Training for the Philadelphia Marathon
August 5, 2012
Well we have officially started training for the Philadelphia Marathon. Along with training comes purpose. Sure I have been running this summer to stay in shape or to knock off the local 5K’s, but when you start a training program for a marathon every run has a purpose.
This morning I woke up around 3 am and started watching the women’s Olympic marathon but quickly decided to record it and go back to sleep. I wake up around 4:15 every day and every last minute of sleep is essential.
When it came time to wake up I started my pre-run routine and as I let the dogs out, I realized it wasn’t too miserably hot out and there was almost a cool breeze. Then when I saw my bed I started rationalizing well it was only a training run so I probably could just go crawl back into bed. After all, wasn’t my long run yesterday really the important run?
I talked myself in to lacing up my new Pearl Izumi’s and headed out the door. The legs we still tight and heavy from my previous run. My lame brain was still telling me it was just a recovery run and my legs probably needed rest rather than a slow run and I should just turn around and watch the Olympic marathon. But I just decided what the hell, I was running anyhow, I would just cut it down from four to three miles. Seemed like a fair compromise with myself.
The nice thing about my brain is that while it is lazy, I sometimes can use it for my advantage. When I came to the point where I either turned to do the four mile loop or continued straight for the three miles, I once again, said “what the hell I was already running so I might as well do the four.” I was too lazy to argue with myself so I made the turn.
After I made the turn two things happened – the first was my legs started to loosen up and my pace was picking up. The second was I realized that “cool” breeze I thought I felt earlier actually had all the coolness of a blow dryer on low. There really was nothing cool about this breeze and in fact it was rather annoying. Not only was it blowing hot air, but somehow no matter which direction I turned it remained stubbornly in my face. While not a meteorologist, I am pretty sure that if you run north, south, east and west, at some point you should have a tail wind. But not so much this morning.
But I digress, as my legs loosened and pace quickened I started thinking how glad I was that I decided to do the four rather than crawl back into bed. I am now training for a marathon and I have run enough to know that each training run is important. When I laid out my 20 week training schedule every run, whether long, fast, short or slow, is there for a reason. Even rest days are important to follow. As I apostatize about marathon running to those that think they never could run the 26.2 miles, I usually tell them that running a marathon is more of a test of commitment to a training plan than it is about actually running the mileage the day of the marathon.
As I was making my way home down the final stretch I knew that I made the right decision; at some point in that final 10K on race day, I will be glad I decided not to sleep in.