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I hope you can give me some advice. I only started running a year ago, so see myself as a beginner. I have done 2 half marathons, with a PB of 1:56:47. I ran my very first marathon last weekend in Edinburgh and have taken this week off. I'm away next week, so will have 2 weeks of rest in total. The marathon was OK...I had a slight hamstring problem 4 weeks out which I managed conservatively and felt fine on the 2 long slow Sunday runs leading up to the marathon (18 miles slow and 12 miles steady).
Unfortunately, it flared up again 10 miles in...managed to get around another 3 before my calf started cramping . Went through the first half in about 2:01, second half took me 2:50!!! Had to go down to run-walk and pretty much walk the last 7-8 miles. My target time was 4:30 (revised from 4:15, due to the injury) so considering the hamstring injury recurring, I didn't do too bad to only be 21 mins outside.
However, as I couldn't run properly in the last half, I don't feel completely battered from the marathon. I wouldn't want the 16 weeks of training to ebb away now and want to continue. As said earlier, I will have 2 weeks of complete rest, stretching aside, and am wondering what to do next. I genuinely feel that if I get my leg right, I would be able to do another marathon pretty soon.
I have a few complicating factors, my wife and I are expecting a baby at the beginning of October, so the Liverpool marathon (which I really fancied) is out of the question. Also, travelling a long way will be a challenge before that. I considered the Wye Valley Marathon on 4th September. This would give me 13 weeks of training time from 5th June. It is local to me (I'm in Chepstow) so would be convenient for the family (unlike Edinburgh ahem!). I feel that I am at a good base level and would be able to enter a 16-week marathon plan at week 3/4 (maybe have a warm-up week first! )
What do you fellow runners think? Do you think that this plan is over-ambitious? I am conscious that it is an off-road marathon and this fact makes me a bit apprehensive. I really want to do another marathon but I don't feel I can target a marathon between October and summer next year due to the baby. I wouldn't want to go into any marathon under-trained and take somebody's place who would have been able to put the effort in.
I'm grateful for any thoughts and am grateful for you taking the time to read my very long post!