Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just Run



Sunday kicked off Week Seven of my sixteen-week training program for the 2015 New Jersey Marathon, which is being held this year on April 26.  While winter has been less than cooperative with regard to my efforts to run outdoors, my basement dungeon has been a lifesaver.  Running on a treadmill can be pure drudgery but skimping on training for a marathon can be injurious to one's health.  I would rather endure the drudgery than risk an injury. 

This week's long run was twelve miles, which is indeed a fairly ambitious distance to cover on foot but is still less than half of the distance to be covered on race day.   I was very pleased that I was able to complete it in less than ninety-six minutes.  I am continuing to adhere to my goal of running eight minute or less mile splits.   This is my goal not because I have any delusion of being able to do it twenty-six times in a row on race day but rather because I am continuing to force my mind and my body to be uncomfortable and to power through feelings of discomfort and anxiety.  Discomfort and anxiety are feelings that come rampaging through my mind - as a four-hour-plus marathoner - beginning at or about Mile 15.  My friend Gidg is the most mentally tough runner I know.  I have no delusions about ever being able to equal her level of mental toughness.  However, if I can get to 50% of her level, I will be more than tough enough mentally to beat back those feelings. 

In an odd coincidence, my split times for my long run Sunday not only were sub-eight-minute miles laid back-to-back for twelve consecutive miles, but they were mirror images.  I ran the first six miles in 46:12.  I finished my run in 92:24, which means that I ran the final six miles in...46:12.  What does that mean?  Probably not a whole hell of a lot but when one spends a hairball less than ninety minutes running on a treadmill, one clings to anything that makes the experience less onerous.  

This weekend I finally break into the "more than half-marathon" distance for my training run.  On tap this Sunday is a fourteen-mile run.  Thus far I have done well.  I have not missed a single run on my training schedule.  While I could certainly use to drop about seven-to-ten pounds, which would take a little bit of pressure off of my knees, my legs feel good and my confidence feels even better.  

Miles to go?  Absolutely.  But I cannot cover the distance any more quickly than one step at a time and so far I am doing just that.  

-AK   

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