Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Training Week: 2/13--2/19

Only 12 days now until the Little Rock Marathon!

On Saturday I ran my last 20 mile long run and have now begun the taper, the phase of marathon training where you drastically reduce the intensity of training to give your body time to heal and rest before the big day.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."--Matthew 11:28

I started this week out with a four mile run. Other than a 5K race, I can't even remember the last time I did just a four mile run! The minimum for my daily training runs has been five miles for as long as I can remember.

For the last several weeks I've been averaging 40 miles per week. This week I'm planning to cut that back to 35. I'll have 25 miles in by the time the weekend arrives and will pick up the other 10 on Saturday. Then it's into the final week before March 4th.

Training Week: Feb 13 - Feb 19

Monday5 miles
Tuesday6 miles
Wednesday5 miles
Thursday6 miles
Friday5 miles
Saturday20 miles
Sunday0 miles
Total47 miles

Now that the hardest part of the training is done, it's time to set goals for the race. A friend asked the other day what goals I had for Little Rock. I told him, "Under 5 hours I'll be satisfied. Under 4:45 I'll be happy."

Both of those are a long way from the 5:22 I ran in October, but I don't think I'm being too confident. My training has gone extremely well since then and I've learned a lot. I've run five training runs of 20+ miles over the past four months, including almost all of the actual race course.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. "--Romans 12:2

So I've decided to start with the 4:40 pace group. That's about a 10:41 minute mile pace and I think it's achievable. The last half marathon I ran in a 9:10 pace and the 15K earlier this month was a 9:12 pace. So I'm thinking I should still be feeling really good at the halfway point if I maintain the 10:41 pace. When I get there, I'll have a decision to make.

My plan is to evaluate how I'm feeling at the halfway point. That's when I'll decide whether to stay with the pace group, speed up, or slow down. If things are going really well, I may pick up the pace once past the State Capitol to try and shave a few minutes off the finish time. If it feels like I can't push any harder and still finish the race, I'll choose to stick with the pace group to the end. And if things are looking bleak, I'll let the pace group go on and try to find a pace I can finish with.

Whatever God's will is for me in this race, He will reveal it to me. Of that, I am certain. If a 4:40 finish is His will, it will happen. If He needs me to run it faster or slower, He will reveal that. I just need to be patient to find His "good, pleasing, and perfect will."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."--Colossians 3:17

It's my fervent hope that regardless what the clock says when I cross that finish line, God will be glorified. I pray that He will use me to reach others, that some might come to know Him who wouldn't otherwise. I am so grateful that Jesus Christ has continued to strengthen me and to motivate me over these past four months. There is no way I'd be where I am now without Him!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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