It's been six days since finishing my first trail marathon and I'm starting to come out of the fog of recovery.
I ran the Free State Trail marathon in Lawrence, Kansas. It rained from the moment the RD shouted "Go!". The trail was slop by halfway through.
But that's not the point of this little post. I'll have a race write up sometime soon and post the link to it.
What I wanted to share is that I finally completed Eric's marathon plan. I purchased it about 2 years ago and started it twice, shelving it both times until this year. One of the times I stopped was because race timing didn't work out. The other was because I was taking on something new- expanding my trail running and couldn't piece together enough information from this website, which was before the book came out, to make sense of everything.
After spending a year with a coach who took me through my first longest distances races (17 mile, 25k and 50k), I opened up the marathon plan with more knowledge of how to approach the heart rate zones, and the long runs, and everything in between. And what I found is that I LOVED the variety of the plan. I spent a year, and rightly so, running fairly monotonous training plans- everything low, unless specific hill training. I learned a lot. But I knew I couldn't go into another training season with the same long and slow. Eric's plan gave me the variety and forced me to keep my edge mentally and of course, physically. I got the the end of my last long run of 20 miles and sort of shrugged my shoulders and said "Well, I guess I'm ready." Yes, I had lots of trying, dark, fatiguing moments and one particular bad morning, with the dog peeing on a brand new rug, left me threatening to quit the training because I just couldn't anymore, but I got through (and we still have the dog and the rug washed out). I toed the starting line feeling equipped and prepared.
I would say the marathon plan is a heck of a plan and you need to be prepared to put in the effort but it will make a better runner.