Today I did a 20 mile run with a local running club.
We met at 6:30 at Olathe North High School, and did an out-and-back on the lovely Mill Creek Streamway.
I don't feel too bad, considering.
I've been really working on my form lately. I've gone back and reread Brain Training For Runners, and I'm trying to the proprioceptive cues he suggests. I think it's working. That plus the strength training and cross-training I've been doing (though I've fallen out of my strength training routine a little bit). I've definitely been avoiding some of the more serious injury type pains I've felt in the past (knock wood). All I feel is sore. Which is probably what I ought to be feeling after a 20 miler.
At the end of the run, I talked for a while with the guy who runs it. He's a coach, and he helps folks in the group who are at all levels.
I asked him if it's possible for someone to go from a five-hour marathon to 3:30 in five years or so.
He asked me how fast I was when I was younger.
Fast, I said. I ran about 36 or 37 for a 10k.
At that, he said I could probably do it. Or that it would be a 50/50 shot. The important thing is that I have the genes to go fast. I've just got to relearn what my body knew when I was 15.
This was all very encouraging. I've been worrying lately that I've lost my speed forever.
So for now, here's the plan. After running the Flying Pig, I'll come back and regroup and join this running club when they start back up in late June. I'll go through a regular marathon training program to get ready for the Chicago Marathon in October (which I just registered for yesterday). But a month or so before that race, I'll do an all-out 5k race, just to see how fast I can go. Then we'll take the time for that one and come up with a prediction time for Chicago. Then we'll see how it goes.
From there, it'll be new time goals each year until, hopefully, I'll be hitting 3:30 about the time I'm 45.
Allie and I are going out for pizza tonight.