I once read a ditty in RW that said you know you're a marathoner if 18 weeks is an important block of time. So here we are -- 18 weeks to showtime. Everything up till now has been prep.
So how did we do?
Me first: Did I work out in the gym as often as planned? No way, but better than usual. Averaged less than 2X a week when 3X was the game plan. Did I run consistently? Absolutely. Followed the 14-week basing buildup to 25 mpw, plus the long 12 miler. Hills? Nope, only a couple sessions. Speed? At least once a week-- a tempo, interval or time trial for 10 weeks, which produced pretty good results: Completed a 5K time trial this week at 7:44 pace, a 36-sec/mile improvement. Best of all, I managed to run faster and consistently for a total of 14 weeks during baseball season -- and without injury.
Which brings me to Kurt.
A nasty kidney stone and 4 stress fractures sent Kurt to an alternate Winter/Spring Training Plan, spinning on the bike for cardio and no running to let his tibia bones heal. In the next week or so, his 6-week rehab is over and he transitions back on the road, with custom arch supports from his doctor. We may not know till late June whether an October marathon is realistic or not--but it's doable. Not just finish-doable, but break-the-3:59-barrier doable. A lot depends -- no, it all depends -- on whether he was able to spin his VO2 Max to something that can deliver a roughly 25-minute 5K (8:05p) in June. Then his VO2 is in the ballpark, and maybe his lactate threshold. The goal is to get our 5k times to around 22:45 (7:20 pace--which should give us a nice VO2 cushion for a marathon) by mid-September, while racheting up the longs every other week. He has time for three 20s or longer. Weekly runs include 1 long, 1 easy, 1 speed, 1 marathon pace run.
But yeah, Kurt's stress-fractured legs have to hold up. Enter the orthotic. My bet is that does the trick. Other potential problem areas? Well, there's not a whole lot of room for any extended downtime. But getting it all done is always a tight fit.
18 weeks to go to 3:59. Stay healthy, stay tuned.