T-MINUS: 1 MONTH & COUNTING…
Today’s date, February 9th, 2014, is exactly one month until the Los Angeles Marathon. In just 28 days I’ll be pounding the pavement with 25,000 other leggers on the “stadium to the sea” course.
And I’m a little nervous.
Last week I ran my 25th half marathon (Surf City) and posted my best race time ever. While 13.1 miles is certainly nothing to sneeze at, I feel confident in my abilities when it comes to completing the half marathon. At this point, I’m working on increasing my pace in the hopes of breaking the 2-hour mark sometime this year. The half marathon doesn’t scare me anymore like it did the first time I laced up my shoes.
Not so with the marathon.
This will be my 6th marathon overall (5th time challenging LA) and I have to admit I still quite haven’t gotten the knack of running 26.2 miles yet. In my past 5 marathon races I’ve run into the wall each time… somewhere between miles 17-20. For each race my goal has been to break the 5-hour mark and I have yet to come close.
In the Chicago Marathon 2009 I managed to eventually break through the wall (posting my best marathon time to date- 5:16:52), but LA has gotten the best of me each time. Different strategies, same result. My plans fly off the rails and I end up walking a good chunk of the final miles. My goal switches from PR to posting a good time to just merely surviving. Each time in LA I’ve limped across the finish line going, “You win this time wall.”
I consider my marathon score to be: WALL- 4 / SCOTT- 1
This year is different though; I’m in the best physical shape of my adult life, having dropped 50 pounds in the last six months and adding cross training to my workout regimen. My race times have been getting significantly faster for the past 4 months and I have a newfound spring in my step along with a chip on my shoulder.
But as I’ve learned the hard way, and repeatedly, the marathon can be a tricky beast.
I’ve completed a 17-mile training run and next week we handle our big celebration run of 23-miles. I currently train at a 10:00 min/mile pace and I ran the Surf City Half Marathon in 2:06:33 (9:40 min/mile). This sets me up for a predicted full marathon time between 4:35- 4:50. I should be able to shatter the 5-hour mark this year… key word being “should.”
I’m one month away from the LA Marathon and I’m a little nervous.
More on this to come as race day approaches…