The Estes Park marathon has been one on my bucket list. We first went to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) a couple of years ago, and last summer it was Jasper’s first mountain trip. I decided doing a marathon here was a must do, as every direction has incredible mountain views. Now a real Coloradan probably poo-poos Estes Park, as it is a little tourist town outside the National Park. I like that is hasn’t gotten too big over the years, and while a little junky in places, it totally lacks pretension like Santa Fe, or Lake Tahoe. It is also a very easy place to get to with a child. Flying to Denver is a 2 hour direct flight and then another hour drive or so and you’re there. Jasper also flies free just a little longer, so we knew this summer we needed to do the trip again. Mike was gracious enough to agree to plan it around the marathon.
I started planning my training today. Kind of ambitious for someone with a hacking cough and a big toenail with a giant blood blister under it. But, in marathon terms, June is not far off. So check out this elevation chart!!! I looked up past results, and last year’s women’s winner came in right at 4 hours. I am guessing that it may take me 4:30, but I really have no idea. The men’s winner barely broke 3 hours. This tells me this race is really a mini-ultra and I will need to treat it as such. There will be no crowd support, so I may take an ipod on this on. It will be a conservative first half for sure, because do you see that hill!?!
I pulled up my plan I used for the Frankenthon. While I am intrigued by the Hanson’s plan I mention several posts back, that has shorter long runs and longer mid-week runs, I think traditional long runs will be the way to go for this one for a couple of reasons. First off, I tried the Hanson plan a little and it is very difficult for me to run longer runs before work. I already get up at 430 most days, and 400 on the day I meet Mark. Getting up at 400 everyday is just too much. The other reason is that this run is going to take me a whole hour longer than a regular marathon (I am guessing). I think time on my feet is beneficial. Now I limit my long runs to 3 hours and will still do so, but I can cover a lot of distance in 3 hours.
I will also need more hill work than I currently do. Austin is actually quite hilly, but all the hills are in west Austin and I live in east Austin. I’ve got a couple short but steep hills nearby that I will just have to repeat to death.
So I mapped out the schedule and it actually started last weekend. Yikes! I guess running a marathon to kick off your marathon training is not the worst idea ever. Due to the fact I am recovering, plus getting over being sick, I pushed my start back a couple of weeks.
The best part about this race? Mike and Jasper will get to be at the finish!! I am sure I will have lots of posts about the training. After this one the next goal is to break my ancient PR. I better get some rest….sounds like I will be busy.