In an interesting turn of events…I’m training for a road marathon.
Well, technically I’m training OTHERS for a road marathon. The 2017 Myrtle Beach Marathon to be exact. But the result of doing so is that I too am inadvertently training for the same road marathon, as I run side by side with my team as they log their miles. Yes, I’ve spent the last few years lamenting my distaste for running on roads, and gushing about my love for the trails, but here I am, putting in 30 to 40 miles a week, every week, on the pavement.
I hope you find this as entertaining as I do.
The truth is I’ve realized that pounding the pavement isn’t so horrible when you share that time with others. My knees aren’t quite as happy as they are on trails, and my senses somewhat muted by the dull monotony of long, flat, straight roads surrounded by cookie cutter neighborhoods. But my heart is full spending all of this time with friends and teammates. Cracking jokes, sharing training advice, and having heart to hearts over real-life types of issues. And for that, I’ll gladly leave the trails behind for the most part…temporarily.
Don’t get too crazy, now.
The other day while in the middle of our weekly long run, a couple of friends/training team members and I were discussing their goals for the race. One woman sheepishly said that she no longer cares about her finishing times. She just wants to race for the experience. I assured her that this was a perfectly good and acceptable goal. And I shared that my goal in every race was simply to do something better, or different, than last time. “Better” not necessarily meaning a PR, but just a more enjoyable experience.
It was then that it hit me: this very well might be the FIRST time I’ve trained properly for a marathon from start to finish.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve logged some serious miles and put forth a ton of dedication to the last few ultras I ran. But road marathons? Well, those of you who have followed along with this blog for the past nearly 8 years (!!!) know my history with training for the 26.2 distance is less than stellar. I know how to put together a safe and sound training plan for others, but for a long time, I didn’t know how to follow one myself. And now that I’m acting as the iron fist enforcing the training schedule among my team (I think they’ve finally learned to stop asking permission to do things on rest day), I too am finally “doing what I’m told”. As a result, 8 weeks into our 18 week training plan, I feel fantastic. Who would have thought?
And so, even though I’m not training to PR this race, my “goal” is to continue doing what I’m told, and therefore hopefully, have a successful, injury free, (road) marathon this March. It pays to listen to your coach 😉
Oh wait, except I just remembered I have a 24 hour trail race exactly one month before aforementioned marathon. Some habits die hard…sorry coach.