We continue our lightning round of Vermont City Marathon elite runner previews with Meg Lout. We basically just asked one simple question to many of the elites: Are You Ready? They had free reign to answer in any way they saw fit. Here is Meg’s response:
I have an amazing running coach (Kelly Liljeblad) and PT (Brian Loeffler) at On Track, and they have gotten me healthy, and I’ve been mostly injury-free for the last year. I trained hard to race Boston this year and knew it would be tough to recover and train for a fast VCM, but I can’t pass up VCM!
After Boston, I lowered my weekly running volume, but continued with speed workouts and medium long/long runs to maintain at least some of my pre-Boston fitness. I try to eat well and also do minimal core strengthening during the last few weeks.
My mental training is also a big part of VCM because I keep thinking I’ll be tired from Boston. I don’t want to sabotage my race without giving my legs a fair shot, so I am focusing on positive thoughts and the excitement of feeling excited and healthy.
Since running Boston, I am still unsure if my body is recovered enough to race VCM. I do know that I feel healthy, although I plan on starting slower than my goal marathon pace during the first 17-18 miles so I have something left in my legs to finish feeling less fatigued. Once I am on top of Battery hill, I will pick up the pace if I feel good. (I’m getting exciting writing about it!) I’d rather finish VCM feeling stronger and enjoying the race than to finish with a faster time and feel horrible the last 10k.
It’s also going to feel warm for me, so I am taking a conservative approach to pacing myself. I am hydrating today and plan to drink as much as I can at aid stations, and take gels every 45 minutes (“nutrition plan”). Mentally, I break up the marathon into segments (usually by gel packets), focus on good form (especially when I’m tired), and try to stay positive and believe in myself and my training plan. I tell myself that the painful parts of a marathon are temporary, and I think of my friends and runners who inspire and support me. I imagine my coach and what she would say as I am running, and that always helps me to run wisely. I am thrilled to be an invited athlete, so I must not expend too much energy being excited!! I also try not to let myself run with faster paced runners, which will be a challenge in the beginning. It would be great to run with another runner with similar pace goals as mine. I love when that happens!