Since January 1, I have been working on a number of things: flexibility, my growing addiction to Dominos Pizza (nurturing, not lessening), and being positive to name a few. But one thing that I seem to have neglected is this: my big ol’ marathon.
Last night I went on a run, and it wasn’t my most favourite run ever. It felt much harder than usual! What the heck? I ran three half marathons, two obstacle courses and three trail races last year, why can’t I handle a few leisurely kilometres for fun?! Maybe I should rethink my Dominos addition. When I got back, and looked at my times, my km splits ranged from 6:07 (longest) to 4:43 (shortest). So, not too awful after all, just inconsistent. I realised that since the Stampede in October, I had relied on intuitive running. I have made this term up*, so let me explain.
To be honest, it’s not rocket science: when I feel I can push myself further, I do, and when I feel like I need to pull back, I do. It’s not surprising that the times I felt I needed to pull back coincided with the hills on the route! Before last year, when I set a goal time for my half marathon, I ran intuitively all the time. After last night, I suddenly appreciate how more structured training has impacted my speed and abilities – and how I’m missing it now I’m not doing it.
Today, I found myself on a train journey with time to think about my marathon training. I’m not going to lie: I’m
completely sh*t scared a little intimidated. For one thing, I realised that in week 12 of my 16 week training plan, we’ve booked a trip to Chicago and New York to visit family. Am I really planning on going for that Sunday 20 mile run in a city I don’t even know, with jet lag to boot? Just how motivated will I be, in NYC, to run for three hours when I could be shopping/eating/visiting everything?
However, the more I thought about it, the more excited I felt. I can’t wait to have a goal to work towards once more! And I am really looking forward to feeling as if I’m getting somewhere with my speed and distances.
Runner’s World this month has a great article about running: many people feel that ‘the soul is willing but the flesh is weak’, but actually it’s the other way around. Our bodies are made to move, made for challenges: it’s how we find ourselves as far away as Australia and England rather than all crowding around Greece and Turkey. I know there will be times when I really don’t want to do what the schedule tells me to do, and I don’t think that I’m very prepared for the impact it will have on every other aspect of my life. But I just need to remember that my body can run the distance, I need my mind to catch up and commit as well.
I’ve never done anything like this before, and that makes me excited**.
I have just over two weeks til my training begins – with some nice, reasonable distances to lull me into a false sense of security before it kicks my ass. Until then, I am increasing my distances so my legs are prepared for what lies ahead……
Here is the kind of view I was enjoying as all this ran through my mind:
* A quick Google search has shown me that intuitive running is actually a thing, which has more to do with strike and step. Mine is more to do with how you feel during the run rather than the technical side. Feel free to add another definition to the mix!
** All those readers who have done a marathon, I know that in the grand scheme of things it’s not such a big deal. But I urge you to remember how you felt before you had started training for your first one before you write me off as a softie!