This morning was a tough run. One of those runs after a few weeks of tough runs that shouldn’t have had to be tough runs. One of those long runs that forces you to consider, “why am I doing this again?”
It was with some members of Track Club that I hadn’t really run with outside of the Edward Little Track before — thanks for letting my slow ass tag along. New people — but familiar route, up College Street in Lewiston:
Last year, my approach to my training was “get through the marathon.” I took hydration, nutrition, and the timing of my runs very seriously. Every long run was revered; scheduled to be done under the best physical circumstances possible so that nothing would jeopardize the success of finishing them.
It was a good plan and I went into that race with a lot of confidence. But it was draining on the rest of my life. I felt like my husband had to make a lot of sacrifices for me because our social life was dictated by the pace of my training. No late night partying or any alcohol on half the weekend.
I want to keep endurance running as a part of my life but I wanted to find a way to fit it in more easily. Make it more comfortable. Not compromise on as many other things, now that I know that I can do it.
So I did that with the Sugarloaf Marathon, and I think the training for that one was easier for a host of reasons. The time of day that I ran didn’t matter so much in the winter and the spring. It is much easier to run when it is cool outside. And there are less fun things to do competing for my attention and social calendar then.
But on marathon day, it was hot, and I was unprepared for those conditions.
It was my second marathon, and it was my second marathon that I had crappy weather I didn’t train in/for. It made me think that I should stop trying to train in ideal conditions and start accepting every day, no matter what the weather brings.
Which brings me back to today.
I started too late in the morning. The route had long sections of exposed sun. It was hot. It was hard. I went out to fast.
I ended up walking a lot of the last 5 miles. And I never made it to 12 miles — I was done when I was back at the car at 11.34.
So I’m wondering if this policy of “accept every day as it comes” and not trying to arrange for the most successful circumstances possible for every run is hurting me much more than its helping me.
Because ultimately, what are my goals?
I’d like to keep running marathons. I’d like to stay at that level of fitness. I want to know that if I was stranded 26 miles from home, getting there on my own two feet would not be an unreasonable feat. (Yes, I know, I have weird standards for fitness.)
So this was a long post to say: I’m going to start my runs earlier from now on.