To you, this may seem like an ordinary, blazin' hot Monday. To me, it's the beginning of 16 weeks that will hopefully carry me across a certain finish line in Central Park in early November. The official training starts today, and I gotta say, I'm more excited than nervous, which is surprising to me.
A few reasons why:
1. I went to dinner with Katherine, my friend I wrote about in the friendship chapter in RLAM, on Friday night. We were having one of our usual non-sequitur-filled conversations, and my injuries came up. I told her how much better I was feeling, and she made a few really important, smart points about retraining your brain. (She's super well-read, and her brain retains ridiculous amounts of useful information.) Thanks to too much white wine, I didn't retain as much as I'd like, but one thing stayed with me: I have to start thinking of myself as healthy, not hurt. Every runner has aches and pains, and I'm no different. I've worked hard to get my pain to a manageable level and now it's time for me to see it as a glitch, not a goblin. The situation is like a three-year-old's tantrum: the more attention you to pay to it, the worse it gets. Ignore it, and it'll die off. I'm obviously can't do the la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you thing with my left leg, but I am going to not let it be my first thought when I think of running any more.
2. I've got a very doable training plan. I am fortunate enough to have Andrew Kastor, husband and coach and massage therapist of a certain Olympic bronze-medalist and marathoner extraordinaire, guide my training. (Thank you, Asics!) I had three training levels to choose from, and opted for the beginner plan, which, despite having run two marathons, is really where I am starting from. The plan goes up very conservatively in mileage, and calls for running 4 days a week (or maybe even 3 for me, if need be) and cross-training two days.
The best news for you? Andrew and Asics have allowed me to share the 16-week plan with you. (I'll do it in four-week chunks: too overwhelming to see all the work now.) So if you're running NYC or another fall marathon and it's your first 'thon, consider following along with me. (SBS will post her more advanced marathon plan, also designed by Andrew and her guide for the Portland Marathon in mid-October, tomorrow.) To make the plan and the real life marathon training of a mom more realistic, I've posted the Kastor plan up top, and down below, I'll post what I really did, along with some comments about the run (and my sleep, motivation, nutrition--or lack thereof--and any other vital tidbits).
The best news for me? My training starts with a rest day.
3. This refrain from the Avett Brothers' song I and Love and You has been echoing in my head for a few weeks now. I can only take it as a sign.
Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.
Are you aware of the shape I'm in?
My hands they shake, my head it spins.
Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.
So Brooklyn (and Queens, and the Bronx, and Staten Island and Manhattan), take me in.
First-time (or pushing-the-reset-button) marathoners, train with me.
Head, trust the body below you is healthy.
And all of you: thanks for coming along for the ride. What are your running plans for the fall?