We're officially kicked off the #FindYourStrong Marathon Challenge yesterday, and Heather and Marianne, two long-distance BRFs, are going to document their training weekly on Tuesdays.
Although training has started, it's only started for the first wave (marathons on October 3-4). Registration is still open for all waves, and will be open through June 19.
That said, part of the fun anticipation is the prep; here's a recap of how we used the last few weeks to get ready to officially start training.
- Printed pdf of training plan.
- Copied workouts into my paper calendar that I use to record runs.
- Wrote the long runs as quickly as possible so I didn't have to think about them too much.
- Double checked that spouse's business trips are not during 20-mile weekends.
- Listened to the two Boston marathon AMR podcasts (Episode #158 and #161) plus the bonus one on Mollie’s marathon to get fired up. (Full disclosure – I’ve listened to Bethany's 3 times. It’s that good.)
I also got my sweat on:
I completed the Power of Women supersprint triathlon for the second time. This was an excellent reminder that actually training for a race will help a lot. I dropped a bit of time off each leg from last year, but it wasn't much. That might have something to do with my one measly swim and one measly bike workout in 2015. It was still plenty fun though and it was a great excuse to hang out with friends.
I got back to HIIT class, where we do a mix of speed drills, lifting, hitting things with baseball bats, and plenty of core work. I know that strength training is a key component in keeping my body healthy. I am lucky to have a place nearby that provides me with motivational phrases when the instructor yells them in the midst of a drill, including the one on the coffee mug below.
I tried a yoga hike. It was nice, but I think I prefer to do those two things separately. No photos because that seemed un-yogic. Instead, here's a picture of Joyce, my 4 year old daughter, because she didn't make the cut in our last entry.
I ran on back-to-back days, which I haven’t done for years for fear that my knees would be unhappy. I was shocked and delighted to find the run felt better on the second day.
One reason I am feeling pretty good is that the training plan provides a system for achieving a goal. This is a distinction that I recently learned of that has helped me reduce my fretting about outcomes and instead just trust that the process will do its job. (But maybe ask me again in August when those long runs take me farther than I’ve ever been.)
For now, I'm trying hard not to think about how long 26.2 miles sounds/feels/is. I'm especially trying not to think about how long it seemed to take to drive between Bath and Corning (the marathon route) when I did so in late January. When those concerns pop up, I am telling myself "trust the system, ignore the goal."
Another reason I am feeling pretty good is that I am excited to put a dent in my bag of running fuel, especially the Nuun and Gu (some of which is from this winter's No Limits Challenge). Perhaps it is the 10+ years of Weight Watchers talking but combining sugar and exercise has yet to get old.
Right now my only rational concern is weather. I felt like a real BAMR in January when I was running in 12 degrees. Running in heat does not seem to yield the same feelings of accomplishment. Until it does, I'll keep repeating the wisdom from my AMR leaders.
- Opened the plan, checked what mileage I need to hit on the first week's long run.
- Had really good intentions to go back and study it, enter it on my personal and work calendars, compare it to John, my husband's, calendar, etc. [Don't actually do any of those things.]
- Spent the next two weeks jumping up and down and saying "I can't wait to start training!" a lot.