Tuesday, October 29, 2013

fall marathon "training"

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me, Laura, and a girl I was apparently talking to


So I finished my marathon on Sunday and I thought I really needed to kind of recap my fall running before I could adequately share my marathon experience. I really owe the fact that I finished my marathon to Laura. She's my neighbor and I, in my usual fashion of making friends like a 5 year old, found out she was running the marathon and asked "hey, can I come run with you and your friend?" Well, as usual, acting like a 5 year old when you want to make friends totally works and we ran the Reston 10 miler together, tacked on another 9 miles and called it a long run!


Looking back at my training log, it was the first time I ran over 12 miles since August, and the first time I went over half marathon since my spring races. I was actually shocked that 1)I was able to do it, 2)it felt pretty easy, and 3)we were pretty fast! We did the race in a 9:11 pace and the last bit around an 11:50. Not too shabby for an easy long run!

Then, a week later, I joined Laura and her running buddy Saskia for a 21 mile long run. The run didn't quite go as planned, as Saskia was nursing an injury, so we ended up walking the last 6 ish miles. But to tell you the truth, that was probably the best thing for me! I would have been a trooper and gone along with anything that Laura and Saskia had wanted to do (even run continuously - gross!), but I was just proud to get in a 20+ mile run before the marathon. Did I mention that it was also SUPER HOT? Yeah... walking was nice :)

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Saskia and Laura in their matching running outfits

So funny thing, I show up wearing my ruffled lululemon skirt and Laura goes "Saskia has that skirt, it would be funny if she wears it today." The joke was on Laura when Saskia showed up in her exact outfit! We were probably a sight to see decked out in our hot pink, black and purple!

The following week I did a treadmill 5k in 22:31 (holla, treadmill 5k PR!) and then pretty much took it easy until the Army Ten Miler. Well, easy except I had to buy the same skirt that Laura and Saskia had, cause it was so cute! I ran in pretty much the same outfit they had on for our 21 miler. Which was actually perfect for the weather!

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The ATM might be one of my favorite races. I think its because 10 miles is such a great distance. It's probably because I love whole, even numbers.

But this year was a very different race for me. It wasn't my fastest or my slowest, it wasn't really hard or easy, it was just kind of heavy. My friend Justin's mom had passed away earlier that week, on the two year anniversary of my Uncle Mark's death, and Reid and I had just come back from her funeral late the night before. I was running on just a few hours of sleep, but that wasn't really a problem either. I just kept thinking about loss, but not in the wallowing/sad way, but in the "remember the good things" and "learn from their mistakes" kind of way. Justin's sister read this and every time I felt the wind against me, I thought about Cris (their mom) and my Uncle Mark.

I also thought about how similar they both were. The common theme between them, beyond dying too soon, was that they really gave to everyone, sometimes sacrificing themselves to do so. It made me think that maybe when you give without regard to yourself, the price you pay is leaving the world too soon. So while I was running, I thought about what running races meant to me. It's my little time to myself, where I am doing something that it both physically and mentally good for me, but it's also some passive giving. Most race fees go toward charities and running has gotten me involved in TNT. And on a broader scale, my running and racing keeps me motivated to coach and pass on a "forever healthy" lifestyle to my swim kids.

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This is my training since May. It doesn't include the 6 bike rides (including my tri) and the hand full of swims that I did before my tri and 3 swims a week since September with Bruce's group. I guess I prove that quality runs trump running volume when it comes to marathon training. Or that you can be lazy and still do pretty well when you run your third marathon in three years. Looking back, I think I need to refocus and prioritize my training, but at least I made it through to my base building season.

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