I refuse to pretend that marathon training is fun right now. In general I love it and am much happier when I’m checking off the workouts on a training plan. Right now though? I have a cold. It’s an “above the neck” cold, not a chest cold, and I’m thankful for the ability to continue working out. At the same time, I get discouraged when I cannot meet the pace goal for a particular run. My 8-mile tempo run that should have included six straight miles at 8:14 (7.3 mph) became five one-mile repeats with a 400-meter rest interval in between. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of that workout. That eight miles wins a personal award for “longest run on a treadmill to date.” It wasn’t easy for me to do the mile repeats, and I am glad I pushed through and did them and at the same time, didn’t push so hard that I made myself even more sick.
My 13-mile long run that ideally should have been at an 8:50 pace was done at a jog. I don’t even want to calculate the actual pace. All I know is that overall my total time was 15 minutes slower than the 13.1 Mile Virtual Run for Sherry I did five weeks ago. And it was the first run where I felt worse, mentally and physically, than I did before the start of the run. One of the things I love most about running is the sense of accomplishment that I feel afterward, and that just wasn’t there this weekend. I did it, but it wasn’t pretty.
I don’t mean to be a downer. I simply feel some bizarre sort of obligation to be honest about the fact that marathon training is not all sunshine and roses. It’s challenging. It’s a huge commitment. It’s tiring. Yet, those are the very reasons that it’s inspiring. It’s thrilling. It’s rewarding.
Squeezing in the Training around the Rest of Life
Because my pace was off on the 13-mile run, I was literally running late. I ran in the door, toweled off the sweat (no time to shower, sorry folks!), threw on the clean clothes my husband laid out for me, and ran back out to the driveway where Mike had the car running and the younger kids waiting to drive to the junior high to watch my fifth grader compete in the Academic Excellence Day math competition.
Math Word Problem:
If Angela completes her 13-mile run at X:YZ pace,
how long will it take her to run 26.2 miles on May 26?
Bonus question: Will she PR or BQ?
Answer: I wish I knew!
For the mathematics competition, the teachers matched my daughter with four other fifth graders from local schools, and they competed against six other teams of five. After a round of 10 questions plus a bonus word problem, my daughter’s team earned third place! I reveled in getting to watch her learn to assert herself among her teammates and perform under pressure. We asked her what she learned from the experience, and we told her we were proud of her for participating in the competition. But the surprising thing that made me proud? When my 8-year-old said that the thing she learned from the competition was that “crossing your fingers really works!” She’d sat quietly throughout the whole competition, and then crossed her fingers at the end in the hopes that her older sister would win a medal! Love that girl!