Lets set the scene shall we. The day was unusually warm. The spirits were high all around. I understood that this was the toughest marathon. Why? Because a magazine had said so, which meant it had to be true. The beginning was easy. Just gradual hills without too many sharp Arkansas rocks. I was loving it.
Then the ascents became steeper and the desents became more treacherous with rocks and roots. My hamstrings, knees and quads couldn’t take it. I was a crying mess by mile 22. I had given up by mile 18ish. It was a race that destroyed me both mentally and physically. I swore that I would never do it again.
Well, guess what? I am headed back to that dreaded race, but I’m only doing the 17 miler. I get to cut out 4 mountains. Woohoo! I’m sure you are wondering what this torturous race is called. Athens Big Fork Trail Marathon. I would consider this my redemption race. There will be no need to run the full marathon.
Though, Josh will be running the full marathon (I am not jealous of him). He has been chomping at the bit to get this race completed, because when I DNFed, he joined me (what a nice husband). I have always felt bad about that, but it was his choice. So, in a few weeks he will get his chance to redeem himself.
The loosely made plan is I go out fast with him and get him set up with a good pace and them he will use that momentum to finish it out strong. I feel like this is a pretty good plan. Since I’m running the easy half of the race it’ll be easier to accomplish this goal. I’m sure that we will tinker with the plan a bit as the race gets closer.
ABF is definitely a race that we both want to check off of the bucket list. So, to do that, I have been training for climbing and downhill running. Anyone that knows me as a runner, knows that running downhill is something I lack confidence in. I’m slow and careful. I am too careful, it takes away from my running and how much stress I put on my legs. So its a problem I’m working on fixing. There are some weeks I feel like I’m working through it and then there are some weeks that I fall back into my slow decent.
I’ve also been weight training more. Not lifting really heavy, but heavy enough for me. We have a good collection of kettle bells and sand duffle bags. Some of my favorite tools are bands. I use small and large bands to make sure to get a decent amount of resistance training in. I do more of a HIIT style workout.Which keeps my heart rate up and helps with my cardio training. Josh and I would like to start going to the gym to lift heavier (I’m a bit intimidated by all the heavy equipment), but we will save that for after the race.
So thats the plan for a race I said I would never do again. Shorten it. Train harder. Train specific. Thank God. Positive mindset.