No, I'm not cheating by changing a few things.
This isn't like filling out your NCAA basketball bracket halfway thru the tournament.
I'm actually ratcheting my expectations upward.
I had originally listed a 4 hr marathon among my goals for the year. Last year's party was not exactly what I had in mind, even though it was my first one, and at age 45.
In looking at the calendar, my target race for the year is the Lake Stevens Half Ironman in mid-August. Two weeks later, it's the Hood to Coast Relay. If last year's tri is any indication, I'll be toast for at least a month. That would give me a couple of weeks max to properly train for the Portland Marathon, or maybe 6 weeks before the Seattle Marathon. Given the better condition I'm already in, I'd no doubt improve over last year, but I don't want to go 26.2 without a solid training season behind me.
So I got to thinking...
Runner's World recently had an article about a guy who followed the Hanson Brothers' training plan to great results (that's the running Hansons, not these guys).
Paraphrasing the RW article, their plan is all about adding strength by what they call 'cumulative fatigue.' The interesting part is that their longest prescribed run is 16 miles, not the 20 miler that most coaches recommend. The Hanson theory is that the proper cumulative work basically pre-loads your legs into thinking that the 16 mile run is even farther. So you're not training for the first 16 miles; you're training for the last 16. And you don't have the extra pounding of a 20 miler.
Ok, guys, I'm in.
New goal; forgo the fall marathon. Recover in September, spend October thru December building mileage, then do the Hanson plan in preparation for the 29 April 2012 (estimated) Eugene Marathon.
And (gulp) qualify for Boston.
Oh, s*&#%, I said it.
What the hell. Aim high. I'll need a 3:25, pace of 7:51 per mile. That will be an hour faster than last time; my legs hurt just writing this.
Tomorrow, I've got a 10k race that will tell me where I am.