I set a goal for myself and an aggressive one once the pandemic hit us all hard two years ago. I wanted to see how far I could push my stamina in the marathon and how close to a sub-3 hour finish I could get. My PR (personal record) before 10/24/21 was 03:21:43. The funny thing is that I ran that time running the SD RNR Marathon in June 2016. I plateaued in the 3hr20min range after that while running Boston in 2017. I got injured and was out of the running game for 1 FULL YEAR. I incorporated cross-training into my training routine in addition to mobility work and stretching daily. I picked up boxing as my favorite hobby to keep me conditioned so that running doesn’t. At the end of my year of being injured, I picked up running again, slowly but surely. I barely trained with running specificity for the marathon. I coached my client at the time through to a sub-4 finish running the NYC marathon in 2018. I ran the NYC Marathon for the 3rd time, almost matching my PR, finishing with a time of 03:22:18.
Consequentially, my easy runs when I dove into the marathon training block after working my speed for a few months last year. After working on my running speed with short, anaerobic intervals on the track, I slowly realized that I could hold faster paces for my tempo runs. I did several 5Ks, and have yet to break the 19-minute barrier. I ran my first competitive 10K, finishing in 40 minutes. I ran several half marathons, sequentially dropping 3 minutes and then one minute off of the one I ran before running my last marathon. I finished with a final time of 03:02:48.
I had to double-check my Garmin with tears of joy while completing saving my Garmin data after the race. I am a hard-headed gal, and I tend to set pretty aggressive goals for myself. Like many of the runners I coach, I, too, have an “all or nothing” mindset. It’s been crucial to have a coach to hold me accountable while practicing what I preach and helping my clients do the same. I couldn’t have done what I did two weeks ago without the runners around me.
I ran a couple of miles to the start with runner Sean Turner. Our Uber canceled on us, so we booked it up to the sixth avenue to Balboa Park with a lady running the half. It was a nice warm-up for a full marathon. I didn’t have to deal with being chilly at the start (Which I hate) and said RIP to my 2018 Boston Marathon shirt that I wore to the start, which is the year I got injured and couldn’t run it. My corral started before I got to the start, but I weaved my way through to the first corral and had a rolling start! The energy was contagious at the starting line. I was all smiles and ready to race! After mile 3, I said to myself, “this feels difficult, and I’m not that warmed up yet.” After mile 5, I settled into my marathon race pace. I held it through the hill at mile 23, which took me back a tad at the end, BUT now I know for next time to include more strength work and hilly intervals to prepare better for long inclines and hills! I picked up my pace for the last two miles, seeing my coach, my mom, and my friends near the end all cheering for me. I freakin’ flew and crossed the finish line strong, injury-free, absorbing and embracing all of the vibes from the crowd and the runners around me. I ran a time that I thought might not ever be attainable for me. I WOW’D myself. Now, my goal is to see how far with the marathon I can go. Time to focus on my speed!
Essential Staples in my training were boxing training, HIIT, cross-training, strength-training for runners routine with heavy lifting and plyometrics. My mobility and foam rolling daily drills. My warm-ups before my running workouts on the track or tempo runs on the road. My long, easy runs, which I honestly think anyone could use more of if you’re an aerobic monster, including myself. Fueling my body throughout my training was KEY. With the proper ratio of carbs/proteins/fats around my workouts and my runs to optimize my workouts and my recovery between hard workouts and tune-up races. My SLEEP and getting enough sleep daily, and trying to get a little more than the usual amount while in heavy marathon training mode. It was all of it.
For coaching or to connect, email me at info@runwithalli. I’d love to hear from you!