I spent my Thanksgiving holiday in my hometown of Spokane, Washington at 2,000 feet altitude where the sun don’t shine and 30 degrees really means 30 degrees. I was staying with family without access to a vehicle so I spent all 4 of my days there running on the roads. This included a long run of 14 miles, of which I think its been about almost a year since I’ve done that long of a run on pavement…it was painful, but I didn’t die. It was a good reminder to put myself back into that mentality since I will be training over the winter for a road marathon in Feburary. This will be my first road marathon in 3ish years and also will be the first time I’ll be running one with a coach having told me how to train. Why in sam heck would I decide to do a 26.2 mile road race after having been running trails for so long? Well I wanted to give myself a different challenge to focus on during the cold months and also have an excuse to work on honing in my speed again. I’m under no illusion that I’ll be qualifying for Boston just because I’ll be racing with a coach this time, but I am interested to see how much I can push myself with some actual hard work under my belt (rather than just getting the mileage in which is how I trained for my two other marathons ha-ha).
Last winter I was training for a an early spring trail 100k and it was BRUTAL…well for the most part. On one of the days I was supposed to run my longest run of my training block (a 50k), it just happened to be a snow storm with wind gusts going up to 55 mph (or so the news said when I returned back to my car at the trailhead a mere 14 miles later having seen that they closed the down the road due to cars blowing off of it). I remember being so frozen that when I got into the shower my ankles were purple and I was shivering for a good 20 minutes under the scalding hot water. That was probably the biggest setback in my training I had last winter but it was definitely a memorable one. I am kind of excited to not have my A race ultra be until later in the year so long trail runs like that won’t be on the schedule during the most crazy, unpredictable Colorado months.
I did tell my coach that if I was going to buckle down and train for a marathon, I had to at least have the option for running trails every once and awhile for my sanity, so rest assured I’ll still be hitting the dirt and won’t just be grinding away at pavement staring at the passing cars and wishing to be hit by one of them.
In all seriousness, I’m pretty excited for this new adventure. Although it’s not necessarily new, it will just feel like it is since I’ll be dusting off some muscles and mental strength I haven’t used in awhile.
With having had 5 days off in a row from work and a Thanksgiving feast in my belly, the drive to write a bigger more thought out blog post was minimal this week so I appreciate it if you’ve made it this far in this short but sweet informal one. Catch up with me next week for your regularly scheduled, slightly more intellectual programming!