Saturday, January 3, 2009

Detour to Phoenix

Two weeks from tomorrow I’ll be running the Phoenix Rock & Roll Marathon – a bit of a twist on Ironman training, as well as my first blatant defiance of my coach. You see, I decided to do this race just prior to committing to IM OZ. When I asked MJ to be my coach, the first thing she said was that she’d prefer I only run the half, to avoid the marathon’s serious pounding and significant recovery time. The thing is, I really want to do the full, and I tend to be a bit stubborn once I get an idea in my head. MM calls it persistence, though I prefer to think of it as knowing what I want. Anyhow, I’ve had good luck in the past running a marathon a few months out from an Ironman. I like to believe it provides a strong running endurance base and then allows for backing off the miles a bit to focus more on cycling and swimming, along with shorter running speed. I know I’m not the expert here and I should abide by my coach’s direction; but after all, MJ has never run a solo marathon, so perhaps this is one area where I might be able to school her just a bit. Of course, I think every one of her Ironman marathons has handily beat every one of my seven stand-alone marathons - but who’s keeping track?

So I promised MJ that from here on out I would follow her every instruction, save for this one little 26.2 mile jaunt. She agreed to work my training plan around it, allowing for a two-week marathon taper infused with a few cycling and swimming workouts. Then she’ll kick me into Ironman high gear once the race and recovery are over. Then I’ll begin to pile on the miles, to develop my 3-sport endurance, fitness and speed. Then I’ll obey my coach one hundred percent. But for now I have a hall pass to focus on my marathon mini-mutiny. Wish me luck!

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