With my next marathon only 10 weeks away, I'm starting to get on up there in mileage with my training. Today I ran 15 miles... in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I cannot tell you how pleased I am about this. It means I maintained an average of a 10-minute mile pace. To do the marathon in 4:30 like I want, I need to run the thing with a 10:20 pace. I am feeling more and more confident that I'm going to be able to do it this time around, especially since the chances are good it won't be over 70 degrees on race day like it was at the Nashville marathon. Yay.
I've been using this training plan that I found in Runner's World. (Yes, I know my running is an obsession. I read Runner's World, I'm picky about my sports bras and running shirts, I don't cut too many short layers in my hair because I want it to all go in a ponytail, I'm on a mission to find headphones that will stay in my ears!!! and so on. But at least it's a healthy obsession.) I'm running only three days a week: a speed workout, a tempo run, and a long run. I must say that it is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to train for any length race.
I feel like I'm getting in quality runs (because I'm pushing myself to maintain faster paces on the shorter runs and build both my strength and endurance) without wearing out my body. Granted, running 15 miles is going to make you tired. It's crazy how my body deals with the long runs on Saturday. I don't really hurt, but any time I get up my legs are like "what are you doing?! Sit down! Leave us alone!"
Today was also nice because my friend Brett joined me for the first 3 miles. It might sound crazy, but having company for the first couple of miles made it a lot easier to run the remaining 12. I stopped when he left to use the bathroom and grab my ipod, so I was trying to lie to myself that I only had to run 12 when I started again. It kind of worked. AND THEN - I put my ipod on shuffle and pretty much every song that came up was a good running song. I love it when my ipod knows just what I need, haha. AND THEN - when I got done I found my cousin and her husband coming out to start running. There's something REALLY nice about seeing some friendly faces when you've been running alone for 2 hours.
All in all, things are going well. I've added back the arms and abs class at the YMCA to focus a bit on keeping my upper body strong. I'm also getting back into the weekly yoga class as well. One thing I know for sure is that I have a million times more energy when I keep myself fit, not to mention it just makes me feel good. I always feel so crappy when I go to long without being active. My best advice to anyone who feels tired all the time or just generally yucky is to start throwing some exercise into the mix.
I'll keep you all updated over the next 10 weeks. Who knows... maybe I'll suddenly get this lightning speed that I didn't know was in me and run a 4-hour race. It's a lofty idea, but you never know... it could happen.