Sunday, August 26, 2012

The "Plan your own Race" approach

Saturday's forecast was miserable - upper 80s and sunny. Great summer weather, but miserable for running. Hal Higdon said to run 17 miles. What a miserable combination. I knew the only way it would happen would be if I went early. Bah! Sleeping in late is one of my favorite things in the world! The alternatives were run 3+ hours in the middle of the day, or wait all day / evening and start later when it would still be hot and miserable. There was no other way around it.

Waking up early is extremely difficult for me. My cell phone still has the alarm saved that I used for the 2010 Free Press because even two years later, I can't believe I voluntarily woke up at 4 am lol (Side note: The full marathon sold out yesterday. I'm so thankful I committed to it early and registered within an hour of it being online).

Rather than think of it as a miserable morning run, I imagined it was a race I had already paid for, so I had no choice but wake up early, eat breakfast and water (but no coffee) and just go. I had even thought about putting $50 or $100 in an envelope. If I completed the run, I could have the money, if not, it was going straight to the church offering plate. I never physically did it, but I mentally set aside all the cash in my wallet for the same effect.

For some reason I woke up at 3, but laid in bed until the alarm blared at 6 am. It was still dark outside, so I kept hitting the snooze button until 6:25. I was outside by 7 and running by 7:15, after talking with two men who were smoking outside the Coney Island.

The early weather was humid but not too hot. It would have been beautiful if I was sitting on the porch. It would have been cold if I was at the beach. I was running, however, and within 5 minutes I was sweating. As the sun came up, so did the heat, but the humidity simultaneously dropped.

It got done and yes, it was miserable. The best part was finishing 16+ miles by 11 am, before my normal self gets out of bed. It was a relief to be done and not have a massive run hanging over my head all day.

The best part of the actual run was that my body didn't really hurt. My feel calluses are coming back, so those were a little sore, but otherwise my hips were fine, my lower back was fine, my shin was good. I don't know why everything felt good, but I'll take it!

Thankfully I only have 3 more "monster" runs before the race which is a mixed bag. I feel great about so few massively long runs, but in no way do I feel prepared to finish the race. Forget 4:33, I don't feel ready to cross the finish line. I just have to keep telling myself It's all mental!!!!! I've already done 2 marathons this year and I've followed Hal's program with 95% accuracy, including ALL the long runs.

Something else good is I did some cross training on Sunday and it was GREAT! Seriously! No sarcasm here! I ellipticalled 30 minutes at the gym, then did a quick circuit on the upper body weights. It felt so good (and so easy!) that I was marginally disappointed for no-exercise Monday because it meant I couldn't repeat the great exercise.

Next up: 18 miles. Ugh! Help me Hal!

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