I've decided to step up and run a marathon this fall. This will be my first. My training is going well and I'd like to see what the distance is like. I was thinking about MDI but it closed Tuesday. Then I thought about Green Mountain and while a weekend in Vermont in the Fall would be nice, I don't want the whole weekend to be spent stressing about my first marathon. So I'm going to stay home and run the Maine Marathon. Its a nice course with a good crowd and I should know folks all along the whole route.
I'm doing MP runs every Friday. The map above is today's: 8 at 6:46/mi, 10 miles total. The target was 6:50/mi. The route is Rt. 88, which is the bulk of the Maine Marathon course. Plus this section is the hilliest section, so the rest should be gravy, right?
Based on my Mother's Day 5K, my MP is actually 6:41 but there is no way I could do that on this course running only 50 miles per week and with zero marathon experience. My initial plan was to just go run at my "easy" pace (recognizing that no pace is easy over 26 miles) but that is really not how I like to race. If I'm going to race it I'm going to race it. So my goal pace is actually about 6:52/mi, which is what I need to dip under 3 hours. This is ambitious and I recognize the likelihood of bonking is high. We'll see how the training goes.
The "plan" that I am following is Hanson's, which really doesn't differ much from how I run anyway. Longest long run of only 16 miles. Long runs every other week. Two other hard runs per week are also pretty standard: three miles of interval work at 5K pace + MP run. Later in the program 6 mile tempo runs are substituted for the interval runs (many plans have that the other way around). That's pretty much what I've been doing this spring except I've been doing hills instead of the intervals. I'm using Back Cove for my interval work. I'll continue to use that section of Rt 88 for my MP work, so I should get very used to running the course.