8 on the beltline.
i'm about to change up my training quite a bit (what have i been doing? i don't know...killing time and numbing my brain). over the past several months i haven't really done anything but easy mileage -- no workouts and no real purpose/end goal. i now have more of a plan. this summer will be a true focus on the 5k/10k (instead of just saying it and then continuing on with marathony stuff). i'll then focus on running a fast half this fall. possibly no marathon in 2015? :0
the marathon is my comfort zone -- the race itself and the training leading up to it. it's what i know, and i've spent the past 10 years going through multiple marathon cycles a year. all the shorter races i've done have been either part of a marathon build up or sandwiched between two of them. i've never truly focused on shorter distances. even when i was doing a lot of short/fast stuff on the track, i was also doing 20 mile long runs and all of my focus was on the marathon. there is a reason why it took me 41 tries to break 18 in the 5k, and why i still haven't broken 1:20 in the half.
i've slowly chipped away at my marathon goal over the years, but now i'm stuck. i don't think i can make any more improvements with what i'm doing and what i know. it's time to finally get a real method down and see what comes of it. i now have the guidance and expertise of a coach and i have the opportunity to train with people who are a lot faster than me (16:40-17:30 girls). i am really excited about it.
improving my time in the marathon is still the ultimate goal, but it will be a long-term, patient approach. i said this last year -- that i had no desire to focus on anything else because i knew i couldn't keep myself away from the utah races i love so much. des news and TOU were burned into my yearly calendar, so i was always engaging in crazy summer cram sessions followed by a fall of being broken/lazy/worked over. come january, i always felt like i was starting over (but for the record, i do not regret this approach. it was deliberate. i knew the double marathon summers weren't necessarily ideal, but it's where i found fun and focus each year. those memories are priceless to me and those experiences molded me into the runner i am now -- for better or for worse [cue that time i rolled in vomit]).
i'm excited to change things up and see where it takes me. as long as i can stay consistent and healthy, i think this plan can get me to a place where the OTQ is a reasonable goal.