“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
Shortly after I started running, my sister made me a tank top with this quote as an inspirational message for me to keep challenging myself. I wear it every so often when times are tough or when I just need a motivation boost. I’m not sure she even knows how much it means to me. I wore it to my first ever running club track meet, since I am pretty challenged when it comes to track workouts. So of course, I made sure to wear it during my first week of marathon training.
Last week, I officially started my training program. I’m mostly working off a program from Marathon Training Academy that my friend Lori (who I am mostly training with) sent me. I won’t go into the boring details but for each week it has 3 days of running (1 regular run, 1 speed workout, 1 long run), 2-3 days of cross-training and at least 1 straight rest day. This is a 16-week training program, but assumes you have been running pretty regularly for about 6 months to a year. This is mostly true for me, with the exception of a month here and there taken off for injury recovery.
First…the challenge: I haven’t run 20-30 miles a week for a really long time, so I wasn’t sure how my body was going to respond this week. I have to say, it’s been adjusting pretty well. My first run on Monday was an easy 5 miles after work. I kept it at a slow pace as I didn’t want to over do it the first day. However, I did pick up the pace for the last 1.5 miles since storm clouds were rolling in. Luckily I made it inside before the lightning and torrential downpour hit, but I decided I should make more of an effort to get my run in before work. I did an additional track work out on Tuesday which gave me some extra mileage for the week, but then I got worried about doing too much too fast and re-injuring my tendon. My first speed workout was a mile repeat exercise for 7 miles, consisting of fast miles and short recoveries. The workouts felt good, but I was starting to feel like half my week was spent sweating. I actually ended up taking 3 showers one day, no joke.
My body seemed up to these new speed challenges and I’m looking forward to see how much I can push. My first long run was on a very humid Saturday with my friend Lori. We patiently completed the 8 miles, as if we were swimming through the damp, sticky air. For cross-training I added in two 45 minute cycling workouts – I was going to earn that rest day! All my hard work made it worthwhile to sleep in on Sunday and spend the day walking around Gloucester with some friends. Not bad for a first week, I’m really hoping I can keep this up. I want this experience to change me.
My main training worry is my schedule and fitting these extra workouts into my already busy life. I just have to make some adjustments and give things up. There are friends I probably won’t see for awhile and running will be like my second job, but I’m up for the challenge. If I can get through all this, I will change into something I can be really proud of – a marathon runner.
And thanks again sis, for top & the quote.