And may the odds be ever in your favor.
This week started my 10th Marathon Training Season. Though I only ran a total of 34 miles in November (EEK!), I was at least planning and plotting for my next big race. For my 10th marathon, I wanted something driveable, new, ideally on a Saturday and in the month of March. (I chose March because it would force me to get back on the wagon of running sooner rather than later.)
I found this: The Circular Logic Marathon. It’s located in West Lafayette, IN and takes place on March 23rd – a Saturday. Perfect.
Well, maybe not perfect. This race takes place on a 1-mile loop. Yes, do the math. That’s running the same circle 26 times. They only allow 105 individual runners + 21 relay teams as the course is too small for anything beyond that. Did I mention the 26 laps?
Now did I think that this may just be a little crazy compared to some of the beautiful courses I have been lucky enough to run (next to Golden Gate Bridge, running next to Big Ben, finishing on a Lake Michigan beach, running through Boys Town in Chicago?) Nope, sure didn’t. In fact, I saw it as an adventure of sorts. So I emailed my friend Meghan and tossed it out as an option for her to do as well. She bit. Within an hour, we were both registered.
AND! Three of our other Perfect Strangers will be running the marathon relay (Jaime, Bri and Kelly). PLUS! I get to see my fans every single mile! I never have to wear a water belt or carry gels with me. JD can tailgate with a crew of supporters and could jump in at any mile to run alongside me. And can you imagine all the pictures I’ll have? One every single mile! See? This is looking better and better.
Now as for training….the past two races I have completed the FIRST Marathon Training program. But despite it giving me a PR this past spring, I didn’t do so well with it this summer. I can chalk that up to a whole host of things but I know that for this race, I am going back to my roots: Hal Higdon. I have used his programs time and time again. What I like is that you have a variety of schedules to choose from depending on ability. This time, I chose an intermediate program and added some modifications to toss in some intervals and tempo runs. In the end, the program looks something like this.
This program has me running 5x a week which is ambitious, but if I can strive for 5 and end up at 4, it will be acceptable in my book. What I love about this schedule is that it ramps up slowly but still has some aggressive distances in there (3 20-milers). Had I been doing the FIRST program, I’d be gearing up for my first 20-miler in just two weeks! (Oh helllll no. This body is not ready for that!)
So on Monday, Meg and I kicked off our training season with a 6-miler after work. It was quite hilarious as the weather was incredible (Tank Top December!) so I think we just got a little distracted and forgot what month we were actually in. We were 1.5 miles into our run when it became PITCH BLACK. There we were, on the Monon Trail in downtown Indy. Without lights. Without reflectors. Without mace. So we picked up our pace and tried to get back to the safe neighborhood as fast as possible. There were a few times where our hackles were up and all conversation stopped as we crossed some passerbys. At one point I said to her “Meg – we have done some smart things and some stupid things in our friendship together. This? This is a stupid thing.”
We, of course, are safe and ended up finishing our 6-mile run in my lovely neighborhood. Then Tuesday we ran 3 miles around the same ‘hood. And this morning, I started my day with another 3 miles with JD. So I am four days in and have run 3 times. It’s a start.
I feel slow and out of shape. I can’t carry on conversation as easily as I used to. But I am excited to get recommitted to running. To make it a habit again. To make it a priority.
I think maybe I got a little overconfident this summer. After 8 marathons, I figured I could make minimal effort and still pull off a decent race. But I was brought back to earth by the Chicago Marathon. That rude awakening + 6 weeks of relaxation was the perfect equation to get me back on the wagon.
Happy Marathon Training. May the odds be ever in your favor.