Confession: I’m at the point in this training program where I am sick of training and itching to test myself in a real life marathon. In a word, I am starting to get impatient. Impatience is the emotional equivalent of the physical sensation of itching: it’s very annoying to experience, and often the only cure is just waiting it out. It has literally been months since Lina and I started on this journey, and with the weather getting nice and the runs ticking away, I just don’t feel like waiting any more. We (Lina) booked our hotel for Providence and knowing that we only have three longs runs until the race has made me start to fantasize about that day.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed the training. I have. And this isn’t to say that I won’t (almost) immediately start training again for the Chicago marathon. I will. But my excitement is getting the better of me! I love everything about big races – the expo, the early morning start, the anticipation and the energy when you’re waiting in your corral, the glory of finally putting your hard work to the test, the feeling of accomplishment at the end…When I envision all these things, having to live my life and run training runs for three more weeks seems like a drag. I guess I should stop whining, though, because it’s probably a great sign that I am getting antsy. It means that my body and my mind are syncing up and getting behind this crazy notion of running 26.2 miles.
As for today’s run, the 14 miler went better, and worse, than I anticipated. Throughout the week I was worried that I would need to stop and walk since this happened on my Tuesday run; not only would this have been frustrating and imply that I was feeling awful physically, but it would have also made me feel terrible for interrupting Lina’s run. In any case, I was concerned and it turned out that I felt back to normal. Whew. Also, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for running (sunny, mid 50’s) so given that my run last week was in a basement, I was ecstatic. (A reward from the discipline gods?) I even wore a pair of new running shorts, a pair of Moving Comfort Momentums. Not only was the weather totally supportive of this decision, but the shorts (pictured below) were great. I highly recommend them:
Image courtesy of Zappos. Sadly those aren’t my legs in the picture.
We did, however, hit a few snags that I did not foresee. Snag 1: I missed a road I planned for us to turn onto, which meant we spent the next few miles being semi-lost and not knowing where our next drink of water would come from. Water was planned on my original route, and after 8 miles, a girl needs some so this uncertainty was unpleasant. We actually found a drinking fountain at a little park but were hugely disappointed when it hadn’t yet been turned on :(. I think it really threw us both off our mental game, because the energy of the run changed for the worse at that point. We ended up at the mercy of a 7-Eleven cashier, who luckily took pity on us and filled up the empty water bottle I was carrying, thus enabling us to eat our Gu. (Side note: I tried the triple berry flavor – it was fantastic!)
Snag 2: Lina’s surgery knee and my right foot were killing each of us, respectively, and these pains were magnified by having to trek up some hills. Both of these issues have been plaguing us on our long runs for a few weeks now, and they have a way of ruining the good feels during a run. The pain in my foot seems to be distance-related because it only hurts on long runs. It feels like a pulled muscle along the outside edge of my sole, but the pain comes and goes in a way that doesn’t seem consistent with a pulled muscle. It’s a mystery. In hindsight I should have foreseen this, and it may be something I should pay more attention to. The results from Lina’s Garmin shows that we went from an 8:30-8:40ish pace to 9:17 pace during the 9th mile, which I attribute to these nagging afflictions.
Speaking of results, here they are:
I sent my Garmin in (finally) and will hopefully have it back within the next two weeks. Regarding the run stats, I’m very happy. Over the past few months, Lina and I have been nothing if not consistent with our overall pace on our long runs, and this is beyond encouraging. To see her words on these matters, click here.
I will continue to be amazed by how my body has reacted to this marathon training business. After running 14 today, I had a completely normal day. I could tell I had run, but it was nothing like two months ago when I would spend the rest of my long run days on the couch and/or in bed napping to recover. Running 10+ miles has become something my body can just do, and it’s starting to feel, dare I say, normal. It’s weird to say that, but I’m sure every person that has ever trained for a marathon has this realization at some point and is just in awe. I know I’ve already dedicated an entire post to this topic, but I can not get over how our bodies can adapt.
It’s important to recognize a good thing when it’s staring you in the face, so despite complaining about the ‘snags’ of my run today (which, let’s be honest, were minor), I have to make it clear that I am thankful for today’s run. I am thankful for my health, for my running buddy, and for beautiful spring days.