I'm Ready. I Think.

In two days training for marathon #2 starts. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't know whether I'd be ready mentally or physically. However, a few things have changed for the better!

1. I'm excited about running again after two intense days of coaching certification class. (I passed the test, so after getting CPR/First Aid training next Friday, I'll be an official Road Runner's Clubs of America certified running coach.)

2. I'm chucking the old way of training for a brand new (hopefully improved) method of training that is high mileage, low pace. I went to the Macmillan Pace Calculator online and found out my long run and easy run paces should be between an 11-minute and 12-minute mile. I like running slow and easy. For the next 11 or 12 weeks, I'll just be building endurance with 5-days per week of slow running---getting up to 40-45/miles per week. THEN I'll spend a couple of months on speed training to sharpen up for the marathon. I ran 15.5 miles this week at my new slow pace and it was HEAVEN. I ran them alone mostly except for 5.5 with a new running friend and loved that there was no pressure to go faster than was comfortable for me. You know, participation in your hobby shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself! If it does, you are seriously doing something wrong.

3. I've set what I think is an attainable goal for the marathon: 4:40. There it is. Now it's set in stone. I'll be ok with anything under 5:00 hours and ecstatic with anything in the 4:30's, but I think 4:40 is doable. Yes, that is a 39-minute improvement over my last marathon, but I know now I went into that undertrained and then had that freak heat wave to deal with.

4. I let go of the fear. Yes, FEAR. The thought of another marathon beating up my body the way the Country Music Marathon did (I'm STILL regrowing toenails!) scared me. I had post-marathon fatigue for two months. My body "detrained" to the point that I'm running much slower post-marathon than pre-marathon. But with better training (i.e. higher mileage and bigger shoes!), post marathon will be a different story this time. Hopefully, the marathon itself won't be a test of simply survival this time, either. I'm planning on feeling strong up through mile twenty since I'm doing 3 to 4 twenty-milers in training. As any of you marathoners know, however, the last six miles are rather unpredictable.


5. I feel like I'm starting a new chapter in my life. I have felt lately like all the joy of life was sucked out of me from being overcommitted. I let go of some committments--my running club responsibilities, my bunco group to name a couple-- to make room for some new ones I'd like to focus on for a while. I am committed to volunteering at my kids' new school when they start in 3 weeks to help ease their transition and I'm starting a part-time coaching job on Monday at the YMCA coaching a half-marathon training group. I'm excited that I'll have a role in these new runners achieving such a lofty goal--running 13.1 for the first time. I remember how excited I was when I did it for the first time! I actually cried (on a training run, not in the actual race). Then, in August, I get to introduce a group of Couch to 5Kers to running. It will be an honor.

I'm feeling really blessed right now, and that's a good way to start the next 20-weeks.


Congrats on passing the test!

I hope you keep sharing the marathon training tips.

Sounds like a great time in your life - a lot of fun new activities to look forward to!

Oh, and I like the new look on your blog!
As I am approaching my first marathon I can totally get the "I'm ready I think". I'm about 3 weeks away from my first and can already see some of the mistakes I've made. The idea of running a second one scares the crap out of me, but I do think eventually I will be ready, "I think". Best of luck to you! I am sure you will do terrific!
Lisa said…
congrats on passing the test! I'm sorry I didn't e-mail you after your training. I was going to offer help with the test, but it sounds like you did just fine! It is exciting that I am officially a coach (I'm on the website and everything). Right now I am testing my new knowledge on myself and some friends. The higher mileage is actually pretty nice... I feel strong. This week will be my highest mileage week EVER, including training for two marathons (and this training cycle is just a half!)

Good luck with the training. I am looking forward to following it.
Jules said…
I love this post!!!!!!!!!
Congrats on passing your coaching test. I'm sure everything will go will from here!
Mama said…
Congrats on passing the test!

Sounds like you are in a really good place right now.

MCM Mama
Bethany said…
I am so excited for you and ALMOST inspired! Keep posting these great posts and maybe I will hit the road again...

I have a feeling you are going to do great with this new training! Best of luck in the weeks to come :)
Your post is so right on with life (of the runner)in general!!! A GREAT reminder to us ALL!!!
NY Wolve said…
Great Post -- loved hearing your thoughts and mental preparation for the upcoming months. I also started a new program, but seems to be the opposite -- fewer more intense workouts that are really hard. Not sure I enjoy it as much even if it produces better results. To each his own, and good luck on your goals.