MW asked how I progressed and trained. Below is my story. Id love to hear if any other women are running multiple marathons (2+/year) as well. My husband loves that Im doing it because my PMS symptoms have nearly disappeared, Im always happily planning trips and looking forward to running a race soon, and Im staying in good shape as I get older :-)
Ive enjoyed running/jogging casually for over 25 yrs but never ran competitively in school or entered any races. When I started training last year for my first marathon, I had a strong aerobic base mostly from teaching/taking fitness classes & martial arts, not so much from running. I entered a couple of shorter races while training and discovered I was a decent long distance masters runner (definitely not built like one though!). I ran my first marathon, Disney 2003, and finished in 3:33.
13 weeks later, I ran Boston and enjoyed it immensely. I found it was much easier for me to rebuild my mileage and run another marathon so I decided to run Mayors Midnight Sun in Alaska 8 weeks after Boston, in which my brother-in-law was running (his first), and the trip turned into a great vacation for my husband and I. In Alaska, I met some people from the 50 States & DC Club who told me they were running marathons monthly (some even weekly) and having fun traveling and collecting medals.
Well, that sounded like fun to me so I decided Id try to run 50 states by my 50th birthday (5-6 a year). Wanting to challenge myself, I also set a goal to finish each within my BQ time, a realistic time goal for me as long as I trained seriously.
In my quest, I made plans to run the Air Force Marathon in Ohio 13 weeks after Alaska. Soon after signing up though, I found out about a RRCA running coach certification class being held in conjunction with the Portland Marathon, which I really wanted to take so I could learn how to run better myself and help others get started. I decided to do that one too, since Id be in Oregon anyway, despite it being only 2 weeks after the Air Force Marathon.
I ran Air Force OK but Portland better so I then set my sights on doing 2 more races before the years end. They are also 2 weeks apart, Space Coast and Rocket City in Alabama. Though Id already done a race in FL (Disney), I want to meet Hal Higdon, who is supposed to be Space Coast, as well as run against some local marathoners (since I train alone, I dont know very many).
Training-wise, Ive used Hal Higdons Advanced 1 and Multiple Marathoning (2-8 week) schedules and BAAs Rookie Training Program for Boston. Ive had to modify all of them, however, because I run only 3 days a week and often had just 13 weeks vice 16. This year, I trained for each race as a separate event. I did speed work during the cooler months (Nov-Apr) but took a break from it to avoid burn-out over the FL summer and did mainly endurance training. Ive run my marathons at about 90% effort (never all-out), so I can have more fun during the races (namely, sightsee!) and recover fast, and have managed to meet my BQ time goal for all 5 races to date.
Next year my training will be different, however. Ill use what I learned in becoming a coach to design a year-around training program where some marathons will now become my long training runs in hopes of peaking for 1-2 target races a year where I shoot for either a PR or a high place AG finish. I know that some people do this and it can work if they are not injury-prone. So far, I fit that description and perhaps its because I only run 3 times a week. Well see how it goes
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