It has been a loooong time since I wrote about running. You guys probably think I’ve totally fallen off the map, or worse – off the wagon. Rest assured, I’m still out there pounding the pavement. Training for San Francisco officially started in June. After the Pig (and all the wedding and honeymoon festivities), I continued to run casually several times a week, in order to keep my fitness, and not have the dreaded task of starting over with my mileage.
(Side note: I keep reading about other bloggers who are running the half-marathon in San Fran. Is anyone else out there running the full with me??)
For my previous three marathons, I’ve used Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 and 2 schedules. I figured it’s time for me to step it up, so this time I’m doing the Intermediate 1 level. The only main difference is that the mileage starts out a little higher (first long run was 8 miles), and unfortunately that allows for two 20-milers towards the peak of training.
So far the running itself hasn’t been too bad, but my insane summer schedule has made the weekend long runs very challenging to accommodate. Right now I’m in week seven of the schedule, and here’s where my first five weekends of “official” training have been spent…
Week 1: Charlotte round one (no running – boooo!)
Week 2: Hilton Head (ran and walked 10M each day)
Week 3: Washington, DC (walked over 30M that weekend)
Week 4: Indianapolis (ran 7 miles in torrential rain)
Week 5: Charlotte round two (no running again boooo!)
Not to complain, I’ve had some great trips and vacations, and obviously the two Charlotte trips were more than necessary, but it’s definitely taken a toll on my ability to fit in the long runs (which are the most important runs of all!). And while I was able to get in some good workouts and walks, I didn’t necessarily do my scheduled runs, which is frustrating. So this past weekend was week six, and we were finally in town for the first time in months.
I woke up early Saturday morning ready to roll. Ate half a PB&J, grabbed my ipod and headed out. I was all pumped that the weather was so nice and cool, and though this was perfect for my scheduled 9 miles. I realized about two minutes later than the nice “breezy” weather, was actually an insane storm headed right in my direction. Before I knew it, the sky had opened up, and there was torrential rain pouring down on me. It was like being in Florida – it came on fast and with no warning! I briefly considered turning around and running home, but I was so wet already, it was pointless – might as well keep running! It was the kind of rain that came down so hard it made it hard to keep my eyes open. Not to mention the terrifying lightening flashes and booming thunder. Scary stuff.
My run was cut short due to bad timing (my fault – I left too late), since I had to be back by 10:30 to drive Lindsey to the airport, and I was only able to squeeze in six miles (but was scheduled for nine). I was happy to have run the six, but disappointed that yet again, my long run fell short. Rather than hate myself for it all week long, I decided that I would just count that as an extra training run and try again tomorrow.
Sunday morning I woke up ready to go again. Downed another P&J and I was off! My legs felt tired, feeling the effects of Saturday’s six miles underneath them, but I made myself keep going, knowing that if I could just get warmed up I would feel better. It was much hotter on Sunday morning, and I knew it was going to be a tough run, especially since I hadn’t run more than 7 or so miles at a time since May. I made a decision to stop watching my Garmin, and just run what felt comfortable – to focus on my mind, and not my pace.
I ran and ran, not looking at my watch, and thinking about moving, school, packing, work – just letting my mind drift as my legs kept mindlessly moving. The miles passed by quickly since I wasn’t focusing on them. I picked a few hard long loops that I knew would add up, and I was thrilled to check my watch when I finally got back home – ten miles! It wasn’t my fastest run ever, but it was peaceful, and I felt great. My legs, however, definitely felt like they ran 16 miles this weekend – ouch! On top of that, Casey and I took the dogs for several long walks, bringing my weekend mileage total up to around 25 – not bad.
It feels great to be back on track! San Francisco still feels very far away right now, but it’s nice to finally be settling into a consistent training plan, and knocking my runs off one by one. The next few weeks ahead will be difficult again – lots of traveling, moving, school starting – but I am more determined than ever to get the runs in. I promise to start writing about my running more now that it’s in full swing. It might help me stay more accountable while I’m at it, and I know a lot of other people are training for fall marathons now too.
As usual, I’m already thinking about what comes next when San Francisco is over. The Charlotte Marathon is in December, but it looks pretty hilly – we’ll see. Anyone want to run it with me?
So far I have two races on my calendar for 2010 – first up, 13.1 with Donna in Jacksonville, Florida, along side Mary Ann as she runs her first half-marathon! And of course, I’ll be heading back to Cincinnati in May for my third go-round with the Pig. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Hal’s got me scheduled for 14 miles this Saturday, and 6 more on Sunday. I’m headed back to Charlotte this weekend (ugh) for my Johnson & Wales Orientation Session (I’m such a college kid!). But I am determined to get my runs in no matter what…
Who else is training for a fall marathon this year? Does anyone else struggle to train through the hot and BUSY summers like I do? All together now…