I’ve been having a weird sensation for the last two weeks. I can’t explain it and I don’t know if it’s new or a returning feeling. I’ve started liking running again. I almost said loving running again, but I don’t want to push this relationship. It has been rocky, and if classified by Facebook, it has been “complicated”. But this week and last week, I rediscovered all the things about running that I really do enjoy.
I’ve had a lot of good runs in the last few weeks, and I just hope I’m not using up all my good run energy before I get to marathon number two (that is two weeks from today). This week only added to those good runs, and I definitely have a lot to be happy for and thankful about.
This week’s runs (I’m replacing the work “workouts” here with “runs” because there were no other workouts. Oops?)
Tuesday: Four miles easy. I don’t remember this, but I think it might have been slow and craptastic.
Wednesday: This was the run I had been waiting on. I already wrote about it on Friday so I won’t belabor the point, but it was a 7 mile run with 5 at tempo. I averaged that tempo under 8:30/mile, which was the goal. It made me feel strong, because I finished feeling good and like I could have kept on going but was glad I didn’t have to. I think that’s how you’re supposed to finish a tempo. It gave me confidence for the marathon.
Thursday: Four miles easy. It was fine.
Friday: Off again. I was supposed to swim. I haven’t solved my pool problem, so swimming didn’t happen.
Saturday: I had been dreading this long run since I saw the plan. I’ve never done a long run more than 20 miles, so this 22 miler was to be the second longest run I’ve ever done in my whole life, behind the Disney Marathon I did in January. I didn’t know anyone else running close to this distance, and though Meg was running 10, she was doing it on the bridges in prep for a hilly spring race, and I just didn’t have it in me to do another really long run over those monsters. I opted instead to run alone. Beth texted me the night before that she would come over and run the first 4 miles with me.
Though it wasn’t a large percentage of the run, it helped me get started on the right foot, and it also helped me get started before the sun came up. Sunrise was at 7:11 on Saturday, and we started at 6:05. I was really thankful to get started that early, because I absolutely wouldn’t have had she not come to run with me. I don’t do running in the dark alone very well.
To break up the run, I divided into segments with out and backs from my house. After each segment I stopped for water, salt tabs, Gu, and Cytomax. It broke the run up well. The segments were 4 miles, 7 miles, 5.5 miles, and 5.5 miles. The hardest part was getting out the door for the last segment, but the hardest segment was the second to last for whatever reason. Aside from the water stops, I didn’t stop on the run at all besides when I hit 20 miles; I stopped there to stretch and give myself a pep talk for 30 seconds. Those last two miles seemed daunting.
Beth and I didn’t realize how slow we were going, but it turned out to work well. I had an incredibly consistent run, and it bodes really well for the marathon. I hope I can maintain splits like this on race day. I hope runs like Saturday gave me mental preparation for what my brain will try to convince me of on race day. Those out and backs were boring as all get out, but they got the job done.
Sunday: I ran 4 miles without a watch or timing device at all. I just know, as I’m sure you all do as well, where two miles is from my front door. I ran there and back and smiled the whole way.
And that’s a wrap on marathon training cycle #2! I’m on taper now, and race day is 2 weeks away! I’m going to relax, hydrate, enjoy time off work, and celebrate the holidays. I can’t wait to race 26.2 miles again! This time I’m coming back with a vengeance. While I may not dominate it physically as much as I could with a full training cycle, all I want to do is dominate it mentally. I want to cross that finish line knowing that I didn’t let my brain shut down my body.
Do you like knowing the mile markers on your runs, or do you like going different routes where you don’t know how far you are as you go?
How often do you run without a watch or device telling you time, pace, or heart rate?