Beginnings of a 3:15 Marathon Plan

I said it. The main goal; the A time. I guess the cat is out of the bag.  Some people go around preaching that goals should be written everywhere-mirror, car window, tattooed on your arm-wherever you will see it and be reminded what you’re working for. Then there are others who believe goals should be more private so that you are the only one accountable. If you tell the whole world you plan on winning the Olympics people will be expecting some proof, and doubting or praising you all along the way.

When you tell people your goal does it make it seem more real? For me, yes. In my mind, I think a 3:15 marathon or faster is a legit goal, yet hard enough for me to train for and actually perform, both for mental and physical reasons.

When I tell people that I am running a fast marathon it gives me the confidence I need to keep training, and on the other hand, it gives me one more person to prove it to. In the end does that really matter? No, but you need the kick the butt sometimes too.

So, it is out there for anyone to see. A 3:15 (or faster) marathon.

Training started two weeks ago, and though I told myself I was ready to get going and get after this, I still struggled. I did not do any of my cross training workouts, and my both my speed workout and long run was altered (and not in a good way) during the first week.

Instead of the 43-45ish miles I was shooting for, it was really 40. Instead of a long run I should have done on the roads or trails I did on the treadmill and could only do 10 before my shorts started bothering me and my brain was going to explode. I have found out that my max on a treadmill is 10 miles. I’ll take it.

Last week wasn’t much better…

I feel like I have great runs during the week, then the weekend comes and it/I fall apart.

I was shooting for a 15 mile run on Sunday. Sunday, the day it was going to be negative whatever in the morning and then I was going to go to Church and work at the running store until 5 p.m.

As the week approached the weekend, it never crossed my mind to say, “Jess, it is going to be 40 degrees Saturday, why don’t you change and do that 15 on Saturday?”

Why didn’t this occur to me? Because I was so focused on not thinking about the 15 miler, and not wanting to change from the easy 5 miles I had planned for Saturday that I was sabotaging myself anyway.

So, last minute, I jumped into running clothes on Saturday and attempted 15. Thanks to blisters the size of quarters that I received from wearing new shoes without socks the day before, my 15 miles turned into 12 since my shoe had turned from the color white to red and the blood was making my feet slide around.

No socks? Yeah, stupid decision number one that week, then thinking running 15 on fresh, bloody wounds was bad decision number two.


As I pouted to my mom about my inability to focus and get a decent long run in, she reminded me how I used to be about my runs. The weekend long run was IT, the main event. I ate right, went to bed early and had everything ready to go. What happened from then to now? Do I think I do not need to prep for a run? Do I think that I am too good to be nervous for a 15 miler? Or am really that nervous to start really training for this marathon?

I think it is a mixture of all.

Another factor is that since I am training for this marathon, my runs are done by time and pace, rather than just heading out to the Dunes shooting for a number of miles. I do not have my regular running group, and instead am by myself or on the treadmill.

It’s another form of the sport: marathon vs ultra trail running.

I made my choice. This Spring is going to be a marathon, and I need to accept that things are going to change to get me there.

My pace will change, and my times will be faster but it is still ME running out there.

Let’s get after this the Jessica way.

More updates will come throughout the weeks on training!


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