I wrote last week about how I was starting to look for marathons in Europe that might be interesting to run and review and even more interesting to travel to. Using points and miles is really fun for me when I can do something a little different than just taking the single option the award calendar spits out :). I know, I am strange like that!
Anyway, in a quick overview of my marathon challenge, I had realized the Iceland Marathon was in August and that it was on a day that I would be available. The Challenge part came about because I have not run much at all in the last few weeks given our family’s moving plans, travel, and such. For people that know about training for marathons, optimal training schedules are between 16-18 weeks. It is possible to do it on shorter schedules to be sure, but it always helps to have a solid base in place. In my instance, I really do not have much of a base (the longest distance I ran recently was 27 miles on the treadmill back in May). Please note: if you do not have enough miles under your belt, you can hurt yourself starting from nothing and running a marathon on such a short timetable. I realize the potential is there for that, but given the amount of miles I have before that period and my reasonable goal, I feel I have ruled out the possibility of injuring myself to some extent.
So, once I decided to run the Iceland Marathon, I had 40 days until the race. In that time, I have to ramp up my mileage again and find a way to get to Iceland on the cheap from Greece. The challenge consists of:
- 40 days of training
- 40 miles (max) of training per week (to reduce the potential for injury in training)
- 4:00 hours for the marathon (which is about 30 minutes slower than my PR but is a suitable goal considering my lack of training)
- Use miles and points to get to Iceland, stay, and get home with as little cash outlay as possible
After week 1, how did I do?
- Tuesday – 6 miles @ 8:03 pace
- Thursday – 9 miles @ 8:13 pace
- Friday – 7.5 miles @ 8:07 pace
- Sunday – 12 miles @ 8:30 pace
- Total – 34.5 miles @ 8:16 pace
A couple of things that I have going in my favor during this (short) training phase are the temperatures around here (over 90 degrees each run) and the hills (intense!). The temps for the Iceland marathon should be around 50ish and the hills are pretty non-existent – the race description is “small rolling” hills. So, hopefully my training environment will ultimately help me!
That’s it for last week! This week, I am hoping to get close to 40 miles while working some cross-training in as well. On the trip planning front, I have my ticket to Iceland, my hotel in Iceland, and my flight half-way back from Iceland :). Just one more flight to piece together and I am set! Looking forward to it, but mostly looking forward to reviewing this race as it enters its 30th race year so that I might encourage some of you to do it at some point.