I just realized that I am more than halfway done with marathon training. I’m not sure how that happened, or how it is that I didn’t realize it until now. It feels ah-mazing and weirdly sad. This is not my first time marathon training. I ran the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December of 2010 with my husband, and we spent months preparing for it. This time, though, it seems so much easier. (Knock on wood! I feel like totally just jinxed myself by saying that!)
This time around:
I know that I can run the miles. Training for my first full was great because I was earning a new PDR (personal distance record) almost every single weekend. Talk about a boost! Despite the awesomeness that is conquering a new distance on the regular, it was also really scary. I never knew if I could handle the distance that I was tackling on a particular day. I had to think about how hard the previous long run had been and then imagine running even farther. Now when I have a hard distance, I can remind myself that I’ve done it before. Instantly less scary.
My body knows that it can run the miles. Running is very much a psychological game, but it definitely helps when it doesn’t feels so bad on your body. I feel like all the miles I logged training for my fall races have paid off. I may not always be fast, but my endurance is noticeably better. It makes hitting double digits so much more pleasant. Now I get why people don’t rush into running for their first full.
I have more running buddies. When Stephen and I trained, we didn’t always run together. He was working retail, so our schedules weren’t always in sync. Plus, there were a few times when we fell off the training wagon. One person would get back into it while the other wouldn’t. The first time I ran 15 miles, it was solo. I can’t even imagine doing that now! Running with the DRC has been great for that very reason. Running alone can really blow. Not to mention, I’ve discovered a few coworkers who love to run, too. The miles fly by when you are chatting with a buddy.
I know what works. Which gu should I buy? When should I eat it? What kind of shoes do I need? How do I know when it’s time to get new ones? What should I eat for dinner? What foods should I avoid? How often should I hydrate? There are still things I’m figuring out, but it’s nice to not wonder about everything.
I run for me. This time around, I don’t have anything to prove. Sure, I want a better time, but my previous time was so slow that unless I get injured (knock on wood!), I’m pretty confident that I’ll PR. Even if I don’t, that’s okay. I just know that I love to run. (I’m not sure that statement was true back in 2010.)
As of right now, I’ve got five and a half weeks of training left. I don’t know if this last stretch will be as easy as the first part has been, but my plan is to keep calm and JFR.*