I would like to lovingly nickname this week the “get it done” week.
I am now officially halfway through marathon training! I can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing this for over two months. But I guess training plans don’t lie. This means that 9 weeks from the time that this posts I will be in the process of running my first 26.2 miles. I’ve learned to respect each distance I run.
I have a few thoughts this week I want to document for myself and also share for those of you who have done this or are thinking of doing this (marathon training that is):
First of all, I am super proud of myself for this “get it done” week. Daylight savings time really messed with my head, and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get a 7 miler in outside after being done with work at 4:30 on Wednesdays. I decided that I wasn’t going to let nature get the best of me. I packed up my bag, brought it to school with me (I’m a teacher, since I don’t really talk much about it), and ran in the area of my school so that when it got dark I could just run on the school’s property for safety. This is probably going to become my plan on Wednesdays from now on. It worked really well.
Then, with Pretty Muddy on Saturday morning, I knew I wasn’t going to get my 13 miler in. We had an event to go to last night where I knew we’d be out late and I wouldn’t want to have to keep telling myself to think about my long run in the morning. So, after work on Friday I came straight home, didn’t sit down, put my running clothes on, and headed out the door. I got 10.5 miles in before it was too dark to run without a headlamp, so I took the last 2.5 to the treadmill. Not a fun decision, but I got those miles in nonetheless.
I know that if I want to do my best on race day it’s going to mean making every training run I possibly can. I can’t make an excuse not to run when I have the time to do it, even if I have to make some schedule locale changes.
My second series of thoughts are about perceived mileage. When I faced this training plan back at the beginning of September, I looked at the mileage with a sense of fear. I had never run more than 12 miles on a training run, nor had I ever run anything over 5 or 6 miles on a weekday. There were so many things that made this plan so daunting for me, but I decided to charge into it headfirst. As I sit here now looking at a really awesome 7 miler on Wednesday (sub 9 pace the whole way) and a pretty spectacular 13 miler on Friday (that just felt good and was at a 9:20 pace on my fourth straight day of running), I can’t tell you that I’m tired of running longer distances or feel ready for this plan to be over. What I can tell you is that my perception of distances has changed dramatically.
Seven miles no longer scares me on a weekday. Now I just view it as another day of running. Four miles feels like a jaunt, and 13 miles feels like a pretty solid, but very doable distance. I’m not sure when this all clicked, but I am really loving running. I really do look forward to lacing up and stepping outside. I do most of my training runs alone, but I love that time to think, listen to music, play a funny podcast, and relax. Although I’m putting forth a great amount of effort on several runs a week, I still think of it as enjoyable. It just gives me my “me” time, and I love that.
So anyways, if you made it through all that, thanks for reading. Here is a little more with numbers that I always enjoy reading and sharing.
I pretty much already shared how each of the runs went, besides the 4 milers. Tuesday I just pounded it out on the treadmill while watching election coverage. I just couldn’t peel myself away from the television long enough to go outside.
Thursday’s run was probably the hardest of the week, even though it was only 4. I think my legs were tired after the awesome 7 miler the day before, so they resisted going any faster. I’ll tell you that the 9:20 pace I held felt quite a bit faster, which means my legs definitely were tired.
Saturday’s Pretty Muddy race was amazing. I had the best time I’ve had at a race ever. It was definitely muddy, but it was SO much fun! The Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers had a ball, and we were definitely pretty muddy by the end. I’m going to do a race recap in a post all its own, but for now, here are a couple of pictures of the end result: