I haven't exactly tried to keep it a secret that I will be running the Pittsburgh Marathon this Sunday, May 3rd.
Am I ready? Mostly. Am I going to run fast? Maybe. Am I excited for the end of the marathon cycle? Absolutely!
Pittsburgh is said to be a great event overall with excellent organization, crowd support and which runs on a scenic but challenging course that includes several noteworthy hills.
This will be my seventh marathon but first in over a year (since Boston 2014). I don't exactly have a time goal in mind but honestly, will be a bit disappointed if I don't run around 2:40.
Despite what seemed like a long time recovering from last fall's hip/groin injury (and still occasionally being reminded of it), I was able to put in a fairly substantial training block that included running over 2,100K since the start of the year as well as four 100 mile (161K) weeks, averaging almost 140K/week during the peak marathon build. My speed is certainly not where I'd like it to be or where it's been in the past, but my endurance should be and is hopefully enough to carry me through.
Given that I was training specifically for the Ottawa Marathon on May 24th, you might wonder why the change to Pittsburgh. Essentially it's because 1) after running relatively well at Around the Bay in late March, I felt that eight additional weeks of training was simply too much especially with my fitness finally coming around (peaking perhaps?) 2) Most of my Black Lungs teammates ran Boston last Monday (where they were wicked fast) and are now in recovery mode. I wanted to mitigate the time between our respective races so we can be more or less on the same page when the fall cycle (Philadelphia) begins. Finally 3) I will be working non-stop at the #TORW2015 race expo from Thursday to Saturday which means long days on my feet and having to be mentally engaged almost constantly. This is both physically and mentally draining and a pretty legitimate excuse for a poor marathon performance if you ask me. I do however still plan to play some role in Ottawa on race day either pacing the full or half and will definitely be cheering on my Black Lungs teammates.
So ya, Pittsburgh in five days. Let's see how that goes.