This weekend, like Amy, I hit a pretty big high and a pretty low low. On Saturday I did 16.5 miles with an average pace of 8:59 per mile. While that’s my fastest average for this training cycle, that’s not really a spectacular time in and of itself. What was spectacular was the fact that 1) I ran an extra half mile, 2) I was running 8:10s and had to slow down to something easier–which turned out to be my marathon pace, and 3) at the end, I could have kept running.
Thanks to my compression shorts and my fueling plan, I was feeling strong. I really wanted to finish that .5 for a surprise extra mile, but one training partner had already run 16.69 like a crazy madwoman (some sub-8s in there) and another had fallen behind a little bit, so I didn’t really want to keep running by myself when I didn’t need to.
So I went home and took a nap and had a lovely day with Wes.* On Sunday, I had to run 8 miles to make up for the 8 that I had slept through on Friday (it was a tough week, sleep-wise). The weather was still feeling nice and cool when I left the house at 8:45. I headed out and did 5 on my own, then came back and woke up Wes and did 3 more.
I was running really slowly, and I didn’t think I needed to carry water with me, because it was so nice, and I wasn’t running that far at once. But 8 miles is still 8 miles, and the August sun is hot, even if the temps aren’t as high as they have been. I came home to some intense stomach cramping. As I stooped and shuffled from the car to brunch (“Don’t walk so fast or you’ll make me throw up!” I yelled after Wes), I thought about the bad side of marathon training and why I was doing this to myself again.
But at least, for me, stomach cramps are about as bad as it gets. Don’t get me wrong–they’re bad. And I really hate losing my day to them, but I don’t mind waking up early or not drinking or a tiny bit of pain. The fact is, I’m loving marathon training this season. I don’t know if it’s my blog friends or my running friends, new and old, or if it’s the sense that I’m making real progress toward a BQ instead of just going through the motions, but I’m having a great time. Nothing is more fun to me right now than kicking it at the end of a run.
When I took up cycling earlier this year, I was loving the freedom and the rush I would get from moving so quickly and so easily. It was such a contrast to the running I was doing at the time, which was slow and plodding and painful. But now my running gives me that same sense of moving effortlessly through space, and it’s exhilarating. I’m 8 miles in to my 50 mile week, and I can’t wait to log some more.
Oh, and I totally found $23 on the ground on Saturday’s run. For once, running is making me money too! 😉
*There should be a picture of me drinking chocolate milk out of a measuring cup after Saturday’s run right here, but new hotmail is being a little brat and not letting me download it. Yes, that’s what I get for using an inferior email program.