’ve done regular speedwork, but I’m ready for the commitment!

  3. January 27, 2012 1:53 am

    I’ve never done the Brooklyn half, but I’ve heard it’s fun! After I’m ok with the marathon (meaning sub-3:35), then I want to like really train for a shorter distance, too!

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