So what I am doing differently this time?
1. More miles. Since 2009 when I ran my first marathon peaking at 30 miles (don't laugh, I ran a 3:44 Boston then!), I increased my running frequency and mileage with each training cycle. This worked well for me, and I believe a slow progression over the years is the way to go in terms of improving year to year and staying healthy. With A LOT of luck, I managed to stay injury free and PR most of my races. During my last training cycle I had one peak week @ 80 miles. This time I will see if I can go to 90 miles during 3 of my training weeks. In order to do this, and because I want to have one non running day/week, I will need to do doubles. I am a bit excited about doubles. Aside from a 20 miler gone bad, where I stopped at 15 and ran 5 later, I have never run twice a day before. I don't know how my body will handle that, and I am wiling to give the second run up if I need to. The second run will always be recovery (aka slug pace) and will follow a key workout. I will try doing a recovery run after my long run, if I can pull this off with my family's schedule (actually, training for a marathon even when running 90 miles/week will be overall less time consuming than HIM training; Chris is doing the happy dance in the background, LOL).
2. More races. Last winter I had a ball racing Fresh Pond almost every weekend. I am excited to go back. Also, I am considering 2 HMs, Hampton and Quincy, Derry 16 miler which I will not race all out (since it is in January and a tough course), Eastern States 20 miler (though I might skip it since it is flat), and maybe the Ras Ha Nhereim 5K in March (even though I will not be in 5K shape). Boston will be my A race, so I don't expect the PRs I had last year, but they might actually happen. I am also prepared to "not race" a lot of these races, if I feel too tired or burned out:)
3. Hills and plyos and pilates. Obviously I need to do hills for Boston. I do not dislike hills, and I have plenty around (I live in Arlington HEIGHTS, people). I think my problem with incorporating hills in my training has a lot to do with the fact that I slow down on hills (of course) and my average pace ends up slower. Of course. This time around, though, I will not allow myself to avoid hills due to such a silly reason. I don't plan on doing any strength training rather than pilates and ploys and hills, which are not strength per se, but I believe they will make me stronger and more efficient. Maybe I'll lift a dumbbell or to, to get my arms stronger, but maybe not.
So all this schedule making and planning made me appreciate how nice it may be to have a coach. And how hard coaches work. I do think that it is easier to create a plan for someone else than for yourself - at least it would be for me. Anyhow, all coaches out there, hats off to you all!
In other news the back pain I acquired last week is almost gone. I am still not 100% recovered after Baystate. My R leg/hamstring is still stiff and has decreased range of motion compared to the L. Hopefully a few more weeks of easy, mostly trail running, hot baths and streching/rolling will make them feel better. If not, I plan on being patient.
Just a little disclaimer here. This is the training that I think will work for ME. It may not work for YOU. It may injure YOU. Hire a coach, be patient, read and think about what is going to work for YOU based on where you are now, your running background and injury history.