It’s been an exhausting few weeks with a new promotion at work, but I have managed to keep up with marathon training pretty consistently. Yeah, I did cut back some of my mileage and decided to increase on my own accord, rather than follow Runner’s World Smart Coach. It had me running an 8 mile long run, to a 16 the next week, 18, then 20, and back down to 8, then repeat. For me, that was not working, after a terrible attempt to run 18, only making it 15, barely. It was time to focus on how I was feeling and how far I could go that week. My farthest run thus far has been 16 miles, and I’ll eventually hit a 20 mile training run really close to race time, so no decent taper here. But while focusing on how I feel and how far I can push, I’ve really learned a lot about myself. I really am stronger than I give myself credit for, and I can feel how much stronger I’ve become. I’ve always hated hills, but I can run up and down all of them around my neighborhood without feeling like the hills kicked my ass. Instead, I showed them what booty shorted lover who’s boss. I get up early on Sunday mornings to beat the wretched heat to get in my long runs. Which also means I don’t go out on Saturday, and sacrifice a lot of sleep. I also run after work, either at the gym or outside. And if I had it my way, I’d run all night. It’s cooler, my joints aren’t sore, I’ve fueled properly throughout the day and stayed hydrated. If there weren’t so many crazies in this world, I’d run all night rather than sleep. Then I’d be that crazy person running all night. Whatevs, it’s peaceful.
This time around while training for my marathon, even though I feel like I hit a slight wall halfway through 16 weeks of training, I’ve really grown to love running. My first marathon training had me training for survival to even make it 26.2 miles. But now 10 miles seems like the ideal distance to run just because. It’s long enough to feel like I put forth effort without making me tired or sore later. I’m hoping this new wave I’m running on stays with me long after my marathon is over. And I can’t use the “it’s too cold to run outside” excuse, I do have a gym membership with plenty of treadmills. And I did do a long run this past Sunday since I decided to sleep in. I thought about skipping it all together, but I knew I’d regret it later. So off to the gym for 14 miles. The gym I go to has an indoor track but the constant running in circles puts too much pressure on my inner calf, so I was stuck on the treadmill. I thought about splitting up the miles between Sunday and Monday, but again, I knew I’d regret it if I passed on running on Monday. So for 14 miles I sweat it out on the treadmill. I lost my shirt around mile 4, it was starting to feel like a sauna and couldn’t dry fast enough.
Another realization came to me. A while back I had a bad training run on the treadmill which left me crying to Trainer B and thinking I wasn’t a treadmill runner anymore or at least cut out to run on the treadmill. So I stuck with the track until my calf didn’t like it anymore. This 14 mile run on the treadmill wasn’t easy, it was slightly boring, and I proved to myself how tough I was to stick it out, even though I tried talking myself out of it the whole way. Then before I knew it, I was done.
I really do enjoy running. I enjoy pushing myself a little harder and a little further. I love showing Trainer Bobby his workouts are a little too easy. Well not really, but I try. I think he enjoys controlling the speed on the treadmill. Speed workouts do hurt with him. I love seeing how much faster I can push up the Himalayan mountain. There is a street called Himalaya I run, and it is a killer hill. I think the other side is worse. I love seeing the muscles in my legs become more defined, so my booty shorts look even better! But what I love most, I’ve come into my own as a runner. I quit comparing myself to others, I listen to what’s right for me and my body to stay injury free, and I run because I want to, instead of what some training program tells me to do. I’m not good at following rules anyway.