It's been awhile since I've posted about my marathon training, but rest assured I am still plugging along on this journey - some days more slowly than others. I had intended to get back on track with the Marathon Monday posts yesterday since, after all, it was Monday. But it's proving difficult to get everyone around here back into a school/work schedule and our mornings, rather than running smoothly and without incident, often look like feeding time at the zoo. Except the monkeys are stealing food from the lions, the lions are roaring at the elephants for eating the last of the Cheerios, and invariably some creature has lost a water bottle, or sock, or bookmark and life simply cannot proceed as planned until it is located. (Yesterday that "thing" happened to be my coffee cup. And if the zookeeper doesn't get her coffee, it's a pretty sure bet the world will spin off its axis. At least, that's the theory I'm expounding.) Needless to say, on some days, blog posts just don't happen.
But today the mug is full of java, there's 30 minutes before the littles awaken, and you, lucky readers, get a post. So here's the marathon scoop for last week:
W O R K O U T S
(scheduled workouts are in bold, my actual workout in italics)
Speed Run: 1 mile warm up, 2 (6 x 400 @ 1:42), 10 min cool down
1 mile warm up, 2(6 x 400 @1:42), 10 min cool down
Despite looking like an algebraic equation, this workout was not too bad, since the intervals were only 400m in length. One lap on the track is not as daunting (well, at least not until you get up to the 10th interval or so.) I actually stuck very close to the rest intervals on this one, which were 1:30 between 400s and then a 2:30 between the first and second set of intervals. I think I may have inadvertantly run one extra 400 on the first set because it's hard to keep track of that many laps. Next time I may have to use rocks on the edge of the track to mark my laps. High tech, I tell ya.
Tempo Run: 6 miles: 1 easy, 3 @ 7:44m/m, 2 easy
6 miles: 1 easy, 3 @ 8:00m/m, 2 easy
This run sucked, plain and simple. I walked about 1/2 of the last "easy" mile because I just felt like doo. Next week the tempo runs increase in length and I'm not looking forward to that one little bit.
Long Run: 18 miles @ 9:05m/m
18 miles @ 8:50m/m
Alison and I tried out a new route on this long run and basically used 3 six-mile runs looped together to complete it. I was feeling good the whole run both mentally and physically, a sensation that rarely happens. We pushed it at the end and ended up finishing with a cumulative mile pace of 8:50. Sah-weet!
C H A L L E N G E S
At this point in training, the biggest challenge has to be the length of the schedule. Am I really only halfway through this beast? But I've been training forEVAH! (whine.) Facing nine more weeks seems like an eternity, especially when the bulk of that nine weeks will be spent pounding the pavement and sweating profusely. It's hard not to scowl with hatred at that looming schedule, sitting smugly on my desk. Because, let's be honest, it has kind of taken over my life. It affects the way I eat, sleep, and schedule my days. I am the giver in this relationship, giving time, energy, sweat, and tears...trusting that, in approximately nine weeks, it will give me back what I need. To finish 26.2. And it damn well better be there for me at that finish line, waiting with an ice cold beer.
I N S P I R A T I O N S
Not ever having run a full marathon, I'm going on blind faith that this training will successfully prepare me for the race. Other veteran marathoners tell me it will. And I'm feeling a bit re-energized by my strong long run this week. Granted, 18 miles is still a long way from 26.2, but the fact that I felt good the entire run is giving me confidence that this thing is possible. That I am getting stronger. That the training just may be (holy cow!) working. That the sacrifices will ultimately pay off. That the blisters will heal and the muscles will repair and eventually, the finish line will come into view. That eventually, it will all be worth it. And right now, that's what I'm clinging to: the "eventually."