For this marathon, I am choosing to base all of my runs off time and not distance. I feel that basing the training on distance (i.e. five mile run, ten mile run, etc), creates a more competitive aspect to the training. It creates unnecessary boundaries and barriers. For example: Today I have to run eight miles. It doesn't matter if i'm ill or slightly hurt. It doesn't matter if I run it in fifty minutes of and hour and twenty minutes. I'm hoping that by using time based runs much of the pressure that comes with running long distances will be alleviated. It's easier for me mentally to enter into a run knowing I have an exact amount of time to cover. It takes away the compulsive desire to monitor distance and paces.
This style of training eliminates all goal times. Some runners have defined times at which they want to finish a distance. My last marathon I had a goal time of under four hours. I knew exactly the slowest average pace I could keep. I spent the first 1/2 of the race thinking that I had to do better, go faster in order to finish my goal. At about mile 14 I had a mental switch though. I realized finishing a marathon was a good enough goal. This is the approach I'm taking with me into Seattle. I want to have fun training. I want to enjoy the transition of summer to Autumn. I want to log some good miles in the chill crisp october air. I want to work hard, feel accomplished, and come Seattle i want to have the most enjoyable time possible when pushing your body to pretty unnatural distances.
My biggest concern, as is with most runners, is staying healthy throughout the fall. Already, I've been having some strange pains in my right hip. After my mid-week distance run last week, it felt as though my femur was sliding away from the acetabulum. I assume it's a ligament or tendon I stretched and pulled a little too much. I have no idea which one it could be, and it really doesn't matter, the treatment is all the same. Mostly, I just have to be very ginger with the joint. Do some resistance training my evenings and do lots of proper stretching. I've pretty much babied this part of my body for the past four days, and already, it is feeling much better. However, I have a two hour run this sunday, a two hour and twenty minute run the week after that...etc. If it comes to the point that I must take a week off, then I will take a week off. But, hopefully, I can just care for it well, focus on proper form on my runs, and heal alright in the mean time.