A Pause Before The Deep End

Yuck. My DailyMile training report for last week arrived in my inbox this morning with the dreaded phrase “Your friends miss your training. :-(“, which is to say I didn’t log any miles. In fact, I hadn’t logged a single mile since April until yesterday. I do hate receiving those types of reports, but I also purposely set aside my trainers for an extended time.

I have several reasons why I took a 3 week break. One was because I was simply flat out busy; work has ramped up and I have had to work through more lunches than normal. Another was because my allergies have been off the charts this season and I was coming back from my lunch runs feeling pretty awful. But one of my biggest reasons for a short break is that beginning June 1, running is about to become my whole life for about 5 months.

On Patriot Monday, April 15th, the day of the Boston Marathon, I signed up for the Richmond Marathon and the SportsBackers Marathon Training Team.

That was the last time I posted here, as well, and I didn’t mention it in my post. Signing up for the team and the race felt overwhelming and I wasn’t really prepared to talk about it yet. It feels big and scary still, but the start date is swiftly approaching and I keep probing the thought of running 26.2 miles like one touches a bruise just to see how it feels.

If the race itself feels daunting, the training efforts feel doubly so. What do you do with your time while you are running 20 miles for a practice run? How do you keep your brain at bay while keeping one foot in front of the other?

It also looks like we’ll have to contend with a scorcher of a summer this year. It is always hot and humid in Virginia in the summer, but if the forecasts are even close, it seems generally agreed that this year will be particularly bad. I am going to force myself to become an early AM runner. I have to. I ran a little over 2 miles yesterday in the 95 degree heat and by the time I got back to the office, I was a touch queasy, but my pace was way below where I had been in April (granted, the 3 week break wasn’t going to do anything to help speed me up).

Plus, there will come a point late in training where I will have midweek runs that are nearly a half marathon; I can’t do those on my lunch hour. By the way, I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea of running 12 miles and then hopping in the shower before heading into the office. I mean, that just sounds crazy.

But for all the enormity of the undertaking, all the nervous unknown, and frankly, a bit of fear, I am also very excited by the prospect. I am going to cover new territory within Richmond, I am going to find the mental boundaries I have about mileage are blown away and there will come a point this summer where a 10 mile run isn’t a “big deal” anymore. Won’t that be something?

(As an aside, you are getting this on my lunch hour instead of me logging much needed miles because the heat index is 100. That’s when I skip the great outdoors. I have no desire to make the news: “Jogger Found Passed Out From Heat Stroke On FloodWall”. So, yeah, better get started on that early AM running plan.)

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