Well, I’ve paid my money so it’s time to put up or shut up. I am registered for what will hopefully be my tenth marathon at Monumental in November. I say hopefully because number 10 was supposed to be Derby, and you know how well that went.

I registered during the same week I started training — 12 weeks out. Really, I was going to wait a few more weeks to register, but the race was 75% full as of this week. (And there was a discount code.)

So, 12 weeks of training ahead. I’m back to using Pete Pfitzinger’s plan from Advanced Marathoning, which is what I’ve used for most of my marathons. (Except the one this spring that went totally bust, anyway.) This season I’ll be using what is informally called the 12/55 plan — 12 weeks and a max of 55 miles. I may try to stretch the miles a little higher, but I didn’t want the pressure of using the 70 mile/week plan and dropping it down.

This first week of training is a bit of trick — looks nice and easy. 8 miles Tuesday, 9 miles Thursday, 5 on Saturday and 13 with 8 at marathon pace on Sunday, 35 miles total. I haven’t been running more than 6 during the week for the past few weeks, and I am faced with the double-obstacle of adjusting my schedule to accommodate longer weekday runs while facing later sunrises. In the summer, it’s pretty easy to run here around 5:30-6 a.m. But now, that’s pushed back already to about 6:30. Yes, I could run with a headlamp, but I still have some safety concerns about running by myself in the dark. Meanwhile, it hasn’t cooled down enough for evening runs to be enjoyable yet, either. (But it’s only 78* today so there’s hope on that front.)

Also, the longer weekday runs are scheduled on the days of the week that I have my favorite cross training classes. I might shift some runs around, but next week I have other schedule conflicts so I’m just not winning there.

This will be our third trip to Monumental. I ran the marathon in 2013 and set a new PR in the half last year. Chris ran the full there last year and is doing so again this year. If everything goes as planned, this will actually be the first time we do 26.2 at the same time.

Stay tuned. I’ll try to do a weekly update to help me stay focused and motivated.