Friday, September 19, 2008

It Comes with the Territory

This is the part during marathon training where I start to question myself a bit. Granted, a lot of people question my sanity before, during and after, but that's not what I'm talking about.

You see, marathon runners do something that less than one tenth of one percent of the earth's population does. Seriously. Look it up in Runner's World or google it or something. We are know our sanity is worth questioning. That's not really the point.

However, every marathon runner inevitably raises personal questions about his or her self while training for the next race. Sometimes it's terribly introspective, and other times it's simpler things like the training plan.

Mine is always about preparation. At this point, I've put in close to two months of preparation. I still have a little over 2 months more to go. I've done this before, and I know that I'm not supposed to feel prepared right now and that I probably will closer to race day.

But this is where I always start to question. I wonder if my training plan is sufficient. Granted, I'm following the same one I used to set a 26 minute PR with last year other than a few alterations (namely running a marathon before I run a marathon). My question this year revolves around if I'm really doing enough. Last year I had already run a marathon just a few months before starting to train for the next. This year? I had only run a few halfs.

Ultimately, I know not to be concerned. I'm training hard. I'm trying to put good things in my body like water and fruit and vegetables and the occasional chocolate decadent dessert (come on, it's good for you and you know it). I'm getting excited about the cooler weather because I know I run better in it. I've got a great training plan.

The questions usually linger for about a week, and then I find my "second half of training second wind." I remember the 3 marathons I've already done. I realize I'm knocking out long runs like there's no tomorrow. I find that sense of knowing I'll reach my goal again on race day.

For example? I ran 10 1/4-mile repeats yesterday at an 8:00 m/m pace (which is hella fast for me these days). I killed it. That treadmill didn't know what hit it, and neither did the guy next to me who seemed really bewildered that every 2 minutes I'd slow down and walk on 3.8 and then kick it back up to 7.5 again.

AND I went to yoga class. It was a little tougher this week because my hamstrings are totally taking a beating with all the running. All the more reason to get to yoga.

Tomorrow morning calls for a 16-miler. The weather should be around 61-64 the whole time with only 10% humidity. This excites me! It's only 1.5 miles longer than the longest run I've done, so I think it's going to be a good one. I also got my new Mikado tank in the mail today, so I'm looking forward to hitting the pavement in it (and shorts.. can't forget the shorts).

I hope everyone has a happy weekend, and to my fellow runners I wish you well in whatever milegage your training has you cover this weekend. We can all do it!


Eric said...

good luck on the 16 miler the way you are training you are going to qualify for Boston

Have a good weekend

*aron* said...

my questions came 2-3 weeks before the marathon... i wonder when they will come this time around??

no worries you are definitely doing the work! good luck on your 16 - love every second of it :)

have a great weekend!

peachy perspective said...

Way to rock it! I too am excited about this cooler weather. I have only trained (for a half only) in cool weather, so it's what I'm used to. I hate running on the treadmill, so this summer I took a little break from hard-core training, but I'm looking forward to training up for another race. I realized unning is so much more fun when you know you can do it b/c you've done it before.

Chris said...

Holy cow. Seriously, you are so impressive. said...

i'm definitely questioning myself :/ i'm about 3 weeks out and while my training has been decent (albeit a bit late getting started) and pilates has been helping me, this week was a bad week since something kept getting in the way of me running and i haven't ran (and i missed pilates!) since last saturday. Eeesh. 18 miles and then the taper! Thanks for inspiring me :) Have a great run tomorrow!

J said...

I did yoga a while back - are you really flexible? Does it help with stretching and stuff. I have really tight hamstrings and i stretch every night and before runs but they dont seem to be getting really any better. Not sure if yoga would help or what.

Have fun on the run! 16 miles!!