All of it. All of the running I’ve been doing over the last several weeks is working. I ran eight miles today and didn’t die. It was an unusually cloudy morning, which made for a comfortable run. I’m still doing dumb things, like today I forgot to bring water and felt like I might crap my pants at some points, but none of that mattered. I motored on, found a drinking fountain about halfway, and got through it crap-free.
Still working on odds and ends like what to eat before long runs, how much water to drink before, during, and after each run, what gear works best, and so on. But the running is working. My weekly mileage is climbing and the San Leandro half marathon is only a few weekends away. Oh my god! I’m suddenly feeling a little nauseous.
Last week I got in two runs, but climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. The guides reminded me that it was about 1500 steps and about a 640 calorie workout, so I felt less guilty about missing a short, mid-week run.
See, I made it.
Australia was beautiful. It’s winter there and the days are short so my runs were limited to a treadmill. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic to be back on the trails in the bay area. My first 12 miler is planned for Saturday. Send prayers.
Marathon training has officially begun and I’m on track. That’s not saying much, it’s only week two. But with all of the upcoming travel on my schedule, I don’t know how long that will be the case.
It scares me to think about all of the miles I have yet to lay down all in preparation for the long run through the streets of Chicago. If I follow the training plan that I adopted, when all is said and done, I will have run over 425 training miles before running 26.2 on race day in October. That’s like running from Chicago to Canada.
The training plan pictured above you can find at the Chicago Marathon site at http://assets.chicagomarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2013_finish.pdf. After reviewing several different types of plans from CARA’s training peaks plan to Hal Higdon’s plan to Runner’s World’s plan – a plan I also loved, but this one to looked to be the most compelling. Incorporating weight training, cross-training, and yoga plan feels good as long as none of it is overdone. The RW plan includes running exclusively, is 20 weeks long, and claims to be foolproof. Either will probably get a beginner in a place to complete the marathon.
And that’s exactly what I am, a beginner. My goal is to finish the race. If I do that, I’ll have achieved all that I set out to do. I hope I can.
My first blog post. The first step in getting to where I want to go. Well, not literally, the first step, more like a stand. Or a lean. A pose. A tip-toe? Anyway, 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago is where the real goal begins, and ends.
Chicago. I’m so happy the marathon is in Chicago. My grandmother, Carole, grew up and lived there her whole life. I did too, until recently. Selfishly the route, for the most part, is flat. Good ole flat Chicago. For the most part. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I’m freaking out a little right now in fact just thinking about it. Pulse increasing, heart palpitating, heat rising up through my chest into my throat and face. I’m okay, I’m okay. Deep breath. It’s just a really long run. A really long run that six or seven people die while or after each year. But I’m okay.
After the terror subsides, I remember why I’m doing this and that makes me feel better. Good, in fact. I’m remembering and celebrating an amazing woman, for whom without, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. And I’m grateful and honored to be so lucky.